Thursday, 7 July 2011

How to make cushions/pillows with an invisible zip (using a normal zipper foot)

A friend of a friend needed some cushions made with some gorgeous silk fabric with swarovski crystal detailing that she had had lying around for ages. I wanted to try inserting invisible zips in the covers as they look so much nicer, but I don't have an invisible zipper foot. With a bit of trial and error, I worked out how to insert the zips so they were invisible! Here is the tutorial of how I made the cushions and inserted the zips:

Step 1. Cut out your front and back pieces for your cushion cover. I was making rectangle covers with the dimensions 30x50cm, so I cut the pieces 32x52cm (to allow 1cm seam allowance).

Step 2. Decide which way up your cushion front will go and serge/zig-zag the bottom raw edge to stop it fraying.

Step 3. Place your invisible zip in the centre of the bottom of your cushion front (or back, order isn't important) with right sides together. Make sure you check which is the right side of the zip by the pull, it is also the side on which you can't see the teeth.

Step 4. Using your zipper foot, sew the zip to the fabric approximately 0.5cm from the serged edge.

Step 5. Open the zip and roll the teeth inwards so the zip is lying flat against the fabric. Pin in place.

Step 6. If you have a machine foot with a groove underneath, such as this Bernina foot (number 3), use this. If not, continue with your zipper foot which works fine.

Step 6 cont. Sew as close to the rolled-back zipper teeth as possible. Keep rolling the teeth back as you sew, the groove in the foot should help hold them in place. I had to adjust the needle position slightly to the right so the needle was aligned with the edge of the teeth.

This is what you should have at the end of Step 6.

Step 7. Place the back piece of cushion fabric right sides together with the front piece you have just made, ensuring the serged edge is next to the zip and the cushion sides match up. Stitch the zip to the back of the cushion following Steps 4 to 6.

Step 8. Fold the serged edges up so they meet perfectly at either end of the zip and pin just inside the top and bottom of the zip (use the zip stitching as a guide here).

Step 9. Using the zipper foot, sew from the pin to the side of the cushion. Make sure you sew just inside the bump of the zip (as shown) so the zip doesn't poke through your seam.

And voila! an invisible zip. Woo hoo.

Step 10. The rest is simple, just sew/serge the remaining three sides of the cushion together. Remember to open the zip first! I pull the fabric square and taut as I sew to prevent puckering due to mismatched seam lengths.

 And it's done. So easy once you get the hang of it. There just seems to be lots of steps as I broke it right down to keep things simple.

I'll be making more of these. I hope you will too :)

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