Sewing Techniques / Tips & Tutorials

Tutorial : How to sew an Invisible Zipper

Let’s talk invisible zippers. They have a clean and professional look, and are, well, invisible. The best kind, in my opinion. But for some reason, invisible zipper applications tend to be feared. But there really is no need! They are not as difficult as you might think.

It just so happens, that the recommended zipper application for the Tania culottes is an invisible zipper. So let’s go over that today, step by step, so that your Tanias come out absolutely perfect!

Ok, let’s go…..

1. Start by fully un-zipping your zipper. See how the coils are sorta rolled-under? Place the zipper wrong side up, and press each side flat. This will help you stitch closer to the coils.

2. Finish the raw edges of your fabric to your preference (as you can see, I kept it simple with pinking shears. See other seam finishes here). Sew a row of basting stitches 5/8” from the raw edge on each side of your garment. This is just to act as a guideline for your zipper placement, and will be removed later.

3. With your fabric right side up, place your zipper face down so that the coils line up with your basting guideline. Make sure that the top of your zipper coil is 5/8” form the top edge of your fabric. There is usually about this much extra zipper tape above your coil. By placing the coil 5/8″ below the edge will save you room to attach your waistband facing.

Pin in place.

4. Now, if you have an invisible zipper presser foot- yay! You can attach that to your machine now. Personally, I prefer to use my regular zipper foot. They produce the same result, so either is fine!

Place your garment and zipper under the foot with the coils to the left of the presser foot . Sew close to the coils, ending as close as you can to the zipper pull. Backstitch.

5. Now pin the zipper to the opposite side. Remember, make sure that you are pinning to the right side of the fabric, and your zipper is face down. Line up the coils with your basting guideline (your coils will be facing towards the inside of the garment). Pin in place. **It’s very important that at this point you zip up your zipper and test to make sure everything is lined up correctly and nothing is twisted. Once everything looks good, unzip again.**

6. Move your zipper presser foot over, this time so the zipper coils are to the right side of the foot. Stitch close to the coil, stopping and backstitching as close as you can t the zipper pull.

7.Woohoo! Your zipper is sewn in! Now to finish the rest of the seam…

Zip your zipper. Fold your garment so right sides are together, and you are sandwiching your zipper. Move your zipper tail out of the way, letting it stick out from your seam allowance. You don’t want it to get caught as you stitch your seam. Using a regualr zipper foot, and starting about 1/4” – 1/2” above your zipper stitching, start sewing your seam. The zipper pull is right here adding bulk. Just get as close as you possibly can, and go slow. Continue sewing your 5/8″ seam all the way down.

As you can see above, the two stitch lines don’t line up near the zipper pull, and they most likely won’t. But that’s ok! It will be hidden in your zipper end, and you won’t even be able to tell.

8. Turn your garment right side out, and lightly press your zipper flat.

9. Continue attaching your waistband facing according to the booklet instructions. The 5/8” you left at the top of your zipper should leave just enough room for your seam. Once your facing is sewn and flipped over, hand stitch the facing to the zipper tape using a slipstitch. If you need to know how to do a slipstitch, head on over here.


And that’s it! You’ve successfully sewn an invisible zipper – go you! Now, any questions?

About Author

Holly writes part time for the Megan Nielsen blog– sewing like crazy, creating tutorials and sewalongs. She has been sewing since she was a little girl, and has her degree in apparel design. Now she’s a stay at home mama, and spends all her free nap times at her sewing machine.

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10 years ago

No questions, but my tips are to press with a cool iron (melted zippers are not cool) and if you are sewing a garment where th zip crosses a seam (such as a waistband) mark on the zipper with some chalk the point where the zipper crosses the waistband seam, so this an be matched up on the second side. I was finding when I did my second side the two seams never matched up, so I mark it, and baste it in place at this point, then sew it up. Hope that makes sense!

Truly Myrtle
10 years ago
Reply to  Sarah

Ooh that’s very clever. Thanks X

10 years ago
Reply to  Sarah

Oh absolutely! I’ve experienced the pain of melted zippers before. Not fun :(

Truly Myrtle
10 years ago

I’m about to sew a 1950’s dress – is there anything I need to consider when replacing the standard zip called for with an invisible?

10 years ago
Reply to  Truly Myrtle

I would take into account that a regular zip will give you a little more fit room. Only about half an inch or less but still. So if you’re changing the pattern to an invisible zipper foot you might want to make sure that you will still fit in the dress without pulling. Just measure and you should be fine.

10 years ago

Thanks for this reminder that invisible zippers aren’t hard! I am one of those who has never done it for some reason and is intimidated.

10 years ago

Yay, someone else who uses a normal zipper foot for invisible zips!


[…] zippers, my friends! Yesterday, we went over inserting an invisible zipper, which is the recommended zipper application for the Tania culottes. But it is just a […]

9 years ago

If you plan out what you are going to do, you will not run into as many issues.
There is also nothing quite like reading the blog of a young enthusiastic couple remodeling a 54 year old house.
Try to approach projects with baby steps while keeping
your mind open to new ideas.

1 year ago

Life saver! Thank you so much for this easy to follow tutorial! My first zipper went in like a dream.