Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Look at Invisible Zippers

Sometimes what you want is a clean lined, simple pillow.  An invisible zipper can add just the right professional touch in that case.  Maybe it sounds a little haute couture but I promise it is much simpler than you may think.  Not at all like putting in a visible zipper.  I really think these are faster than even an envelope pillow.

Take a close look at the seam edge.

So can you see the zipper there? 
Of course not, it has super powers, it's invisible.  

But it's there, 

Well what have we got here?  It's a paint spatter pillow circa 1984.  Bet you haven't seen one of those in a while.   I've also been hanging on to my leg warmers and shoulder pads secretly hoping it's all coming back.  Let's just keep that our dirty little secret, ok?

Well you are in luck because I am just getting ready to whip up a few more simple pillows that will go on my new front porch.

Are you ready for three easy steps?

Good, first you will need an invisible zipper foot.  Most of them are universal and will fit any machine and they are found at almost any fabric store.

 There are two groves on the bottom on each side to help guide the zipper teeth.  Put the new zipper foot on your machine and you are ready to get started.

1.  Cut your fabric 1 inch larger than your pillow form.

2. Unzip the zipper and pin one side, face down, onto one layer of fabric.  Make sure the teeth are right where you want the seam and double check to make sure it is right side down.

3. Line up the groove on the zipper foot exactly on the zipper teeth.  If you are sewing with the teeth on the right side, use the groove on the right side on the foot.  This will help ensure that the stitches are not too close to the teeth to interfere with the zipper function.

Then just stitch down the teeth.  Stop just before you get to the pull.

   Cut your thread and check the zipper to make sure that nothing is catching.  It shouldn't be if the seam is straight but if it does, just unpick and restitch that area.

4. Repeat this process on the other side and use the groove on the left side this time.  Check again to make sure the zipper functions properly.

5.  Change to the regular zipper foot and pull the zipper half way up.  Go back and stitch down the area near the pull you couldn't reach.

Test the zipper and make sure it lines up the way you want.  

There it goes again exhibiting those super powers and disappearing.

6. Now you are almost done.  Change to the regular foot and just stitch around the corners and the three open sides, trim the corners, turn and stuff in the form.  That's it.

Uh, oh, that was 6 steps and I promised you 3.  I just didn't want it to sound hard cause it's not.

And there you have it!  A quick pillow that has a professional edge.  The results are clearly visible.  Give it a try and you don't have to tell anyone how easy it was.  Just let them be impressed.

So while you have been reading through this tutorial I whipped up another one.  Ya it's really that fast.

There is another one of those paint spatter '80's pillows that I am preserving for future generations.

Here if you've got a sec you can step out on the front porch and see where these are going.  If you gotta run I understand and hope to see you back here real soon!

See you at the Pillow Palooza!


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  1. these are so fun! and i love the pillows form the post you wrote after this, too- those are gorgeous! you are very talented!

  2. You write the greatest posts! And I love this tutorial. I had no idea there was an invisible zipper foot option for the machine. And then I'm looking at your fancy cutting board and thinking perhaps I should not be running an Etsy shop selling pillows with envelope covers and not quite so perfectly straight seams ...

    So very, very happy that you linked up to our Pillopalooza slumber party!



    1. And I'm pinning this for when I get all fancy and decide to abandon the envelope and embrace the invisible zipper ...


  3. What a great tutorial! I have always wanted to know how to put in a zipper like that. I usually just sew them closed!

    Thanks for linking up to Pillowpalooza

    Have a blessed and wonderful day!

  4. OOH! Great tutorial. I can sew pillows but have never tried to make them with a zipper. I'm pinning this and will definitely attempt it now. Thanks so much for the info. Adding you to my follow list.

  5. Love it. I so need to get back to sewing and working on my pillows. I go through phases and have to sych myself to pull out all the stuff. I laughed at your 80's flashback- totally brings back memories.

  6. Thanks so much for the great tutorial! I've never attempted a zipper before on a pillow but have always wanted to. I'm hoping to make a summery pillow soon... maybe I'll give it a try. :-)

  7. What an amazing tutorial. I am inspired to give this a try. I also love the fabric you used.
    Enjoyed visiting, and I am a new follower.

    White Spray Paint

  8. Great tutorial! You are so amazing, these pillows are beautiful. I have made pillows before but I didn't deal with a zipper. Thanks so much for sharing on Simple & Sweet Fridays! Have a fun week...


  9. Wonderful tutorial! Great pillows! I found your fabulous blog in the Newbie Spotlight! I am now following you!
    Blessings! Linda @ Grandmalay's Daydreams

  10. Jessika and JeffMay 18, 2012 at 9:35 PM

    You have a beautiful blog. I was scared of zippers for quite a while, but recently realized that they are super easy, BUT I did not know there was an invisible zipper foot! I probably have one and didnt know what is was. Thanks for posting this!

  11. You make is sound so easy!! Love how it came out!!

  12. I never knew how to do this. I saw your link at Yvonne's. You make it seem so easy...I just may have to try it. Pinning it for sure!

  13. Thank you so much for this great tutorial! I love pillows with invisible zippers and now I'll make them. I have those zipper feet but did not know which was which!
    So informative. Thanks for sharing with us on TUTORIALS TIPS AND TIDBITS!