Creative articles about sewing

How to make boring zipper tape look awesome

Vintage jacket_inside3_NeedleandTed

I totally appreciate that you may not care a single iota about what the zipper tape looks like on the inside of your garment. No one can see it anyway. I must admit I never used to care too much about the inside of my garments either. But these days I focus on the little details because little details make a big difference. Little details make your handmade garments look more professional, it’s OK for someone to ask “Did you make that?” if they know you sew, but if they don’t know you sew then it may not be a compliment.

Simplicity vintage pattern

When making this zip up jacket for my 9 year old, the fact that it was unlined meant that the zipper tape wasn’t concealed between the outer and the lining, thus leaving the zipper tape on view. This bugged me (a lot). I considered adding a lining but that would have meant quite a bit of unpicking and reconstructing which I was very reluctant to do. Unpicking knit fabric is not fun at all.

Vintage jacket_inside_NeedleandTedVintage jacket_NeedleAndTed

Covering the zipper tape seemed the only solution. Using self fabric would have been far too bulky as I was using a thick cotton sweat. I considered bias tape but looking through my stash nothing seemed to compliment the dusty green fabric. And anyway, bias tape would still have been a little too bulky. I remembered I had some harlequin ribbon left over from a onesie I made a while ago. Holding it up to the jacket, it was the perfect compliment.


The edges of ribbon have a clean finish (unlike bias tape where you have to fold it in to conceal the raw edges), hence a less bulky zipper tape and the perfect solution for my jacket.

Vintage athleisure_4_NeedleAndTed

Vintage athleisure_7_NeedleAndTed

And as it happened, when I tried the jacket on my daughter, I realised you could see the zipper tape when the jacket was not done up to it’s fullest. But I think the ribbon enhances the overall look of the jacket and unintentionally became the icing on the cake.

Vintage athleisure_NeedleAndTed

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  • Kathleen Gulbranson EditEditing comments on the BERNINA blog is only possible after logging in with a blog user account. Sign up now or create a user account if you do not have one yet.

    What a great idea that gives it a really special look! Thanks for sharing ❗️

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