A Centered zipper is one of the most common zipper applications. It is most commonly used on skirts, blouses, and dresses in a center-back seam but can also be used on a side seam.
I used a YKK nylon Zipper and the “E” zipper foot for my Janome machine. There are a variety of zipper feet you can get for your machine but for this zipper application you only need a basic one.
The first step is to finish your seams. I used a serger but if you don’t have one you can use your pinking shears or a zig zag stitch. This will prevent your fabric from fraying and keep threads from getting caught in your zipper when you wear your garment.
Next mark the end of your zipper on the fabric. Align the zipper in the correct placement and mark where the zipper stop is. I inserted a pin but you can also mark with a fabric marker.
Now you are going to sew this entire seam at the correct seam allowance (usually 5/8″). It is easiest to start from the mark or pin and sew down to the bottom. Make sure to back stitch where the zipper will end to enforce the seam. Then baste (extend the length of you stitch to create a temporary seam) the rest of the seam (where the zipper will be). This way you can easily take these stitches out after you put the zipper in. (See the diagram below). Then press seam open with your iron!
Next we want to center the zipper on the seam and baste it on. There are a few different ways to baste it on. I used double sided tape but a glue stick works great too! Apply the tape or glue to the zipper tape only and trim off any access before applying to the fabric. Place the zipper in the appropriate place and allow glue to dry a little.
Now using your zipper foot you will sew around the zipper. Start on the top left side and follow the zipper down. At the end of the zipper, where you have you pin marking the zipper stop, rotate and sew a perpendicular line. Back stitch to reinforce it. Next, pivot again and follow the zipper back to the top. Below is an example of what the end of the zipper will look like.
Take your seam ripper and carefully rip basted seam open to expose the zipper. The your done! You have successfully inserted a centered zipper!