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Message Board > Sewing Techniques and Tips > Creative alternative to zipper ( Moderated by MissCelie)

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Creative alternative to zipper
Colors dont' match
RoseFromThule
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RoseFromThule
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Date: 2/29/12 4:47 AM

I've bought the most gorgeous blue-green fabric, and plan to make a summer skirt out for it. It's a retro-inspired pleated skirt with a side zipper (from Burda Easy S/S 2009, can't go and find the link right now).

Problem is : I can't find a zipper, invisible or regular, that matches even remotely the fabric's color. And I *know* that any invisible zippers I sew will still peek a little at the waist seam with all the layers.

Do you have ideas about how to work around that ? I really have this skirt on my mind :)

-- Edited on 2/29/12 4:50 AM --

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shana707

shana707
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Date: 2/29/12 9:51 AM

Does the skirt have a pocket? If so, maybe you can put the zipper in the pocket. If not, how about a placket and buttons?

koo104
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koo104
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Date: 2/29/12 10:14 AM

You can incorporate a side pocket into the pleat at sides which becomes a deep placket. then you only need hook & eyes for the waistband.
I can draw up a quick sketch of this at work and scan it to you if you wish. PM me with your email.

poorpigling

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In reply to RoseFromThule


Date: 2/29/12 10:47 AM

Rose. while I can understand your concern here.. it may not be as awful as you think. If you have been watching for example Project Runway.. zippers are all the rage lately. Often the designers will make zippers a focal point. either using HUGE ones or lots of them. or even a wild color to make the zipper stand out.
If all else fails. a basic black would do .. or if you were sewing say a PINK garment a basic white.

I say be creative and have fun showing off that zipper.. gosh knows they are a pain to put in in the first place.

You could also buy a basic white.. and use fabric paints to paint it to the shade you need maybe. Or if you were doing a zipper for a darker color.. use the basic black and paint it .. as its harder to get a white zipper down to a very dark shade.


-- Edited on 2/29/12 10:49 AM --

heathergwo
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Date: 2/29/12 11:06 AM

I agree with the last poster... I don't think you need to worry about hiding it so much.

BUT, if it really bothers you, dye it! I've heard that nail polish works the best for painting the plastic/metal part of the zipper itself and I imagine a regular fabric dye would work on the sides.

Good luck!

------
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Tom P
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In reply to RoseFromThule


Date: 2/29/12 12:23 PM

I'd put it in a placket if you really don't want it to show. You can cut a little welt out of your fabric scraps if you don't want to alter the skirt pieces. A gray of the same approximate value as the fabric will probably be fine. Zipper tape is polyester, and I'd be surprised if you could get it to take dye at room temperatures. Fabric paint might work.

Seriously, the teeth are the only thing that's going to show, and I'm sure it wouldn't really matter as long as they're some sort of neutral color.

a7yrstitch
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In reply to RoseFromThule


Date: 2/29/12 1:33 PM

I was reading through some of the old newsletters on the Marci Tilton site last week and found an interesting segment on zippers.

The newsletters archives are in the sidebar on the left side of her site home page. I was looking back for her comments on cameras when the zipper thing caught my eye.

First, it is worth finding. I didn't know that I could buy a zipper with clear tape. What you may be interested in though is how she 'painted' her zipper teeth in very thin layers to get the color she wanted.
----------------------------------------------
I've hidden zippers in pockets, too.

An invisible zipper can be extended up into the waistband with just a little extra fiddling. Then, a tabbed extension would cover the top of the zipper.

If there is no waistband, you can still add a tabbed extension. One on each side could add a nice detail.

Best wishes.


------
I have no idea what Apple thought I was saying so be a Peach and credit anything bizarre to auto correct.

RoseFromThule
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RoseFromThule
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Date: 3/1/12 4:13 AM

So, here is the skirt's technical drawing :



As you see, including a pocket in the pleats would be tricky - although if you see how to do it, I'm all hear, I like having pockets)

@Tom P : is a placket the same thing as a lapped zipper ?

Otherwise, I may go with a7yrstitch and only put the zipper under the waistband + add an extension and paint the zipper's tab with nail polish. Just having a zipper closure and no extension to secure the top always seems a bit flimsy to me, anyway.

I'm afraid that nail polish on the coil may hinder the zipper's closing and opening ... and I don't trust myself to find a fabric paint of the proper color :)

Or go bold and choose a black zipper as poorpigling suggest ! (I must say that I've seen pale yellow zippers that worked surprisingly well with the fabric's vibrant color, but it may be too much for me). In this case, I would have to move the zipper at the back, otherwise it may look a bit strange ... to me, anyway ! So adding a back seam.
-- Edited on 3/1/12 4:14 AM --

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lamstu
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Date: 3/1/12 7:07 AM

I once designed a skirt where the waistband buttoned over itself to form the pleats; that might work for you. I will try to explain a little: The skirt was a rectangle with no gathers or pleats, the waistband was at the top, and the same distance around. At each side, two buttonholes in the waistband stacked onto the same button to secure the skirt for wearing. Alternatively, a hook and bar could be used. If you like, I will find the skirt later and send a photo. (This was for a costume that is here somewhere, but packed right now.) Let me know!
Good luck! Can't wait to see the skirt - the fabric sounds interesting.
lamstu

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lamstu

stirwatersblue
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stirwatersblue
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Date: 3/1/12 12:54 PM

Rose, I think there's enough design interest in that pattern to carry off a contrast zipper. It looks like there's a second layer visible at the bottom--a lining, maybe? If you used your bright yellow, for instance, for the lining, and maybe some cute contrast topstitching on the hem or waistband, then the zipper wouldn't stand out so much.

Have fun! That pattern really is adorable.

------
~Gem in the prairie

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