Two-for-one sale on zipper insertions

Polka dot skirt in progress

The result of today's progress.

Today I got through a big chunk of the Simplicity 3688 1940s skirt. Now that I am using the pressing techniques of the Pressinatrix, it seems more sensible to finish my seams allowances before I sew the seams.

So, before sewing a stitch, I overcast all the vertical seam allowances of my skirt. Since it has six gores, that was 12 vertical edges, not even including the lining. This simple skirt is really going through the thread. Then I joined the three front panels, the three back panels and the right side seam. Lots of pressing in that scenario.

The left side seam is where the zipper goes. I hadn’t done an invisible zipper in forever, and I was never terribly proficient at them anyway, so I was excited and jumped right in. I was all pleased with myself when I held it up to my waist and looked in the mirror. It looked fantastic, but why did it seem short?

Oh no — the contour waistband!

I had changed the pattern to a contour waistband, and the zipper was supposed to go all the way to the top of the waistband. Time to get out the trusty tool that has helped me with pretty much every sewing project I have ever done — the seam ripper.

Fortunately, I had reinforced the zipper area with fusible interfacing. The seam came apart, the zipper came out, I put together the waistband and sewed it on.

Then I inserted the zipper again. Here is the result of zipper insertion No. 2:

Invisible zipper insertion

I followed the instructions inside the zipper package and left room at the top for a hook and eye.

As you can see, the zipper is not quite so “invisible.” I used my machine’s invisible zipper foot, and the first few stitches were a tad too close to the coils and caught them. (I had tried to iron the zipper flat like the instructions say, but it seemed quite impossible, so I gave up.) My needle position can be changed, so I moved it over two smidges (not sure what the needle positions are measured in). The needle still went through the small hole in the presser foot, but I guess it was a little too wide of the coils. I am still happy with how it turned out, though. Then I finished the seam, and it was time to do the lining.

But how is the lining going to attach? This is a good question. With a regular waistband, you sew the fashion fabric, insert the zipper, sew the lining, attach it at the top, then add the waistband.

But when the waistband is attached before the zipper is done … well, I’m at a bit of a loss. So, the plan is to attach the lining to the waistband facing. Then I’ll attach the fashion layer to the lining layer with the method shown in this tutorial on the Coletterie blog. Somehow, I will anchor the two layers together at the seam joining the waistband to the skirt. I might sew by hand between the layers, or from the inside of the skirt through the lining. The other option is stitching in the ditch from the outside. I hate stitching in the ditch. I might look OK on the front, but I don’t know how to keep the back aligned so it the stitching doesn’t look like it’s jumping all around inside.

Tomorrow, I’ve got the day off to wait for the installer to bring my new Fancy Damn Dishwasher. I should be doing some housecleaning, but no doubt instead I’ll be sewing.

By the way, my girlfriends and I did see The Help this weekend. I should have remembered a hankie! Well worth the high cost of going to the movies. Some slight changes from the book. Nothing too upsetting. I have a new heroine in Minny Jackson — a Sass Mouth with a no-hugs policy and a wicked chocolate pie!

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2 thoughts on “Two-for-one sale on zipper insertions

  1. redbamsews September 13, 2011 at 10:05 pm Reply

    Love your coral polka dot skirt. Very impressive workmanship. Great job on the lining. Will be looking to trying the contour waistband and the decorative touches to the lining. It certainly adds pizazze to your outfit.


    • Jeanne Marie September 13, 2011 at 11:05 pm Reply

      Thank you, so much, Redbamsews! I really appreciate it! I love learning something with every sewing project, and it’s often how to do it better next time. Thank you for stopping by.


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