Sewing Circle: Finishing the end seams of zippers

Welcome to Sewing Circle!
Rikki had a great question for us this week, about finishing the ends of zippers.  Here it is:
Q: I'm a bit of a beginner when it comes to really sew a new garment from scratch. What started as just changing up existing items of clothing from my wardrobe turned into starting something new from scratch which I soon abandoned in favour of using patterns to make dresses as it turned out I still lack the skills of actually designing and making my own.

My only real problem now that I've discovered patterns, is execution.
I'm not a terrible sewer. While a lot of the things I make are still quite flawed they are certainly wearable. And one thing that I just can't for the life of me figure out (aside the not being able to sew in a straight line to save my life) is the bottom end of a zipper--the non-separating kind. Top: no problem, Sides: just sew a straight (or in my case slightly wavy) line down to the bottom, but then when I actually reach the bottom I'm stumped and it always manifests itself in a hideous mess.
So my question is this: How do you finish the sewing on of a zipper at the bottom end so it looks integrated in the seam and neat?
A: Well, Rikki, I think a lot of people struggle with this, and of course there are instructions on the zipper package, but I never really use them myself and have sort of developed my own way of dealing with the problem.  So rather than take pictures and go through my way, I think it's best if I direct you to a great resource that I'm sure will help you--it's the Viking Sewing Room, a great site with video tutorials for all kinds of things you might want help with sewing.  The simple but clear graphics guide you step-by-step through different techniques, organized by type, with video instructions on the screen.  It's so cool, actually!!

Check out the Sewing Room here:
Click "Sewing Techniques," then click "Zippers"!  Then choose the type of zipper you're having trouble with--if you're not sure, just click on each one and it'll show you a picture on the right.
The Sewing Room has all kinds of other useful information, including things about sewing tools and patterns.  Do look at it if you're interested in sewing!

Hope that helps answer your question, Rikki.  And if anyone else has insider tips on zippers or has used the Husqvarna site before (did you like it?), please comment!
And for everyone out there, feel free to send me your sewing questions to be included in Sewing Circle.  Thanks for reading!

4 comments

  1. I checked out the site and it's so cool! Another great tutorial can be found on youtube here... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzVLRsoOVzY
    I like watching a real person do it step by step... this video is how I learned to do it correctly. The sound is kind of wonky, but she does a great job explaining it.

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  2. I LOVE this book. Step by step color pictures, with a few different techniques of putting in zippers. My mom said it's the easiest way she's ever seen zippers done.

    http://www.amazon.com/Sewing-Essentials-Singer-Reference-Library/dp/0865733082/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1281485299&sr=8-1

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  3. http://thesewingdivas.wordpress.com/2006/11/08/sewing-invisible-zipper/

    The Sewing Room is great! Thank you. I love animated graphics which I find more clear than a video or illustrations.

    If you scroll down the above link, you will see a cute finish for the end of a zip in an unlined garment.

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  4. Anonymous8/11/2010

    Thanks so much, the Sewing Room is wicked!! Exactly what I needed!!
    Happy Sweing everyone, and thanks again Suzannah :)
    Rikki

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