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Moving back zipper to side of dress
Can I easily move a back zipper to the side on a dress?
2 Airedales n Me
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2 Airedales n Me  Friend of PR
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Date: 8/13/12 0:29 AM

I'm getting set to make a few woven (rayon batik) sundresses for an upcoming trip to Bali. All of the patterns I've chosen are sleeveless and have back zippers. Since I am not as flexible as I used to be I don't know how I would manage zipping up on my own. Is it a big deal to move the zipper to a side seam on a dress? I've never done it. Anything I need to know? Thanks.

beauturbo
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In reply to 2 Airedales n Me <<


Date: 8/13/12 0:50 AM

Well it would not work if the sewn closed neckline of the dress, was not actually big enough to fit over your head, but that is kind of obvious. If the neckline was big enough to do that and then still get your arm up and into the sleeveless arm hole sewed shut in the round, and the only tight to the body part, below your bust and around waist and hips, then you might be able to just stick a in the seam invisible zipper in there, below the arm hole and down to your hips. If that worked, it would just get sewn into the side seam, and not be a lot of extra work at all, not show at all except for the tiny tab of it, and it would not even need a zipper placket, or any kind of special seam treatment there. If it was something a lot tighter on you and had a armhole in it, and you could not wiggle into the dress with the arm hole in the round, then I guess the zipper would actually have to open at the arm hole instead.

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Date: 8/13/12 1:49 AM

Annalisa Tay. Back to side zip. Threads 154:48-52 (May 2011)

Perhaps your local public library has a subscription?
-- Edited on 8/13/12 1:50 AM --

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Miss Fairchild
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In reply to 2 Airedales n Me <<
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Date: 8/13/12 8:17 AM

As long as you keep the CB seam to make an opening large enough to slip the dress over your head. You can also make a little zipper upper with a paper clip and a piece of string. Tie the string to one end of the paper clip and slip the paper clip into the eye of the zipper tab. (I learned this trick while living single and it was really helpful)

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diane s
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Date: 8/13/12 10:13 AM

I changed the zipper to a side seam on a dress I made that had multiple rows of trim around the neckline and I didn't want to worry about matching them at the zipper. The neckline was wide enough, but you have to put the dress over your head and kind of wiggle into it, lol.

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Scrnme007
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Date: 8/14/12 0:41 AM

How about a putting in a traditional back zipper to get it on, and an additional invisible side zipper to leave open until you get the back zipper up. I bet it would be easier to get the back zipper up (in terms of positioning the arms) if the dress isn't tight to the body... but there would need to be a way to hold the back zipper taunt enough to pull the zipper closed. I guess one could close the side zipper up bit by bit as they alternately zipped up the back zipper. Do you think that might help?

In my experience, it's easier to get a tight outfit on than to get it off. A side zipper would make it easier.

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MammaJamma
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Date: 8/14/12 5:31 PM

I am a fan of side zippers where they will work. I have had difficulty when the person wearing the dress was very curvy--hip curve was high, so the width changed very quickly just below a much smaller waist. Otherwise, it has worked well for me.
I will also recommend that you would interface the seam allowance at the zipper opening. That way one side of the seam allowance will not stretch differently than the other--especially if part of the seam ran a little bit bias. Good luck!

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mammajamma

susandf
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susandf
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Date: 8/16/12 2:42 AM

I too have lost flexibility - but have just the opposite problem - I can't zip up those underarm zippers! I feel like a pretzel every time I try to zip one up (or down!)

I have to switch underarm zippers to the center back.

Aren't we glad dress openings are zippers though - can you imagine the gymnastics involved with button closures?

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DonnaH
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Date: 8/17/12 5:03 PM

This tutorial might help?

I've never followed it, but I'm going to look at it more closely - I'd much prefer a side zip if I can do this.

Red Dragon
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Date: 8/17/12 7:03 PM

I did this on M2401 with no problems. If getting the dress on and off is likely to be an issue maybe you could have the zip fully open into the armhole rather than slightly below, and put it on the side that is easiest for you. I find I contort trying to open zips on the left so I move my zips to the right.

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Tracy, Canberra

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