Matrices (matrices) wrote in fursuit,
Matrices
matrices
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How to machine sew a zipper!

Hi folks!
I'd love to share my method of installing a zipper with you today! I use a sewing machine to do this! I try to work smarter, not harder, by planning my zipper placement, and if at all possible I sew it in before the entire body is assembled! With a small amount of pattern planning (I sew up a test pattern from sheets/muslin before I make the final from fur) I know where the zipper will go! This photo-series shows what will become a back zipper on a future costume of mine!

I like to use the big plastic parka zippers, because they are nice and sturdy, and they are more resilient if fur happens to catch in it.

Big photos below the cut! (13 pictures)

Pin 1 side
Unzip your zipper and pin one side down to your uncut fabric.

Zipper
Here this shows my chalk mark where I plan to continue the zipper's path on the uncut fabric.

Sew
Sew the first side that you pinned, make sure your needle is as close to the zippers teeth as possible. Many sewing machines have a "needle position" setting.

First side sewn
The first side is now sewn down!

Pin other side
Zip up your zipper all the way and pin the other side so it doesn't shift or get uneven.

Top of the zipper
At the top of the zipper you can fold the tails of the zipper fabric over the edges and pin them down. You can unzip the zipper slider a little ways if you find it is challenging to sew the very top of the zipper, the slider can be bulky. Pause and zip it back up when you continue sewing the rest of the zipper.

Sew other side
Sew the other side, be sure the needle is as close to the zipper teeth as possible.

Cutting the end.
If you are like me, the zipper's always too long, has some frustrating separating thingy, or they only had the double-slider zippers in the store. So use hot glue to adhere your teeth together. Optionally place a small piece of fabric over the teeth for a neat appearance.

Cutting the end.
Also place a dab of glue on the other side too, and wrap your fabric around. Don't glue your zipper to your bodysuit!! You may want to repair it someday, this end /does not/ need or get to be glued down. You can sew it down with a few hand-stitches if you choose.

Brush out the seams
Fur will be trapped in the seams where you sewed the two sides of the zipper down. Gently lift the fibers out of the sewn stitching. This is an important step to hiding your zipper!

Unzip your zipper
This can be tricky, but use your fingertip to slide the zipper slider down and open it up.

Cut your zipper open
Use a blade to cut the backing and cleanly make a zipper opening! Faux fur does not tend to unravel, the zipper will be hidden since the fabric butts up against itself exactly!

Hidden zipper!
Admire your beautiful handiwork, that's one hidden zipper! :D

If you cut your fabric open already, or if where you want to place your zipper can't avoid a seam, sew the first side of your zipper down, then use a temporary ladder stitch to butt the two pieces together flat (try to keep it flat, and no seam allowance to make it become bulky) you will have to be very careful to line your zipper up with the opening, that's all! Just cut your threads for the ladder stitch to open your zipper up after you sew down the other side.

I do hope this helps! :D
Tags: bodysuits, tutorials, zipper
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