Temper Tantrums + Invisible Zips

9 Nov

 I considered putting myself to bed with no supper and here is why…

I’m making a dress from the September Burda Magazine. This one to be precise.

Only I’ve graded it up 10in and made a full bust adjustment and it’s not chiffon but it is an equally shifty fabric which I don’t really have enough of.

And it’s been one of those projects where the first step is follow the burdastyle “instructions*” and step two is to use your quick-unpick to undo step one.

But I got there in the end… or atleast almost there. I’ve put the invisible zipper in but that bastard just won’t play ball. With a lot of callous creating effort I can just get it up when I’m not wearing it, however, I’m not dexterous enough to manouver it once I put it on.

Much swearing and scowling, ensued. I may have stamped my foot.

The problem lies at the waistband where at one point there is effectively 6 layers of fabric, gathers and interfacing to bend around.

I’m sending out a plea for help, has anyone found a miracle cure for this? Or will the dress simply fail at the final hurdle?

I’m going to sleep on it before it kills me.

9 Responses to “Temper Tantrums + Invisible Zips”

  1. nicolerunde November 9, 2011 at 11:15 pm #

    This happened to me on my Jenny Skirt made from a thicker wool. I read on Threads that you should stitch less closely to the coils when you head through a thicker area (e.g. a waistband).

  2. molly November 9, 2011 at 11:46 pm #

    nicolerunde has a good suggestion, but it will not be a totally invisible zipper after that. But the only other thing I can think of is to go in and trim down as much as you can.

  3. Suzy November 9, 2011 at 11:54 pm #

    I have the same problem with a couple of my dresses that I’ve done piping around a waistband, just makes it too thick, I can manage to zip them up the wrong way around and wriggle it around but thats the only way I can put the damn dress on. So other than more swearing and maybe throwing it in the corner, I have no idea, sorry! Hopefully somoeone else will have a good idea!

  4. monkeysocks November 10, 2011 at 11:42 am #

    just swap it out for a normal zip? I do that sometimes, if you are going to end up with a weird too much material mess anyway, having an exposed zip that you can actually zip with neater edges isn’t so bad.

  5. Roobeedoo November 10, 2011 at 12:04 pm #

    I am sorry to say that I hate invisible zips too. I made a skirt and the beautifully-installed invisible zipper won’t go past the join of the waistband and the skirt section. I resorted to making a feature of hooks and eyes mounted on gingham tape above the waist.

  6. Law November 10, 2011 at 1:16 pm #

    Oh dear!

    I’d go for normal zip too. If you got a metal one you could make the dress look edgier by having it exposed. Don’t give up if you’re so close to finishing this dress!

  7. Sherry November 10, 2011 at 8:05 pm #

    Here’s what I suggest!
    I’d first try stitching further away, even 1mm can make the difference, maybe 2mm where it is thick. Although this might reveal some of the zip, the ruching may help cover it, and I’d fix this in position with a few hand stitches between the gathers – just be careful when zipping it up and down.
    Can you trim away the interfacing in the area? In my experience trimming the actual fabric seam allowance worsens the situation, and I handsew (or stitch in the ditch if it is a waistline seam) to hold the seam allowance flat, and press (but you have ruching so better not press!)
    You mustn’t give up now – you are too close to wearing a gorgeous new dress!

  8. K Patrick November 13, 2011 at 7:00 pm #

    I cases like this with invisible zippers, I agree that it is a good idea to stitch just a bit further outside of the zipper teeth and the ruching will help fill the gap. Another trick I like is to also hand-stitch the edge of the zipper tape to the seam allowance on the inside to keep it flat and taught, and to help keep all those layers of fabric from rolling in as you’re trying to zip it up. Just Don’t give up! I think this will be a great dress!


  1. The Brumby-Blue Dress: BurdaStyle 9/2011 #104 « Lazy Stitching - November 22, 2011

    […] As it was, the zipper almost killed me  it and I would have given up if not for all the lovely advice from you folks. You’ll have to take my word for it that it does up because it won’t win […]

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