Do you want the zipper teeth to be concealed in your beautifully handmade garment? Then, install a lapped zipper! The top fold of the fabric hides the zipper teeth and only one row of stitching is shown on the right side of the garment. This method is best suited for neckline zippers on dresses, skirts and pants.


  • Your project
  • All-purpose zipper
  • Fabric marker
  • Seam gauge or ruler
  • Wonder tape
  • Zipper foot


1. Finish the raw edges of the seam.

2. Using a standard sewing machine foot, stitch the seam up to the zipper opening. The zipper opening is usually marked with a small notch. This notch is where the bottom stop of the zipper will be aligned with later on.

3. On the left side, turn the seam 3/8" and press. On the right side, turn the seam 5/8" and press.

4. Mark a guideline 1/2" away from the seam fold.

5. Apply wonder tape to the left and right side of the zipper tape. For now, remove the backing only on the right side.

6. Position the right side (without the backing) of the zipper tape with the extended seam allowance. Press it down so that your project sticks to the zipper tape.

7. Using a zipper foot, stitch close to the folded edge. Stop stitching when you get near the bottom stop. With the needle still down, lift the presser foot and close the zipper. Closing the zipper will get the bulky slider out of your way. Stitch the rest of the length of the zipper.

This is what your project should look like at this point.

8. Now take the backing off of the other side of the zipper tape.

9. Position the other seam allowance over the closed zipper and the stitching. Press it down, making sure the seam is aligned properly. Then open the zipper.

10. Stitch right on the guideline that you marked earlier. Again, with the needle still down, lift the presser foot and close the zipper when you get near the bottom stop. Pivot when you get right under the bottom stop and stitch straight across the base of the zipper.

Done! Now step back and admire your beautifully installed lapped zipper...

How To Install A Beautiful Lapped Zipper