easiest knitted sweater zipper install ever
One of the more dreaded knitting finishing techniques is installing a zipper. I admit it, I’ve never been a fan either. There are multiple helpful zipper tutorials out there, and I’ve used a few of them. I always came back with the same issue though; you lay out the sweater, you center the zipper underneath and try to baste in the zipper. The problem is as soon as you pick up a piece of knitted fabric, it does what knitted fabric does. It stretches and drapes and wiggles out of that straight taut line. You’re trying to sew a stiff tape with no give onto a floopy material. It’s like trying to get a pair of tights on a squirmy three-year-old. If you’re a perfectionist like me, it’s a nightmare.
I think I’ve found a solution though. If I’m remembering correctly, it’s something that StashKnitRepeat Amy tipped me off to two summers ago. I used it to sew in a zipper on one of the Knitting it Old School
sweaters and then I used it again last week finishing Pump Jockey.
Hold on while I blow your mind at the simplicity.
They hold the knitted fabric in place and stablize the whole deal. It’s so simple, yet so effective. I’m already looking at knitting another sweater that needs a zipper. That’s how well it worked.
Here’s how I did it:
I started by weaving in two blocking wires on each side of the sweater fronts. One right along the first set of stitches right on the edge, the other about 4 or 5 stitches away.
With my small rotary mat inside the sweater, I placed the zipper underneath the sweater fronts taking care to center it directly under the edges.
While it was still laying there all correctly positioned, I pinned one side of the zipper tape down between the blocking wires
Starting at the bottom, I began backstitching the zipper in along the teeth edge first, and then once more along the edge of the zipper tape.
I came up through the zipper tape, into the sweater between two columns of stitches.
And then back down a row or so, taking care to stay in the same column of stitches. This puts the thread in the ditch between stitches and is invisible from the front.
It will look like this from the backside when you’re done with the first side of the zipper
Leaving the blocking wires in, I put it back down on the mat and pin basted the other side.
I then opened and separated the two sides of the zipper to sew in the other half. Obviously this step needed feline assistance. Thanks, Mother!
And that was it! I took the blocking wires out as the last step and had a zipper installation that was painless.
Crazy easy, right?