As I was teaching the “Sewing Machine Basics” classes yesterday, it occurred to me that I have never addressed how to put the zipper foot on the machine. I guess because I have inserted so many zippers over my life, it never occurred to me that someone had never inserted one. Talk about being in my own little world! Zipper insertion isn’t taught in our Basics classes because all it entails is a straight stitch, which I do cover, so putting the foot on has been something I assumed was obvious: but maybe not. Almost every machine, no matter the price, comes with a zipper foot. There are also optional zipper feet for specific purposes, but they all pretty much work under the same principal. They all give you access to the zipper to allow you to sew as close to the zipper teeth as you want. A basic zipper foot comes with the other accessories of your machine.
The zipper foot has the ability to attach either from the left or the right of the ankle to allow you to sew first up one side and then up the other side of the zipper without turning the project. Since you almost always install a zipper from the bottom to the top, this ability to shift the foot is very handy.
Specialty zipper feet come in two varieties: one for putting in a zipper when there is not much room around it (the narrow zipper foot) and one for inserting an “Invisible” zipper. This foot, either in metal or clear plastic, allows the coils to unroll as it is stitched giving that invisible quality to the finished insertion.
I hope these pictures have helped if you are one of those people who have had very little zipper insertion experience!