sew along, Sew Along

simplicity skirt 2226 sew along – day 4

Welcome back for day 4 of the sew along, you can catch up on day 1day 2, and day 3 anytime as well.  

It’s zipper day!  Don’t be afraid, take some deep breaths, whatever you have to do to get your game face on.  I can tell you that my second time sewing the zipper was much better and went smoother than the first time, but both worked out great and I’ve got two wearable skirts.  

Inserting the zipper:

First you need to baste the rest of the back skirt seam from the notch you sewed up to earlier all the way up to the top of the waistband.  Basting again is the longest stitch length on your machine.  

Flip the skirt so that you have the left seam allowance all the way to the left, pulling the rest of the skirt to the right.

Pin the opened zipper in place to the seam allowance only.  Teeth and pull tab should be facing down with the teeth centered on the center seam.  

Starting from the bottom of the zipper, using your zipper foot, baste the zipper along that left seam allowance (it looks like the right seam allowance, but it’s because I’m sewing it from the bottom of the zipper to the top).  


Next, flip your zipper out to the side and you’ll have a tiny little bit of fabric peeking through from the seam allowance that you’ll sew along (see that little green line above?).  

Now, flip the zipper face down over the right seam allowance now.  Pin it in place through all the layers (zipper tape, seam allowance and skirt).  

From the RIGHT side of the skirt, baste in place.  I think they recommend hand basting, but I cheated and used a basting stitch on my machine. (I didn’t take a picture of the basting, but you can see it in the picture below:) 


Now sew with a regular stitch starting by making a line perpendicular to the center back skirt seam at the bottom of the zipper about 3/8″ of an inch or so, then pivoting and continuing to sew up towards the top of the skirt all the way to the top of the waistband along the zipper.  You’re sewing right next to the zipper teeth (which you can’t see, but they’re under the fabric, just feel for them) and be sure not to sew into them otherwise your zipper won’t open! Remove basting stitches from the previous step.

Use your seam ripper and open up the basting stitch and you should reveal a lovely little zipper all finished and ready!


**Here’s the nitty gritty.  If you’re super stressed about the zipper again, practice on a piece of junk fabric and zipper. Just use two pieces of fabric sewn with a 5/8″ seam allowance.  You might be surprised how much more comfortable you’ll feel doing it on your actual garment after you’ve practiced.  Trust me that trying new things will not only help you learn, but that you get a huge sense of accomplishment once you’ve done it.  

Please let me know if you have any questions.  Feel free to put your pictures in my flickr group and you can add notes and ask questions right with your actual photo, of course ask questions in the comments section too, but I know sometimes it’s just easier to show what you’re working with compared to trying to explain it all.  

I really want you all to succeed with this!  ♥

[I’m going to run this sew along a little differently than my typical blog posts, if you have any questions or comments or suggestions/tips please leave them in the comments section and I’ll respond to them there.  Usually I like to reply to comments directly by email when time allows, but this way the info will be there for anyone who joins along.]

11 thoughts on “simplicity skirt 2226 sew along – day 4

  1. Krista says:

    One question before I get started. I think I screwed something up. My main skirt body seam is pressed all the way up to the waistband. So when I attached the waistband, the end of the waistband matches up with the already pressed end of the skirt body, which is sewn down from when I did the gathering basting stitches. Does that make sense? It’s hard to explain.

  2. Tammy says:

    If you hand baste your zipper to the seam allowance, it goes in so much easier. It takes a little extra time, but in this case, the extra time is worth it. Also, if you’re finding it hard to stitch straight, use a 6-in ruler to help guide your foot.

  3. Krista says:

    I had to unstitch the end of the my waistband and unfold the seam allowance of the main body. Then I just gathered the body a little tighter to realign my waistband. Annoying, but it worked out and had to be done!

  4. Bee says:

    Thank you several times over for this zipper bit! I’ve been sewing sicne I was little but zippers were always the enemy!

  5. Poppyprint says:

    You make it look and sounds so easy! Thanks for taking the time to explain everything to us. There’s a chance I’ll sew a garment yet!

  6. tusen says:

    It doesn’t look that scary, but I’ll see how it goes tomorrow (I’m a bit behind, with the waistband pinned to the skirt but not sewn yet, and it’s too late to sew today)

  7. Jamie says:

    Thanks, for the tip on inserting the zipper, I’ve always struggled with them, but your tips made it easy.

  8. Amanda says:

    Thanks so much for posting this! I with I would’ve had it about a month earlier though- I butchered the last zipper I put in!
    There’s always next time though… 🙂

  9. I happened to stumble upon your blog while looking at pretty pictures on pinterest. Your blog is so beautiful, and you have so many wonderful ideas! You have already inspired me to take on more complex sewing projects. And you’ve also inspired me to keep my blog up! I will be a frequent follower of your blog:) Thanks!

  10. Kristen says:

    I got the zipper installed (after a little unpicking), but I thought the directions on the pattern were confusing. Maybe I just misunderstood the terminology.

    It says to “baste” everything until you get to the last L-shaped stitching on the outside. Doesn’t “baste” usually mean that it’s temporary? After you’ve finished putting in the zipper, it says to remove ALL basting stitches … which would mean one side of the zipper would no longer be attached at all.

  11. Ruby says:

    Oh how I wish I had seen this before my last Simplicity 2226. I love this pattern, but actually took almost 6 inches out of the center, just too poofy to me flattering on me. I’m going to do another and use your instructions for the zipper next time. Thanks!!

    Here’s a link to my skirt:

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