How to Add a Side Zipper to Any Garment

Check it out! This is my awesome new sewing shirt, with an added side zipper (a new tutorial!) to make it fancy. Plus, it’s this sewing nerd’s most fun thing to do to wear my hobby. #youknowit

zipper, tutorial, union st tee

Today’s tutorial will show you how to add a side zipper to a garment with a side seam. (Yes – the bottom of pants too!) I used my trusty Union St tee pattern as a base for the embroidery and zipper. This will be my 5th I think!

zipper, tutorial, union st tee

zipper, tutorial, union st tee

zipper, tutorial, union st tee

zipper, tutorial, union st tee

This post is sponsored by Janome Canada. I am a Janome Artisan and have been loaned a Janome Skyline S9 sewing and embroidery combination machine as part of this program.

zipper, tutorial, union st tee

To sew the zipper, I used the Janome twin Dual Feed holder with the AD twin foot. My zipper was flat enough to topstitch it without using a zipper foot! This foot hooks into the AcuFeed system in the Skyline S9 to feed the top and bottom fabric layers through your machine at the same rate – creating amazingly flat and accurate seams, especially when sewing knits and quilting.

Embroidering on the Skyline S9 is an amazing bonus! I’ve wanted to put this saying on something for a long time and I was thrilled to be able to design and execute my very own embroidered sewing shirt. Guess how many other things I want to embroider this on now? #lol #embroiderallthethings #andsewonandsewforth

You might like these previous posts! 12 Tips and Tricks for Sewing with knits, Machine Embroidering, and more projects on the Janome Skyline S9.

Thanks for reading Thread Riding Hood. Don’t miss a post – come #alongforthreadride!


zipper, tutorial

How to Add a Side Zipper to any Seam!


You will need:

  • Pattern and supplies for a knit garment with a side seam
  • Ballpoint needle (for sewing knits)
  • Zipper (in your desired length)
  • Fusible Interfacing scraps
  • Removable Marking Pen
  • Sewing Machine and Supplies
  • Optional: Serger

Prepare the garment

  1. Sew your garment, according to the instructions, until you reach the step requiring you to stitch the seam where you’d like to add your zipper.
  2.  Mark where the garment’s hem will finish on the seam you’d like your zipper. My hem is 1″ deep.zipper, tutorial
  3. Place the bottom zipper teeth at the hem mark. With the slider open and away from the hem, mark just above the zipper stop.zipper, tutorial
  4. Measure from the bottom of the fabric to the top mark and add 1″. Cut 2 pieces of interfacing 1″ wide by your measured length.zipper, tutorial
  5. Fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric on each marked edge.zipper, tutorial

Stitch the Seam

  1. Stitch the seam as per your instructions, stopping at the top mark. Press sewn seam allowances open or towards the back. NOTE: If serging, stop 2″ above the mark and stitch to the mark with a sewing machine. This allows the zipper area seam allowances to be pressed open.
  2. Draw a line on the back of your zipper just under the zipper stop. Also, mark two lines on either side about 1/4″ from the center of the zipper teeth. Place the zipper right sides together with the sewn seam (over the unsewn area) with the zipper slider away from the hem and the zipper stop along the previous zipper stop marking (shown here in blue). It is very important that the zipper teeth are well centered along the side seam!zipper, tutorial
  3. Sew along the marked line on the zipper from one 1/4″ marking to the area. Don’t worry that the zipper seems oddly placed, this will all work out!zipper, tutorial
  4. Turn the garment wrong side up and open the seam allowances. Mark two 45 degree lines from the center opening to the edges of the line you just sewed. Cut along these marks being careful not to cut through or past the stitches.zipper, tutorial

Finish the Zipper

  1. Press each interfaced seam back 1/2″. Fuse or glue them down if desired.zipper, tutorial
  2. Fold the excess zipper tape on each side of the bottom of the zipper to the wrong side at a 45-degree angle (left in photo), and then fold it up and out of the way (right in photo). Baste each side in place.zipper, tutorial
  3. Lay the shirt right side up on a flat surface. Pull the zipper down from the wrong side of the shirt until the zipper slider near the shirt hem. Align each folded side seam evenly on top of the zipper tape. Glue or pin in place.zipper, tutorial
  4. Topstitch around the zipper about 1/8″ away from the folded edges. Start at the bottom of one side seam and stitch around to the other side seam, pivoting at each corner.zipper, tutorial

Finish the garment

  1. Finish the shirt as per the instructions. When hemming, make sure the hemline and stitching match on both sides of the zipper for a professional finish.zipper, tutorial


Congratulations, you’ve sewn a Side Zipper!


Sewing Machine: Janome Skyline S9 (on loan from Janome Canada as part of their Artisan program)

Knit Fabric: Heather Grey – 10 oz Cotton/Spandex Jersey Knit from Fabric Snob

Tamara Kate: Frolic Fabric Collection

This past Monday was a lovely warm Canadian holiday, perfect for a trip to the park. The girls and I explored a new area nearby and had a great time taking photos of Frolic – Tamara Kate’s brand new collection for Michael Miller Fabrics. (Best fabric line name ever! Love it!)

