Centered zipper construction

If you don’t have the pattern yet, you can get it here. Note: this pattern comes from the lapped zipper tutorial. You will not need all of those same pattern pieces. The pieces you need are the right back bodice and the left neck facing. Cut two of each of those. You’ll also need a 7″ plastic coil zipper. Below, you’ll see my cut pieces laid accordingly.

Right sides together, stitch to the marked dot and stop, back stitching.

Matching the layers (fabric and zipper tape) evenly, sew the right side of the zipper in place.

Repeat for the left side, again, matching all layers evenly.

I want you to notice something here. The CB seam and the zipper seam are not aligned. This is a good thing.

Now sew the left facing into place, matching seam edges evenly. If you look at the shoulder line, you’ll notice that the facing is not aligned there. Again, this is a good thing. If it does match up, you have the wrong facing pattern piece.

Repeat for the right facing.

Fold your pieces as shown here. Your facing shoulder line should be aligned to the body shoulder line.

Now sew that into place with 1/4″ seam allowance.

Repeat for the right side.

Here, the outside corners are trimmed catty-corner and the top of the zipper tape has been trimmed away.

Now turn the facings and body to their finished sides. Here you’ll see the inside right view. You should be able to see a small lip overhang in the shell (blue) fabric. Doesn’t this look much cleaner and nicer than the way you’ve been doing it?

Here you can see both sides turned. If you examine the area above the zipper stop, I think you’d agree that there is just enough space to sew a hook and eye. Seeing how neatly all of this ended up, one could almost imagine that zippers are engineered to be sewn a certain way, dontcha think? That’s why I say this method of sewing zippers is not a matter of opinion, it’s not “my” method, I didn’t invent it and it’s not a secret either.

Here you can see the outside view of the zipper. Not only is a natural lip forming to cover the zipper from the neckline, that seam displacement you saw earlier is forming a lip at the bottom (5th picture down from the top). This operation hasn’t even been pressed, much less top stitched but I think you’d agree this is a clean finish, the quality of which would be tough to beat.

So, what flavor of zippers shall we do next? There are so many other things that can affect outcomes in different fabric weights and we haven’t even begun to talk about “bend allowance”….so what’s next? If you have paypal, you can send your requests to on the back of a virtual $20 bill or write it in the inscription of the book you buy me off of my amazon wish list…hehehehe. And my birthday is coming up too! Seriously, feel free to write me and include jpgs of your completed sample if you like, okay?

Process review: lapped zipper
Lapped zipper template
Lapped zipper construction
Lapped zipper specs
Centered zipper template
Centered zipper construction
Invisible zipper tutorial pt.1
Invisible zipper tutorial pt.2
Shorten a separating zipper
Zippered welt pocket tutorial
Deconstructing a zippered pouch
Zippered welt pockets

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