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Sew Along: The Sylvie Dress

Lesson 17 of 22

Adding the Invisible Zipper

Christine Haynes

Sew Along: The Sylvie Dress

Christine Haynes

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Lesson Info

17. Adding the Invisible Zipper

Lesson Info

Adding the Invisible Zipper

So now we're at the point where we're going so the zipper I love using invisible zippers because there's no exposed stitching and in the end they actually looks super professional because there's no stitching on the outside I find that putting in a regular zipper with all of the exposed top stitching on the outside is the quickest way for a government toe look super homemade because it's hard to do perfectly but an invisible zipper all the situations done on the inside of the garment so you never have any visible top stitching and it always looks perfect um so with this dress I of course designed it to be with an invisible zipper if you though are in love with a regular zipper you can swap it out but I wanna be demo in how to do it with an invisible zipper as I mentioned during the interfacing section I'm going to interface this little bit where we're going to put the zipper in so I have already cut these strips that air one inch in lynn with by twenty two inches in length because that...

's the length of the zipper that we're going to be putting in I on ly do this when I think that the fabric is going toe pucker or get weakened by the use of the zipper so if I'm using a fine silk or something I want to definitely be cautious toe choose whether or not to interface and whether I want to use a fuse herbal or so in or a finer wait so do keep in mind what the fabric is that you're using if I'm using a cotton or linen or quilt wait anything like that I always always interface before I put my zipper in so what we're going to do is line this up I have the glue side down and I'm going toe just line it up on that edge before I actually press it and right here where the skirt attach is I'm actually going to cut the interfacing but not the skirt and that gets just talked right underneath that seem and then this continues from that point down because this is finished here at this intersection I find that it is ok to just go over, but with this little bump we really don't want to go over it and sometimes it can prevent the seems from lining up later just like we did with the way span I'm going to very carefully press this in place using my hot iron I'm going to actually just go right underneath that seem allowance and just make sure that's pressed in place and then continue that all the way down for the remainder of the interfacing and then you're going to repeat that with a second strip on the other center back seam but before we do that we're going to also press are zipper I see a lot of instructions for how to put in an invisible zipper tell the sewer to press the teeth flat that is totally incorrect because an invisible zipper fun what I will show you here has two grooves on the underside the teeth need to ride in the groove the way that the teeth come on a zipper, they're sort of curled towards the tape you can see there they're curled like the letter c towards the tape. What I actually want to do is press them so that they're going straight up, so what I actually want to do instead of pressing the teeth flat, which would make it look like this, I actually want to press the teeth so they're standing straight up, so the tape to the teeth should be a right angle like the letter l because then the teeth will ride right into the groove of the foot perfectly if they're left the way they are when you buy the zipper and they're curled like the letter, see that curl is going to prevent you from getting right into the groove where the zipper teeth and the zipper tate meat, which means you're going to see some of the zipper tape on the back of your dress so what we actually need to do is take our iron and press the teeth and it's gonna look like you're pressing them completely flat but I'm not lingering long enough for it to actually flatten it. I'm just quickly going all the way down, and if it feels like it's overdone, then I'm just going toe hold my hand on it and make sure it's going straight up so you can see here it's going straight up like the letter l then we're going to repeat that on the other side, you do want to be aware that you're holding a hot iron and you have a plastic zipper, so you don't want to linger too long and actually melt anything, but I've never really had that happen, but it is always a good thing to mention, so impressing the teeth away so it looks like I'm pressing it flat, but in the end, I'm not lingering long enough for it to be flat. I wanted to just stand straight up at that point, we're going to pin and so it in place, so we'll go to our sewing machine, so we have pressed her zipper and I have put my interfacing on both edges of the center, back seam so there's a one by twenty two inch strip along that center vaccine on the wrong side of the fabric, I actually have two finish the seam allowance edge. Before you put the zipper in because once the zippers in I can't actually access the edge of the fabric anymore so we're going to sew a three step zigzag all the way down that edge from top to bottom and again we're going to be using a one eighth seem allowance we're gonna go all the way down from the way will repeat that on the other side of the center back seem all the way down from the neckline to the hem so both sides are finished with three steps zigzag or the finishing of your choice though I will say that if you're going to use a searcher we don't want to cut any of the fabric away at this stage we're really just finishing the edge so if you choose to use your surgery on this, you want to disengage your knife or moving in such a way that you're not actually cutting away any of the fabric right? Cut those threads off at the beginning and then we're ready to put our zipper in so it's important to understand the construction of the zipper and what's the right side and what's the wrong side so the right side on an invisible zipper is the sign that has the pole but not the teeth so when we put the zipper in just like when we so we're going to be putting right sides together so when I put the zipper face down right sides