Zips unzipped

In the shop, we now sell various styles, colours and sizes of zip all to help you complete your many sewing projects. Inserting a zip is not everyone's favourite thing to do and it can be a little scary to say the least!
There are 3 ways you can insert a zip; centred, lapped and invisible. To help sewers perfect their skills, I recently held a demonstration on how to insert a centred zip at our recent first birthday celebrations and I would now like to share this with our readers via the blog. I have used black thread so that my sewing shows up in the pictures - but it looks really bad in black and I ask you to imagine this sewn in a more forgiving colour which would not show up any little error!!
The correct zip to use is one which has a square pull. It is the most common zip and can be bought in many colours and lengths.
A zip with a slim, more pointed pull is a concealed or invisible zip.
Firstly, finish off your raw edges with a zig zag stitch in preparation for sewing your seam. You will also see that I added some interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric where I will be inserting the zip. The fabric I used was a little flimsy and I wanted to strengthen it. I don't always do this, it just depends on which fabric I use.
You need to measure the metal part of your zip (7 inches in this case) and make a mark the same distance from the top of your work on the seam. I have shown this with an arrow. 
Once this is done, change your straight stitch length to its longest setting. Stitch from the top to the arrow then change the length to your standard straight stitch. Reverse sew a couple of stitches to secure your sewing then continue to the bottom of the seam.
Press open your seam on the back and front of your garment.
Turn your garment to the back/wrong side. Place the zip, face down in position with the metal teeth in line with the centre of your seam and pin in place.
Now hand stitch your zip in place using a long running stitch.
You will be machine stitching from the front of the garment, following your basting stitch. My basting got a little wayward so try to keep it equidistant at each side of your opening! 
Before you start sewing it in however, you must cut open one third of the long stitches in the top 7 inches. This is so you can pull the zip down a little way before you begin sewing as it is not possible to stitch with the zip pull in the way. 
Now it's time to change your main foot for your standard zipper foot and stitch as described above. You will be machine stitching three lines in total. The first will be to the right of the zip, pivot then sew just below the foot of the zip then pivot once more to complete the other side of the zip.
Once you have finished sewing, you can open the zip and pull out any basting stitches.
Your zip is now complete.
This is a great way to insert a zip as it is neat and barely noticeable and can be sewn with a standard zipper foot which is included with the purchase of most machines. I hope that this has been useful..... 
Happy making!

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