Sewing and Invisible Zipper with a Lining for the Peekaboo Dress

This tutorial is to assist sewers inserting a zipper in the Peekaboo Dress. It is easy once you get the steps right to finish the dress. If you make a mistake just unpick and start again.

While I’ve written this guide for the Peekaboo dress, it might also help anyone that is sewing a zipper into a dress/skirt with lining.

1. I like to insert the top edge of the zipper into the neck seam to hide the raw edge. Start by unpicking a few stitches at the back 3/8″ or 1cm both sides. Once the zipper has been stitched into place, I stitch the seam up again enclosing the top edge.

2. Place zipper with the teeth away from the edge and with the right side of the zipper facing the right side of the dress. Stitch the zipper to the bodice (through the dress and not the lining material). Stitch all the way down to the circle notch (just below the waist) on the skirt.

As the pattern uses a 3/8″ 1cm seam allowance (standard for most zippers) you can line up the edge of the zipper tape with the edge of the dress fabric.

3. Repeat this for the other side. Close the zipper and pin the other side (line everything up particularly the waist seam). You will sew this from the bottom to the top (opposite of the first side).

As you can see in the photo below, the zipper is slightly twisted at the bottom to get it placed ready for stitching – that is, teeth/coil away from the edge and the right side of the zipper facing the right side of the dress.

The zipper has now been stitched to the dress, so close the zipper and check that it is perfectly placed. Unstitch and redo if you need to align it correctly.

4. Now attach the lining and finish the seams. Turn the dress inside out so that the zipper is sandwiched between the dress and lining fabric.

5. Stitch the neck seams back together (that were opened above to accommodate the top of the zipper).

6. Stitch the lining and dress together at the edge catching the zipper tape between the fabrics. You don’t need to stitch close to the teeth/coil of the zipper (like before), you are just adding the lining to the zipper to create a nice finish inside. If you have a serger, you can serge the edge using a narrow serge.

7. Finish the seam of skirt starting from the bottom hem edge all the way up to the end of the zipper seam. As you have used a 3/8″ 1cm zipper seam, this should line up.

    This is a great video tutorial on inserting an invisible zipper.


    Other Tips
    • An invisible zipper is not stitched like a dress zipper. The teeth/coil of the zipper are curled over. When you stitch you uncurl/roll the teeth (to the left in the picture below) and stitch behind it as close to the uncurled teeth as possible. The teeth will then curl back into place hiding the stitch.
    • Using an iron, you can (using a low heat seating) uncurl/flatten the teeth on the zipper before beginning. However, this isn’t necessary and I would only suggest it if you were having a trouble uncurling and using the zipper foot.
    • It is best to use a zipper that is larger than the dress opening. Sewing across the teeth creates a new stop point for the zipper. Backstitch when you start but not at the onther points. Once you have the zipper in place and aligned , you can run a few stitches at the top and bottom ends. This way if you have made a mistake you can easily rip the stitches and start again.

    I hope that is some help to inserting an invisible zipper. While they have a little more preparation, keeping to the steps to insert it and checking the alignment as you sew, you will get the results you want.

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    2 Responses to Sewing and Invisible Zipper with a Lining for the Peekaboo Dress

    1. This is great! I love zipper tutorials. I still remember the day it "clicked" for me. I must have read ten different tutes AND taken a class. One day it just finally sunk in and I got it. =) Thanks so much for this, I'll be linking.

    2. Barbara says:

      ah! finally a tutorial on a lined dress :) thanks a lot!!

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