This sew-along includes instructions for inserting both a regular centered zipper (as per the pattern instructions) and an invisible zipper (as an alternative zipper application).
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Centered Zipper (as included in Pattern Instructions)
Pattern Instruction STEP 21
Being careful to keep the lining free, baste along the center back seam from the circle on the skirt to the top of the bodice, using 3/4″ (2cm) seam allowance. Press open.
With right sides together pin the center backs together.
Set your machine to the basting stitch setting.
Baste the center back seam from the circle marking on the skirt to the top of the bodice, using a 3/4″ (2cm) seam allowance, being sure to match the seam at the empire waistline.
Press this seam open.
Pattern Instruction STEP 22
With the wrong side of the center back seam facing up, lay the zipper face down so the teeth of the zipper are centered on the seam. The zipper pull should line up with the finished edge of the garment. Pin and then baste the zipper into place.
With the wrong side of the center back seam facing up, lay the zipper face down so the teeth of the zipper are centered on the seam. You can choose whether to line the zipper pull up with the finished edge of the garment, like in this image, OR you can choose to start it 1/2″ below the finished edge, and add a hook & eye at the top of the closure. This is a personal choice. Pin in place.
Baste the zipper in place.
Pattern Instruction STEP 23
Using a zipper foot, on the right side of the garment, stitch along the bottom of zipper at the circle and up one side of the zipper tape, about 3/8″ (1cm) from the center back seam. Again, beginning from the bottom of the zipper, stitch along the bottom and up the other side of the zipper. Remove the basting stitches from the center back seam.
Using a zipper foot, on the right side of the garment, top stitch along the bottom of zipper at the circle and up one side of the zipper tape, about 1/4″ – 3/8″ from the center back seam. Do not back-stitch at the bottom. Leave the thread loose and when you are done stitching pull it through to the inside of the garment and tie it off to secure.
Top stitch to the top of the finished edge of the back neckline while maintaining the same distance from the seam . DO NOT back-stitch. Leave a long end that will be pulled to the back and tied off later.
Again, beginning from the bottom of the zipper, stitch along the bottom and up the other side of the zipper.
As you come to the zipper pull on the second side you will notice it pulling across the top edge. To keep your stitching straight release the zipper pull by removing a few stitches of the seam basting, and move the zipper pull out of the way.
Using a seam ripper, pull out several stitches of the seam basting in order to move the zipper pull out of the way.
Remove basting stitches approximately 2″ down from the neckline edge.
Pull the zipper pull away from the neckline edge.
Continue top stitching to the neckline edge. Do not back-stitch. Leave the tail of the thread and tie it off on the inside of the garment.
Remove the basting stitches that are holding the zipper and the seam.
Using a sewing needle, pull the thread ends at the top and bottom of the zipper through to the inside of the garment.
Make a knot to tie off the ends.
Please pardon my ‘poor manicure!?’
Form a knot and clip the thread close to the knot.
And voila! This is how it will look on the outside of the garment. I am including instructions on how to insert an invisible zipper with this sew-along as well, which is my preference, but either will work well. See below.
There will be more below on how to finish the inside of the garment.
Invisible Zipper (An alternative to a centered zipper)
You will notice that the teeth of an invisible zipper are curled inward, which is what helps make it ‘invisible’. However, it makes inserting the zipper difficult, so to make inserting the zipper a little easier, I always press the zipper teeth flat on the zipper first. You can insert an invisible zipper using a special ‘invisible zipper’ foot OR if you do not have one, a regular zipper foot works as well.
With the right side of your garment facing up, and lining up the edge of the zipper teeth with the top of the dress, place the zipper face down along the center back seam allowance (3/4″). Pin the zipper to the garment. Repeat on the other side. Using a zipper foot, stitch the zipper, beginning from the top edge of the garment to the circle on the skirt. Repeat for the other side. Be sure the empire waistline seams line up.
Stitch to the circle of the skirt. Repeat for the other side.
Turn the zipper towards the inside.
The edge of the zipper teeth line up with the finished edge of the back neckline of the dress.
Fold the top tab over along the seam allowance.
Pin in place. Turn the zipper towards the inside of the garment, and finish the inside, as seen below.
Pattern Instructions STEP 24 (For both a centered or invisible zipper)
Pin the bodice lining in place, folding under the seam allowance along the seamline. Press. Slip-stitch by hand along the zipper enclosure and empire waistline, enclosing the raw seam as you work. Gently press.
Fold the lining along the seam allowance and pin in place to cover the zipper tape.
Continue to pin along the zipper tape and along the bottom of the empire waistline.
Bury the slip stitch end and clip.
This is how the lining will look on the inside. (For a centered zipper there will be a top stitching on the outside.)
This is how it will look on the outside for the invisible zipper. (The centered zipper will have a top stitching.)
Pattern Instructions STEP 25
Stitch the BACK HEM FACINGS (5) together at the back center seam, using a 3/4″ (2cm) seam allowance. Press the seam open. Stitch the FRONT HEM FACING (6) to the back facing at the side seams, using the standard 1/2″ (1.3cm) seam allowance. Press the seam open. Finish the shorter curved edge, either with an overlock stitch or turn under the wrong sides together 1/4″ (0.5cm), press and edgestitch.
Stitch the BACK HEM FACINGS (5) together at the back center seam using a 3/4″ (2cm) seam allowance.
Press the center back seam open.
Grade the seam at center back.
Pin the FRONT HEM FACING (6) together at the side seams and stitch a 1/2″ (1.3cm) seam allowance.
Press the seam open.
Grade the seam.
Finish the inside curve of the facing with an overlock stitch or by turning under a 1/4″ (0.5cm) of the raw edge and stitch.
Insert a photo here!
Pattern Instructions STEP 26
With right sides together and raw edges even, pin the facing to the hem of the skirt, being sure to match the side seams, back center seam, and center front. Stitch. Press seams towards the facing. Grade the seam allowance. Understitch. Turn the facing to the inside and slipstitch the hem in place by hand.
Please note that the edge of my facing is not finished in the following tutorial images as my serger was in being serviced when I wrote this tutorial.
With right sides together and raw edges even, pin the facing to the hem of the skirt, being sure to match the side seams, back center seam, and center front.
Match the seams.
Find the center of the skirt front and the center of the front facing by folding both in half and marking the fold with a pin. Line these up with each other and pin in place.
Continue to pin the facing to the skirt.
Stitch using a 1/2″ (1.3cm) seam allowance.
Grade the seam.
Press the seam towards the facing.
Understitch the facing.
Fold the facing towards to the inside of the skirt.
Pin the facing in place.
Hem stitch the facing to the skirt.
VOILA! You are all finished sewing your Kendra dress!! Congratulations!!
We hope you enjoy wearing your Kendra dress! We would love for you to share your makes with us by tagging us at #kendradress or #aliceandann.