April 6, 2010

the Lapped Zipper

The lapped zipper on my Red Vixen Dress

This post is dedicated to my sister, who just last night sent me this very amusing but seriously painful email (please pardon the expletives, however I'm sure you can relate):

Hi Sun,
I was just writing to tell you that I remembered the reason I stopped sewing today. Zippers. I finished my skirt today and got it all ironed and ready to try on. Mind you, I had worked very hard putting the zipper in, hand basted twice even because it wasn't perfectly even the first time. It really looked perfect I have to say. For me that NEVER happens. Anyway, I tried it on and had a little bit of trouble zipping it up. (you know, when the zipper derails and gets caught up in all the surrounding fabric? Love that.) Anyway, I admired my work in the mirror and then went to take it off by unzipping the zipper and it would. not. un. ZIP! I have a blister on my fingers from trying so hard! I notice around this time that there is a problem with the zipper in the middle where the teeth are separated a little bit. I can't really solve the problem until I can get the slider down there, so I keep trying and keep trying until suddenly the zipper pulls out of the skirt completely on one side. PS, this is a high waisted skirt so I couldn't get it off without getting the seam ripper and unpicking the whole damn thing. Then, I had to go to the store through the snow ridden, 40 degree tundra to get another invisible zipper, and go through the whole process again. NOT FUN I'm telling you. I just finished it again. I had to do it tonight because I was afraid that I would never try again if I let it go for the night. It looks like a shit sandwich from being unpicked and redone so many times, but I really don't care right now. I'll post pictures on my blog later, so watch. (It looks kind of old ladyish because the fabric I picked is neither cute or sophisticated, but maybe I can pair it with some cute stuff.)
Just needed to let someone in on how much I hate zippers.
Talk to you later,

The lapped zipper on my Naughty Secretary Dress

Let me also add that I talked to my sister the very next morning and she had to unpick herself out of the skirt to get it off! Need I even ask if this has happened to you, because I know it has. It's happened to me, many times. Zippers are things that haunt my nightmares. Since completing my Red Vixen Dress and my Naughty Secretary Dress, I have decided that a pickstitched lapped zipper is my favorite zipper of all time. Not only because it eliminates the use of a dumb invisible zipper (which, by the way, my sister used in her zipper conundrum), but also because it looks so good. I have the hardest time with zippers. To be quite frank, they are my weakest technique in sewing.  It's interesting to note here that when I finished my Red Vixen Dress, I was most happiest with the zipper. And that's the part that no one noticed. Everyone whose seen it is enamoured of the triangular bound buttonholes. That's the thing isn't it? Having a zipper placed so perfectly in a garment that it's not noticeable, because it shouldn't be the focal point, unless, of course, you are actually trying to make it a focal point. That's what I'm trying to convince you of here. Unless you are already convinced. Give a lapped zipper a try. You might be pleasantly surprised by how much you LOVE it.

A few notes before you have a peek:

  • This is a time saving technique because its more than likely you won't have to unpick the zipper even once! Yay!

  • I've only shown one step here that isn't machine stitched, mostly for the sake of the photography aspect. But you, you can do this entire insertion by machine if you choose.

  • I'm a firm believer that all zipper openings should be stabilized, but I conveniently forgot to add that step in my tutorial here. Just interface the zipper opening, on the wrong side of the fabric, with strips of fusible tricot, silk organza or stay tape (my favorite is the 1 1/4" knit variety!).

Without further adieu, click here for the tutorial. Please let me know if you have troubles and I will do my best to answer questions and what nots.
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