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Tips & Techniques > Clean neck placket with top of zipper tape or ribbon

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Posted by: Georgene

About Georgene starstarstarstar
Member since: 10/5/02
Reviews: 110 (tips: 9)
Skill level:Expert/Couture
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Posted on: 2/11/05 12:03 PM
Review Rating: Helpful by 4 people   Needs More Info by 1 people   Very Helpful by 11 people   
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This zipper trick works for any neck that has a binding or trim where you want it to be clean at the top, but don't want a facing (as in most knits and sweaters).

Essentially the zipper is like a little tiny facing. Set the zipper to a 1/2" seam allowance right sides together with a single stitch close to the teeth.

Stitch your neck trim/collar on (serged or straight stitch), leaving the zipper tape out of the equation at the ends. Then flip the zipper tape to the outside as if it were a facing and stitch the end of the tape along the same stitch line of the collar. This is a very short little seam and needs to be manipulated carefully so that the zipper tape is not too far over. Turn the tape back to the inside. Now the top is clean.(Easy to rip and re-do once you turn the tape back and check your finish.)

When you flip it back, the end is clean. In the photo attached, the neckline had one side of a knit binding set in with the collar. I finished the end of the zipper tape as above, and then went back and topsitiched the turned under edge of the binding. That's why you see the topstitch goes all the way around the collar right up to the end, but the end is cleaned with the zipper.

A couple of tips:

>Don't clip the end of the zipper tape until you've stitched the ends.

>Don't have your seam allowance where you are stitching the zipper tape be wider than the zipper tape. Ideally it should hide just under the tape.

>Inside neckbinding for collars is not necessary, only if you want a totally clean finish. If you do opt for binding, it can be single and then turned and topstitched; or if your binding fabric is thin enough you can set it in double right along with your collar. Woven bias is OK, or crossgrain knit as well.

>For garments with neck binding rather than collars, such as on a zip front jewel neck cardigan, you can clean the top of the binding and placket edge with the zipper this way.

>Works with ribbon plackets as well as zippers!

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ArizonaKathy said... (3/4/05 1:43 PM) Reply
Excellent tip, and described well enough to actually implement it in my sewing.
Georgene said... (2/23/05 4:31 PM) Reply
About additional photos or drawings: I wrote this after I finished the garment. If I do make another one, I will try to do a step by step. Meanwhile, if you try the technique with a little test sample in your hands (use a strip of ribbon or a piece of selvedge in place of the zipper), rather than just trying to read along, it may come into focus better.
bkool said... (2/22/05 3:06 PM) Reply
Kwik Sew pattern 2704 (kids' footed pajama and jumpsuit) also uses this method, but it doesn't describe it quite so well as you do, Georgene. I really had to rely on the illustration to get the drift of what I was supposed to be doing. Reading your tip would have saved me some puzzling-it-out time. It really is a beautiful way to finish a zipper-collar intersection. Thanks for the tip.
2smiley said... (2/21/05 10:50 PM) Reply
sounds good , will have to try it.
casey said... (2/21/05 7:49 PM) Reply
I need line drawings for the instructions sounds just what I am looking for Is that possible?
patsijean said... (2/21/05 7:34 PM) Reply
I found this tip helpful, but a couple more pictures of the first 2 or 3 steps (not just of the final product) would make the tip much easier to understand.
grammiepam said... (2/21/05 3:18 PM) Reply
I needed pictures of the process.
Sew it seams said... (2/14/05 10:47 AM) Reply
Georgene, I've printed your instructions and I'm going to give it a try today. (hopefully!)
drsue said... (2/13/05 9:45 PM) Reply
So simple and so perfect. thanks for sharing this.
Karla Kizer said... (2/12/05 6:23 AM) Reply
Awesome. I printed it out, complete with picture, for my notebook. Thanks Georgene!
Annie- oh said... (2/11/05 4:08 PM) Reply
Yes, Georgene, thank you! I'm all for having those small, very visible details done well.
Loreli said... (2/11/05 2:23 PM) Reply
This is a GREAT TIP Georgene! Thankyou!!!!!
Georgene said... (2/11/05 12:22 PM) Reply
I forgot to add, depending on your finish, you can topstitch the zipper 1/4" from the foldback to hold the tape in place. (this works with expsed zippers as well as zippers covered by the kissing edges of the front.) For ribbon plackets (inside) you can topstich or not. The buttons and buttonholes will hold the ribbon down, and topstitch is not required.
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