How to sew with exposed zips a jaycotts.co.uk how-to postIn this post I am going to show you how to use exposed zips by making up this lovely Tilly and The Buttons dress. The pattern is from Jaycotts Tilly and The Buttons Francoise dress pattern
Tilly and the Buttons has some amazing patterns and I love them. I couldn't wait to try out Françoise. I also saw it as an opportunity to talk more about zips, in particular Exposed zips.
There is no need whatsoever in going through the exact making up of any Tilly and the Buttons patterns, because you cannot improve on perfection, the instructions on her web site Tilly and the buttons.com so do take a look.
I also wanted to make another version in Black, but not totally plain. I chose a twill fabric and used a piece of a Liberty cotton for the clarification to add a pop of colour.
The Paris fabric dress has a concealed zip, but on the black one I inserted a metal zip to add back interest.
When I tried the dress on I thought it too short, I debated and pondered and in the end decided that it needed to be about 2 inches longer. Using the front and back pattern pieces as a guide for drafting the top of the add-on strip, I made it three inches long, curving the edge as on the top of the strip.
It was easy then to attach it to the base of my dress and I was much happier with the length.
When it came to making the second dress I cut the front and back pattern pieces along the line where it says "lengthen or shorten here" and inserted, rather messily a two inch strip of paper . This is now my new pattern.
I chose a black zip with silver teeth from Jaycotts.co.uk. Link is HERE I inserted it so that the teeth would be exposed. It is very easy to do. Stitch your back seam to where you want the zip to end. Press the seam allowance back all along the back dress and then pin your zip to the seam allowance and stitch in place next to the teeth with a regular zipper foot. If you find that difficult then fold your seam allowances back, press, pin your zip underneath the back opening and top stitch in place.
This is the finished dress, complete with contrast collar. Pretty?
Measure the length you want the opening to be, and choose your zip. Dont forget that you can shorten a zip. See my blog post about making cushion covers HERE for information on how to do it.
You need to then mark the centre of the opening where you want the zip to go. Attach a small piece of iron on interfacing to the bottom of the cut as above . Measure the width of the zip tape and mark a fold line both sides of the centre cut. You need to make sure that the opening us not too wide for your zip. Mark a triangle running out from the end of the cut to the end of the seam allowance as shown. Cut these lines too, making sure they match
Fold the seam allowance and the little triangle to the back as shown. Press.
Stitch the zipper tape to the seam allowances on both sides and stitch the bottom of the zip to the triangle, you may have to do it by hand as you cannot machine over metal teeth.
And this is the top. The applications for this are endless, you could put it on the front or back of a dress, top, skirt, it does not have to be vertical - how about on the diagonal? You could make pockets and use this method to close them.... I am sure that you can come up with lots of options.
So, from one great pattern I have made two very nice and different dresses.
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Angela . X