Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Almost Invisible Zipper

Boy, did I have a time with this zipper! Emily's comment about having to make things twice to get it right is so true. Since I drafted my own A-line skirt pattern using the Sew What! Skirts book there were a few learning experiences. One experience of course is this zipper. Thank goodness the vintage zipper I used is a perfect color match to the base color of the skirt. I tried to sew that zipper in twice with disastrous results. In the end I just hand basted the zipper in, used a hidden stitch to lay the seam flush with zipper and used a regular zipper foot to secure everything together. It looks neat so I guess that's all I can ask for!However, there was a slip of the seam ripper (on the second zipper removal session) that lead to a tear in the garment itself. I know heart attack right! So my new skirt already has a patch.
And to make matters a little worse the patch was on the front of the skirt. But I switched things around and now my zipper located on the right side of my body instead of the traditional left side. If I can't see it, it doesn't exist!

And I also learned all about darts. I just made a two dimensional object 3-dimensional! I did have to pull out some old sewing books to figure out how long the darts should be. Never found a straight answer about that but I did discover all darts (on bottom garments) should be pressed to the center of the garment. I suppose I never really noticed that before. There were more tips detailing the seamstress to shorten your stitches as you sew towards the point of the dart and to box knot the thread ends and leave a 1'' tail of thread so the dart point will be crisp and defined and the thread won't unravel with years of use.

All that's left is to add some pin tuck detailing at the bottom of the skirt and hem it up!


  1. the zipper looks great! i can't wait to see the finished skirt!

  2. wow! You are very patient!! I am excited to see the pin tucks at the bottom. That's a detail I absolutely love, but have not been brave enough to try yet.

    Good luck!

  3. Nice work! I can't wait to see the pin tucks, what a great idea.

  4. great job! garment sewing is fun! and darts can be really any length - it depends where the garment sits and your shape. Some skirts don't have them if they're low slung, or you can just draft them out of the pattern altogether. most of the time they're about 3 1/2" long in the front, and can be as long as 5" in the back. i might do a mini tutorial on zippers sometime too-i've had more than my fair share of zipper issues! in school the day before a dress was due i was just touching things up, and oops pulled the zipper pull completely off the bottom of the zipper!

  5. you did a great job with that zipper, and that is no easy feat! :) way to go. :) can't wait to see an action shot of the skirt. :)

    Reclaiming The Home

  6. The zipper looks great and like you say if you can't see the flaw it doesn't exist

  7. Oh, how pretty it looks! Well done! Sorry about the hole, but your patch job is so wonderfully done that I think you have rather added some interesting small detail to the skirt now!

  8. Very cute--great job on the zip (I have a hard time getting those in smooth too) Even your little patch looks cute!
    Smiles, Karen


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