together that's how that's going to be is the pull side down I can't actually zip this up anymore because I pressed it it's going to fold up with a little tacko so I want to leave it unzipped and thinking about how that's going to go in I'm going to be putting the left side of the zippers of you lay it down right side up the left side of the zipper is going to be going into the left side of the dress right sides together so here's my poll and I'm simply going to rotate that so that that is the side that's getting sewn to this side of the dress in a line up at the very top and in the instructions I say to put the stopper at the top five eighths of an inch from the top of the neckline most commercial zippers that distance is five eighths of an inch so weaken simply line up the top edge of the zipper tape with the edge of the fabric and then they'll be in place. We also want to measure over with our scene gange when we pin this down we want to make sure that we are five eighths of an inch from the edge of the fabric the center back so we want to line that up and we're going to scoot are zipper over until the teeth are butted right up against that five eighths mark because that's, where we're going to sew it in place so the top edge is right in line and the right edge is five eighths of an inch from the fabric. Send her back so I'm on ly pinning at the very top of the zipper. I'm not pinning anywhere else along that edge, and we're gonna split. Sure invisible zipper foot so we have our invisible zipper foot on our machine and the zipper is penned in place. I'm going to be using the left channel on my foot so that the zipper teeth are going into the left channel, and if you look at the foot, you'll see that there's a hole right here at the top when the needle goes down in it's going to be engaging the zipper tape and attaching it to the dress itself. If I were not in the left channel and I were in the right channel, you'd see that when the needle goes down, it actually doesn't hit the zipper at all. It only sos to the dress, not actually sewing the zipper to the dress. So if you're unsure which way it's supposed to be, just take a moment right there and just confirmed the needle is going through the zipper tape and threw the dress, so we're just simply putting the little teeth right into that channel. We've pressed them so they're just straight up and they're going to go right into the little cave there I like to sink my needle confirm I'm lined up on my five eighths and then take that pin out it's totally in place now and then you don't have to worry about taking that out I'm gonna do my back stitch and the great thing about the invisible zipper is the invisible zipper foot because it just goes right into the channel like a little railroad track and a cave sort of a situation all I have to do is stay on my seem allowance with my fabric and the zipper just automatically stays in the groove of the foot kind of a magical situation I do want to support the zipper and make sure it's not polling or anything but I really don't have to do a whole effort to stay right on track be aware of the weight of the dress pulling make sure it's not pulling away from you and when you get to the scene with the where the skirt attach is to the waistband you want to really be sure that that steam allowance is still pressing straight up as you go over make way we're not going to able to sort of the very, very bottom because of the poll so we're going to go as far as we can and do our backstage really want to clip that thread right super close because threads stuck in the zipper is not a good combination, and same here at the start, all right, so pinning the other side is a little bit more involved because we really want all of our seem intersections, tow line up two so the other side, we do have to do a little bit more pinning and marking because we really want all of these intersections tow line up, its super satisfying as a soldier when the waistband and skirt and everything lines up with that center back, so they're a couple tricks to make sure that that happens. First of all, we're going to zip up the zipper and because we're going to be putting right sides together, the wrong side is up right now and it's a perfect moment to mark where it is on the side, has already sewn, too, so going to use our pencil, and we're going to mark right where the intersection of the waistband and the bodice and the waistband and the skirt are, because then I can pin it exactly in the same spot on the other side, and hopefully it all lines up perfectly. This is a moment when I see a lot of my students get kind of confused about what to do as to how to put the zipper together, but it's really just a simple to twist. For the right side of the zipper to remain on the right side of the fabric, so I've unzipped in and I'm simply going to rotate it so it's right side up and then a second time so it's right side down, first spot I'm gonna line up is over here where I pin or where I marked it. I mean, my seem gange, and I'm going to make sure it's five eighths of an inch from the edge, but I'm also going to make sure that those chalk marks are exactly in the same spot as they are on the other side, and then I'm also gonna pin it right here at the second chalk mark. So those guys will stay there and the lineup afterwards with where we already where I'm gonna put one pin in between them and then I'm gonna pin from the top down to where I've just pinned, making sure that everybody stays exactly where they are. We also want the top neck tow line up, but if you had to shave off like a quarter and a third man and tried, there wouldn't be the end of the world, but it's not ideal, of course, I would rather shave off an eighth of an inch of the top back neck that not have my waistband lineup. So I've painted those to chalk marks and I've pinned at the top and now I'm gonna pin in between to make sure that the zipper doesn't shift around while I'm sewing it I'm not going to pin from the waistband down towards the hem because it's going to just fall where it falls and it's going to just line up with the others zipper that I already sewed in the other side, but it's really all of those intersections that we want to have be lined up all right? So you can see here repented the top, those two spots and in between and then the rest is