Saturday, November 18, 2006

Invisible Zippers

I am a big fan of invisible zippers in my sewing. Truth be told, I have never installed a regular zipper--I went from complete zipper ignorance to the three dollar plastic invisible zipper foot I am using now.

My biggest zipper challenge is always to install it evenly from the top so that my left and right waist seams match perfectly. I have tried basting, with only moderate success. My hand stitches are not enough like the tight machine stitching to ensure that the two sides of the zipper are going to end up that same distance down from the top of the dress, like they promised during basting.

Here's what I hit upon in the last dress I made (see Clara playing her cello in the coral corduroy, above): I sew the zipper in on one side. Then, counter to all the instructions I have read which order me under pain of death to not zip the zipper up until both sides have been sewn in, I zip it up and use a pencil to *mark where the waist seam should hit*. Then all I have to do is move heaven and earth to make sure that little pencil mark lands on the waist seam. Easy as pie! Or easier than it used to be.

Now that I have this nailed I'm going to miss all the ribbons-stitched-around-the-waist styles I have made in the past to cover up my mismatched waist seams.


Rhonda said...

Thanks for the tip! I've never been very good with zippers. I'll give that a try.

Since you mention your daughter plays the cello, I'm hoping you can help me. My daughter also plays the cello and I need to make her a black skirt for their first concert. Can you recommend a particular pattern?

Heather said...

I must be a zipper rebel too - I've always zipped it back up for the second side, since I have had a hard time lining everything up otherwise! Sashes and ribbons are still an option - now to accent and not just to cover up! After all, every little girl, and mommy too, needs the beauty of a lovely accessory (or two!)

MrsSM said...

Anna, have you ever had a problem with inivisible zippers holding up? I've broken a tab or two and they don't always seem as sturdy as the other kind, yet I do still use them because I like the look better. I did a dress with a side zip for my daughter and used a regular zipper for her ease of use. I did purchase another invisible zipper to do another dress for her, and see what the difference was.

Cindi said...

Great idea. I will have to try that.

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