Match Up Your Waistline Either Side Of A Zip


I have a chequered past with zips. I don't attempt regular zips and I used to mess up invisible ones every single time...until I recently realised I was using the wrong foot for my machine. Once I rectified that, invisible zips became a pleasant revelation, so fast and easy to insert. 

Despite this, I never quite mastered matching up my waistline, leaving my inner perfectionist most displeased! Until I came across this post from By Hand London, that is. The girls share an impossibly simple tip for a perfectly aligned waistline, that I seriously kicked myself for not thinking about it before!

Once you sew the first side of your zip on, zip it up and stick a pin(s) on the un-stitched side of the zip tape to mark the waistline (see my image above of BHL's post). When pinning the second side on to sew, start with the pin(s) you used to mark the waistline. As you can see below, the result is pure perfection!


Have you discovered any ridiculously simple, yet life-changing stitching tricks lately? What about any handy tips for sewing zips? I'd love to hear them!

37 comments:

  1. This *is* life changing! Of course you don't have to start sewing at the top of the zip, IT'S INVISIBLE!

    When I heard someone say they use their blind hem foot or overcast foot for top stitching I almost lost my mind. Those feet have edge guides you can butt your fabric up against! Of course they'll help with even top stitching.

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    1. Oooh, what a great idea...never heard the overcasting foot trick before either!!!

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  2. Invisible zips are the way to go. In addition to pinning the second side into place I actually machine baste the second side from about 2 in above to 2 in below the waistband just to ensure there is no slippage when running the final stitch line.

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  3. Ahhh! Perfect timing too, I've got an invisible zip to fit tomorrow!

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  4. I found a stack of old Threads magazines at the thrift store, and was reading them over today whilst stuck at a car appointment. 2004 was a bumper year for tips (many of which I've read lately in Threads, presented as new), but the forehead slapper was marking the wrong side of a tricky fabric with chalk. The WRONG side.
    My forehead is very red now.

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  5. I use double sided very narrow basting tape for zips- makes life so much easier! Love this tip

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    1. Oooh, nice idea...does that just iron on then?

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  6. Must try this. I usually tack the invisible zip in first and have got perfect results every time since doing that. However I'm all for a time saver so going to try this next time! Thanks!

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    1. A time-consuming way of doing it, but I bet the perfect results are worth it every time!

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  7. For topstitching or under stitching I line up the centre of the foot with the seam and move the needle to the side. Great tip from what Katie sews!

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    1. Of course...another great tip I've never thought about!!!

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  8. Thanks for sharing. Great tip!

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  9. This is a great tip! Now I just need one to help me get the right alignment at the top of the zip. For some reason, I just can't get the top of the zip to be exactly at the top of the garment!
    I use the WonderTape to fix my zip in place before stitching. Makes it sooo quick!

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    1. Yeah...zips can be tricky little things! Basting tape seems to be a popular 'gadget'!

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  10. Duh! We really need other sewists to point out the obvious.

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  11. Oooh must say I can't wait to see what that amazing fabric becomes (or has become)!

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  12. That's fascinating! Thank you for this great tip :))

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    1. I felt the same when I discovered it too!

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  13. Matching the waistline is always an effort to me so thanks for the tip. It's so easy but yet effective!

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  14. A couple of little snips into the zip tape also works like this to line up the waistband. And glue basting. Glue basting is the best thing ever invented!

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    1. Oooh, glue basting! Never heard of that before!

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  15. Whut! This is genius! I must have missed that post on their blog...
    I recently learned this technique to make a pattern from an existing piece of clothing: http://www.sewitup.be/monthly/de-goedkoopste-patronen-teken-je-zelf/ The article is in Dutch, but I think the pictures are pretty self-explanatory :) Anyway, the idea is that you pick a large piece of cardboard, put your pattern paper on top, and lay out your piece of clothing on it. You stick pins into the cardboard along the seams of the panel you want to trace, and then you can follow the holes the pins leave behind in the paper to draw your pattern piece. Genius, isn't it? I couldn't believe I hadn't thought of this myself!

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    1. Oh wow, this is genius...thanks so much for sharing!!!

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  16. I use a little chalk mark to match up zipper halves- it's just too hard to get it the waistband to line up properly if you don't do something! I'm also a fan of quickly hand basting zippers in place so they can't squiggle out of position!

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    1. Chalk! Of course! Why didn't I think of that?!?

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  17. I tend to sew the first side, the zip up the zip and draw a line with a dissolvable fabric pen to match the waistline. My latest problem though is that although the waistline matches, by the time I've sewn to the top the neckline doesn't match up, one side is 1cm shorter! I don't know if I'm stretching one side a bit too much or not enough, or if my pieces aren't even anyway. I just accepted it in the end because I couldn't bear to unpick a 22" zip for a third time!

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