Inserting jacket/coat zip

Continuing on from my previous post about jet pockets on a dinosaur jacket for Leon, here is the tutorial on finishing the jacket with an open ended zip. This is the technique for most open ended jacket zips. If the zip you get is too long, not a problem, better too long than too short.

Prep zip

First open out your zip. Pin with zip facing down and zip tape towards edges. Make sure when you zip up, that seams are matching horizontally. Once you’re happy with your placement, tack in place. Especially important when using stretch fabrics as it will like to distort as you’re sewing. At top of tape pull end in so that when you stitch zip you’ll go over teeth. This secures the end of zip teeth if you’ve had to buy a zip that’s too long.

Stitch zip

Now the zip can be machined on using a zipper foot. Its a good idea to set back a little from teeth, you don’t want the zip pull to catch on your fabric. I’d also recommend sewing on the tape side. If you stitch on the garment side, the fabric is likely to stretch as you sew it and it may result in puckers. Annoying! Check horizontal seams are level once sewn.


Now the facing or lining can be attached. With right side of facing/lining against right side of garment, pin in place. You can tack but it’s not essential on this side. The outside edge of zipper tape is contained in garment. To machine, stitch facing in place going over first line of stitching. This side is much easier.

The top of your zip tape is now completely encased and should look tidy. If it isn’t, unpick a few stitches and yank it through.

Finishing touches

Now give everything a really good press, tugging zip teeth away from garment. To give a really sharp finish, machine around garment along edge of zip, collar and waistband seam edges. This will keep fabric well away from zip pull.

All Done!

I was hoping to get a good photo of Leon wearing it, but the little sod won’t wear it. Typical after all that choosing fabric together and effort of actually making it! Hopefully he’ll wear it one day.

Hope you enjoyed reading anyway.

Rosie xx

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