Well Hello fellow seamsters,
I have been enjoying this section, and I promise to post some of my project as soon as I get around to taking pictures of them But I have been seeing a lot of 'if only i could put in a zipper' comments. Now, as a luscious lady, elastic waistbands are the bane of my existence. It's rare that an elastic or drawstring waist looks tailored or slimming. Zippers are simply a necessary evil. Except they need not be evil! Allow me guide you on 4 steps to a zipper.
Let's assume you are putting in a 15cm (that's 6.25" for you yanks) into the back center seam of an A line skirt.
Step 1) Sew your back seam, but for the 15 cm's closest to the waist, use a baste stitch. Iron the seam flat out.
Step 2) Lay down the fabric so that the right side is facing down, and you are looking at the seam that is ironed flat. Put your zipper right face down on it. What you are looking at now is what your zipper will eventually look like. When you've sewn it in. If you can see the zipper pull, your zipper is facing the wrong way
Now, pin your zipper into place. To make sure you've got it straight, pick up the whole kit'n'caboodle up, pull the two pieces slightly apart, and thanks to the basting stitch you should be able to see the zipper though the seam. Don't pull too hard, or you'll take out the seam. Just allow yourself some guidance.
Step 3) Got it pinned straight? Atta Girl! You're almost there. Here is the tricky part. If you've got a zipper foot, now is the time to pull it out. If not, no worries, just sew slowly. Precision is the key to this one. Sew the zipper from the top of one side down to the bottom of the zipper, as close to the teeth as you can manage without hitting them, then when you get to the bottom, sew across a few times (to secure it) then back up the other side. How is it looking? You want the seams to be as even as possible. If it's wavy, do not dismay, just pick it out and try again. If it's relatively even, congratulate yourself and move on to...
Step 4) Look at you go! You're almost there! OK, this is the easiest and most rewarding step. You know that part of back seam that was all basting stitches that are covering your zipper? Bust out the seam ripper and do away with them! like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon, you will have a FUNCTIONING ZIPPER! Woohoo! Zip it up and down a few times, while a strong sense of self satisfaction pumps through your veins! There is nothing you can't do! (except maybe an invisible zipper.....hey..hey...one thing at a time)
I hope this explanation made sense and I didn't make the situation worse for anyone trying to figure out how to put in a zipper. It really is simple; but can be daunting if you've never done it. Practice on scraps if you want a few samples first. And may the Zipper Gods be with you!