The centered zipper is widely used in constructing skirts and dresses. It is probably the easiest to insert and requires only basic sewing skills.
Putting the right sides together, stitch the seam where you are going to insert the zipper. Use normal stitching below the zipper, fix the thread, then use the large step for the rest of the seam. The large step will be easier to pick later on.
Press the seam allowances open.
On the wrong side of the garment secure the zipper in any way you are comfortable with. There are quite a few options to choose from:
- Basting the zipper seems like the biggest effort but it allows precise and secure placing.
- Masking tape, washable glue stick, or water-soluble tape. Whatever is at hand that won’t leave a mark.
- Securing the zipper using your sewing machine. Put the zig-zag stitch to the widest setting with the zero step and secure your zipper in several places.
- Pinning it in place. Pins should be facing either away from you or from right to left. The idea is to pull them out as you go. Every pin should be accounted for, you don’t want to break the needle of your sewing machine.
Stitch the zipper.
- If you are sure that the zipper is secure and won’t pucker the fabric, you are welcome to do it in one go. Mind the pins though.
- If you are working with stretching fabric or a piece that is cut on bias, make the stitching in two goes. Start from the bottom of your zipper, going to the edge of the garment. Symmetry is the goal.
Most of the time the final stitching is done on the right side of the garment. It makes it easier to space the stitches evenly on both sides of the opening. Domestic sewing machines often have a specialized zipper foot. By all means, use it if you have it! If you do not have the special foot, you could utilize the left most positioning of the sewing machine needle. It will place the foot squarely on the fabric and the needle closer to the zipper.
Take out the basting/tape, unpick the opening. Press and steam.
You just inserted a basic centered zipper!