Winslow Culottes Sewalong : Zipper & Hem

Winslow Culottes Sewalong : Zipper & Hem

Posted by Helen | July 15, 2016 | Winslow Culottes Sewalong
Winslow Culottes Sewalong

Winslow Culottes Sewalong

We made it to the final day of the sewalong!  Congrats on getting to the last few steps, I hope you are excited about your culottes!

Today is the big scary zipper day, but do not fear, we will make it through this. Sewing invisible zippers can be a bit tricky, and like anything, it gets easier with practice.  An invisible zipper foot will help you immensely in the process, because it has a groove in it that holds the teeth in place while sewing right alongside them. A regular zipper foot will do the trick too, because it allows you to get up really close.  Using a standard foot will not work, because you will not be able to get close to the edge of the zipper teeth.

invisible zipper foot Regular Zipper Foot
Zipper feet photos from : Husqvarna


We are going to start by stabilizing the zipper area with interfacing.  When sewing with lightweight or delicate fabrics, it is important to protect volatile areas like this.  You will be zipping and unzipping with every wear, and you don’t want your fabric stretching or tearing over time.  Cut 2 pieces of interfacing 10” x  3/4” (22.8cm x 2cm) and apply them to the wrong side of your fabric.  There is a slight curve to this area, but you can gently curve your interfacing to match.

Winslow Culottes Sewalong

I forgot to take a picture of this next step, but it is crucial to invisible zipper success!  This photo below is from an invisible zipper tutorial on Craftsy. There are a ton of invisible zipper tutorials out there, so if you are craving additional instruction on this, watch some youtube videos and read some other tutorials before getting started.  There are also many different methods, so find one that works for you!

Using a low heat (You do not want to melt your zipper teeth and ruin your zip), press along the zipper on the backside of the zip. You should be pressing the teeth outward, opening up the fold.  We want to sew right in this fold, so we need to press it open to get better access.  It is not going to lie perfectly flat once pressed, and that is OK, we just want to encourage it to open up. 
Winslow Culottes Sewalong

Lie your zipper with the right side down on the right side of the fabric.  Line up the top of the zipper teeth (not the top of the zipper tape) with the notch in the center of your waistband. You want your zipper teeth to sit right at the 5/8″ (1.6cm) seam allowance.  If it helps, you can draw a line in chalk or fabric pen so you can see where the seam allowance is.  Pin down the length of the zipper.

Sew as close to the teeth as possible from the top of the teeth down to the zipper stop. If using a regular zipper foot, you can use your fingers to fold open the teeth and get a bit closer. Back stitch at both ends.

Winslow Culottes Sewalong

Fold down the top of the zipper tape and tack it in place so it is out of the way. Winslow Culottes Sewalong

Zip up your zipper and using fabric chalk or other marking tool, mark where the waistband seam is.   This is the crucial place to line up your zipper.

Winslow Culottes Sewalong

Repeat the pinning process down the other side of the zipper opening, lining up the zipper teeth with the center notch, and lining up the waistband marking with the waistband seam. Pin down to the zipper stop.

Sew as close to the teeth as possible from the top of the teeth down to the zipper stop. Back stitch at both ends.

Zip up your zip.  If you are not able to zip it up, you have sewn over the teeth at some point (whoops!).  Unpick the stitching that is over the teeth and sew over this spot again, close to the teeth, to fix the hole.

Winslow Culottes Sewalong

Using a regular zipper foot, close the gap at the bottom of the zipper by stitching along the crotch seam until you meet the zipper stitches.

Winslow Culottes Sewalong

Your zipper should look something like this!

Winslow Culottes Sewalong

Now, we are going to enclose the edge of the zipper at the top. With right sides together, fold the waistband in half at the center notch.  The folded edge of the waistband should overlap the waistband seam by about 1/8″. Pin in place along the zip.

Winslow Culottes Sewalong

Sew using a 1/2″ seam allowance, from the top of the waistband down to the waistband seam.  Trim the corner of the waistband, you may cut off some zipper tape too, that is OK.  This helps to reduce the bulk in the corner and create a nice point.

Winslow Culottes Sewalong

Turn the waistband right side out.

Winslow Culottes Sewalong

Your zipper should be nicely enclosed at the top now.  Try zipping it up again to make sure you didn’t sew over the teeth.

Winslow Culottes Sewalongzipperandwaistband9

Fold  and press the waistband in half with wrong sides facing this time. The folded edge of the waistband should overlap the waistband seam by about 1/8″.

Winslow Culottes Sewalong

Pin on the right side of the fabric, catching the folded edge of the waistband underneath.  I like to insert my pin on the right side, right at the waistband seam, and check that it has caught the other side of the waistband by about 1/8″.  Once positioned right, you can insert the pin back to the right side.

If this is your first time doing a stitch in the ditch, pin liberally!  The more pins, the easier it is.

Winslow Culottes Sewalong

This is how it looks from the right side:

Winslow Culottes Sewalong

This is how it looks from the wrong side:

Winslow Culottes Sewalong

As the name implies, we are going to “stitch in the ditch” of our waistband seam. Sew slowly and try to keep your stitching in the ditch, not on top of the waistband.  Feel the seam with your fingers as you sew.  You should be able to feel the edge of the waistband on the underside and adjust the layers if needed.  If you miss a spot or slip off a bit, adjust and keep on going.  You can go back to fix missed areas by hand or by re-pinning and stitching in the ditch again.

Winslow Culottes Sewalong

Once finished, your waistband seam will be completely enclosed!

Winslow Culottes Sewalong

Here, I have highlighted my stitches in green so you can see them better:

Winslow Culottes Sewalong

Hurrah! The hard parts are over!  I know that zippers and stitch-in-the-ditch can be stressful, so take a quick break here and breath deeply, you made it!

Next, we are going to finish off with the hem. Finish the bottom edge with a serger or other seam finishing method.  You may also turn up the hem twice to hide the raw edges if preferred.

Winslow Culottes Sewalong

Press the finished edge up 1/2” (1.3cm).

Winslow Culottes Sewalong

Stitch the hem in place at 3/8” (1cm).

Winslow Culottes Sewalong

All done!  Here is the front:

Winslow Culottes Sewalong

Here is the back:

Winslow Culottes Sewalong

Congrats on completing your Winslow Culottes!

Don’t forget to share them with me on instagram (#winslowculottes @helens__closet), or you can email me a picture at [email protected] – I would LOVE to see your makes!  More pics of my final culottes will be on the blog on Monday 🙂

Thanks so much for sewing along with me!  

done

Blog Comments

I just finished another pair last night. This is really a great pattern.

Thanks, Meg!!

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