Member since 7/6/12
Date: 7/6/12 8:14 PM
I have the worst time with zippers.
I've been sewing for a good while, but I've never had any classes or proper instruction and consequently, when it comes to zippers, I have no clue what I'm doing. I manage to put them in securely and without bunches of fabric, and one time of every three they work wonderfully, but I've come to have a problem more and more frequently which, from searching the boards, seems mostly undiscussed.
On fitted garments (which I fit on myself), I sew the zipper seam last, to fit it to my shape, and my zippers simply will almost invariably not lie flat. In fact, to make a zipper flat and not bowed into many bumps, I usually have to resew and tighten it many times for a single garment.
Is there a way of fitting for the zipper seam that would make this easier? Also: should I be sewing the zipper seam last, or is doing the fitting on this seam part of my problem?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Member since 8/24/02
In reply to jequirity
Date: 7/6/12 8:26 PM
I have a couple questions: Do you sew the zipper in over pins, or do you hand baste it first? Do you also tape it down to the fabric when sewing?
You don't say if you are putting the zippers in back, as in a dress, or in front, as in pants or a skirt. If it's front, I would bet it has something to do with the fabric you are using or the fact you are fitting yourself over and over. Try making a muslin of the garment you want; muslin has a tendency to stay put, and then fit yourself and leave it.
Most zipper seams are sewn while the garment is being constructed; try sewing a zipper with a fly front after you've assembled the rest of the garment and you will get what I mean.
And to answer your last question, fitting should never be done on a center seam; just on the side seams, so that might be your problem. The curve of your body as you are trying to fit won't adjust to the "straightness" of the zipper; leave the center seam alone, which keeps the zipper straight, and adjust at the side seams.
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Member since 5/28/11
In reply to jequirity
Date: 7/6/12 9:44 PM
I think Miss Fairchild answered this for you but I will put in my 2 cents. I put the zipper in first and in a seam that is straight. It does get tricky if you have alot of fit issues and putting in the zipper last would make fitting more difficult. I have to muslin everything these days. If for some reason I need to put a zip in last, I would hand baste it in. I wouldn't recommend this because I think it is the most difficult way to do it and I like things simple. You will have to fiddle with it alot if you put it in last. Here is a tutorial similar to the way I learned to put in a centered zip. Centered zip A lapped zip is similar. Invisible zips are totally different-I just follow the directions on the package. I usually hand baste my second side in to make sure I get the right placement before machine sewing.
Hope this helps.
edited for grammar
-- Edited on 7/7/12 11:27 AM --
Member since 9/29/02
Date: 7/6/12 10:47 PM
Do you use a strip of lightweight fusible interfacing straddling the seam where the zipper will be installed? This solved many of my bumpy zipper problems once I reme breed to do it.
R-r-r-ripping my way to fitting success
Member since 11/14/11
Skill: Advanced Beginner
Date: 7/7/12 10:39 AM
You don't say where in the US u r, but I'm sure there's a class somewhere that teaches zipper installation.
I live in the SF Bay Area and I'm thinking specifically of a class called "Fearless Zippers" at Stone mountain & Daughter in Berkeley CA.
Try to find something similar in your area and bring examples of the problems you've been having. I'm sure the instructor would be happy to help!
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Singer Curvy 8763
Member since 1/26/07
Date: 7/8/12 2:33 PM
I think you nailed it in your own post--don't do fitting in the zipper seam. Install the zipper earlier in the construction and then treat the zippered-closed piece as though it were one single piece of fabric.