Slick Zipper

This sold out $1595-$1895 dress  appeared in my sewing room with a mother-of-the-bride.

It was made in Estonia with a blend of fibers that had some stretch that gave it the look of satin. Only problem was the area of the back shoulders was too wide and flared away from her center back. I pinned halfway down the zipper to take it in and get a better fit. It is enough to say that this has been the most expensive MOB dress I have ever worked on. The bride’s dress is being custom made in Portland.





So, let’s get started…thread trace the new zipper placement line and remove all the stitches that hold the lining and fabric to it.

Now comes the surprise….the invisible zipper is sewn to a band of its own which accounts for the 1/8 inch strip of fabric running the length of the zipper edge on both sides. Why would this be? Well, I’m guessing that with all the zippers pre-attached, they can be inserted into many dresses very fast in the factory. Love the fact that the zipper is dyed the exact shade of fuchsia!

Another clue to the insertion is the top edge snip, to insert the zipper, first the lining is sewn on using white thread (?) and then the whole back bodice is flipped over and the final stitching is done encasing the zipper strip…pretty slick.

Let’s pin the zipper band to the new position leaving all the excess fabric inside for the next seamstress.

See the 1/8 inch border band?

Finished right side and inside:

Yes, the top of the zipper teeth are now further down the center back but there will be a hook and eye at the top edge. One other thing that needed tweaking, was the dart that makes the shoulder curve, it needed to be flatter.

How about these raglan seams? Faggoting at it’s best, no?

Love the contrasting purple seam binding too! Front facing is just the front section folded to the inside with no seam.














Speaking of purple, for the past couple days I have been harvesting eggplant/aubergines like crazy! Here are 2 batches from the garden. You may notice that the one green bell pepper and one eggplant are way bigger than normal. Mr Mole says it is because he added chicken manure to the beds. One reporter for our local newspaper says that because we now have “filtered” (smoke filled) sunlight, our plants are enjoying the diffused lighting…whatever it is…it’s wild. Even the pear tree is dropping fruit and my worms are enjoying all the trimmings.

The brides continue to roll in with the new 2 piece dresses that don’t seem to fit any better than the regular gowns so I have lots to share next time.

Our thoughts are with all those who have weathered the last 2 hurricanes and the devastation left behind. Breathing smokey air is nothing compared to what they have endured and the clean-up and re-building ahead.

Wishing you all a successful week of new projects and completing old ones…the stores are filled with Halloween stuff already…7 weeks ahead of time and I have even seen Christmas displays set up too…HELP…can we just enjoy the second half of September first, please?

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25 Responses to Slick Zipper

  1. Phyllis says:

    Love your blog, always something new.

  2. That is truly a lovely dress – full of surprises too…the fagoting and the zipper… things I have never seen before. Thank you for the education, again! 😁👍. Your garden is just going WILD, lucky you!

    • mrsmole says:

      I had never seen fagoting in a formal dress before either so it was certainly worth sharing! Every year we used to struggle with producing good sized veggies but this year has been a bonus.Thank you, Linda.

  3. kathyh says:

    The zipper area being a stress area – do you think pre-adding the band for quicker insertion adds strength to this area? Very intriguing. ( I visited Tallinn, Estonia a few years ago).

  4. jay says:

    The zipper insertion is intriguing, I’m going to try an extra band in the blouson I’m making. I love the faggoting too, though in that location it says ‘not bra friendly’ to me. It’s a beautiful dress, but I imagine a challenge to wear.

    • mrsmole says:

      I was thinking that the strip next to the teeth could be a contrasting color say if you were making a solid black jacket and wanted to add some jazz to the front zipper area…you could also leave an area wider than 1/8 inch for a real pop of color. Yes, the bra would show and the mother said she was going to wear a hot pink bra to blend in.

  5. upsew says:

    Wow your garden is doing so well…..and that dress had good solid foundations to work on (really expensive dress and glad there was quality detail to justify the tag, amazing how some things that are rather expensive end up being of dubious quality…..) One of the reasons I like remaking clothes is that it is interesting to see other construction details

  6. Mary says:

    What a lovely dress! Nice to see something made with good finishes instead of the trend of “the faster we make it, the higher the profit!” Your garden is amazing. My tomatoes are ripening at an alarming rate,,,but it’s like summer came this week after a June, July & August full of rain, rain, and more rain. I’m with you for making September last! I walked out one day this week to find our resident groundhog standing on his back legs sampling all low hanging tomatoes & peppers he could reach. (The Doberman has been out on yard duty regularly since,,and I’m hoping to not have to start eviction proceedings.) Have a great week.

    • mrsmole says:

      Gopher grabbing varmint!!!! OH NO! I just made a soup using oiled up quartered tomatoes and peppers and onions all roasted for 45 min on a baking tray and then toss all of that into a pot, juice and all, with chicken broth and more seasonings and boil. Whiz in a blender and add cream to make into a smooth cream of tomato soup. This time I added 2 tablespoons of turmeric and black paper as they can help with inflammation. Reward your pup when he displays the gopher in his jaws!

  7. Tee says:

    Beautiful dress…love those sleeves!!!! I love what you learn from altering really well made garments.

    • mrsmole says:

      Isn’t that just the best part of sewing for others? We see dresses that we would never/could never wear and yet the joy in altering them is all ours…and the payment at the end as well!

  8. erniek3 says:

    The faggoting is an odd detail that doesn’t really add anything to the dress; at first glance I thought the seam was failing. That said, that zipper is a fine idea and I’m stealing it.

  9. sewruth says:

    I love to see the ‘insides’ of garments – it’s fascinating to see the construction techniques. You’re a sewing sleuth.

  10. mrsmole says:

    Wedding sewing is so much more about the inside than the outside. It’s a real treat to find new cool stuff! Speaking of being a sleuth…you latest garments that were whipped up almost out if thin air make you a real wizard, Ruth!

  11. maryfunt says:

    What a great inside look at the construction. The zipper technique would be wonderful on lace or beaded fabric that tends to get caught in the zipper. I need to remember this one. Deconstructing these high end garments does reveal interesting construction methods.

  12. poppykettle says:

    It’s not so often I see a MOtB dress and think ‘golly, that’s gorgeous’. So graceful! Love the lilac/purple colour of it too… and fagotting! So beautiful.

  13. Pingback: Fabric Wiles | Pattern Pandemonium

  14. strange yarn says:

    The reason the zipper is purple, including the teeth, is that the dress was dyed in its entirety after being finished. Nylon takes acid dyes beautifully. The contrasting tape inside took the dye differently because the fiber content affected the uptake. It also may have been a slightly different color than the rest of the dress to begin with. Likewise, the remaining white thread either rejected the dye or wasn’t fully exposed to it.

    It’s a very simple way to make single colored garments match nearly perfectly.

  15. mrsmole says:

    If this dress was dyed after construction then how did the purple binding not become the fuchsia color as well?

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