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Forum > Sewing Techniques and Tips > Invisible zipper showing at waist seam ( Moderated by MissCelie)

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Invisible zipper showing at waist seam
annekecaramin
annekecaramin
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Date: 5/13/13 7:24 AM

I love the look of invisible zippers and got pretty good at inserting them, but they always show around the waist seam, no matter what I do. It's like the extra bulk of the seam is enough to make the zipper visible, even on lightweight fabrics. I've tried trimming seams as much as I can, but I don't want to weaken them too much since the waist gets quite a bit of stress sometimes! I'm thinking of inserting piping into the waist seam of a special occasion dress I'll be making soon, but all tutorials I find on this just say to insert the piping and sew everything as normal, nothing on dealing with the extra bulk at the seams, and nothing about the zipper insertion. I'm afraid it's going to be a gaping mess, and my fabric (a loose linen) doesn't like to be unpicked. Any tips?

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PattyE
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In reply to annekecaramin <<


Date: 5/13/13 9:20 AM

Are you getting close enough to the teeth when sewing in the zipper? I always press the teeth open before insertion. Otherwise you could consider topstitching the zipper which might help absorb the pull at the waist.

annekecaramin
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In reply to PattyE <<
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Date: 5/13/13 9:29 AM

Yeah, the zipper is invisible all over except when it crosses the waist seam. I always press them open a bit and baste them in place first so I can get really close to the teeth without the zipper shifting... I'd rather not topstitch since that kind of defeats the purpose of an invisible zipper! Maybe I could try a waist stay to take some of the strain off?

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beauturbo
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Date: 5/13/13 7:26 PM

On the ones you have already done, could they be a bit too tight in the waist and fabric just pulling? To find out, with dress off, and zipped up, if that seems to happen less, then maybe let out the other non zipper side of the dress a bit.

I don't think the way an invisible zipper even goes into the seam line there is very prone to laying flat and looking closed if you got piping and a lot of layers in there actually. You can trim and grade all you want, but you still have something else even thicker and more bulky in there and if on top of a crossed seam too, I think it is just likely to do that.

But maybe with one you already made, try a little hand sewing there to see if maybe using some more invisible hand stitches at the intersection of some piping or a crossed seam, even if the bulk is the same, might work to help keep it more closed looking at the seam line. To do that, turn it inside out and then hand catch stitch all that you got there (free edge of crossed seams and piping in the seam allowance to the whole inside part of the outer edge of zipper tape right there. That would be more supportive of it there. If that still does not do it to keep the "pull pressure " off it there, then stitch through more invisible prick kind of hand sewing stitches in the same place from front side of the fabric at those crossed seams (maybe at the waistline) to catch the fashion fabric down against the loose edges of the Zipper tape underneath too, that might support it even a bit better, (as now pull is on that not your zipper seam) if not, it's only hand stitches and easy to take out.

arianamaniacs
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Date: 5/14/13 2:35 AM

I have this same problem too, and it's not because the top is too tight at the waist.

If you want to use piping, make sure you cut the cording to end right before the seam allowance. That will at least make the piping flat as it goes into the zipper seam.

I haven't been able to sew those any better either, and I always have problems getting my invisible zippers closed when I have multiple layers at the waist (e.g. mostly when my dresses have a band at the waist).

Good luck!

annekecaramin
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In reply to arianamaniacs <<
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Date: 5/14/13 5:00 AM

That's a great idea, cutting the cording! Thanks so much, this will certainly help a bit. If I sew them in very carefully the gaping is minimal, and if I get the bulk issue with the piping solved I'm sure it won't bother me as much!

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JTink
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Date: 5/14/13 8:53 AM

WOW! I'm glad you started this thread. I thought I was the only one who had this problem with invisible zips.

annekecaramin
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In reply to JTink <<


Date: 5/14/13 9:49 AM

I know, right? I'be been looking for information from other people about this for ages but never saw it mentioned.

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PattiAnnJ
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Date: 5/14/13 11:26 AM

I looked through my Threads Magazine Archives and found one other suggestion.

Stabilize the seams just above to just below the waist with a sheer iron-on type of tape or strip of sheer stabilizer.

There are a few brands to choose from.

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"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

purplebouquet
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Date: 5/15/13 11:10 AM

I finally mastered invisible zippers after watching PP's It's in the Details DVD. It demonstrates a method for sewing in the facing to take care of the "show at the waistline" problem.

Claudia

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