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Forum > Bridal and Formalwear Sewing > How to finish seams in silk chiffon below invisible zipper ( Moderated by MissCelie)

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How to finish seams in silk chiffon below invisible zipper
Vogue 9668
prostheticsgirl
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prostheticsgirl
Ohio USA
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Date: 11/9/12 12:27 PM

So I'm making Vogue 9668 (view C but with a long A line skirt) from an Indian silk sari, which is the texture of silk habotai. I've underlined the bodice and midriff to stabilize the fabric (the bodice and midriff lining are also fully interfaced for structure) but am only lining the skirt so that I can maintain the light floaty texture of the fabric. I'm not sure of the best way to address the back seam and zipper. The skirt sides will be french seamed since the fabric is very light and loves to fray. The fashion fabric on its own can not support the weight of the zipper, so I'm wondering if there is a clean method of inserting the zipper to the fashion fabric and lining while leaving both free (and neatly finished) below the zipper?

prostheticsgirl
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prostheticsgirl
Ohio USA
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Date: 11/9/12 9:39 PM

Also my lining is a contrasting color to my fashion fabric, and it would show if I inserted the zipper into the lining and left the fashion fabric free

KathleenS
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KathleenS  Friend of PR
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Date: 11/14/12 6:40 AM

You've asked a tricky question; that's why no-one's taken it on I think that, doing it that way, whatever you do there will be a to some degree awkward transition point at the bottom of the zip. Especially if you attempt a French seam. If I understand correctly, your fabric is thin but not see-through? I would do a different seam finish on that seam - perhaps a clean finish (turn under and edge-stitch), or a hand overcast or an overlock (serge). You will probably have to do a bit of hand sewing and manipulation at the transition point.

I wonder if you could just put the zip in the lining (as you mentioned), finish the outer layer as if you were letting it hang loose, but then carefully hand sew it down along the zip.

Personally I would treat the two fabrics as one for the entire length of the skirt seam - in the section with the zip and the section without, and finish them together. Yes, it will be slightly different from the other seams (slightly) but it would be different anyway because of the stiffness of the zip. If it was my dress I would do it that way because I would be more confident of the quality of the result.

Hope that helps.

Kathleen
-- Edited on 11/14/12 6:50 AM --

prostheticsgirl
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prostheticsgirl
Ohio USA
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Date: 11/14/12 8:20 AM

Thanks Kathleen, yeah I finally gave up on getting a response in this section and also posted in the beginner's message board. My fashion silk is see through (think printed silk chiffon basically) so I'm hesitant to serge. Finishing it with the back lining seam would make the finish invisible, but I'm also concerned about how that will affect the drape of the skirt. One thing posing this question has confirmed is that there is not ONE single correct answer that is inarguably better than all other options. At this point I'm having to tear the whole bodice apart to make adjustments for fit before I can get back to the skirt issue!

KathleenS
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Date: 11/15/12 5:32 AM

It looks like you've got some good advice there. As it happens I'm making this dress too, only I'm making View A. I think it's a great pattern, but yes, the bodice is very fitted (all the more so in your view I expect) and it needs work for me as well.
-- Edited on 11/15/12 5:34 AM --

prostheticsgirl
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prostheticsgirl
Ohio USA
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Date: 11/15/12 5:19 PM

Ooohhh, I love view A! I've read some reviews about issues with the armhole/sleeve drafting. I want to make a version of it, but will definitely muslin the bodice. How is yours going? I would love to see pics

I'm always able to use a 10 bodice straight from the envelope (sometimes I take the waist in for fit and always take the hips in- inverted triagle shape), but this dress is requiring tons of weird tweaks for me (like letting out the waist slightly and taking it in under the arms??). Unfortunately the way I constructed is required quite a fit of tearing out to adjust. I made changes to my pattern, but with so many changes, I'll also muslin my next version before I cut into silk again.

marjoryt
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Subject: Have you considered a Hong Kong finish? Date: 11/15/12 10:32 PM

I've seen that done with some sari silks, and it appeared to be thin strips of nude chiffon. Whenever I've used a Hong Kong finish, I've used nylon lace, some lightweight knit, chiffon scraps. I've never ever had problems with the seam raveling. When I used chiffon, it seemed weigh almost nothing.

horrocl
horrocl
Alabama USA
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In reply to prostheticsgirl <<


Date: 6/23/15 3:15 PM

I'm so glad there was SOME discussion on this because I'm making a beautiful dress for my granddaughter and this is my problem right now. I've experimented with all different kinds of finishes. One way I approached it finally was to apply a very thin line of Fray Check on the edge of the seam. I checked it an hour later and it seems to be fray-free! On the other seams, I'm going to use a French seam.

In the bodice pieces, I will treat the chiffon and the silk as one piece at the zipper back. If this top piece wasn't chiffon, I would clip it and have it go into its own seam. With this chiffon, I'm afraid of a weak spot at the clip, and I'm still thinking about the solution.

Does anyone have that figured out?

Also, a good sewing friend of mine thought that invisible thread might be a great thread for the chiffon pieces. Any experience with that anyone ???

jjosiejo
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jjosiejo  Friend of PR
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Date: 6/23/15 4:11 PM

I had that exact issue with a silk charmeuse dress I made recently.

I opted to cut the seams where I could on the selvedge (skirt CB seam) so I didn't need to finish them, and where that wasn't possible (on the bodice), I used self-fabric bias binding to bind the seams together with the zip (I also bound the bottom of the invisible zip in the same way so it wasn't scratchy against the skin).

I am not sure it would work so well on something very sheer, but it looked really neat on the charmeuse and supported the zipper seam without being too heavy.

Tizmehr
Tizmehr
Ontario CANADA
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Date: 6/23/15 4:40 PM

You could clip the chiffon just below the zipper. Then separate the seam allowance from the lining below the clip. Sew the two seams individually. If you can really see the seam allowances, they'll be hidden if you use a hong kong type seam finish using strips of the lining fabric as the binding. I did this on a long gown once and it made a tremendous difference. The seams just disappeared.

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