Michael Miller Fabrics provided these knit Tamara Kate “Frolic” prints for me to play with. My opinions are always my own. Thank you for reading!

I am fortunate to know Tamara personally. (She’s Canadian too!) I’ve enjoyed meeting and working with her several times. Her fabric collections are filled with bright gorgeous designs, on-trend animals and pretty water-coloury florals. She’s a fantastic quilter and lovely and fun to hang out with in real life too!

Michael Miller Fabrics produced 8 knits along with the quilting cottons for this new collection. (Apparel fabrics, woot-woot!)  Great for easy summer sewing, and a first for Tamara’s designs. My favorite kids’ handkerchief-hem Banyan tunic always turns out great. It’s comfortable and looks stylish too. The girls chose the “Frolicking” print in Berry and Royal Blue knits.

By way of a recommendation, if you ever get the chance to work with Michael Miller knits – they are my favorite! I found them when I started sewing knits a few years ago and can’t say enough good. The stretch and recovery are fantastic, they are simple to sew (without many of the usual issues you can get with knits) and they wear really well.

I was curious and did a test to see if they shrink during pre-wash and dry. My 4″ test square was only about 1/8″ shorter afterward. And I love that there wasn’t a need to press the fabric before cutting out my pattern pieces. These shirts are truly wash-and-wear.

The Tamara Kate Frolic collection will be shipping to stores on June 15th, 2017. Ask for it at your local shop! To find more Frolic inspiration visit Tamara Kate to find all of the Frolic Fabric Tour posts as they are released.

I’ve got another Frolic project to share with you soon. If you’d like, follow along to get sneak peeks on Instagram.

What is your favorite knit sewing pattern?

P.S. I love finding great scrappy knit projects and the girls’ headbands were easy to make with my offcuts. I used this knot headband tutorial from girl.inspired. They literally took about 10 minutes each with my serger!

P.P.S. Did you see the cute sizing tags? I made them with my on-loan Janome Skyline S9 – the little clothesline is perfect!

Thanks for visiting, see you again soon! ~ Sherri

Re-purpose ruined leggings, sew them into bike shorts! {tutorial}

My daughters love their leggings, into the ground – literally! They get run into the asphalt school yard, sidewalk, brick walls – you name it! Take a couple of active kids, add in some biking and school-related spills and you end up with a pile of leggings with holes in the knees.

Every year I collect the fall/winter leggings and instead of giving up on them, turn them into bike shorts. The girls wear them all spring/summer under their dresses and tees. It’s a great way to re-purpose and reuse their clothes. Chances are they will still fit and it’s not as hard as it sounds!

If you’ve sewn with knits before, you are good to go. If you’d like some tips or a refresher – you can check out 12 Tips & Tricks for Sewing Knits – lots of easy steps to get you started, and some advanced ideas as well.

It’s almost fall here and our shorts-wearing days are fast becoming few and far between. If you happen to live where the seasons are getting colder, save yourself some work for next summer and mend this year’s leggings before they are packed away – they’ll be ready to wear when you unpack them in the spring! #organized #momoftheyear

How to Mend Leggings with Holes in the Knees

Tip: This will work with track pants too!

Use this tutorial to fix your child’s (or your own!) leggings, by turning them into bike shorts. If you want, use the bonus tutorial to add in a little extra detail with some ruching and buttons.

You will need:

  • Ruined leggings (with a tear or hole at or below the knee)
  • Matching thread
  • Ballpoint/jersey or twin needle
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Sewing machine and your go-to sewing supplies
  • Optional: Eight inches of ¼” elastic and six buttons



Happy mending!

Vernazza Color-Block Top {pattern review}

Inspiration from a 80’s rock band anyone?! This top is a first “wearable” muslin of the Vernazza Color-Block Top. It’s not perfect, but I like the front panel and colour-blocking so I decided to take photos anyhow! This pattern is from the book: Just for You, that I recieved as part of my Sewlebrity Sewalong post in January. I have finally gotten around to making another project from it, and finished just in time to be part of May’s Sewalong.

Since it was Made be Me May last month, I was looking for another top to sew for myself so I could round out the photos I was taking. It so happened that I read a post on Sew Can She’s blog and remembered that I could make this top. I had also just picked up a knit panel at the fabric store and was trying to find somewhere to use it.

Thoughts on the pattern:

  • It’s well laid out and written.
  • The photo instructions are very clear.
  • Includes tips to make your top look less handmade. (Which I failed to do because my knit hemming/top stitching skills need lots of practice!)

Here are a few things I love about it:

  • It’s really well thought out and explained pattern.
  • Comes in sizes XS-XL.
  • Uses proper techniques to finish seams etc.
  • The style of the top is different, I don’t know of many other top patterns that have side panels.

Thoughts on the fit:

  • LOVE that it fits pretty well. Especially on the front. The back is a bit large, but that could be because I altered the pattern quite a bit (see below).
  • I find that I generally should have made one size down from whatever I think I need on most patterns. Not sure if I am bad at measuring myself or if I tend to like a more fitted finished product.

