Sewing Zippers
Cushions and Cushion Covers

Choosing a fastening and especially sewing zippers or wondering how to sew a zipper into a seam can be a little daunting. This is sometimes the cause of someone not attempting to learn to sew.

Zip fasteners are a very popular way of closing an opening whether it is to allow a cushion pad to be inserted or a person getting into an item of clothing. They are also used as decoration and can be visible.

Steps to sewing zippers into a seam - Before the cushion is sewn.

  • The zip fastening should be as a guide about 2 1/2 inches (6cms) shorter than the length of the cushion opening. Place right sides of the fabric together. Use the fastening as a guide and keeping an equal distance from each side, mark where the teeth of the zip starts and ends using pins onto the fabric.

  • Sew the seam with normal machine stitch length to the start to the first pin where the teeth should start. Back stitch to secure threads. Change the machine stitch length to the longest (tacking) length and continue sewing until you reach the next pin where the teeth should. Back stitch to secure the thread then change the stitch length back to normal machine stitch and continue to the end of the seam.

**This is one way of getting the fastening into the seam. Another version is not to continue the seam using the tacking thread but sew from pin placing to the selvedge at either side. This will leave the seam open, turn right sides up, press then place and pin zip in to seam so the turned edges are in the middle.** 

  • Press the seam open on the wrong side of the fabric. Place the fastening along the seam making sure the teeth are at the start and end points that were previously marked. The difference in seam stitching will help as well. Pin in place.

  • Using the zip foot on the machine, sew along one side of the fastening leaving a slight gap from the teeth. Stitch across the bottom below the end of the teeth, up the other side and across the top of the teeth. Secure thread.

  • Turn to the right side of the fabric and using scissors or a seam unpicker carefully remove the tacking stitches to open the fastening.Open the zip about a quarter of the way down. Place right sides together again and sew the other three seams. Turn back to right side through opened zip.

These can also be inserted when all the other seams of the cushion or cover are completed. The fastening is placed into the gap, pinned so the edges meet when zip is closed. Then with the zip open stitched into place on the right side of fabric.

Many shopping outlets such as Minerva Crafts have a large variety of zips.

All that is needed is practise sewing zippers to work out the best way for you.


Return from How to sew a zipper to How to

Affiliate offers

Terry's Fabric - Winter Sale is still on until January 31st 2019

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.

Please take care with any soft furnishing that it does not come into contact with any heat source. 

If you have found an error on this page or want some more information on sewing cushions.

Please contact me . Thank you