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Zippers 101

*Sorry about the comments--I think it's better now.  I wondered why it was so quiet.

Today, I installed the zipper on Eris, and I did it on the first try.  Long-time readers will know that I HATE sewing.  Mostly because I suck at it.  Part of the reason stems from the fact that I don't pay attention to the little details (like I do with knitting) and part is general ineptitude.  However, today, with the help of a lovely locale (the cottage) and my super-fab mother-in-law Marilyn, seamstress extraordinaire, I figured it out and finished Eris.

I carefully documented each step as best I could to share with you.  So, here's how to sew in a zipper.

Step One: lay your cardigan on a flat surface like a table with the right side facing and line up the edges.  Your garment should be washed and blocked.


Step Two: Using a contrasting yarn, baste the opening of your cardigan closed.  Be sure to catch the same stitch on each side (ie the same one in from the edge) so it's the same on both sides.  When you're done, turn the garment inside out and lay it nice and flat like before.


This was the excellent advice of my mother-in-law.  With the front sewn closed you can be sure edges line up and your zipper will be even on both sides (my usual problem--one side is not the same as the other).

Step Three: Lay your zipper (wrong side up) on your zipper facing and pin it in place.  Then using contrast thread, baste it in place near the teeth so it will stay in place.  You can also baste it on the edge too if your paranoid or just thorough.


Step Four: Using your garment-coloured thread sew the zipper using an overcast stitch along the edge of the zipper being sure to catch the same vertical stitch along the edge.  On this sweater it's easy because it will be where you sewed down the zipper facing.  There's no picture because you can't see the thread-looks just like the one above.

Step Five: Turn right-side out and undo your front edge basting (the yarn one).  The zipper is perfect oui?  If so, sew another seam using a backstitch up the middle of the zipper tape along both edges for extra stability.


Step Six: Remove remaining basting and bask in your sewing perfection (though my photo skills need work).


Tomorrow: Pictures of me wearing Eris.  Marilyn and I decided to celebrate the sewing achievement with some Bloody Caesars (extra spicy) and it was dark by the time I remembered to take photos!


Ooh! Eris looks so nice, I can't wait to see it modeled!

well done, it looks really good. I will use your method next ... got a zipper I need to redo )-:
I also had a message for you yesterday about the choice of colour. We have a "grook" in Danish, written by the poet Piet Hein, saying something like "if you have a difficult choice to make its a good idea to toss a coin - not that the choice should be done by gambling, but as soon as the coin is flying upwards - you know exactly what you hope for..! (In danish it rhymes)
so, it doesnt really matters what the pol says.. it just helps you to know what you really want yourself.
- oh so clever ;-)

Looks awesome!! Great job!

That is exactly how I do zippers, on the advice of a very clever sewer some years ago.
The spicy ceasars sound yummy. Horseradish?

Aaah, wonderful explanation and advice! I'm planning on doing the sweater version of Eris but I still haven't sewn the zipper into last winter's Ribby Cardi because I don't dare ... Thanks so much, I'll give this a try!

The zipper tutorial is great. I have just started Eris, and I was already worrying about putting in the zipper! Now I know where I'll go for help. ;) Looking forward to the modelled pics.

Yeah, I couldn't so much see your pictures, but just reading the steps gave me some good pointers. Great idea to baste the front closed!

Thanks for this. I've got two projects on the needles that will need zippers. I HATE sewing in zippers, so was toying with the idea of dropping the finished sweaters plus zippers off with a seamstress to have them sewn in... But you've inspired me to tackle them myself.

Thanks for the tutorial, I have two zippers to install and will definitely refer to your instructions.

Eris is lovely and looks fantastic on you. Great job!

What great advice! I've avoided sweaters with zippers -- for reasons very similar to your own (sewing, bleach!) -- but now I just might try it!

Where did you find the pretty zipper on the white sweater? (The one with the pearly thing on the zipper pull.) Thanks!

I echo poster Susan Stenovec's comment as to how can you consider soda imported from Italy green?

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Beautiful knitting..Very nice post.... I am very impressed by your writing..... YOu have cam up with the great idea.... hope to listen more from you soon. Thanks alot for sharing this with all of us..

Beautiful knitting done by you. Sewing in zipper is quite a difficult job but you had managed it really well and you came up with a great idea.

Yes you are right that it's pretty tough to sewing in zipper. Many thanks for making a truthful effort to explain this tutorials.

I like sewing in zipper. I have such types of machine which is useful to me this types of hard sewing like zippers. Thanks for sharing this one.

Thank you for the tutorial, I have two zippers to install with your fantastic instructions. There are some beautiful zippers but very hard in sewing.

Sewing in zipper is very task. I have special sewing machine which is smoothly work on zipper. I like to sewing on zippers with the help of my machine.

Great zipper tutorials shared by you. I have sewing machine which is very helpful to me to sew such types of clothes.

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I really enjoy reding your posts as I learn a lot from them. I also broaden my thinking as far as what I can use and do with things

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Some of the other zipper tutorial made the process look so hard, but you make it look easy! Great tutorial!

I also think that you came up with a great idea. I'm really impressed you did it on the first try . I might try it when I have a day off !!

Thanks for the nice blog. It Was Very useful for me. Keep Such sharing ideas in the Future as well. Actually This Was What I Was looking for, and I am glad to cam here ! Thanks for Sharing the information with us.

What kind of zipper and zipper slider did you use? It looks a little like a YKK antique brass foxtail slider zipper, but the shape at the end looks a little more oval and less round. It's a very pretty zipper, where did you get it?

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