Side Seam Zippers Puckering at Bottom



Except the kind of pucker I am dealing with is not so pleasing. 

 My side seam zippers are puckering at the bottom. 


Unless I tell every pattern with side seam zips to kiss off, I will have to confront this problem.

But I have sewing amnesia. 

I don’t remember being bothered by unsuccessful side seam zips in the past, but come to think of it, they are a distant memory.  I have avoided the side seam zipper for years.  Not intentionally.  I have grown so disgusted with pants patterns that I have not needed a side seam zipper since I haven’t gotten beyond a muslin in pants fitting.  On skirts I like to use a back zip because my waistline fluctuates and it easy to nip in at the sides without dealing with the side zipper.

Times have changed.  I have a pants pattern that I like and I need to make a side seam zip in a closely fitting garment.   

But I am perplexed as to why they are puckering at the bottom.


Yes – I have interfaced. 

Pattern Alterations

I do have a standard side seam pattern alteration.  My hips are much straighter than most patterns so I eliminate much of the curve.  I thought that would make zipper insertion easier.  It hasn’t.  


Is there a trick to side seam zippers? 

Has anyone else confronted and solved the pucker problem?

Next Post: Thursday, July 1, 2010; McCalls 5695 Girls Smock: Pattern Review


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Louise in NYC
    Jun 30, 2010 @ 08:10:50

    To avoid puckering…

    Stitch side seam to bottom zipper marking. Cut thread. Then baste the seam where zipper is supposed to go, leaving thread tails for easier removal of basting. Iron seam open, pressing so that it appears to be one continuous seam.

    Pin (or tape) zipper in place. Baste, then stitch around zipper. Remove all basting.

    This is usually a pucker free method.


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