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converting buttons to zipper

lme | Posted in General Sewing Info on

Does anyone know where I can get picture instructions on how to convert a button closure to a zipper closure?

Replies

  1. Lizothelake | | #1

    Laurie,

    It is not hard to eliminate a Button Closure and replace with a zip.

    The zip is sewn in underneath adjacent seam allowances; so in a skirt you have a side or CB seam so far up then the SA 's are turned to the inside, pressed down, and the zip inserted.

    If you have a Buttoned closure you have a "Button Stand"; look at a shirt or blouse; the actual CF is not the foldline where the front becomes the facing, but where the buttons and buttonholes hold the over and under lap together down the CF. The width of the 'Stand' depends upon the type of garment, the weight of the fabric, and the size of the buttons. A winter coat will have substantial buttons, a wide 'stand', and be made of heavy cloth, while a fine silk blouse will have small buttons and a narrow stand. Style also comes into it. Usually the minimum width for a 'stand' is equal to at least 1/2 the diameter of the button. Visually it looks strange if the button emerging through the buttonhole is wider than the stand behind it. The exception is when you have the 1/2 dome or ball type buttons, e.g. on a bridal dress, and no buttonholes only loops to secure the buttons. In that case the 'stand' is not put on the right hand side of the dress front but the stand is double the usual width on the left hand/underlap side. (Prevents gaps from showing )

    If you look at a pattern piece for a garment the CF line is usually marked; the actual end of the advised length of buttonhole extends past it on horizontal buttonholes to accomodate the sewing on of the button, and the centre line of vertical buttonholes runs up and down it. If your facing (needed with buttonholes since the buttonholes and the buttons need the aditional fabric behind for both support and for finishing off) is cut seperate then disregard this piece, simply fold the pattern piece under 5/8" beyond the CF line to give yourself a SA. If the Facing is part of the pattern piece then turn it under and fold out of the way to leave yourself a 5/8" SA.

    Now simply stitch your seam to the bottom of the zipper, press the seam out flat and press the SA flat where the zipper goes, and insert the zipper.

    Not hard.

    Liz O'the Lake

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