Sunday, May 31, 2009

Prom dress continues, stuck at the zipper

Well, I thought I could fake the invisible zipper as I have done once before, without the proper invisible zipper foot, but I was wrong. sigh. Let's start where we left off last time.
prom dress IV
I added the vertically quilted pieces to the back, where I needed a little extra width. They were quite a bit wider than I needed but I wanted to give myself wiggle room. I also noticed that putting the zipper in might be easier with the simply quilted piece, rather than trying to sew the zipper to all those layers of hair canvas interfacing, so I think that part turned out for the best.
prom dress IV
I trimmed those pieces up a bit more and here, I am illustrating what it will look like once the zipper is in. I have been hoping this "fix" will look like a "design feature" and I think it will!
prom dress IV
This is just one panel of how odd the construction of the skirt seemed, before I actually followed the instructions and sewed all four of the skirt pieces together.
prom dress IV
Here is the dress, just hanging around the neck of my judy, which is why the skirt looks oddly wide (because it's not actually ON the judy). But it does look exactly like the pattern instructions.
prom dress IV
Once the skirt is sewn onto the bodice, you have to press the seam allowance UP, into the bodice, so that it can get concealed by the lining. This is difficult because of the layers of interfacing that have to be folded up. So I decided to sew up the seam allowance by hand (instead of just pressing it up), taking some internal stitches here and there but also making pick stitches right through to the quilting on the outside. This is turning into a true couture garment, with all this hand sewing.
prom dress IV
The instructions also called for understitching the top edge of the bodice as much as possible by machine, which I did. But it still tended to roll out so I pick stitched the entire thing around the inside, including the two "drape" pieces (the things that go around the neck to make the halter).
prom dress IV
These pick stitches are all on the inside and never show on the outside.
prom dress IV
So then it came time to put in the invisible zipper. I basted it all in by hand first (of course!). Then I tried cheating with a non-invisible zipper foot and couldn't get the zipper teeth to roll out far enough to give it the proper "invisible" effect. So now I have to call my sister (my niece's mother) and see if she has this foot attachment on her machine. If so, I can go over and first do a fitting and then sew it up. If not, I will have to go find one. But I'm almost done!


gwensews said...

This dress has so much detail, it's bound to be awesome!

Arlene said...

Wow that is an intense dress--in details as well as looks! It looks like a million bucks!

Marty said...

That invisible foot thing drives me nuts! I thought I had the right one to fit my machine, but it's gone somewhere and I can't find one in any store. Sheesh! You're doing a bang-up job on the dress, lady!

Anonymous said...

I suggest..BITE THE BULLET. Spend the 3 or 4 bucks, buy the FOOT.
I bought a foot for my machine.
PLUS the Coats and Clark (who make MOST of our zippers)foot which works for VARIOUS machines.

Invisible zips are a PERFECT DREAM now :)

JuliaR said...

Thanks all! I think I know a place where I can get a proper foot. This zipper doesn't seem as springy as the others I have put in without a proper foot so maybe that is why I am having issues. In any event, my sister should have one and then I can do a fitting too. It will work out, one way or the other.

Anonymous said...

Julia, I am watching the progress of this truly awesome job you are doing. Very labour intensive, my hat off to you!

Did you iron the invisible zipper along the teeth to flatten them out beforehand? That is a very important step in getting very close to the teeth. I have seen people use a regular zipper foot along with moving the needle up closer to the teeth.

You can get a plastic universal set with around 3 different shanks to fit any machine. Shouldn't cost more than $5.00.

Can't wait to see your niece in this. Is this the same niece who got the blue dress? Lucky girl indeed!

Anonymous said...

Just want to add that the 'fix' doesn't look obvious at all. I was wondering when you wrote about it in your earlier post, if it was the quilting that caused it to be too small.

JuliaR said...

Hey Heather, I am not sure what caused it to be too small. Having all those layers AND the quilting surely contributed. She tried it on last night and the "fix" looks just like part of the dress! Whew. However, now it is too big at the waist so I am going to fix that in the next installment.

I got a generic zipper foot for under $4 when the sewing machine store didn't have one for my machine. The instructions specifically say NOT to iron the teeth out, so I am going to rely on the foot design to get my needle close to the teeth. There will be pix!

And yes, this is the lucky girl who got the turquoise silk dress too! But she already has plans to wear that one to two weddings she is invited to later this year.

Evelyn aka Starfishy said...

You are in the home stretch now! It is looking super-fab! Cheers!

Ann's Fashion Studio said...

WOW, you are doing an awesome job. This dress is looking absolutely beautiful.
You sound like you have the zipper issue all figured out :) and I'm sure it will be perfect.

Anonymous said...

you could just press the invisible zipper open and use a normal pressure foot to sew on the zipper.
by the way the dress looks fine so far.