How to Sew a Curved Zipper in a Vinyl Window

Item # X-HT-300531

Your boat's enclosure can get hot and stuffy. Installing a roll-up window in your vinyl window material is a great way to bring cooling airflow and much-needed air circulation into your enclosure. In our how-to video, we'll show you how to install and sew a curved zipper into window vinyl. Don't be intimidated by this project. We'll walk you step by step through the entire process and explain everything in detail. Let's get started!

Learn how to sew a curved zipper in a vinyl window.

One of the most important things to decide when patterning your curved zipper is how to draw your curved corners. We have a great tip for tracing a nice-looking and even curve. We use the bottom of a 5-gallon bucket to trace the bottom curves of our window. This is the tightest arc we recommend for curved zippers in a window. The more gradual the arc of your curve is the easier it will be to install and sew the zipper.

We're using two different widths of Seamstick Basting Tape for this project. The 1/4-inch-width Basting Tape for Canvas & Upholstery is ideal for basting the zipper tape to the vinyl window. The wider 3/4-inch tape works great for the 3/4-inch bias cut binding. Bias binding can be stretched and pulled so that it takes a curve, which is why it's the only type of binding you can use for sewing a curved zipper in a window.

When sewing window material, it's very important to check your tension since the needle will leave permanent holes in your window. We check our tension with some scrap window material and binding and show you how to make sure your tension is right. You'll also learn a neat trick for shrinking one side of your zipper so it takes a curve more easily when you sew it to the vinyl.

Video Chapters:

  • Marking Clear Vinyl Window Material — 0:39​ min.
  • Basting Bias Binding — 2:40​ min.
  • Testing Thread Tension — 6:41​ min.
  • Sewing Inside Edges of Binding — 9:01​ min.
  • Marking & Pre-Shrinking Zipper — 13:15​ min.
  • Basting & Sewing First Half of Zipper — 15:37​ min.
  • Basting & Sewing Second Half of Zipper — 20:31​ min.
  • Slitting Clear Vinyl — 26:55​ min.
  • How to Remove Seamstick Residue — 28:52​ min.
  • Materials & Tools List — 30:21​ min.

Materials List:

  • Clear Vinyl Window Material from Sailrite (we used Strataglass™ 30 Gauge) #791
  • Seamstick 1/4" Basting Tape for Canvas & Upholstery (36 yds.) #122065
  • Seamstick 3/8" Basting Tape for Canvas (36 yds.) #122064​
  • Bias Binding Tape 3/4" from Sailrite (we used Sunbrella® Acrylic Bias Binding Tape Black) #29138
  • V-92 Polyester or Lifetime Thread from Sailrite
  • YKK® Continuous Zipper Chain #10 Black (Coil Chain) #102215
  • YKK® Zipper Slider #10 Black Metal Single Non‑Locking Pull (Coil Chain) #102216

Tools List:

  • Clear Acrylic Ruler 6" x 24" #102400
  • Scribe‑All® Black Marking Pencil for Vinyl #121977
  • Gingher® 8" Scissors Right Handed #19104
  • Sailrite® Ultrafeed® LSZ‑1 PLUS Walking Foot Sewing Machine #300602
  • Sailrite® Ultrafeed® Collapsible Sewing Table #104821
  • Chalk Pencil Cartridge Set #121669
  • Scratch Awl Yellow #2354
  • Seam Ripper Deluxe #18104
  • 3M™ Specialty Adhesive Remover 32 oz. (Quart) #108984​

Thanks for watching! We hope this video taught you some new tricks for sewing a curved zipper in a marine window enclosure. What did you think of this DIY? Share your thoughts in the comments below!