Things I changed from the original pattern:

  • I removed the color blocking from the back to save a bit of time when sewing it. This probably altered the fit quite a bit since I had to curve the pieces a bit to fit them together properly.

Things I might change next time:

  • Use a more structured knit. This one was so thin it was hard to hem – as seen in the photos!
  • Use hem bands to omit the hemming all together and see how it looks.
  • If the hem bands don’t work I’m going to make the sleeves a bit smaller around.
  • Try one or two sizes down, or make alterations – this was a first muslin after all!

Reader Feedback: Do you have a favorite sewing book? What project from it do you like the most?

P.S. Hmmm… I wonder what we are doing on our vacation today?! Come over and find out! 

Thanks for reading! Follow along to get more great tutorials and posts:


Finlayson Sweater {pattern review}

I’m excited to be sewing SO MUCH these past few weeks. I can’t wait to show you all of the projects I’m working on towards Creativ Festival – but today, I get to show off the Finlayson Sweater from Thread Theory. Yesterday we went out into the finally-Spring weather and I got a few outdoor photo-shoots taken as well. It’s very nice to mix work and play on a sunny afternoon!

I’m so happy to have a go-to pattern for my husband. In fact, I have made two somethings – two of these sweaters! This is the first one, the other was in the wash, or we would have photographed it as well. Good sign, it being in the wash, since both of these have been worn at least once a week since I made them early this year. Hooray! I would definitely make more, and I don’t think my husband would protest. He really likes them both!

Here are a few things I love about it:

  • My husband loves to wear them! It’s comfortable and still looks nice.
  • The hems are all banded – easier than hemming.
  • It’s fast! Especially with a serger (though you don’t need one).
  • I love that it’s made from knits – the fit is simpler.
  • Lots of variations – shawl collar, decorative neck facing, overlapped lined hood, kangaroo pocket.

Thoughts on the pattern:

  • The instructions are well written.
  • The steps are drawn – not photographed. And well illustrated.
  • It includes Body measurements and Finished Garment measurements. Super helpful when choosing a size.
  • Includes tips for more professional finish, like using clear elastic on the shoulders.

Thoughts on the fit:

  • The pattern includes a good range of sizes, XS-XXL.
  • Based on the measurements, I made a large graded out to an XL at the waist for comfort.
  • I also shortened the length of the sleeves according to the measurements and it worked out great.
  • The finished size and fit was consistent with the measurements given.

Things I might change next time:

  • In my second sweater, I made the bottom of the arms a bit thinner. We liked how it turned out, but the knit was not as stretchy as this version so it’s a bit tight on the lower arms.
  • I’d like to try the shawl collar, but I haven’t found the right fabric yet. Plus it’s finally becoming spring – so maybe we’ll see more of them in the fall.
A note to Thread Theory… Please Morgan, could you design an awesome current-style dress shirt? I’d love to make one!

Reader Feedback: Do you have a favorite Men’s go-to pattern? 

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post, and I did not receive this pattern or any compensation it, it’s just really great and I wanted to let you know.

Easter Bunny Dolman Tee

I hope you enjoyed your long Easter weekend! We had a lots of good cousin and family time. Today we are relaxing before heading into another short week.

I started this as a tutorial, but along the way my careful embroidery got derailed by some water, causing fangs and crazy eyelashes… not so good for a white shirt. Of course, a shirt with a mind of it’s own has to be dealt with harshly, so it sat by itself in the corner of my sewing room for the better part of a week! The day before it was needed I gave up and covered the mess with a circle. Thankfully, my youngest still likes it!

The main idea for this shirt was to make a dolman tee with lengthened arms. Similar to the one I made myself, so I could post the sleeve tutorial I’ve promised – or so I thought. I guess I’ll have to make another shirt for myself instead, I’m not complaining about that. *insert cheering here!*

Oh, and did you sort out the arms yet? They’re the bunny ears! It’s a bit of a stretch, but it works in theory – and it’s good enough for my almost-5 year old. Though she did very dramatically proclaim after school that her arms got tired from being held up for “sooooo long”. She’s got a lot of visible personality, this little one!

As far as fabrics, I am happy to have de-stashed my way through this one. Some natural coloured sweatshirt fleece for the body, and cream terry for the sleeves, collar and bunny face. They both have a slight stretch and it fits perfectly! The pattern is the Skipper Top – the kids’ version of the Seafarer dolman tee from Sew Much Ado. I LOVE her patterns. They are so simple to make, and very clear. I’d really recommend them. I’ve reviewed the Skipper top for the pattern tour as well, and wrote up a tutorial on gathered shoulders as well.

I’d better go, we’ve got plans to head over to the grocery store for some sale Easter candy. I’m hoping to throw in a little trip to the fabric store as well – supplies for the many projects I’m working on for Creativ Festival. (Maybe a little bit of bribery for them on their day off!)

Reader Feedback: Did you sew anything for Easter?