Tutorial, By Request
Overlays and Invisible Zippers
Thank you all for your compliments on our Easter outfits! I enjoy doing special garments, and these were no exception.
I did have a question regarding how I actually did the invisible zipper, but kept the skirt overlay free. With a regular center application zipper, the edges of the overlay are finished first and attached with the skirt to the bodice. The zipper can then be inserted keeping the finished edges of the overlay out of the way.
You could do this with an invisible zipper, but then the point of actually using an invisible zipper is lost - you can tell where there is a break in the fabric for the zipper! Here's how I include the overlay in the zipper portion of the invisible zipper seam, but keep the overlay free below it. This does take a little care, time and concentration, but it can be done successfully.
1. Temporarily pin the zipper to the overlay only. Mark the position of the bottom zipper stop on the overlay seam allowance. I've used a pin placed perpendicular to the fabric edge as a marker, below. Unpin the zipper and stay stitch on the seam line 1.5" above and below the marked zipper stop position on both fabric pieces.
2. Insert the invisible zipper as you normally would, including both the skirt and overlay fabrics when stitching the zipper to the fabric. Do not finish stitching the seam from the zipper to the hem, only stitch the zipper to each side of the fabric.
3. Here's where you will need extra care (as if you're not carefully putting in the zipper already!). Find the end point of the stitching holding the zipper in place. Clip only the overlay fabric to the stay stitched line at the stopping point of the stitching on both sides. You can see that I've placed a pin perpendicular to the seam line to mark where to clip, and that I've already clipped this side.
4. Holding the overlay out of the way, now finish stitching the seam below the zipper as you normally would, making sure to include the skirt only and not the overlay. The first photo shows everything pinned together, the second photo shows the overlay out of the way, and the third shows the finished seam.
5. Stitch the remainder of the overlay seam below the zipper. I like to use French seams especially on sheers. Always stitch this seam (whether regular or French seams) from the hem to the zipper. This will make it easier to maneuver the sewing machine foot close to the zipper seam at the end of the seam. You can see in the first photo below that I'm stitching toward the white fabric, or the skirt fabric. The second photo shows the two seams finished and independent of one another below the zipper.
Q/A: Vicki spied my black cardigan in the family photos and asked if I wore that just at home. No, I wore it at church, too. With the temperature around freezing, I had to wear it. For the photos of the dress without the sweater, I was pretty cold! Maybe this summer I'll be able to get away without the sweater.
Parting Shot: Serious/Silly. I'm glad you all are enjoying this series! We realized afterwards that we didn't have too many serious ones. In the end, my husband and I decided that it was fine that way, as we'd remember the fun we had taking the pictures. Today's pictures were taken by my daughter. The first one is almost too serious, but I like it because it is a good face study between mother, father and son.