A Neat Zipper to Lining

As I’ve mentioned before, not having a neat finish between my zip and lining has been a cause of frustration.  But I’ve cracked it with my circle skirt I think – I’m pleased with how it came out anyway!

Can you see the zip?!

First of all I put my zipper in as a lapped zipper.  I used Casey’s instructions and also watched the relevant chapter from Gertie’s Bombshell Dress course.  I’m pretty pleased with how it came out and that the plaid matches! (PS, the way I’ve cut my circle skirt means no chevrons, but I’m OK with that!)

Lapped zipper partially open

I then sewed the lining of the skirt having finished the side seam allowances before I started.  Sanity prevailed and I have only overlocked the lining!  I sewed all the way up the right hand seam of the lining.  I then measured the length of my zip in my skirt outer where the zip is and transferred this measurement down from the waist of the lining.  I then sewed the seam from that point to the hem of the lining and pressed it open.

Next I measured 1/8″ more than my seam allowance and folded the seam allowance of the gap I left for the zip towards the wrong side of the lining.  I pinned then basted this in place.  I basted it in place so that I could press the lining and get a crisp fold.  Pressing over the pins would have been a lot harder than pressing over the basting stitches!

Basted seam allowances on zipper gap of the lining, wrong side of the lining facing up
Checking how deep the seam allowance is

I then pin basted the lining to the zip tape.  Wrong side of the lining towards the wrong side of my plaid skirt.  I made sure to only pin through the zip tape and plaid seam allowance and not to the skirt.

Pin basted lining to zip. Wrong side of lining to wrong side of plaid

I opened and closed the zip to make sure the lining wouldn’t catch.

Checking the zip will open

I put the lining fabric to the right and the plaid to the left so that it was only joined at the zip insertion.  The right sides of the plaid were together and the right sides of the lining were together.  It looked like a butterfly with plaid on one side and turquoise on the other.

Basted lining seam allowance to zipper tape

I then basted the seam allowance of the lining to the zipper tape and seam allowance of the plaid.  If you looked at it side on it’d be a zipper tape sandwich between the plaid and lining.  I did this on both sides and removed the pins.

Zipper tape sandwich

Using the zip foot I stitched as close as I could to the crease I’d ironed into the lining fabric.  I stitched from the waist towards the hem.  I did the same on the other side.  Be really careful when doing your stitching as you don’t want to catch the skirt in the stitches.  You should be stitching the seam allowances and zipper tape only!

Stitching as close to the crease as possible. Making sure not to catch anything other than seam allowances and zipper tape!

I didn’t do anything special at the bottom, just moved the stitching line as close to the teeth of the zipper as I could for the last 1/2″.  There is a tiny gap where the lining isn’t stitched down at the bottom of the zip, but I can live with that.

I then flipped the lining back so that it was wrong side to the wrong side of the plaid and pressed with a cloth over the inside of the  zip.  Et Voila!  One neat lining to zip finish!

Nice and neat where the zip meets the lining
More zip and lining! It's not this wonky in real life, it's just the way I manhandled all that fabric!

I hope that’s all made sense.  If you’ve got any questions, please post them in the comments and I’ll try to answer them.  If you click on the photos you can have a look at a full size image…


2 thoughts on “A Neat Zipper to Lining

  1. This is looking so amazing! I love the fabric that you have chosen – the colors are so great. I have a similar pattern in my fabric, but the colors are not nearly as vibrant. Plus, I am super behind, and have only drafter the pattern thus far. But back to you, I am loving what I see and cannot wait to see the finished skirt.

    1. Thank you! I love the colour combination too. In a lot of ways the drafting is the time consuming bit (well, and the cutting!) but it sews together really quickly. Two seams and a zipper to get to this stage. The waistband is a little more involved and is something I hope to complete today. I have to admit I’m loving this skirt and am already working out how to style it in my head! Hope you get to make some progress on your soon.

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