Tuesday, September 13, 2011

How to install and use a zipper foot

. . . subtitled Zipper Feet for Morons. . .

In order to make my gigantic slipcover, I had to conquer my fear of the zipper foot. So, iPad in one hand and a seam ripper in the other, I searched multiple blogs to figure it out.

People, it is not that bad. Really.

The above photo shows you a zipper foot. To get it there, you have to take off the regular foot. I stared at my regular foot a long time. I could loosen it but could not get it off. I even got out a screw driver. Note: You should not need a screwdriver to remove a sewing machine foot.

After 15 minutes of Googling and staring, I finally got up and looked around at the backside of the sewing machine, an older Kenmore. Which has the lever below indicated in pink. (Newer sewing machines have some sort of red button.) Lift the lever all the way up, and the foot will fall into your hand like a ripe peach.

My next stumper was figuring out where the needle goes.

A lot of zipper feet have a notch on both sides for the needle. You can slide the foot to the left or right of the seam.

The side with the needle should be closest to your seam. So, if you are making a zipper sandwich it would be zipper, needle, zipper foot. See the photo below. If you like it on the other side, it would be zipper foot, needle, zipper.

So there you go. Took me quite awhile to figure out these very obvious things that everybody knows except for hapless pathetic people who need such details the most. See the pain I've saved you?

Next I'll show you how to sew a zipper.


  1. casey at loft and cottageSeptember 15, 2011 at 3:41 PM

    Someday I will venture into zipper territory on the sewing machine!

  2. Elisa @ What the VitaSeptember 17, 2011 at 11:18 AM

    ...fall in your hand like a ripe peach. You're a poet :)

  3. such great advice! It's been so long since I put a zipper on anything that I'm not sure if I can remember how. My sewing expertise these days is limited to curtain-making!
    your sofa looks great btw, nice work!