Monday, May 25, 2009

Learning new tricks

I am attending a foodie dinner on Friday and a wedding on Saturday, so I'm wanting some new dresses. I want to use a lapped zipper on at least one, and an all-in-one facing/lining in the other. Both new-to-me techniques. Last weekend Leslie told me that when she's learning a new technique, she practices it over and over using different tutorials until she's completely got it down. I did each of these once and I'm calling it good enough.

Lapped zipper


I'm using this in the center back seam of the BurdaStyle Coffee Date dress. The lapped zipper seems vintage and classy to me for some reason. The bodice of my dress is silk and it could use a classy zipper finish.

Threads Magazine issue 134 (Dec 2007/Jan 2008) has an article on lapped zipper insertion by the singularly-named Rosebud. For my test run, I used a pretty chunky zipper because it's what I had available. She suggests using 1/2" wide hair tape as a template on the outside of the garment to sew around. I only had 3/4" wide Scotch tape, so I used that as my template and sewed over it, thinking it would still be easy to peel off. It wasn't. I'll have to find another template for the real thing.


All-in-one-facing


If you read BWOF, you'll know that sometimes they mention a method to face or line a sleeveless garment in which a wooden spoon comes in handy. The only illustration they show is a wooden spoon handle pushing through the sleeve. This is what they're talking about!

Claire Shaeffer has a great tutorial in High Fashion Sewing Secrets called "How to Sew a Narrow All-in-One Shoulder Facing". The drawings a relatively clear, but for me, it's one of those techniques that I didn't really understand until I just cut up some fabric and tried it myself.


Dress 1 (coffee date) should be done in a couple hours, and hopefully I can get a muslin started for dress 2 (TBD) before the day is over.

22 comments:

Cindy May said...

having fun with all your time off this weekend sewing and blogging?:)
you are going to look fabulous in that coffee date dress.

cidell said...

Yeah. BWOF directions are horrible for that technique, but really a great one. I should do it so often that it actually makes sense.

For the lapped zipper, 'tiger tape' works great. Not that I bought any at Fabric Depot. I used that technique also. Of course, Marji had to fax it to me because I don't subscribe to Threads.

Can't wait to see coffee date dress. Sooo cute.

Robyn said...

I have the Coffee Date Dress on my list, too! Can't wait to see how it comes out. And wouldn't mind if you blogged about any troubles you might encounter!

Elaray said...

BWOF really made me angry with the useless directions for the All-In-One Technique. Picture of a wooden spoon - sheesh!

gwensews said...

Looks like you have your tecniques mastered! Good luck with your dresses.

katherine h said...

Just something to think about when sewing the lapped zipper....it is easy to sew a facing or lining so that it covers the zip on the inside, which is not what you want. Rosebud's article does not give any info on the facing (though in later pictures hers looks perfect). The only article I have found about this is in an old Australian Stitches magazine....maybe you will have something similar in your sewing library. You might want to practice a lining / facing onto a lapped zipper before you start the real thing (just while you are practising and all...not as fun as diving into the real thing, I know)

Soph said...

Hi Christina,
Oh, I've looked at the BWOF wooden spoon picture (which is in almost all of their mags) for many years...and I've wondered..:
Is that a spoon :-) LOL
I feel much better now :-)
Thanks for making my day!
Cheers
Sophie

Little Hunting Creek said...

I just don't get the whoke wooden spoon thing, so I'm happy top hear that I'm not the only one who has to actually do it to get it. Lapped zippers are very retro; they were the first kind we learned back in junior high.

Nancy K said...

Claire Schaeffer's book is indispensable for providing instructions to techniques that make your garment so much more professional looking. And, yeah that Burda can't even begin to explain.

Bunny said...

I use quarter inch masking tape on each side of the seam for a center zip and two on one side for a lapped zip.

I have to go check that facing business in Schaeffer's book. I need to do one real soon and her book is somewhere in the sewing "library", aka, closet in the sewing room!

Olga said...

Hi, Christina!

I just happened to sew a successful lapped zipper today, and I used Clo-Chalk and a ruler (http://www.clotilde.com/detail.html?prod_id=517)
to just draw my left-side stitching line on the right side of the fabric. This chalk goes away on its own very quickly (in a day), or you can iron over it to remove it immediately. It is my new favorite notion learned from "Easy Guide to Sewing Tops and T-Shirts".

Curry said...

I've been eyeing the Coffee Date Dress for a while now. Can't wait to see how yours turns out!

Leslie said...

ooh I can't wait to see your dresses! Isn't that lapped zipper nice looking? I have a new found love for it. Yay for practicing techniques!!

Robyn said...

Thanks for your response about the coffee date dress. I appreciate your tips. No hurry/obligation to offer detailed blogging, but I'll love to check it out if you do!

The MSILF said...

Sorry, I still don't get where the spoon comes in.

Johanna Lu said...

That's something I need to start doing too. Getting a hang of it is such a nice feeling and I really need to be more patient with these things

Lindsay T said...

Me too, hate that wooden spoon illustration! I feel so stupid every time I see it.

I loooove that jacket you just made!

The Slapdash Sewist said...

I'd love recommendations for a good lapped zipper tutorial. I've read many but have never grasped the way they work. On the rare instances in which in invisible zipper doesn't work, I have often wished I could do a lapped.

Nancy W. said...

I use scotch magic 1/2 wide tape and it works great. Sew right next to it, not through it and it comes off easily. I love lapped zippers and they are pretty easy. I use the instructions that come in the zipper package that have you baste the seam together before you sew it. This is much easier than the "turn under one side 3/8 and the other side 5/8 inch. If you have Sandra Betzina's Power Sewing Step by Step book, it has a great tutorial for a lapped zipper that I often use. I usually prefer a lapped zipper to any other kind because they always come out looking good. Your's looks fine, but try a few methods and find out which one is EASIEST to do for you.

brocadegoddess said...

Gosh, and I've just been eyeballing my lapped zippers all this time!

That's so great that you're extending your sewing knowledge and abilities! Hooray for life-long learning! And both those techniques are really great ones, for achieveing some really nice finishing.

Can't wait to see the coffee-date dress, I've also been eyeing it for some time.

Oh, and if you want an uber-retro look - put the lapped zipper in the side seam sometime.

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

I use the scotch tape method for inserting centered and lapped zippers. You can buy the 1/2", 5/8" and even 1 inch tape at Staples. I have it in all widths - and make sure my boxes are labeled so that I don't use the wrong one at the wrong time. I keep the 5/8" size on the tape dispenser for use all the time...but the scotch tape method is easy to remove if you don't sew it down. :)

Tany said...

Taking some time to learn and practice new techniques is a great idea; the extra work pays off in the end.