Sewing a Lapped Zipper

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Sewing a Lapped Zipper

I’m about to put in the fastener for my dress. Corset backs, buttons and loops, invisible or regular zipper are all options for closing the back of a wedding gown. I have chosen to combine two methods: the security of a zipper with the elegance of button loops and satin covered buttons. This is the correct way to sew a lapped zipper that is easy for a beginner sewer.

Bitney’s Tip:
Keep your zipper closed throughout the application and sew from the bottom of the zipper to top.


  1. Sew a basting stitch the exact length of your zipper, continue down the seam with a regular stitch. (See #7)
  2. Extend the right side of the seam allowance and line your regular zipper with the top of garment. Pin in place. Using a zipper foot, positioned to the right of the needle and machine baste.
  3. Switch needle position on the zipper foot to the left, turn the zipper face up forming a fold in the seam allowance. Bring the fold close, but not over the zipper teeth or pull. Stitch along the edge of the fold over all the thickness.
  4. Turn garment to right side and lay garment as flat as possible over the unstitched zipper tape. Hand baste across the bottom of the zipper then up along the side (about 1/2″ wide).
  5. Position the foot to the right of the needle. Stitch as close as you can to the bottom of the zipper and up the side. Pivoting at the corner. Try not to stitch over the basting. Bring thread ends to the underside and tie. Remove basting stitches.
  6. Finish by removing the stitches from the placket so the zipper is able to be unzipped.



7. This shows a placket that intersects a cross-seam (like in my case a waist seam). Make sure that the seams match up before basting the placket opening. Trim cross-seam allowances to get rid of excess bulk. Stitch from the bottom of seam to bottom of placket using a regular stitch, backstitch then baste to top of placket.



One Last Tip:
Did you know zippers have stitching guidelines right on them? They do! Seen in #2 it is a differentiation in the weave of the zipper tape.

Check out my YouTube channel HERE, I love watching and listing sewing how-to’s I find useful.

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