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Installing a Decorative Zipper

Dec 07, 2009
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There are lots of fun zippers out there these days and a student of mine recently inquired about installing one in a fitted skirt.

In this skirt, the zipper starts part-way down a curved seam in the front of the skirt. The zipper is meant to be visible, so the seam has to transition from being closed to revealing the zipper placket.

The stiff silk satin I chose for the example is a bit challenging, but I figured if I could get a decent result with that, then an installation with a more forgiving fabric and a matching zipper would work just fine.

Here’s the partially sewn seam, along with a decorative zipper I found in my stash.

I basted a line to indicate the top of the opening, and I basted the eventual stitching lines of the zipper as well.

I pinned a piece of silk organza to…

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  1. Swiech December 8th

    I used the crystal zipper in a boiled wool jacket I made and found the crystals were hard to zip beccause of the weight of the wool. Your description of work was clear.

  2. User avater rakinboye January 27th

    this is very clear and i intend to try it asap.

    i am presently trying to make a gown with a horizontally ruched front and i create my own patterns.

    Do i ruche the fabric first before placing it on a pattern or do i ruche the fabric after i have made the pattern and factored in extra length into the pattern?

    will be grateful for a response

  3. ltgdmh February 14th

    in answer to "rakinboye" I personally would ruche the fabric before as you may want ro alter the amount of ruching afterward (depending on the fabric) and either waste fabric or not have alowed enough. Loved the jipper very clear and looked quite easy!

  4. PatMoore June 26th

    Trying this NOW!!! So happy I found this... thanks!

  5. User avater BarbaraHewitt April 18th

    Thank you! Very helpful.

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