Tuesday, January 29, 2013

My Hand-Puckered Zipper

Well I'm apparently not a natural at hand-picking a zipper, as evidenced by the puckers on the left side. I've taken that out and I think I honestly have to put the dress on the form to sew this correctly. Maybe Katrina from SusieHomemakerMD has a tutorial to recommend?
And in case I do this again, here are pictures of my zipper and lining for my Mad Cow-riddled brain. I just turned the lining under and held it against the zipper, then pinned that, as you can see by the turned in segment near the top.
Then I turned the dress inside out via this hole here, and located my pin. Seriously, people, I tried this for 30 minutes without the pin and constantly got lost in the lining, etc.
I stitched the lining to the zipper tape, then turned it right-side out again. Again, I got lost and nearly sewed the same seam twice, then I found my other pin, then I couldn't find the right opening to get the dress and lining right-side out. Sheesh!
And just a final picture of my handstitched bodice lining finally done. We'll ignore the terrible armscye part (there was no way those 2 pieces of fabric were going to match, so I just added tucks ad lib and did some creative ironing) and revel in the beautiful blue slippery-ness of it - whee!
Next up, another attempt at hand-picking and hemming. OH! That reminded me - I don't trust their hemming instructions dealing with the slit, because the shoulder seam instructions said to put right sides together, stitch the neckline of the lining to the fashion fabric, as well as the lower armscye curve, open out the shoulder seam lining and fashion fabric, sew one continuous seam, then fold the lining down. Turn right-side out and press. Okay, that was confusing, but when you do that, you've created a Moebius strip and there's no way to turn it inside out through the shoulder. You have to turn it right-side out FIRST, THEN put the shoulder seams together and sew, etc., etc. I realize I've said that badly - I'll try to include a picture at some point. Again, this pattern has several issues!


gwensews said...

I don't see interfacing in the zipper area. Zips require interfacing on each side of the tape, fused to the fabric. Cut a 1" wide strip of fusible interfacing, fuse it to the area of the zipper before setting in the zip. Makes a huge difference.

Pam said...

Yes, and I used Susan Khalje's hand picking techniques in her Couture Sewing book. But luckily (for us!) she has a tutorial for free on the Threads website...great article I always reference it. (BTW, your dress is looking good!)


Anonymous said...

I agree with Gwen and Pam. I use interfacing in the zipper opening and I also referenced the Threads article to learn how to handpick a zipper. What kind of zipper are you doing? Center back? Lapped? Side? Invisible?

That dress is looking awesome!

Sister said...

Do you know that I went back and looked at the dresses and tops I've made (all kinds of patterns from Burda to Butterick), and NONE of them have interfacing at the zipper! I don't think I've ever seen that in the pattern instructions except for pants. Obviously I should've thought of that with this fabric, but I forgot even to stabilize the neckline!

The other problem is that it's suppsed to be a centered zipper under the left arm, but I have an invisible one, and I'm kind of doing it that way, thus my big pucker at the bottom. I found that article on Threads last night - thanks Pam!

I sense a lot of ripping in my future....

gwensews said...

Pattern instructions don't tell you the important details that make a garment work. Instructions are minimal, at best. Zippers are heavier than fabric. The fabric needs a stabilizer to support the weight of the zip.