A concealed zip on its own is great, and once you get to grips with them, really easy to sew. You can follow our tutorial on How to Sew a Concealed Zip to insert your own. But it will usually need to be finished off along the top edge, either within a neckline or waist seam.
A facing is a quick and easy way of getting a neat finish. This method of sewing in a facing with the concealed zip gives a really professional clean finish, as everything is machine sewn.
You should already have your concealed zip sewn into the garment. Like this.
Support the facing with a layer of interfacing, as this will help the facing keep its shape. Iron on or sew-in is fine whichever suits your fabric better. Finish off the visible edge of the facing with whatever method you prefer, e.g. a bound edge or overlocking.
Make up the facing by sewing together the shoulders or side seams and pressing the seams open and flat.
Place the facing to the garment with the right sides together. Match up the raw edges along the top and any side or shoulder seams.
This is where we start going ‘off piste’ slightly.
Instead of stitching around the top edge first then down the sides of the zip as is most common, pull the facing out past the zip opening so it overhangs by 1cm.
If you are cutting your own pattern I find it really useful to pre-trim the pattern pieces for the facings so you are cutting out the fabric pieces already trimmed so all you have to do is line up the centre back edges.
Using a normal zip foot stitch down the centre of the zip tape across the facing through all the seam allowances. The stitching should be about 0.5cm away from the zip.
Pull the facing away from the zip and understitch the seam allowance to the facing. This ensures that the facing won’t just bouncy back and get caught in the zip. Press it all nice and flat.
Here’s the clever bit….
Fold the facing back towards the garment. Use the zip as the crease of the fold. You should see two rows of sewing.
Now you can stitch across the top edge making sure to reverse off the edge of the fabric and back on again to keep the corners sharp.
Snip off the corners and clip into the top edge seam allowance if you need to, to release the tension in any curves.
Pop out the corners and understitch the facing through all the layers of seam allowance just 2mm from the seam. You won’t be able to get right into the corners so just go as far as is comfortable.
Careful measuring when inserting your zip first of all will make sure that both sides of the zip are level at the end. Give everything a really good press and don’t be frightened of the steam button. Just remember to use a pressing cloth to prevent scorching or ‘over pressing’.
I love this method of finishing off a concealed zip it gives such a clean and neat end result with no fuss or hand sewing.
Do let me know how you get on with this method. As I know zips can be really off putting for a lot of people and this is such a quick and easy method.