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Video:Sew a Lapped Zipper

with Susan Nixon

A lapped zipper is one in which the fold of the fabric covers the teeth of the zipper. Find out how to sew a lapped zipper in a few simple steps.See Transcript

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Transcript:Sew a Lapped Zipper

Hello I’m Susan Nixon with About.com and today I’m going to show you how to put in a lapped zipper.

What Is a Lapped Zipper?

And that’s the type of zipper where the fold of the fabric covers the teeth of the zipper. Usually you would use this in the center back or the side seam of a skirt.

Start Sewing a Lapped Zipper

Here’s how we begin. On the center back seem. I’ve already serged finished both of the raw edges where the zipper is going to go. Then I put the fabric pretty sides touching. Line it up. And the next thing I’m going to do is take my zipper, and set it down on the scene. I want the top of the zipper head to be up above the top edge of my fabric because I really don’t want to sew around this. I’m going to come down to the bottom of where the zipper stopper is and I’m going to mark that location right on my fabric. So this is where we want the zipper to end.

And now the beginning of that seam is going to run right around 5/8 of an inch, which is a traditional seam allowance. And then at the top, where the opening is, I want this to be at ¾ of an inch. And I’m going to draw a line to give myself a perfect place to sew.

Create the Seam

So I’m going to put my fabric in, start where I want my zipper to end, and always start with my needled down, put my presser foot down, do a little bit of reverse to lock the stitch, and then I’m going to sew to the bottom. And that’s my seam.

Prepare the Seam for the Zipper

So the first thing I want to do, to get my seam ready for the zipper, is press the seam just like I sewed it, that sets the stitches in. Sew now we’re going to fold this seam allowance just a half an inch all the way top the top. This is the part that becomes the lapped side of the zipper that will cover up the zipper teeth. And I want to press this at about ¾ of an inch wide.

So once I got that pressed we’re going to fold this over. So now I’m going to slide my zipper with the stop to the bottom and I want this edge of the fold to run along this side of the teeth of the zipper all the way to here. And use just a little bit of glue stick on the tape of the zipper, and with the glue on you take the fabric and get the fold right along the teeth of the zipper, and you finger press in place. No we’re going to sew right along the edge of the teeth to hold the right side of the zipper in place.

We’re going to start right here at the top and I want to sew pretty close to the edge. I’m going to line up the edge of my foot with the edge of the fabric. I’m going to come all the way down making sure I don’t catch any other part of the fabric in there. And when I get past this stopper of the zipper, I’m going to do just a little bit of a reverse.

Secure the Zipper

The first side is sewn. Now I’m going to take my glue stick and do a little line all the way up to the top so I get it lined up and then I finger press where we had that glue.

The last step before we sew is to take a piece of tape, we’re going to set this down and I overlap so there’s about an 1/8 of inch away from the fold. So we’re going to start right here where the fold crosses over the seam. Going to do a little bit of a reverse and come forward. When I get to the end of the tape, turn the fabric. And I’m going to sew right along the edge of that tape. And at the top we’re going to do a little bit of reverse to tie a knot. And we’re done. So now we have the perfect lapped zipper, where the fabric covers the feet and it’s just right.

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