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Forum > Bridal and Formalwear Sewing > Putting in a zipper after garment's been constructed ( Moderated by MissCelie)

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Putting in a zipper after garment's been constructed
ahhhhh! help!
beesnbutter
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beesnbutter
Texas USA
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Date: 11/12/10 6:10 PM

Ok folks....so I got some silk jersey from nyfabriccenter.com, and I was able to make a formal dress for military ball with it. HOWEVER, I altered the pattern a tad, and the pattern originally called for a zipper with wovens, but I was like..I'm using a knit- I don't need a zipper! Well, after a practice dress and now the finished product, here we are.......with my formal dress too loose and needing a zipper so I can take it in and still get it over my head!

So basically, I'm wondering, can I put a zipper in this dress even though it's already finished? I'm thinking it's possible, just not sure how to go about it. Yikes!

PattyU
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PattyU
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Date: 11/12/10 6:22 PM

Do you have a pattern pic? I would unpick a seam if redo that portion if I really wanted a zipper. However, are you sure you will really need a zipper with a knit since you haven't taken it in yet? How much stretch is in the knit? If there is a decent amount of stretch, you can usually make a dress with no ease and still get into it. With the right fabric, you can have negative ease and get in and out of a knit. I just made a dress with a knit (it called for knits) and did not use a zipper even though it called for one. The top and dress (I made both) are quite form fitting, yet I do fine getting in and out with no zipper. One of my fabrics was a sweater knit with less than recommended stretch. too. Seeing the and knowing more about the fabric and pattern would help people answer your question.

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Patty

beesnbutter
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beesnbutter
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In reply to PattyU


Date: 11/12/10 7:16 PM

The pattern is Simplicity 2692- http://www.simplicity.com/p-1642-misses-special-occasion-dresses.aspx kind of a grecian style dress. Hmmmm... I'm not sure how much stretch is in this knit, though it's def. not toooo stretchy. I can barely get it over my head now and I haven't taken in the dress yet, so I guess I just assumed I needed a zipper. The waist is the part where my shoulders get mildly stuck when trying to put it on! So overall, the fabric is a 2 way stretch silk jersey, and I used stretch mesh lining underneath.

JEF
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JEF  Friend of PR
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In reply to beesnbutter


Date: 11/12/10 9:33 PM

S2692

HTH,

JEF

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"The trouble with quotes on the Internet is that you can never know if they are genuine." --Abraham Lincoln

lilyofthevalley
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lilyofthevalley
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In reply to beesnbutter


Date: 11/12/10 10:16 PM

Quote: beesnbutter
So basically, I'm wondering, can I put a zipper in this dress even though it's already finished? I'm thinking it's possible, just not sure how to go about it.

I think the answer to "how" to insert zipper depends on how you constructed your knit dress. Did you construct on your regular sewing machine, using a 5/8" inch seam?

If so, then you can merely open the seam the length of the zipper, unpick the facings (if any), and hand baste the zipper in the center of the seam opening. Then machine stitch from the right side, equidistant, on both sides and bottom of the zipper. Alternatively, if you don't want visible machine stitching to show, you could "hand pick" the zipper which is extremely easy, though a bit meticulous.

If your silk jersey is a bit wimpy, you may wish to apply some lightweight knit fusible interfacing to both sides of the seams before inserting the zipper.

If, on the other hand, you constructed your knit dress on the serger, then you've cut off all seam allowances and I don't know how you would sneak a zipper into the seam. Maybe, someone else has a good idea. HTH, Lily

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Lily

goodworks1
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goodworks1  Friend of PR
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Subject: Putting in a zipper after garments been constructed Date: 11/12/10 10:23 PM

You might try an underarm zipper.
I do think you'll need some sort of way to loosen the waist area on that dress...

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blog: goodworks1.wordpress.com

candicer
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candicer
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Date: 11/13/10 10:18 AM

If your dress needs taking in, you have most likely got lots of room in the seam allowances to put a zipper in. Figure out first how much you want to take it in to make it fit right. Decide which seam you want to use for your zipper. Either a regular zipper or an invisible zipper works well with silk jersey, although I would definetly stabilize the SA for the zipper with strips of tricot knit interfacing.

Jacqui315
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Jacqui315  Friend of PR
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Date: 11/13/10 3:12 PM

Speaking from experience, you can add an invisible zipper on one side under the arm. I, too, substituted a jersey for a woven and omitted the zipper.:blush: I put in a 14 inch long zipper. My dress had a similar waist/skirt style. I undid one side seam making sure to stitch the skirt gathers into place so they didn't come undone. I also stitched down each side of the seam allowance, kind of like stay stitching. I tried putting in the zipper with my machine but I couldn't get it even. It may have been because my invisible zipper was also running through a side pocket. Or probably because it was a jersey knit and more unstable. In the end, I hand stitched it in and I was very happy with the results.

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Silknmore
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Date: 11/14/10 9:35 AM

You've already received a lot of great advice. If your seam allowance is quite narrow, you may want to consider hand-picking an invisible zipper as you could get away with a seam allowance of as little as 1/4" (although that wouldn't be ideal). The third example on this post shows an example. The good news is that it is really quite easy.

Good luck
Annette

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Silknmore
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Maripat
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Date: 11/14/10 10:52 PM

I'd stabilize with the tricot interfacing, and yeah, if you're taking it in, you should be able to extend the seam allowances. I have a tutorial here on my website which has photos of replacing an invisible zipper. Your process would be the same, except you don't have to rip out the old zipper
Good luck and write back if you have questions. As usual, we love to see photos when you're done!!!

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"You are in charge of your own ride!"

LearningAlterations.com

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