Inserting a Zipper

The zipper I ordered from Zipper Source arrived and I hurried to sew it into my Glory Days jacket so that I might be able to wear it before the summer heat hits.
I ordered a #5 Molded Plastic But-To-Length 18″ zipper, medium length with an open end and autolock tab in Bordeaux.

I took photos as I inserted the zipper (I apologize for their poor quality) to demonstrate how easy it is to add a zipper to handknits.
First, pin the zipper in place. I pinned it so that the I-cord edging met along the zipper teeth.

Next, use a contrasting yarn to baste each side, removing pins as you go. The turquoise thread I used looks white in this photo.

Here’s how the basted zipper looks from the wrong size.

Next, use small stitches with coordinating thread to sew the edges of the zipper tape to the wrong side of the garment.

Finally, work backstitches with coordinating thread to sew the right side of the garment close to the zipper teeth. You can hardly see the needle in this photo. I’m following a column of stitches along the garment side of the I-cord edging.

Remove the basting and you’re done! My backstitches didn’t follow a very straight line, but they hold the zipper firmly in place.

I’ll soaked the jacket again to block the collar and set the zipper stitches, and it will be ready to wear!

5 thoughts on “Inserting a Zipper”

  1. Ann, Beautiful sweater!
    Do you wash the zipper first to avoid shrinkage
    when the sweater is washed? Also, wondering if you ever sew zippers by machine. I’ve had both good and bad luck with that.

  2. Thanks for the tutorial! I am thinking of having a zipper that opens on both ends for my next cardigan, this will come in handy.

  3. I just finished knitting and sewing together your cambridge jacket sweater. I am trying to install the zipper (I have it basted in place) but I can’t seem to sew it in so it looks good with that selvedge edge. I am trying to tuck it under as I sew, but it just doesn’t look good. Do you have any suggestions?

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