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How to Sew a Lapped Zipper with a Sewing Machine

Learn how to sew a lapped zipper with a sewing machine in this Howcast video.


You want to go to your sewing machine and install a zipper foot. Now, the zipper foot allows for zipper teeth to go underneath the presser foot. So, in this case, I'm sewing with my zipper teeth to the right. I'm going to be sewing on the fabric. So, I want to place my zipper foot towards the left. So, install your zipper foot, pull your threads to the back and then you can start sewing.

When you put your fabric in, you want to line up the zipper teeth to go underneath this raised portion of the foot. And then, you'll just sew a straight line until you get to bottom of the zipper.

And then, be sure to stop as you go and take your pins out. And then, when you get towards the end, you can use your hand wheel to turn, and then you want to do a backstitch at the end. And that will make sure that your stitching is secure. Then, you can clip your threads.

So, now that we have this side of the zipper stitched, it's time to sew the overlap portion of the zipper. So, the overlap portion of the zipper is going to just cover the underlap portion, just like that. So, to do this, I like to just turn the zipper towards me and fold under, five-eighths of an inch, which is your seam allowance.

And then, you can just lay your fabric on top of your zipper, just like that. And then, you're going to want to pin this in place. Now, when we sew this, we are going to sew it from the top down, so you can turn your fabric around to get your pins in this way. And as you're sewing, you're not going to sew over these pins, so you don't really need to worry about taking them out. You just want it to be nice and flat and closed.

And then, what we're going to do is we're going to sew to the right of the zipper, down the zipper tape, down the teeth and then just across the bottom here, to make a little cross mark. So, with your zipper foot in. Now, you notice the first step that we did, we sewed with the zipper on the right, but now the zipper is going to be on the left. So, we'll just need to reposition our zipper foot. So, I just move the zipper foot over to the right. We'll take our project and put it in underneath the zipper foot. The teeth are going to fit underneath the foot.

Now, if you're uncomfortable doing this by eyeing it, you can always go ahead and take a marking tool and draw these lines on your fabric. Just test the fabric first to make sure the lines come out, since we are doing this on the right side. And you can kind of feel the zipper tape underneath your fingers as you're going along so you can sort of guide it by touch.

And then, I can feel that my stopper is right here, so I'm going to go just a couple past and then, with my needle down in the fabric, I'm going to lift the presser foot up, pivot my project. And then, this pin is kind of in my way, so I'm going to take it out; don't want to sew over that. I should say you also do not want to sew over the stopper at the bottom of your zipper, because that's metal and will break your needle. So, make sure that you go past the stopper before you go across.

Then, you're going to lower the foot back down and sew across, just until you get to the seam. And then, it's only a couple of stitches, so if you want to do it by hand.

And then, once you get to the seam, you can do backstitch, just to secure the stitches, and then you're done. Okay. So now we have our sewn zipper. We can go ahead and take the pins out. And you can give this a little press so that it's nice and flat. But here we have our lapped zipper.

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