loose we're going to sew it exactly the same way we did the first side with a couple very important differences first is that it's really awkward? But you have to I don't have to, but I really recommend that you so from the top down because of the fabric shifts while you're selling, they're shifting in unison because you've sold the left side from top down if you so the right side from bottom up and it shifts if you've ever seen fabric where it's sort of angling down on one side and angling up on the other it's because they so this side down in this side up and we want them both going if they're gonna stretch, we want them to be going in unison so in order to make that happen I have to use the similar ones on the left side of my foot not all machines have that mine does so if you don't have that, you just want to use your seem gauge and mark over from where the needle position is two five eighths and market would like a piece of painters taper washing tape so that you have your sight your seem allowance to file along so because I'm so in that direction I have all this dress that's going to be going in this cavity here of my machine and I'm gonna be sewing it's going to feel a little bit backwards because I don't normally so with all of that on the right side of my blood I'm going to line up on the right channel this times that the needle hits to the left of the teeth through the zipper tape attaching it to the dress have sunk my needle on lined up on my five eight and I'm gonna do my back stitch and though I've done this a million times it always feels a little awkward to have all of this fabric on the right and follow the seam allowance on the left so if you're new to this it's okay that it might feel a little bit awkward and weird the key of course is we have all this fabric we don't want to get caught underneath our foot and when we get to those two spots that are pinned at the waist van, you want to really try to keep them in place so that everything lines up later, when we go to zip it up as you get further and further down, you're going to have more and more fabric to contend with here just continue to do what I'm doing. I'm sort of flattening out this one section right here and pushing all the extra fabric to the side, and I want to keep my zipper as untwist id and straight in front of me as possible. It can kind of be a lot to handle, but it's gonna look so good in the end and just like we did on the other side, we're going to go as far as we can until we hit that pull and you are back stretch clip those threads right up against the teeth and at the top as well, I think also hours, no matter how long you've been sewing, take it as a personal victory when everything lines up. So let's hope that's the case today and indeed all lines up perfectly so there we go, the zippers in the tops line up exactly where we want them to be. The way span lines up perfectly at the top and the bottom, and you can't even tell there's a zipper, and they're just looks like a regular seem because everything is invisible and all the stitching is on the inside, no tops the chain. So now that we have the zipper and we still have to deal with the remainder of that center back seems, since the zipper on lee is twenty two inches of that center back seem so we're going to turn our dress wrong side down, and we need to sew up from where the stitch ends to the hem, and it sounds super easy, but it can be a little bit tricky to connect with this part right here because the zipper is involved, so what I like to do is fold up my seem allowance and keep that zipper tail out of the way and pin perpendicular to the scene. I actually want to pin the seam allowance together to just open up this area so that I can see it really open and flat, and I can actually see where the stitch is. I'm gonna pin from there down to the hem, keeping those edges wind up, I'm going to use a regular zipper foot for this because I have that zipper in the way I need to be able to get my stitches far over as I can so that I can do that with my little half super foot my regular foot would be too wide to get all the way over so this time I'm pushing my needle to the right which again for my machine is one eight so instead of using my five eight that means I'm going to be using my six eighth mark my three quarter mark which is what I've marked here with the washing tape because I'm moving everything over an eighth of an inch to the right gonna do your best to line up right on top of that stitch and we actually want to overlap as much about a half an inch or so and you may not be right on top of the stitch there's a very likely chance that you're going to be about a sixteenth of an inch inside the dress from that point it's pretty hard to be right on top of the stitch because of that zipper in the way but you can see here that I'm pretty close I'm gonna do my back stitch and getting past this part is really the tricky part we want to keep that tale of the zipper out of the way keep this area nice and flat and then from that point on we're just sewing on our six eighth, which is really our five eighths because I've moved my needle over and well so all the way down to the ham and the last thing we have to dio let's take this to our ironing board and give it a little bit of a press and then the zipper and said now we simply have to press the seem from the zipper to the hem we're going to be pressing the seem open we've already finished the seam allowance with our three steps exact, so we're simply pressing this open, but because the zipper is on the side, I can't very well press there, so I want to be turning the dress right side out and I'm gonna press the remainder of the scene on this when I put my ham underneath to give it a little bit of support made a press on top of since I'm not using a full ironing board here for demonstration if you have a full irony bardi slide the whole dress on, so you're not there's no fear of pressing the underside at the same time, but I don't have that right at the moment, so I'm just gonna put my ham under there so I can press that we'll press all the way up to the top finding that out so now it looks just like any other seem I can't even tell there's a zipper in their sort of amazing thing I think once you go invisible zipper, you never go back personally, but there it is hiding down in there

