How To Guides

Zipper Insertion Using a Welting Foot


This zipper technique works well in craft projects, bags in particular. Check with your particular machine manufacturer and find a foot with a tunnel, such as a welting foot. The tunnel must be approximately ¼” to accommodate the larger zipper teeth and stops. The tunnel may be off to the side or it may be in the center of the foot. You will need to adjust your needle position to accommodate your particular foot's tunnel.

Welting Foot with Wide Tunnel

Make sure you purchase a zipper that is 2-3” longer than your opening. This will allow you to stitch the entire length of your zipper opening. To stitch side seams in your project measure your finished length and remove each individual zipper tooth at the bottom of the zipper using a nipper (the tool that you use to remove the shank of a button). That way you can stitch right over the zipper tape and not have to stitch over the zipper teeth themselves. You will need to remove about ½” of zipper teeth to accommodate your seam allowance. See picture at the end of the article.

Prepare the front of the zipper with Wash Away Wonder Tape each side of the zipper tape

Use Wash Away Wonder Tape.

Remove the paper backing of the Wonder Tape on the left side and place the zipper face-down on your fabric, aligning the edge of the zipper tape with the right edge of the fabric. Open the zipper completely and place the teeth in the tunnel of your foot. Stitch in place. You may adjust the distance you stitch from the zipper by moving your needle to the right.

Stitch the Zipper into place.

Close the zipper. Remove the paper backing of the Wash Away Wonder Tape on the other side of the zipper. Place the this side of the zipper face-down on the right side of your fabric. Open the zipper completely. Place your zipper teeth in the tunnel of your foot & stitch in place.

Stitch the other side of the zipper into place.

Close the zipper and make sure the top ends of your zipper match.


Now you can stitch your side seams and proceed with constructing your project. Notice the bottom ends of the zipper where the zipper teeth have been removed so you can easily stitch side seams in bags, etc. I have not tested this technique out on clothing, but you may wish to do so. Let us know how well it works! Good Luck!

Happy Sewing!


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