Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Sew along, day 18: inserting the zipper

Today's the big day! You're going to put a zipper into your new dress!

I prepared a little intro video to putting in the zipper. I didn't even watch it all the way through because it's too painful to watch myself talk to the camera, so hopefully it's not too horrible. After that, I have some pictures of how I put in my zipper. It's still not a fully cohesive tutorial, so you should follow another one that goes into more detail on each step.

I would recommend following this invisible zipper tutorial from It's pretty good! Burda Style has a tutorial, too, that is recommended in the pattern instructions, but it's not as terrific. I do break one rule that a lot of tutorials recommend: I zip the zipper back up after ironing to make sure it's in place properly. I've put too many zippers in backwards to sacrifice this step. Maybe someday when I have spatial relations skills....
After ironing the zipper teeth flat, put the zipper in place 
You can see here that I've folded the side of the dress closest
to the bottom of your screen over as if it were sewn with a 5/8"
seam, then I lined up the zipper so it will face outward
This is kinda important, so I'm writing it on its own and not as a picture caption. The top of the zipper should go to the top of the bodice fabric. You left open 5/8" to work with when you sewed the bodice to the bodice lining. This is why! You'll finish that seam after the zipper is in place.
Once everything is lined up properly, it's time to sew!
I don't have one of those fancy plastic invisible zipper
feet,  but I do have a regular zipper foot. I just try to sew
as close to the teeth as possible. Sew down into the skirt

as far as you'll need to open the zipper to comfortably
get the dress on. We'll trim off the excess tomorrow.
Once one side is finished, close the zipper (I know, you're
ruining your perfect pressing--you can iron again after this
if you want to) and pin it in the correct orientation to zip
properly. Make sure the seam between the bodice and skirt
lines up properly. Then unzip, adjust your pins for sewing, and
sew the other side of your zipper.
Once the zipper is sewn in, and you've tested it out to make
sure it's in correctly, finish the seam at the top of the armhole--
the one you left open 5/8" from the edge when you connected the
bodice to the bodice lining.
View from the other side
Trim off any bulky zipper excess past that seam once it's in place,
then press the seam like you did when you attached the bodice to
the bodice lining.

Ok, that's it for today. There is some hand sewing to do in order to finish the zipper at the bottom, but we'll leave that for tomorrow.

1 comment :

  1. I almost forgot! You only need to sew the zipper down to where it will make it comfortable to put on the dress. We'll cut off the excess tomorrow. If you have a 22" zipper, you'll cut off at least 4", if not more.