How to Sew in a Zipper
Overcome your "zipper hesitation" by studying our step-by-step tutorial--then try adding a zipper to your next project!
Note: Although these photos show knitted pieces, the process is the same for crochet. In the photo above, notice how the pins are positioned about halfway in the middle of the tape. You will sew straight along that midpoint line. This will leave enough space between the stitching line and the zipper teeth, allowing the zipper pull to be moved easily along the teeth. Also, position the zipper pull just below the top edge of your piece, as shown in the photo. (Later, you can fold under and stitch any excess zipper tape in place.)
To begin, pin one side of the closed zipper tape to the edge of your piece. Make sure the crocheted piece just covers the zipper teeth, so the teeth won't be visible when you close the zipper. Placing the pins perpendicular to the edge helps keep the zipper tape flat. You'll remove each pin as you get to it when sewing.
With a sharp sewing needle and sewing thread, backstitch through the piece and the zipper tape, about 1/8 inch away from the zipper teeth. We've used red thread so it's easier to see, but you will want to match the yarn color--that will also make your sewing stitches almost invisible.
Stitch across the zipper stop at the closed end of the zipper, then pin and sew the other side of the zipper in place. You can also sew over the long edges of the tape, to make them lie flat inside the project.
For some projects like this cute watermelon purse, you can crochet directly into the zipper tape and skip the sewing! Here's an excellent tutorial.