Tierras Woven Joggers with Ankle Zippers Tutorial

How to Add Ankle Zipper to Your Joggers

I love my Tierras Woven Joggers. Once you got the fit tailored just right for your body and preference, you can make many pairs in no time. You can also get fancy on these; one of the ideas came from the beautiful and talented Camelia of Calcedonia Sewing—ankle-zipped joggers. I love that the zippers are adding so much zest in the joggers.

While this tutorial is done using the Tierras Woven Joggers, you could also apply it on your knit joggers/pants. As long as your zipper opening is stabilized (as described below), you wouldn’t have any problem doing it on knit pant legs.

Camelia graciously created this photos tutorial for you (with some commentary from me).

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Materials Needed:

  • 2 zippers—the length and type are completely up to you; in this case, we are using metal zippers for a nice sparkle and they are 6″ (15 cm) long
  • 4 strips lightweight woven interfacing—3/4″ x 8″ (2 x 20 cm); be sure to cut it with the grain parallel to the long side
  • 1″ (2.5 cm) wide elastic—long enough to go around your ankle (multiply by 2)

Determine the length of your joggers and press the hem up. The hem should be the width of your elastic (1″ or 2.5 cm) plus 1/2″ (1.5 cm). In this case, Camelia is using a 1 1/2″ (4 cm) hem.

First, we are applying the interfacing on both sides of the zipper area (front pant leg and back pant leg). Note that the interfacing is longer than the zipper.

Tierras Woven Joggers with Ankle Zippers Tutorial

Using your zipper as a guide, mark the length of the zipper opening on the interfacing. The top stop/zipper pull should be aligned with the hem crease while the the mark you make should be right at the bottom stop. Note that the marked length need to accommodate the entire zipper.

Tierras Woven Joggers with Ankle Zippers Tutorial

Sew a line of stitching from the bottom, 3/4″ (1.9 cm) away from and along the side raw edge, up to the marked point and pivot at a right angle to the side. Repeat for the opposite pant leg. This is the marking for the zipper opening. (I’ll refer these stitch lines as boxes.)

Tierras Woven Joggers with Ankle Zippers Tutorial

With right sides together, pin the front leg to the back leg at the side seam. Be sure that the corners of the boxes are aligned when you pin them together.

Tierras Woven Joggers with Ankle Zippers Tutorial

Pin, pin, pin…

Tierras Woven Joggers with Ankle Zippers Tutorial

Now you can stitch the side seam with a 1/2″ (1.25 cm) seam allowance. You can see that the seam allowance is slightly smaller than the width of the box. In other words, you can use any seam allowance you’d like, but make sure the side seam allowance is 1/4″ (6 mm) narrower than the box and you will be fine.

Tierras Woven Joggers with Ankle Zippers Tutorial

The stitch line should stop at the top of the box, so the box area is openable.

Tierras Woven Joggers with Ankle Zippers Tutorial

Next is clip at an angle to the corner of the box. Don’t chicken out here, you have to clip it all the way to the very corner (but not through the stitching).

Tierras Woven Joggers with Ankle Zippers Tutorial

Using the stitch line of the box as a guide, press the seam allowances back on the side as well as the top.

Here’s the view from the wrong side.

Tierras Woven Joggers with Ankle Zippers Tutorial

Here’s the view from the right side.

Tierras Woven Joggers with Ankle Zippers Tutorial

Now you can pin the zipper to the opening. The entire zipper should be in view through the box window. Be sure that the zipper pull (when closed) is at the hem.

Tierras Woven Joggers with Ankle Zippers Tutorial

Baste in place. This is the view from the right side.

Tierras Woven Joggers with Ankle Zippers Tutorial

This is the view from the wrong side.

If you are going to topstitch the side seam, this is the time to do it. You would stop the topstitching just 1/8″ (3 mm) before the zipper opening.

I like how professional the topstitching makes the pants look.

Tierras Woven Joggers with Ankle Zippers Tutorial

Now we can stitch the inseam, making the pant leg a tube. Finish the seam allowances of the seam as you normally would and press.

Tierras Woven Joggers with Ankle Zippers Tutorial

Press the hem up 3/8″ (1 cm).

Tierras Woven Joggers with Ankle Zippers Tutorial

Determine the length of the elastic you want to use, depending on how much gathering you want at the hem. I used 10 1/2″ (26.5 cm) for relaxed gather around the ankles.

Stitch the ends of the elastic on the front and back leg side seam, on the hem allowance, placing the elastic at the fold of the hem. Take care that your elastic is not twisted. To help, I marked an X  on my ends.

Tierras Woven Joggers with Ankle Zippers Tutorial

Tierras Woven Joggers with Ankle Zippers Tutorial

Wrap the pressed seam over the elastic and turn the hem up in place.

Tierras Woven Joggers with Ankle Zippers Tutorial

Tierras Woven Joggers with Ankle Zippers Tutorial

Pin the hem in place, pushing the elastic to match the fold. Because the elastic is narrower than the actual hem, so there’s a little space where you are going to sew, without catching the elastic.

Tierras Woven Joggers with Ankle Zippers Tutorial

Stitch the hem in place, from the backside, catching just the little bit of fabric without catching the elastic in the seam. You will have to pull the elastic with both hands (one in front of the presser foot and the other behind) so that the fabric is flat while you are stitching. Alternatively, you will have to pause your stitching every so often and rearrange the elastic so that the fabric lie flat in front of your needle.

Tierras Woven Joggers with Ankle Zippers Tutorial

The hem is now stitched in place.

Tierras Woven Joggers with Ankle Zippers Tutorial

Place a pin to hold the ends of the hem and from the right side, topstitch around the zipper.

Tierras Woven Joggers with Ankle Zippers Tutorial Tierras Woven Joggers with Ankle Zippers Tutorial

Remove the basting around the zipper and you are done!

Tierras Woven Joggers with Ankle Zippers Tutorial

Tierras Woven Joggers with Ankle Zippers Tutorial Tierras Woven Joggers with Ankle Zippers Tutorial

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To see more photos and the inside scoop of these joggers, go check out Calcedonia Sewing.

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