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Forum > Patterns and Notions > Any Retro full-skirt patterns out there with the side zipper? ( Moderated by Sharon1952)

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Any Retro full-skirt patterns out there with the side zipper?
gramma b
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gramma b
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Date: 7/10/13 9:07 AM

A relative wants one of the cotton Retro dresses with regular scoop neck, fitted waist darts, full skirt. Some I've seen online
at $250! have the side zip, which was common years ago.
Any reason why and isn't a back zip easier to work with?

Retro flower prints would be in fabrics like quilting cottons.
Any brands that are notably soft/drapey for apparel, as blends are hard to find?

-- Edited on 7/10/13 9:20 AM --

MissParayim
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In reply to gramma b <<
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Date: 7/10/13 11:16 AM

Butterick 5748 has a full skirt, scoop neck, and side zip.

Is there a reason it needs to be quilting cotton? Maybe a shirting fabric would work. They seem to have more drape than a quilting cotton, and you can find floral prints:
Green and yellow floral shirting
Rust roses on creme shirting
Floral eyelet fabrics in several colors

I've sewn a lot of dresses with quilting cotton, including several full skirted ones, so believe me I understand the appeal, but if you don't have your heart set on a specific print, and you want a little more drape than quilting cotton usually offers, you might have better options off the quilt wall.
The most drapey quilt cotton I've encountered was on the clearance table at hancocks. The dress turned out kind of ugly, because it was way too much of an extremely busy print, but aside from the print, the fabric was great- draped well, pressed well, sewed easily. I have no idea what brand it was, but if you go to a fabric store, and get your hands on the fabric, you can sometimes find quilting cotton that's a little more light weight and less stiff.
-- Edited on 7/10/13 11:16 AM --

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gramma b
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gramma b
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Date: 7/10/13 12:14 PM

B5748 was one I noted too.
I like those prints, do order from Fabric.com, but I don't want to line it, as the relative lives in hot Tx. Have you used those that say "very lightweight" and no see-thru?

She had the Aussie Naughtyshorts Blog on her Pinterest. I like the
effect of her bands on neck/cap sleeves, which could be a flip-over facing? I wonder if the young generation are wearing more of those Retro styles down under than here.

Quickie
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Quickie
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Date: 7/10/13 12:48 PM

Your special question is about the zipper. In the times when these dresses were the trend My Gran did not want the back zipprer because she had problems in getting it up or down due to her arthritis. A side zip was better to handle for her. I'll tell you how she did it. She used to met a double string through the little hole .
When she had a long zipper on the back she laid the rope over her shoulder and hoped that it would go well when she tore the zipper. But often she had to be helped. With the side zipper she could pull on the dress and tear the zipper to just more than the waist, turn the dress into the right position to put the sleeves in place ad the tear the rest og the zip and pullout the rope. I have that age now and i am glad that we have the jerseys now.

Terri A
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In reply to gramma b <<


Date: 7/10/13 12:52 PM

I just finished this Butterick Retro for my daughter. It has a side zip and is only lined at the bodice. It has a more complex neckline and the skirt is full but without a petticoat, not too much so...

Retro Dress

MissParayim
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MissParayim
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In reply to gramma b <<


Date: 7/10/13 1:18 PM

You could line it in a lightweight 100% cotton fabric. I've lined quilting cotton with a very lightweight muslin, and it's very comfortable because it breathes. It prevents sheerness, but doesn't make the dress warmer.
I live in Atlanta and wear my quilting cotton dresses lined in muslin all the time in spring and summer to outdoor festivals, picnics, ren fest, etc., and they are actually less hot than my other standard warm weather non-work outfit of shorts and t-shirt.
I used to live in TX- at a certain point, it gets hot enough that you just stay in the air conditioning, and your heat exposure is pretty much limited to leaving your air conditioned car and walking accross the parking lot into an air conditioned building. In 103 degree heat, you'll sweat no matter what you're wearing, but it's only a few minutes of the day.

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PattiAnnJ
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Date: 7/10/13 3:41 PM

Side zip is easier for the wearer to access and is less noticeable than a back zip.

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"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

Pamela R
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In reply to PattiAnnJ <<


Date: 7/11/13 9:48 AM

I agree with you,about the access, but also long zippers were harder to get, and mostly they were metal, so uncompfortable to lean up against in a chair

cynical25
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Date: 8/1/13 12:18 PM

This Texan prefers seersucker, voile/lawn, Japanese cottons, or wrinkle-resistant shirting fabrics for my retro fit & flare style dresses. I wear them to the office daily, but I actively avoid the costumey, wearing-a-crinoline look; Quilting cottons are too stiff and fall too far away from the body for my liking.

Simplicity 1754, 2176, 2215, and 2444 are TNT patterns for me.

I swear by cotton Mousseline for a super lightweight lining in the sweltering South - it's soft and breathable, but fairly sheer. I generally sew it with my main fabric as underlining, rather than a loose lining, to get just enough opaqueness. It's will barely change the drape or weight of your main fabric at all. If I need a more structured bodice, any pure cotton will do as lining, including pretty quilting cotton for fun finishing details. For all the wonders of silk I can't stand it sticking to sweaty skin. I also don't like poly against my skin, but I'll line a bodice in cotton and a skirt in poly if it gives a better final drape.

Moving a zipper from back to side is simple, as long as you aren't working around pockets. If I have a boldly patterned fabric I'm worried about matching, I opt for side zips and leave my back bodice in one solid piece. On special occasion dresses I may do a lapped center back zip or even hand-picked for vintage flair. But I generally stick with an invisible back zip for it's simplicity.

patternaddict
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In reply to PattiAnnJ <<


Date: 8/1/13 3:31 PM

Side zips aren't so easy to access if you have a large bust. I have a few vintage dresses with side zips, and it's sometimes a bit of a contortionist's act to reach around and get it zipped.

Most dresses I have with a side zip just have collars or necklines that don't allow for a back zipper.

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