Sunday, March 30, 2008

Handpicked zipper

I took an 'easy 2 hour' New Look top and turned it into a three day extravaganza, and I'm still not finished with it. I decided the silk twill I purchased in LA during the Pattern Review weekend would be perfect for a knockoff of this J.Crew top, however it was on the sheer side so I thought it would be a good candidate to try a technique called flat-lining. This involves sewing the lining pieces to the garment pieces before the seams are sewn. Here is a good description of the process.

So after 2 muslins, drafting sleeves and a new neckline and facings, I started on the top. The silk was so shifty it was nearly impossible to keep on grain. Despite all my basting, by the time I got to the hem the silk was hanging lower than the cotton batiste I used for the underlining, so I had to hang it and repin.

Sorry it's pretty wrinkly, I still need to hem and press.

I had originally planned to do an invisible zipper, but yet again I thought 'why not?' and put in a handpicked. I had recently taken a handsewing class with Susan Khalje while in LA, and it was fresh in my mind. I don't think it turned out too bad, but it looks kind of puckery, not sure if its my fabric or my zipper technique. You're not supposed to have to baste handpicked zippers (just pin), but I used my trusty wondertape anyways, that stuff is like my safety blanket for zippers and I wasn't completely confident in my handstitching skills.

While I was at it, I also used a hong-kong finish on all the other raw edges, the armholes, edges of the facings, and all of the hems. Oh and this also happened to be the first time I've set eased sleeves, all my other projects have involved raglan sleeves or putting the sleeves in flat. Obviously I enjoy a challenge. :-)

I don't think I have the energy to do the hand-hemming yet, it's still just pressed up. I plan on hemming to the underlining only, so it will be completely invisible from the right side. Anyone have tips on how not to catch the fabric while doing this??




"Anyone have tips on how not to catch the fabric while doing this?"

Stitch very carefully... LOL! No really, I kind of "pick up" the underlining with the tip of my needle while I'm taking a stitch. You should be able to "feel" with the needle if you've gone through one vs two layers of fabric. Stick your needle through what you think is one layer, then turn your work over to convince yourself.



I am very impressed. I love JCrew and Anthropologie but not their prices? How long have you been sewing? I have been sewing about 9 years and feel like I am constantly learning.



Hi Rachel! Thank you, most of what I've learned has been since last summer when I got a new machine, but I've known how for years and have sewn curtains and pillows, that kind of thing. I am always learning from other blogs and websites!



I love love love this top. You have such a great eye. And, I think you are wrong about the zipper. Call me crazy, but I think it's near perfect.

You know I hate handsewing. So, I can offer you nothing but moral support.