Get Your Summer Chic On with Zipper Necklines

August 5, 2019By Emily ThompsonSewing, Stitches, Zippers 2 Comments Opinion by Paid Consultant

In the past year, I’ve seen a few friends wearing shirts that had zipper necklines. Of course, my first thought was… “Well, I could make that,” and I’ve been thinking about it for many months. This summer, I decided I had to try it out, and the finished result is just perfect. Today I’m going to show you how to add this fun zipper neckline to nearly any pattern.

This neckline is so fun because you can adjust it. I also like that with the metal zipper, there isn’t any accidental movement – it stays right where I put it.

Okay! Let’s make a shirt! This pattern works with {nearly} any pattern you already own. I used a tank top that was made for woven fabric. You can use a woven tank or shirt; I’ll show you how to adjust the neckline, so it works with the zipper.

Supplies:

  • Pattern for woven fabric
  • Fabric for chosen pattern
  • 12” zipper {I like one with a decorative edge}


Cut out the front and back of the pattern as directed in your instructions. Fold the front piece in half and lay the zipper along the neckline. The ends of the zipper should line up with the shoulder of the fabric.

You can see that my pattern was not a V-neck. If this is the case with your shirt as well, you will need to create a gradual sloping V-neckline. You can see in the photo below how I marked the fabric about 1” from the bottom and created my neckline from there. Leave at least 1” longer on the zipper than the neckline. Keep the ends of the zipper lined up with the shoulders.

Finish the raw edges of the neckline with a serger. Make sure to get all the way to the V of the neck. I also did some stay-stitching at the point of the V to make sure it didn’t rip or tear.

Place the teeth of the zipper about 1” from the shoulder edge, but the zipper should still be even or overlap the fabric. The zipper should be caught in the shoulder seam when we sew that later.

Pin the zipper with the right side of both zipper and fabric facing up. Make sure the teeth of the zipper extend over the edge of the fabric so they will not get caught. Pin all the way to the bottom and the zipper should extend over the fabric.

Pin the zipper all the way back up the other side of the neck. Check to make sure there is about 1” from the teeth to the shoulder so you can sew the seam.

Use your zipper foot to stitch the zipper to the neckline of the shirt. Sew down one side, across the bottom and back up the other. Be VERY CAREFUL over the metal teeth. I turned my hand crank to get over and then started sewing again.


When the zipper is attached to the neckline you can continue with the construction of the shirt.

Finish the back of the shirt neckline in the desired way before sewing the shoulder seams. The edge of the finished back neckline should line up with the zipper teeth.

Finish the rest of the shirt as pattern directs. Now you have a fun and unique neckline that has adjustable height. I hope you love your new shirt as much as I love mine.

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