Class Description

Add advanced techniques to your sewing skill-set without worrying about ruining fabric and wasting money in Sew Along: The Sylvie Dress with Christine Haynes.

Every purchase includes an easy-to-use, printable PDF version of the Sylvie Dress pattern.

Christine makes vintage-inspired patterns for the modern seamstress and in this class she’ll guide you step-by-step through the dressmaking process. You’ll learn how to:

  • Make a variety of darts, the correct way
  • Incorporate an invisible zipper 
  • Line up a lot of intersecting seams
  • Create both views of the pattern

In this class, you’ll have the maker of the pattern talking you through best practices and offering expert tips on tailoring it to your preferences. You’ll also get insights on choosing the best size for your measurements.

Don't waste time working on something that won't ultimately look right, learn the best way to follow a pattern and make sophisticated dress in Sew Along: The Sylvie Dress with Christine Haynes.

Class Materials

Bonus with Purchase

Christine Haynes - Sylvie Dress Instructions.pdf

Christine Haynes - Sylvie Dress Pattern.pdf

Christine Haynes - Supply List.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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Esther Gonzalez

Great lessons, very detailed and explained clearly. Patterns are easy to work with. Highly recommend it to anyone who loves sewing or is even new to sewing because it won't leave you confused

Maureen Nevers

I loved Christine's clear, pleasant style of instruction. Unfortunately I had to stop watching 1/2 way through - is there really a dog barking in the background through the whole video recording?! Even if I could tune it out (it was pretty faint mostly), my 2 cocker spaniels were not fooled! Perhaps I'll try to resume watching with headphones ... Wish that had been addressed at the time of recording or editing, though 😐

Chelvy Braggs