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Forum > Beginner's Forum > Zipper Tale of Woe ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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Zipper Tale of Woe
I need a hug
HelenMcG
HelenMcG
Beginner
New Jersey USA
Member since 3/27/11
Posts: 18
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Date: 7/14/12 9:24 AM

I know this sounds like whining, but I need a virtual pat on the hand and a "now, now, dear...don't get discouraged" from someone.

I had just nearly finished my first lined dress last night, Sewaholic's Cambie dress. It conained my second pattern with a zipper (22" invisible zipper). I attacked it with meticulous gusto. I followed my sewing books to a letter, I basted, I learned to use my invisible zipper foot, I pressed the zipper, I tested the zipper...in short, I was a complete anal-retentive zipper fool. And in the end, it looked perfect. The top matched, the waitbands matched, and it was actually "INVISIBLE". I was so proud I could almost pop with pride.

I then added the lining, sewing it to the zipper per instructions, it was a little stiffer zipping across the waistline due to the double of fabric with full inderlining, but ok. I then put it on and it fit like a dream...the very, very first time I made something that fit perfectly. The bodice was fitted, the skirt flared, and it looked awesome.

I tried it on and showed my husband and then went upstairs to take it off so I could finish the last two steps: hem the outside skirt and stitch the waistbands in the ditch. As I walked in the bedroom door I felt the zipper give and split right down the center. I wore my dress for exactly 2 and half minutes before it became unwearable.

The single most discouraging part for me is the fact that I realized that although I made the dress, I am not a good enough sewer to figure out how to un-construct the dress to replace the zipper. With the full lining sewed to the zipper, I am absolutely overwhelmed. Am I not really a sewer? I am going to have to take it to a tailor and hope he will fix it, otherwise it will never be worn.

All I can think of is the fact that I can make a dress, but not repair one yet. I need a hug from someone who sews.

ConnieBJ
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ConnieBJ  Friend of PR
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Ontario Canada
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Date: 7/14/12 9:59 AM

Congratulations on tackling a lined dress with an invisible zipper!! That in itself is something a lot of people here have never even tried!

It's no consolation I am sure, but I spent the morning of my daughters wedding replacing the split invisible zipper in her wedding dress....picture me in wedding ready hair, shorts and a tee, standing in front of the fabric store waiting Very Impatiently for it to open!

I bet you could repair the dress, unpicking the lining and replacing the zipper, but if taking it to a tailor for that makes it wearable again, I say go for it!

{hugs} and a "now, now dear" are being virtually sent!

------
Connie Bontje

http://www.couturesmith.com
Twitter: Couturesmith
Facebook: Connie Bontje
Desperately trying to keep ahead of my pattern, fabric and dressform collection!

HelenMcG
HelenMcG
Beginner
New Jersey USA
Member since 3/27/11
Posts: 18
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In reply to ConnieBJ <<


Date: 7/14/12 10:16 AM

Thank you, Connie. I feel better and your Tale of Terror beats my Tale of Woe, LOL. I can't imagine you waiting in front of the door of the store for a new zipper on your daughter's wedding day. Yikes!

She is one lucky daughter to have a mom like you.

Thanks

rmusic1
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rmusic1
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UNITED KINGDOM
Member since 7/3/10
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In reply to HelenMcG <<
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Date: 7/14/12 10:35 AM

unpicking is unfortunately a skill that one gains a lot of practice in when dress making. I find it particularly maddening when it takes 3 times longer to unpick something than the actual sewing did in the first place.

Having said that, don't unpick in too much of a hurry, as creating holes from over enthusiastic pulling of thread can create even greater grinding of teeth.

Take your time, unpick that lining and zipper, and please do finish that dress (once more!) as you sounded so proud and pleased with it, it would be a real shame if it was left in the corner. Having said that, if the though is too much to bear, a tailor might be worth it just to get it all sorted without further woe.

Good luck!

sings2high
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sings2high  Friend of PR
Expert/Couture
USA
Member since 11/25/11
Posts: 367
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Date: 7/14/12 10:38 AM

You know, sometimes you get lucky - have you tried zipping it down and zipping it back up again without anyone in the dress? Some zippers are self-mending that way, but not all.

-- Edited on 7/14/12 10:39 AM --

------
Measure twice, cut once. While this saying is useful in many ways, I have no qualms about editing my posts.

UFOs completed in 2014: 1 - woohoo! finished my oldest UFO - an apron cut out in the mid-80s with a pattern from the mid-40s! and the bias binding promptly disintegrated in the wash! Ok, it was from my Great-Grandmother's stash, which means it was bought anytime from the 1910's to 1970's.
Projects started recently completed in 2014: 4
New Projects started in 2014: 5
Stash:
sewn in 2014: 5
bought in 2014: 17.25

I know...I'm procrastinating.

marec
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marec  Friend of PR
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Date: 7/14/12 10:44 AM

I'm sorry---I know this probably won't help, but we have all had something similar happen. Take it to a tailor and don't give up.

------
my blog: http://kf-biblioblog.blogspot.com/
Sewing through my pattern stash-145
completed.

solveg
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solveg  Friend of PR
Beginner
Minnesota USA
Member since 2/16/12
Posts: 366
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Date: 7/14/12 11:09 AM



The hard part was that the zipper broke right when you were most elated. If it had happened in a month, you would probably know what to do. But congrats on the beautiful dress... I know it took a lot of work to get to this point!

Look at it this way.... if you saw this dress in a store, what would it be worth to you? Fits perfect and in your ideal fabric! Forget how much it cost to make: that's over and done with. So, you see this beautiful dress with a bad zipper. Do you think it's worth paying a tailor to fix it or is it something you want to try? Maybe sit on it for a few weeks so it doesn't hurt to look at it so much.

HelenMcG
HelenMcG
Beginner
New Jersey USA
Member since 3/27/11
Posts: 18
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Date: 7/15/12 9:08 AM

Thank you all for the sympathy and encouragement. I am beginning to see a little humor in it (a very little, but humor no less). I don't know anyone who sews so this forum and the lovely sewers who post here can be a real support.

Now, two items on the to-do list:
1. Trip to tailor
2. Find something old in the closet I don't wear anymore, rip out the zipper and learn to put in a new one.

strongnow
strongnow  Friend of PR
Advanced Beginner
Member since 2/1/08
Posts: 66
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Date: 7/15/12 10:50 AM

Pat yourself on the back!! You took on a big job and did fantastically well. Back off the situation a bit and then make the fix-it choice that is best for you. Then wear the dress and get all the compliments I know are going to come your way.

SquishSews
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SquishSews  Friend of PR
Advanced Beginner
Member since 1/18/09
Posts: 442
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Date: 7/15/12 11:02 AM

Wow, first off congrats on a perfect invisible zip. I've yet to accomplish that myself. At least you didn't go through all that, wear it for two minutes, twirl and find out you'd put a panel in upside down with the wrong nap and have no more fabric! ;-) That actually hasn't happened to me -yet- 'cause I rarely use napped fabric, but I was talking with my favorite fabric sales lady who's sewed forever, and is as amazing as the folks here, and she said, yep mistakes still happen no matter how good you get.... Yours isn't a mistake (YAY!) and is repairable (double YAY!!), so get thee to the tailor and have fun!!!! :-)

And *hugs*! The dress sounds gorgeous!!
-- Edited on 7/15/12 7:42 PM --

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