June 2, 2014

How To | Sew A Zipper The Easy Way

I learned to sew about 4 years ago from my mom who is a wonderful seamstress.  I had put off learning to sew until I finally decided I wanted to make my own pillows and home decor soft treatments, because couldn't afford to pay anyone else to fabricated them.  So I started off with a simple pillow {see it here} and finished the pillow off with a small hand stitch.  4 years later those pillow covers are still on the pillows because I can't take them off!  This does not work for me!  So I quickly needed to learn how to add zipper to my pillow covers.  My mom taught me the way she had been doing hers for years, it was easy enough, but sometimes harder than it needed to be.  So after making tons of pillows for friends and family I decided to streamline the zipper installation.

This pillow has a welt so I cut out my pillow and attached the welting to it.  Once that was done I measured out the zipper.  I like the zipper to be about 4" shorter then the finished pillow size.  This leaves 2" on each side and plenty of room to stuff your insert.  I lay the zipper out and mark the ends with two pins.  Then I pin the two sides together and sew.  Starting with a 2 on the stitch size, I sew from the end to the first mark of where the zipper will start.  Then I switch to 4, a baste stitch.  Sew all the way to the next pin marking the end of the zipper and switch back to 2 to finish the seam.
Now iron the seams apart, keeping the two pins that marked the zipper.  Next use your seam ripper to remove the baste stitch, the stitch that is in between the two pins marking where the zipper will go.
Here is where I feel I have simplified the process and cut out room for error.  I could explain how I was taught, but I don't want to confuse you!  Unzip the zipper and lay it down on the seam.  Pin as close as you can to the welting.  Flip the pillow around and pin the other side of the zipper as close as you want to the the edge of the 1/2" seam.  I like to leave an 1/8" so when the zipper is closed the small flap covers the zipper.  Zip up the two sides to make sure the zipper is lined up evenly.
To sew unzip and use your zipper foot to sew each side of the zipper on.  To keep this simple remember to pin each side in opposite directions.

Zipper is done!

Now I don't make a single pillow with out a zipper!
Because I have been know to change my mind a time or two when it comes to pillows!


Vel Criste said...

You do make it look so easy Tiffany! Love your pillows!

Elizabeth @ The Little Black Door said...

You make it seem like something I could actually try. :) I need to master piping first.

stephanie at Stephanie Kraus Designs said...

I neeeed to learn how to sew!!! Can you come here and teach me! Great pillows!

House Envy said...

the zipper with piping - that is impressive! going to try!