Examples of where to insert zips in the non-stretch skirt pattern

Sewing instructions for women’s non stretch skirt:

Examples of where to put in zips

The non-stretch skirt is a little more difficult to make because you will need to use a zip. Because non-stretch fabrics (like cottons, some denims etc.) have no stretch it would be impossible to get into skirts made from them without a zip.

The pattern to the non-stretch skirt does not include a zip therefore you have to start by deciding where you want to insert this. Depending on where you place the zip you can alter the functions of the skirt, making it easier for you to dress and undress or transfer.

Below we show some alternative places for zips. We have chosen not to show a zip inserted at the back of the skirt, believing most wheelchair users prefer zips in side seams or inserted in the front.


It is easier to insert a zip at one of the seams already included in the pattern. This is also where you usually find them in skirts on the market.
Single short zip in side seam
Even if you chose to insert a zip in one of the side seams you can still make it more functional/practical by choosing to insert a slightly longer zip than usual (making it easier to get in and out of the skirt).
Double short zips in side seams
Another way to make things easier is to insert zips at both side seams. This will enable you to almost peel the skirt off your body.
Long zip in side seamFor the ultimate practicality insert a double-ended zip along the whole length of the side seam. This way you can open the skirt and just move away from it.

Skirt fully open


These solutions are all easy in the way that they do not require you to adapt the pattern. However, you might want to try inserting a zip (or two) in the front part of the pattern. Zips inserted here are easier to reach and also easier to zip and un-zip because you don’t have to pull them up over the hip and they are not inserted in a curved seam.

Click here for instructions on how to adapt the pattern to insert zips in front piece
(or click first link in sewing descriptions).

Doubled ended long zip in front
Our favourite is the double-ended zip inserted from waist to hem in line with one of the tucks (left or right). Having a full-length zip enables you to move out of and into the skirt without having to pull it up over knees, thighs and hips.

Unzipped skirt
The double-ended zip also makes it possible to have more width around the knee and thigh areas. This can be very useful when transferring between wheelchair and bed or other places. This skirt is tapered to fit better. It also functions as a design detail showing some leg.

If you don’t need the extra width (or don’t like to show some leg), or if you simply don’t want a zip all the way up the skirt there is always the option to insert a shorter zip at the top (and bottom).
Single short zip in front2 short zips in front
For those wanting a possibility to fold down a larger part of the front piece a solution with two zips inserted in line with the tucks can be an alternative.

Double short zips in front

One Response to Examples of where to insert zips in the non-stretch skirt pattern

  1. Chris says:

    I’m looking for some kind of pattern for a long wrap skirt. It would be easily put on with hoyer lift lifting her, setting on flat skirt, wrapping then lifting with lift and placing in wheel chair..does this make sense?.. ideas?

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