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Forum > Sewing Techniques and Tips > How do I take in a dress with a side zipper? ( Moderated by MissCelie)

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How do I take in a dress with a side zipper?
Is there a specific technique?
Blaceyda
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Blaceyda
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Date: 11/2/12 5:28 PM

My sister has asked me to take in a dress for her, but it has a side zipper (invisible). The dress is chiffon, with a ruched but fitted strapless bodice, and a flowing skirt. She tried it on, and I could pinch out 1.5 inches at each of the side seams - it was only then I found out it had a side zipper, as she had been pulling it on over her head!

My initial plan of action is to unpick the lining from the bodice, take in the bodice and resew the lining. This will work fine on the non zipper side (I think), but will entail repositioning the zipper on that side. I haven't done this before, and I'm a little nervous. But, could I just pinch out the bodice at the back? Perhaps along the centre back, or in two pinches either side of it? Does this make sense?
I welcome any wisdom anyone can offer!
TIA

Blaceyda

AdaH
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AdaH
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In reply to Blaceyda <<
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Date: 11/2/12 5:37 PM

I had a similar problem with a dress for a GD this past summer. I ended up taking the zipper out, taking the dress in and then putting the zipper back in. This was my first invisible zipper and I was suprised at how easy it was to sew back in. So don't let that stop you. You might want to buy an invisible zipper and practive first if you are really nervous about putting the zipper back.

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Ada

Blaceyda
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Blaceyda
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Date: 11/3/12 7:12 AM

Doh! I hadn't thought about getting one to practise on.... Silly me
Keep your fingers crossed for me!

petro
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petro
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Date: 11/3/12 7:15 AM

If all else fails hand picking a zipper in usually resolves the difficulties of dealing with waist curves, shorter length of seam allowance edges and difficult fabrics. Its a lot quicker than unpicking too.

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Blaceyda
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Date: 11/4/12 4:07 PM

I'm back to square one. I don't have an invisible zipper foot, and I've been to the three stores in my town, and they don't have them either!
So will my alternative plan of taking the dress in at the back work?
I've made a little sketch of the back of the dress. The yellow at the left bodice side is the side invisible zipper. The pink dashed line is the centre back. I'm thinking that I will take the bodice in at the green lines, and taper to the bottom of the bodice, as I don't have the equipment to reinsert the invisible zipper.
In theory, will this work?

Marie367
Marie367  Friend of PR
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In reply to Blaceyda <<


Date: 11/4/12 5:53 PM

I am not sure this will help. Is her front bigger than her back? When you said that you could pinch out 1 1/2" on each side I assume that you were pulling some from the front too. If you only reduce the back, you will not fix anything going on in the front. I think you will have to do it at the sides. You could experiment with your regular zipper foot to sew the invisible zip in-it is not impossible to do it with a regular zipper foot but it certainly is not as easy as with an invisible zipper foot. I would probably hand sew the zipper back in place. Good luck!

sew2006
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In reply to Blaceyda <<


Date: 11/4/12 6:59 PM

Is the dress strapless? If so, the lining will have bonning sewn into the seam allowances. This is what makes the dress stay up and give it structure. Taking in the dress only in the back 3" per side will cause the side seams to pull to the back. It'd be best to remove the zipper and sew it back in. Companies label invizible zippers as concealed zipper feet.

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KimG
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In reply to Blaceyda <<


Date: 11/4/12 10:19 PM

You don't need to use an invisible zipper foot to insert an invisible zipper--I use a regular foot all of the time. Here are a couple of tutorials that may help you: Maripat's method and Els's method. I learned from Els's tutorial--if you practice a few times you should be OK. As Maripat comments, the key is being able to stitch in the zipper crease, and moving your needle position may help.

Blaceyda
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Blaceyda
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Date: 11/5/12 11:59 AM

Thanks folks, those tutorials are very helpful! I managed, but it's a bit wobbly... getting the chiffon ruched bands to match up was a bit finicky, but the dress is done!

Maripat
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Date: 11/8/12 6:04 AM

Thanks for checking out My Webpage

If you have any problems, let me help by clicking the Contact Me page. I have a video coming soon, too :)

Maripat

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