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Lonetree Sewalong Pt 11: Sewing the Zipper

By Allie

Allie is the co-founder of Indiesew and creator of all things pretty on the site. Follow Allie and receive other Indiesew updates by subscribing to the blog.

Indiesew.com | Lonetree Sewalong Part 11

Just a few more steps, folks, and our Lonetree Jackets and Vests will be complete! Part 11 of the Lonetree Sewalong will cover the zipper insertion.

 Just tuning in? Here’s the full Lonetree Sewalong schedule so that you can catch up.

This portion of the sewalong offers a few tips and tricks that aren't included in the pattern instructions. I recommend you follow them for a stress-free zipper insertion!

First, let's prepare our zipper. Fold the zipper tape that extends beyond the top zipper stops towards the back of the zipper. Make sure it's pulled taut, pin, and sew a few stitches to tack the tape down.

Sew Down Top of Zipper Tape | Lonetree Jacket

Note: Step 42 in the Lonetree sewing pattern instructs you to trim the ends of the zipper tape and apply fray check. After washing and wearing my Lonetree Jacket many times, I think the alternate method above will result in a more durable garment.

Place the right side of the zipper tape, face down, onto the center right bodice. Align the top zipper stops to the top of the collar. The bottom zipper stop should align with the second-to-bottom notch on the center front bodice. I like to use Wonder Tape here to keep the zipper adhered to the fabric while I sew. Baste the zipper onto the center front bodice with a 1/4" seam allowance.

Baste right side of zipper. | Indiesew.com

Zip up the zipper and mark where the right zipper is overlapping the drawstring channel on the left zipper tape. These markings will allow you to align the drawstring channel on both sides of the zipper. 

Then, unzip the zipper and lay the left zipper face down on the left center bodice. Baste with a 1/4" seam allowance.

Mark Zipper Tape | Jacket Sewing Tutorial

Now is a good time to zip up your zipper and make sure that the drawstring channel and collar seams are aligned on both sides of the zipper. If not, rip out your zipper and realign.

Next press the bottom hem of the jacket or vest to the wrong side by 1/4". Also press the bottom hem of each facing to the wrong side by 1/4"

Press jacket hem | Indiesew Blog

Bring the facings to the front of the jacket so that they are aligned with the center front bodices with right sides together. The zipper will be sandwiched between the facing and the bodice. Ensure that the collar seams are aligned. Pin (or use Wonder Clips) and sew each seam with a 3/8" seam allowance starting at the top of the collar, traveling down to the hem.

Sew jacket facings over zipper | Lonetree Vest Sewalong

(Disregard my too-long facings; yours should align with the bottom of your jacket bodices.)

Sew a horizontal line across facing at the lowest notch of the center front bodice. Use tailor's chalk if needed to draw this line across the facing. Sew through the bodice and the facing, along this line, stopping at the edge of the facing.

Sew hem over facing. | Indiesew.com

Clip each bulky corner of the collar. Then trim the seam allowance at the bottom hem as shown at right below.

Clip collar corners | Lonetree Jacket

Now the fun part! Turn the collar/facings/zipper right side out. You'll likely need to tug at the top and bottom zipper stops to pull those corners out. Use a point turner if needed.

Press the bodices and facings away from the zipper. Press the collar and hem points well. Topstitch along the edge of the zipper starting at the collar using a 1/4" or 1/8" seam allowance.

Tip: You'll notice that I'm using a walking foot to topstitch next to my zipper. I've found that (especially if you're using a stretch fabric) it's easy to sew puckers into this seam. Using a walking foot will help to evenly feed the center front bodice fabric while topstitching along the zipper.

Press and topstitch jacket zipper | Indiesew Blog

Nice work! We have just a few quick steps tomorrow and our jacket or vest will be ready to wear! Are you sewing your Lonetree along with us? Use #lonetreesewalong on social media to join in the fun!

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