We've moved to 3740 N. Josey Lane, Suite 102, Carrollton, TX 75007, Tel: 972-325-7232, Fax: 972-215-7333

Zipper and Knitting

Posted by: KT (IP Logged)
Date: August 10, 2009 10:13AM

I am making a vest for my husband which will have a zippered front.

I am planning to sew the zipper on to bias tape to give the zipper more stability but I was wondering whether to just use sewing thread to sew the tape on to my fronts but was wondering if I should look for something like wooly nylon. What type of thread have you used to sew in zippers to your knitting?


Posted by: Alex (IP Logged)
Date: August 10, 2009 10:54PM

The last time I made a sweater with a zipper closure I used doubled matching sewing thread and sewed it in by hand. I made a one-stitch purl channel on either side of the opening and put the stitches right next to the knit stitch. I then overcast the outside edges to the corresponding part of the sweater just lightly catching it on the back of the knit stitches. It was easy to find the right color and you absolutely couldn't see the stitches from the right side.

Are you sure you want to use bias tape? I guess I don't know why you would want the extra bulk. Zippers are twill based and therefore stable by themselves. The twill looks nice and smooth on the inside too, bias tape can get a little wonky when you use it in a straight application.

Posted by: KT (IP Logged)
Date: August 11, 2009 08:37AM

I think I was actually thinking more of grosgrain ribbon to help stabilize the vest front.

I ordered the zipper on-line and it arrived yesterday. Quite the monster zipper -- that's what I get for ordering on-line and not calling for more details. I wanted the zipper that not only comes apart but can slide from both directions. I think you are correct that I won't need anything else to stabilize the front edge.

I'm planning on picking up stitches along the vest front to create a placket. I'm thinking of making it wide enough to "hem" back to the front edges, using a slip stitch to attach the backside of this hem to the front edge. Then I think I will sew my zipper to the slip stitch.

I was never much of a machine sewer so I will definitely hand sew my zipper in place. Thanks for the feedback about using regular sewing thread.

Posted by: jeanette (IP Logged)
Date: August 11, 2009 10:51AM

I recently purchased a Knit Simple fall 2009 magazine at the supermarket and it has an article on properly sewing a zipper in a sweater.
It recommends closing the zipper and pinning it to the garment. Pinning close to the teeth will hide the fabric sides of the zipper. Baste the zipper in place using a running stitch on the right side, or whipstitch it in place on the wrong side.
Personnaly, I have always done both. It does a better job of holding the zipper in place. Good luck.

Posted by: knittingmom (IP Logged)
Date: August 11, 2009 01:00PM

Last Christmas I knitted a sweater for my grandson. Because I was using a cardigan pattern and wanted a pullover, and because of his size, I decided to 'cardigan' the yoke and join the remainder as a pullover. I didn't want buttons so opted for a zipper. A regular skirt-type zipper worked well, but ... how do I hide the edge of the knitting and make it look professional?? I tried a crochet hook and that didn't work. Then I grabbed the yarn needle and brown yarn (the yoke was a soft yellow, the body brown) and began to simply whip stitch over the yellow edge. It turned out beautifully and while the child is growing rampantly, the sweater is a current favorite and will at least begin the winter. And they tell me that Christmas comes again this year. Could this be a hint???

Happy Knitting!!! Marian