Long zipper at neckline
I enjoyed the article on ways to improve my sewing and found at least a few reminders of things I should be doing better. However, there is an internal inconsistency that has bothered me for a while: “Eliminate internal bulk” is followed by “Buy longer zippers.” I find that a neckline zipper that extends into the neckline facing always causes me problems. When I clip the corner off after stitching, it is very difficult to trim the zipper back exactly to the stitching line without leaving a couple of teeth inside the facing, and the facing never lies smooth when turned. If I clip too closely, the corner does fray. What is your recommendation for solving this?
Thanks for all suggestions.
When I sew a zipper in the center back seam (is this what you were referring to?) I keep the top most teeth just "south" of the neck seam line.(insert zipper) Then stitch the facing to the neck letting the seam allowance for center back of the facing extend past the edge of the zipper. Trim and clip the neck seam, press seam allow. towards facing, fold center back of facing to inside, then fold the facing down and hand stitch to the zipper tape on the inside. Clear as mud?? Hard to explain w/out having fabric in hands! Hope this helps some.
Becky, thanks for your reply. My question really referred to the often-repeated suggestion that one use a zipper that is an inch or two longer than needed, and let the extra hang off the top edge. You don't have to contend with the zipper pull, so you never get that curvy line of stitches that can result when you try to stitch past it.
In the article to which I was referring, a drawing shows the seam line crossing below the top of the zipper, with several teeth in the seam allowance. I just can't figure out how to turn that facing so it lies flat with those zipper teeth being there.
You don't need the top two or three teeth at the top of a zipper, as it's the bottom of the zipper pull that does all the work. When zipped all the way up, the pull is covering the last 3/8" or so, but it's only the bottom half of the pull that's engaging the teeth.After you insert the zipper as you have, you can trim it off flush with the seam line so that you can fold the facing neatly. If you want to be extra cautious, you can take a few bar tacks across the teeth just below the seam line so that the pull can't slide off, but it's not likely to anyway because the seamline thread will stop the pull. Try it out on a sample, and you'll see what I mean.
This is a new idea to me! Do you cut the zipper tape off before or after you stitch the facing on? Is the top edge of the zipper tape covered by the facing (encased in the facing seam?) or loose ? If loose, wouldn't it fray in the wash? I want to try this out in a top with a back zipper!
I would think that you would trim, before you put on the facing. If the teeth are poking out, you could always get some needle nose pliers and pull them out. I found that out making those fabric triangle boxes that Threads had an article on in 2002. Also, if you use pinking shears, it shouldn't fray, badly.
If the fabric is very bulky, I trim off the excess zipper tape before attaching the facing; otherwise, I just trim close to the seam afterward. The zipper tape is enclosed by the facing, and I usually handstitch the center back edges of the facing to the zipper tape anyway, so there's no problem with fraying. Finishing by hand allows me to true up the edges at the top of the zipper and keeps the facing from getting stuck in the zipper; it looks nice and wears well, too. If I decide to add a hook/eye closure, I do that last, attaching it to the completed facing with the hook facing outward so that it doesn't scratch my neck.
Thank you for your patient explanation. I am getting the picture (I hope correctly) of a zipper tape top that is not stitched into the facing seam but rather trimmed off just at the seam and then the facing folded over covers the raw edge. That would certainly cut down on bulk at that point. I think I'll try the technique on a small craft project first! Thanks again!
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