Archive | August 2015

I’m Making a Skirt! Phase 3: Caught in the Zipper

Phase 1: Practice

Phase 2: Gadget Testing

Just over three weeks ago, I had the idea that I could possibly finish the exterior of the skirt I was making before leaving for vacation. I had a great deal of trouble with the hard-to-install, fiddly little plastic invisible zipper foot*, but I persevered.

This foot comes with a variety of different adapters, but it was hard to tell (a) which one to use and (b) how to attach it to my machine.

This Coats and Clark foot comes with a variety of different adapters, but it was hard to tell (a) which one to use and (b) how to attach it to my machine. Also, please note that the bottom has fallen off. This happens with some regularity when using the foot. Once I put it back on backwards, which further slowed me down.

Then I sewed the zipper on the wrong side of the skirt. Clearly, I should have practiced zipper-installation on my practice skirt. It would have been worth buying an extra zipper.

wpid-20150813_103614.jpg

This is what an invisible zipper is supposed to look like. Mine opened to the inside of the skirt. Whoops.

Well, I picked out the stitches and tried again. Now, I had basted it on, so I had to pick out two rows of stitches. And I forgot that “baste” means “use big stitches,” so I had two rows of stitches. And the black thread is almost invisible against the black-and-white houndstooth fabric and completely invisible against the black zipper. Sigh.

So after I finished picking out all those stitches, I sewed it on again. This time, I remembered to use nice big basting stitches.

Which is good, because this time I sewed on the wrong side of the zipper.

I picked it out again. It was getting hard to measure the correct placement because the edges of the fabric are getting so frayed from repeated handling, it’s hard to tell where the edge is. This time I remembered that Grandma FP never basted down a zipper–she held it in place with scotch tape. So that’s what I did this time.

Which is good, because I only got half the zipper right this time. (Apparently the trick with an invisible zipper is that you sew on the right side of the fabric with one side of the zipper and then the wrong side of the fabric for the other half. I really do understand now.)

Unfortunately, by this time I have damaged the fabric; something about the fabric just clings to the stitches. Also my house was a mess, so I laid the project aside.

I kind of had to attack the fabric to remove the zipper this time.

I kind of had to attack the fabric to remove the zipper this time.

At least this side looks beautiful.

At least this side looks beautiful.

Here are the options for continuing that I have thought of:

  1. Reinforce the damaged fabric. Iron-on interfacing?
  2. Reinforce damaged fabric with fusible webbing and a scrap of leftover fabric from the skirt or the lining.
  3. Cut half an inch off the side of the skirt and start anew, making it slightly asymmetrical, but more structurally sound.

Option 1 would require a trip to Jo-Ann, because I have no interfacing, while #3 would require some tedious measuring. And #2 might come out bulky.

Frankly, I’m hoping my mother will weigh in and tell me what to do. GRANDMA FP! YOUR ADVICE PLEASE!

I’m proud of how calm I have stayed during this entire debacle and remain confident that this whole exercise is, in fact, going somewhere. Friends, what setbacks are you running across lately? How have you handled them?

*I am considering buying a nice metal one to fit my machine, but last time I checked they were about $16, which seems like a lot.