Following is the handout I used for the presentation on exposed zippers that I gave to my American Sewing Guild Neighborhood Group’s July 2013 meeting. I brought a little trunk show of about a dozen garments and a few accessories I made using exposed zippers (resource and pattern information is at the top of the last page of the handout). I discussed and showed examples of three basic ways to use exposed zippers – sew them on top of the garment (usually as nonfunctioning decoration), sew them on the wrong side of the garment, or insert them into the seam allowance. Here are pictures of some of the garments in my trunk show.
In showing zippers that I sewed on top of the fabric, following are three samples. The first is the Pamela’s t-shirt pattern where I just sewed the zipper onto the top of the front shoulder with the ends sewn into the seam allowances. The Riri zipper has a nice tassel made of silver metal chains, so this was a good way to highlight the zipper. The second picture is the back of the Sewing Workshop Olive Top where the zipper is sewn on top of the knit. The third picture is the Sewing Workshop Zona Jacket where I sewed a decorative zipper on the seam at the top of where the pleat in the back releases.
I highly recommend Gertie’s method of a functioning exposed zipper such as one you would use in a skirt opening. The link to Gertie’s video is in the above handout in the Tutorials section on the last page.
The following pictures show examples of using an exposed zipper that is applied to the wrong side of the garment. The red coat shows zippers sewn onto the wrong side of the fabric and used as buttonholes and pocket closures. The large gray zipper on the black coat is sewn to the bottom panel. The gray fleece jacket is sewn with the zipper to the outside and hand-painted to coordinate with the fleece.
Zippers that are sewn into the seam allowances are shown in the next six pictures. The first two Silhouette patterns seem to be Kors RTW knockoffs where the zipper is sewn into a cowl and then into the shoulder seams of a tunic top. The black T-shirt in the fourth and fifth pictures has zipper trim on the edge of the double stand-up collar. The fleece jacket in the last picture has a huge zipper for a front closure.
Again, these are not all the examples I had in my trunk show.