You might remember that the last dress I made (featured in my last post) has a low back neckline so the zipper closing is very visible. But, if I say so myself, I think I was quite successful in getting it to look acceptable without having to resort to a hook and eye.
|Close-up of back zipper|
As it is a rainy bank holiday Sunday and I am nursing a miserable cold I thought I would occupy myself by sharing my secret technique with you. Firstly, however, a warning! I have never seen it done this way in a book so it is probably VERY WRONG. If you want to do things properly, maybe you shouldn't try this.
As I didn't take photos when I made my dress, I have made, from scrap fabrics, a mock-up of one side of a back bodice to illustrate what I am talking about.
At the back of the zipper, with the zipper closed, put a chalk mark on the zipper tape where the top of the slider finishes.
Open the zipper and pin it to the right side of the back bodice, in the usual way, so that the zipper teeth are along the centre back seam line and the chalk mark you have made is just below the seam line of the neckline. How much below depends on the thickness of the fabric - if it is thin 1/8" will be ok, thicker fabric needs about 1/4" - you are allowing for the turn of the fabric.
If you are making a dress with an edge to edge lining that has already been attached it will be placed below the already sewn neckline seam that joins the bodice and the lining. If you are going to be attaching a facing after inserting the zipper it will look like this photo, (I have chalk marked the seam-line for the purposes of clarity - I wouldn't normally do this.)
|Start sewing from chalk mark on zipper tape|
The top of the zipper tape, above the slider, will be loose. Then, if you are attaching a facing, you should pull the tape out of the way and sew the facing to the bodice WITHOUT sandwiching the zipper i.e. like this (pretend the yellow fabric is the facing)
|DO sew zipper like this|
|DON'T sew zipper like this|
Leaving the top of the zipper tape free means that when you close the zipper and sew the lining or facing to the zipper you can pull the bits of the zipper tape that are above the slider well inside the garment and out of the way. I find that this way it is easier to get it looking neat, it helps avoid nasty lumps and you can get much less of a ‘V’ at the top of the opening.
After much experimentation this is my preferred (if unorthodox!) way of dealing with invisible zippers. It works for me on skirts as well as dresses. I hope that you find it helpful to see how I do it.
Do you have a tried and tested way of getting invisible zippers to look how you want or do you struggle with them? I'd love to know .......