Pavlina: Life is Not For the Living

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Installing an invisible zipper part II!

August 17th, 2010 by Pavlina

A brief note before the post of the day. I was going to say that in French, but then I didn’t want to Google it, hey! It’s late and I just spent 3 hours fixing this site so give me a break already! Yes, the site is back up, whew! Let’s say I now know more about MySQL, databases, WordPress and GoDaddy hosting than I ever hoped or wanted to. I did battle and I came out victorious. I cannot help noticing however that the website looks old and tired. I assume most read it in a reader, but I am sure some of you still cruise by the site so maybe I’ll take some time to spiff it up. I still have LOTS of cleaning to do in my directories after that patch job! Enough chitter chatter, time to get on with part two of the invisible zipper tut!

You’ll recall from months ago, oh wait, it the post just before this one. Well, while the posts are separated in time, they are adjacent to each other in space! He he he. Okay, so if you look just below you’ll see that invisible zipper was simply put in the back of a dress, but what happens if you are making a skirt with a yoke, or if your dress has separate bodice and skirt sections? How on Earth does everything line up and not look crooked or wonky. Indeed.

Step 1
Gather all the supplies, your zipper, pins, a tailor’s ruler, chalk.

Step 2
Measure from the top down. Since this bodice is lined, I SHOULD HAVE measured down so the zipper stop will be right at the bodice/lining seamline. This is for my daughter and I don’t want to fuss with a hook and eye.

Step 3
Now, pin the left side of the zipper to the right-right side of the panel. Making sure the zipper teeth are facing into the garment, the zipper tape should be ~2/8″ from the finished edge, the zipper teeth should be on your seamline, in this case 5/8″. I don’t measure this since my serged finish is 2/8″ wide. :)

Step 4
Now sew it in, using the appropriate zipper foot. I can’t say it enough. I use YKK zippers, so I use a YKK zipper foot. The opening in the foot fits the zipper coils perfectly, leading to a fusion of form and function that is truly beautiful. Note also how I place the pins so I can easily remove whilst sewing. ;)

Step 5
Now, this next part is key. You see how when you zip the zipper, the zipper tape is against the panel (well, DUH!), take the chalk and mark this! Just draw a line on the zipper tape where the seam/join is on the panel.

Step 6
Now, unzip the zipper (you can re-iron the zipper tape if you want, but I never bother) and starting from the chalked line, go ahead and pin in the zipper.

Step 7
There it is, all pinned in. Don’t be scared to use a lot of pins!

Step 8
Go ahead and zip it up again (see why I never bother re-ironing the zipper?), and check that the tops are even…
Step 8.5
and check the join meets up evenly. You see here I won the Lotto and everything looked good, but if the top and/or the join is off you’ll need to shift and re-pin. This is very important and I would rather move pins that rip out zippers!

Step 9
Sew in the other side of the zipper. then I always zip it up just to make sure nothing shifted. Lots of pins helps with that.

Step 10
Press and recheck. Ask yourself, why didn’t I make sure the zipper stop was closer to the top? *sigh*

Step 11
Nice job, eh? The top is even, the join lines up perfectly.

Then go ahead and finish the rest of the seam using the tip from the previous post. Can you see the end of the zipper?

This is the end of the zipper
There it is! Dang….I’m good!

That’s it for now. At some point I’ll take a picture of all the ribbons I been winning and the costumes that go with them.

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  • 1 Billie Mar 11, 2014 at 3:18 pm

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