How to insert and sew a zipper placket // Clare Coat Sewalong // Closet Case Files
Sewalongs

Clare Coat Sewalong part 11 // Installing the Zipper Placket

We’re nearing the finish line! Next week we’ll be lining our Clare Coats and finishing up, but today we need to finish working on the body of View A.

This may be the trickiest bit of sewing on this project but that just means you should take your time and focus on each step. By this point you should have your separating coat zipper (we discussed sources earlier in the sewalong). We will be sewing it to the right side of the coat first.

We need to make sure our zipper won’t intersect with the seam allowance of the collar, so take a ruler or seam gauge and mark the seam allowance. Your zipper teeth should not pass this point.

How to insert and sew a coat zipper // Clare Coat Sewalong // Closet Case Files

Pin the zipper face down to the right side of the coat. Keep in mind that you want a 5/8″ seam allowance but also want to see a little bit of the zipper tape (it is exposed after all).  The zipper stop should end 2-3″ from the notch at the bottom of the coat front. If you need to shorten your zipper, do it from the top. Once you know where the zipper needs to start and end, remove any zipper teeth that pass your seam allowance with pliers.

How to insert and sew a coat zipper // Clare Coat Sewalong // Closet Case Files

Zipper tape can get pretty heavy duty. To get a nice smooth corner at the top of the collar, fold the zipper tape down and away from the zipper teeth, under the 5/8″ seam allowance. If you sew it right into the seam, the zipper has a tendency to curve at the very top and it doesn’t look very good.

How to insert and sew a coat zipper // Clare Coat Sewalong // Closet Case Files

With a zipper foot, sew along the length of the zipper, backstitching on either end. Try to sew along the 5/8″ seam allowance at an even distance from the zipper teeth. I like to see 1-2mm of zipper tape.

How to insert and sew a coat zipper // Clare Coat Sewalong // Closet Case Files How to insert and sew a coat zipper // Clare Coat Sewalong // Closet Case Files

Undo the zipper and match up your front coat and side panel at the hem notch and mark on the side panel where your zipper stop needs to end in order to match up with the front. The blue pin in the picture below is marking the end of the zipper stop.

How to zew coat zipper

Pin the left side of the zipper face down on the left side of the coat. Again, make sure the top of your zipper tape is folded down like you did on the left side of the coat. Once you have the top and bottom pinned down, ease the rest of the coat seam along the zipper until it’s even. That little loose seam where your sleeve and side panel were attached should be tucked into the zipper so that when it’s sewn together you don’t see any raw edges.

How to insert and sew a coat zipper // Clare Coat Sewalong // Closet Case Files

Make sure that your collar seam stays open and flat when you’re pinning it into place. The seam allowance we snipped into along the arm opening should be laying flat.

How to insert and sew a zipper placket // Clare Coat Sewalong // Closet Case Files

Sew along the length of the zipper. That little seam I was talking about should be tucked out of the way like so:

How to insert and sew a coat zipper // Clare Coat Sewalong // Closet Case Files

Time for the zipper placket! I’ve laid it out on the coat below so you can see what direction it should be facing once it’s installed in the coat. The curved part should aim towards the left side.

How to insert and sew a zipper placket // Clare Coat Sewalong // Closet Case Files

Pin the packet into place over the zipper on the right side of the coat. It should start juusst outside the seam allowance along the collar, and match up perfectly with the hem notch towards the bottom.

How to insert and sew a zipper placket // Clare Coat Sewalong // Closet Case FilesHow to insert and sew a zipper placket // Clare Coat Sewalong // Closet Case Files

When you sew the placket to the coat, sew it with the wrong side of the coat body facing you. This way you can sew directly on top of your zipper stitching, ensuring your zipper tape is evenly visible.

Here is the placket sewn in from the wrong side:

How to insert and sew a zipper placket // Clare Coat Sewalong // Closet Case Files

And the right side:

How to insert and sew a zipper placket // Clare Coat Sewalong // Closet Case Files

Don’t worry about pressing it for now, since we still need to install the lining. I would suggest grading the  placket seam since things can get quite bulky. Leave the actual coat seam alone since it is laying against the jacket, and then trim each successive layer down about 1/4″ so it looks something like this:

How to insert and sew a zipper placket // Clare Coat Sewalong // Closet Case Files

Monday we will be sewing our facings and linings…. the end is so close I can smell it (and it smells like steamed wool).