Machine Minute: Zipper Foot Tips
Join Jennifer Keltner for a few tips that will make it easy to add a zipper on your next project.
Hi, I'm Jennifer here with today's Machine Minute brought to you by Baby Lock and the Symphony machine. Today's topic is how to get the most out of your machine's zipper foot. When you buy a zipper for your project it typically comes with instructions for how to install it. But there are a few tips that might make installing that zipper into your project easier. First and foremost, when I'm positioning a zipper, I like to use washable adhesive tape to keep it in place. I've already positioned it on one side. This tape is called Wonder Tape and it has a paper backing on it and you simply peel away the paper once you position the adhesive and it creates a sticky surface where you can position your fabric up to the zipper teeth. Press it in place, and that way you don't have any pins that are creating gaps or things that you have to remove when you start to sew -- that tape will hold it in place. Then find the zipper foot for your machine. It looks like it has a narrow front and a wider back, and it has two positions for needle holes: one on the right, one on the left. When you're ready to sew, you're going to position the zipper foot on the machine so that one edge of the zipper foot is right along the teeth and your needle goes into the hole nearest the zipper teeth. You want to make sure you check position of your needle by turning the hand wheel before you start to sew or this is a very easy way to break a needle just as you get started. So you'll start sewing down one edge and halfway across the bottom. Resist the urge to turn the corner and start sewing back up this side. When you do that, that's often the cause of the zipper shifting in a project and one edge being higher than the other so it doesn't lay quite flat. So sew halfway down and across, cut your thread, reposition your zipper foot to the opposite side where your needle will go in here and, again, the edge of your zipper foot should be right up next to the teeth and your needle will go in here as you're sewing along. When you get to the place where you're going to run into the zipper pull, stop with your needle down in the fabric, pull that zipper pull up and out of the way, and continue sewing. By stopping with your needle down you'll avoid veering off course and you'll head straight down that edge. Using your zipper foot is a great way to get a professional-looking finish on your zippers. You can also use a zipper foot if you're putting flat piping in next to your binding or piping edge along your pillow. Whenever you need your needle closer to the edge than a regular presser foot will allow consider using your zipper foot. It's a great way to use the most of your machine.