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Topic: Heart Attack Installing Zipper in Satin Dress  (Read 785 times)
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mandodeb
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« on: April 29, 2008 04:18:49 PM »

OK, I haven't had the breakdown yet.  Help me avoid a coronary, I beg you!

I am making a satin dress for a friend's daughter.  My friend said she wants me to do it because she can't make a zipper look very good.

This satin is slippery as all get-out.  I have made the lining and the dress, and now it's time to put in the invisible zipper.

Should I just use my trusty machine and stitch close to the edge?  (I have put zippers in before, but have a hard time keeping the edge stitching perfectly straight).  Some books I have on hand show "pick stitches" - you use a sharp needle and stitch the zipper in by hand and supposedly the stitches won't show very much on the outside.  Gadzooks!  Satin!  It's scary!! Tongue
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SpottedFrog
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2008 05:01:47 PM »

Satin is a pain in the butt. Zippers are evil. Satin + zipper = evil pain in the butt!
Thing is, I would have told said friend "no because my zippers are not any good either", but that's just me.

I'd probably break down & do it by hand.

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elijor
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2008 07:07:52 PM »

now it's time to put in the invisible zipper.

If you are actually using an "invisible zipper" the stitches won't show anyway. I would say that an invisible zipper would be the best bet for getting a good look. Two options for the lining: A-baste the lining to the outer fabric and treat as one fabric while sewing in the invisible zipper or B-sew the invisible zipper into the outer fabric then hand sew the lining to the zipper. I think either would work and the difference would probably be based on the shape of the garment.

Tips for the zipper itself: pin a lot and carefully - while I generally pin perpendicular to the seam for zippers I pin parallel and just slide the pin out as it starts to go under the foot. You can tape the zipper in place using transperant or masking tape perpendicular to the seam. You can get 1/4" double stitch tape (a quilters notion but available at many regular fabric stores) to hold the zipper in place. You can use 1/4" fusible web to fuse the zipper in place (be careful as this is sort of permanent, you still have to sew but it).
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Thesingingllamas
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« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2008 08:03:01 PM »

Would it help to starch the fabric? Something that will make it stiff and easier to work with while you are putting in the zipper, but will wash out. I often forget about this relatively simple solution.

To make it look very professional, install the zipper in the outer fabric as per directions, press the lining fabric under, and stitch the lining to the zipper by hand.
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mandodeb
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« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2008 10:13:30 PM »

Elijor!  Great tips, I am printing your advice out.  I have always topstitched my zippers... duh, I guess I'm not supposed to on the invisible one?

Thesingingllamas, I will try starch on a scrap, but my guess is that the starch might stain the satin?  I have no idea, but I will try out a test swatch and see what happens.  I never thought of starch...
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shadowsforsale
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« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2008 11:18:33 PM »

I just half an hour ago put an invisible zipper on my sister's prom dress. I was worried about the zipper with satin, too, but I basted the blasted thing with two lines of basting, and stitched really slowly, pulled the basting out, and gave it another line of machine stitching as close as I could get to the zipper. It's not perfect, but it looks as good as one of my zippers in regular, every-day fabric. Mind you, I've only put about ten zippers in, so I'm nowhere near professional at them, but this works, and Munch is happy with it, so I figure I'm good.  Wink
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Thesingingllamas
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« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2008 10:34:38 AM »

It depends what kind of satin it is. With the polyester satins they sell at the fabric store, more are machine wash warm tumble dry. Polyester will absorb oil stains, but it is fine with waterborne stains as far as stain removal.
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elijor
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2008 03:20:25 PM »

I have always topstitched my zippers... duh, I guess I'm not supposed to on the invisible one?

Exactly, the join of the invisible zipper is that there is no stitching on the outside of the garment. This sewing.org page has good directions and pictures of how to sew an invisible zipper. If you don't have an invisible zipper foot you can use any foot that has grooves on the underside. On a Bernina the buttonhole foot works perfect - I'd guess that all buttonhole feet have two grooves on the underside to run the cording through.

Usually you sew the invisible zipper in as one of the first steps and since you said you "have made the lining and the dress" you are past that stage. You will probably have to take out a few inches of the seam that you are placing the zipper in - but you don't need to take the whole thing out. When you get to step 3 just sew from the end of the zipper to where the stitching ends. Oh - use a regular zipper foot for step 3 so you can get really close to the zipper - the closer you get the better it will look.
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mandodeb
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« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2008 04:22:26 PM »

Thank you everyone!
I went to my local sewing stores and nobody carried Bernina's invisible zipper foot so I ordered one from Seattle, Washington.  The nice lady said she'll even send it priority mail!  So I'm getting that one cheap & fast!

I went to a site, www.expertvillage.com, and watched videos on how to install the zipper.  I am so grateful.  I have been doing it completely wrong!  Now I get the whole "invisibility" thing.

Elijor, I ordered the special foot before I saw your comment.  I think I'll try out the buttonhole foot I have on hand for a silk-like blouse I'm making for myself.  I am glad to know that removing just a couple inches under the zipper install seam will save the day!
Thanks Thesingingllamas and shadowsforsale - you have renewed my confidence!
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SpottedFrog
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2008 06:39:00 PM »

That's a really nice video. I sould just make one on cleaning.

::panics at talking on camera::
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