Lining up the Zipper and Getting Ready to Enclose the Waistband Seam
At this point, you should already have the hood attached (if you are going to line it, don’t hem the outer edges). When you attach the waistband ribbing, only attach one long side and don’t topstitch yet.
Find the center of the short side of the waistband by folding it in half. The unattached long edge should go 1/2″ past the seam and match up with it’s seam allowance. Place a pin at the center mark.
Starting at the center of the waistband, pin your closed zipper on. Make a mark (green arrows) at the waist seam, the top of the pocket, and the neck seam. If your zipper is too long, also mark where you will trim it at the top. I’ve found a silver Sharpie shows up really well on dark-colored zippers. Try to keep the mark in the seam allowance so it won’t be noticeable when you’re finished. Unzip the zipper and sew the pinned side.
Even with the zipper foot, I sometimes have a hard time getting the zipper pull to go under the foot and still have my seam look nice. Rather than have a wonky seam, I set the pull in the middle of the zipper and sew until I get close. Then I backstitch, cut my thread, slide the pull up out of the way, and re-start my seam, backstitching to secure it again. I also do this when I topstitch – the pull won’t be as close to the seam, but I prefer using my walking foot, so I end up with the same problem.
When you pin the other half of the zipper onto the other side of the hoodie, all you have to do is match up the marks with the corresponding seams. Sew and close the zipper to check if everything lined up.
Of course, sometimes you’ll still end up with things slightly off, like the top of the left pocket (1). This is an easy fix though. I unpick about an inch and a half on each side of the section that is off (2). Set a pin in exactly where you want the top of the pocket to go (3), open the zipper, and resew. You may need to ease the fabric slightly, but that 1/8-1/16 of an inch won’t cause a problem. Close the zipper and check again (4). Don’t be discouraged if it isn’t lined up yet – I had to re-do this one again to get it just right! Even if it takes a couple tries, it’s worth it to get that perfect, professional alignment.
We’ll finish enclosing the waistband seam tomorrow.