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Amy sewalong: setting your waistband and zip

Setting the waistband and invisible zip

Today we'll be getting to grips with invisible zips! If you missed it, take a peek at how we gathered our skirts before you follow along to attach your waistband and put in your zip.

Sewing the waistband

Iron your fusible interfacing to the wrong side of the waistband piece. While the iron is out, it's also useful to iron your waistband in half lengthwise, so it folds easily to the inside of your skirt later.

Iron the waistband interfacing

Match the waistband to the gathered skirt piece, right sides together, all the way along the top edge of the skirt. Pin and stitch in place.

Pin waistband in place

Gathered waist

Inserting the invisible zip

The invisible zip is best done with an invisible zip foot – shown here next to a regular zip foot (on the right). It has two grooves in the bottom to accommodate the zip teeth, making it easy to sew very close to the teeth for a neat finish.

Invisible zip vs regular foot

Place your zip face down onto the left hand side of the back of the skirt. The edge of the zip tape should be line up with the edge of the skirt. Notice that the zip is placed halfway up the waistband piece – the top of the zip lines up with the lengthwise crease we ironed into the waistband. The rest of the waistband piece will be folded to the inside to neatly cover all raw edges.

Place zip on left-hand side of skirt opening

Insert your invisible zip foot into your machine and move the needle so that it lines up to the far left. The needle can be moved by adjusting the stitch width. On my machine, the position of the needle is also indicated on the stitch width adjuster (0 for middle, 6 for left).

Set width to move the needle

Move your needle

Guide the zip teeth into the left hand groove of the zip foot. The zip teeth tend to roll inward, so open them up a bit with your fingernail. Adjust the position of the needle to make sure you're going to be sewing close to the zip teeth, but not too close! You don't want to catch the plastic teeth in any of your stitches.

Push zip teeth out the way

Sew from the top of the zip right down toward the bottom – you won't quite reach all the way, the end bit of the zip starts to get bulky, but go as far as you can.

Now, place the right side of the remaining zip tape along the right edge of the skirt back.

Place the right-hand side of the zip
The end looks a little twisty

It might look a bit twisty at the bottom, but that's okay! Move the needle back to the centre position. Guide the zip teeth into the right hand groove of the zip foot and sew once again from top to bottom.

Sew the right-hand side

Test out your zip and make sure you're happy with it! Then, turn your skirt inside-out and match the back seams of the skirt together. Pinch the zip end out of the way, and sew from where your stitch line ends at the bottom of the zip, right down to the hem.

Pin and sew the back seam

I like to sew this bit with a regular zip foot, because the shape of the foot lets you get nice and close to the zip so that your stitches line up accurately.

Sew the back seam with a regular zip foot
Test your invisible zip

High five

Well done! This really looks like a skirt now! Try it on, twirl around and celebrate your zip success. Next time, we'll do a bit of hand sewing to finish the inside of the waistband and the hem.

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