Yes, I know, I too once had fear grip me at the thought of inserting an invisible zipper in a garment or project! And then I was asked by someone to show them how to do it ……oops! So I pretty much HAD to learn how to do it. And I discovered it is not all that difficult! That is good news, right?
Two things are important with inserting invisible or concealed zippers:
- You do NOT sew the seam first. Insert the zipper into the seam allowance/2 sections to be closed by the zipper and THEN sew the rest of the seam closed.
- You would be well advised to use a special accessory foot specifically designed for inserting invisible zippers. As is so often the case, if you don’t have the right tools for the job, it is more difficult to get a good result, right? Ask your local Janome dealer to show you the Janome invisible or concealed zipper feet that are available for your particular Janome or Elna machine model.
Hints & tips:
- Invisible zippers are different to regular zippers:
- Buy an invisible zipper as close to the colour of your fabric as possible. Yes, the whole point is that you won’t see the zipper but there is still a teeny gap so you want the right colour to “peep” through nonetheless! This way the zipper blends even more into invisibility.
- Always buy a zipper longer than the opening you intend to have for the zipper. Do not skimp. I don’t know about you but I am happy to possibly pay a little more for the zipper than fiddle with a short zipper. Not worth the hassle and waste of time as far as I am concerned.
- You can always make a new closure point at the end of a longer zipper if this is necessary.
- Be sure to practice with a spare invisible zipper and some scraps of fabric to get the technique right. It DOES take practice. But once you’ve got it, you got it!
- It is important to sew as close to the teeth of the zipper as possible so the “teeth” of the zipper need to be rolled open a little to get as close as you can without stitching ON the teeth. That won’t work as the zipper will then not close or open. AND our Janome concealed zipper does this for you! It works very slickly indeed. Some people iron the teeth open a bit but the disadvantage is that you run a risk of melting the teeth so we prefer not to do this.
- Sew slowly. This is not something you can rush.
- Mark your fabric seam allowances so that you know exactly where you need to be sewing the zipper on both sides. Ensure that you have fitted the garment and that any size alternations have been made. You will not be very happy if the garment is too tight or too loose after you have already sewn in the zipper!
Here is a video tutorial https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zo5FRoSmjHc
Janome Concealed zipper foot https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glOYoRUta-8