Houston Dress - Part 3
The Zipper and Some Finishing
This dress has a side zipper, a feature not uncommon on vintage dresses. The side zipper provides the only way to getting the dress on if there is no closure at center front or back. The side zipper allows the dress to open up enough through the mid section to be put on.
For most side zippers, I do a hand picked zipper application. Occasionally I will put in an invisible zipper, but only if the top edge is at the armhole. Since this one wasn't and I couldn't find a green invisible zipper locally anyway, hand picking was the obvious choice. It is not worth my time or frustration to do a centered or lapped machine application. I don't like wrestling with the entire dress and I actually like hand stitching. I can actually put in a hand picked zipper in a side seam just as fast as I can by machine (counting all the time ripping out and redoing since I'm never happy with the first try), and I know it will be neat and right the first time.
Once the side seam is basted shut, the zipper is basted into place. The yellow thread is the basting thread. I then mark for distance away from the seam line that I want the stitches to be - in this case, 1/4" - that's the white line. The pins then mark exactly where each stitch will go, spaced exactly 1/2" apart. That distance may vary depending on the garment.
After everything is marked, I stitch up one side. I then mark and stitch the other side, pull out all the basting threads and I'm done. Here's the completed zipper from the inside:
I've also started the hand finishing. I chose to finish the armholes by hand. Since I was fully lining the bodice, I stitched the shoulders seams of both the bodice and lining and then attached them at the neckline. Each armhole was stay stitched, clipped, pinned together and fell stitched together. It sounds like a lot of work, but actually isn't. This is another place where I prefer hand finishing sleeveless armholes to following the directions in patterns for finishing those shoulder seams. I always find them awkward and in the end it is easier for me to hand stitch.
I just need to try on the dress one more time to make sure the darts look nice and then I will stitch down the lining on the inside and the dress will be ready for hemming this weekend.
Regarding the button choices, yes, I think see them on the dress would probably be best before chosing! Here are the choices:
#1: The chrysanthemum button (that's what I call them because that's what they look like to me!)
#2: The paisley button
I'm leaning toward the paisley button at the moment. It is more interesting to me.
Parting Shot: Meet Mr. George. A few of you wanted to know who the designer was of the recent Advance pattern that I showed. Here he is, Mr. Eddy George of Casual Time of California.