Tag Archives: zipper

Lillia T-Shirt Zipping it up

I am loving the flexibility of basic patterns at the moment which I can alter to create different styles and designs. I’m following on with the “ mini theme” of manipulating the basic Lillia T-Shirt pattern to get more look for your buck.

Lillia T-shirt with Zip Back image
Lillia T-shirt with Zip Back

The addition of an exposed zip gives a modern casual or sporty styling to the top.
Choose a zip which has either decorative tapes or is a contrasting colour to your fabric, or has chunky teeth and an attractive slider.

Lillia T-shirt Exposed Zip image
Lillia T-shirt Exposed Zip

I have added a back centre seam in order to have an attractive exposed zip detail. It is completely possible to put the exposed zip in without adding a seam but it is a bit simpler to do with one, so thats what I’ve done. I changed the basic back pattern piece by adding 1.5 cm/ ⅝ inch seam allowance at the centre back line and cutting it out of the fabric as two back sections instead of one on a fold.

The insertion of the exposed zipper means that the assembly of the T-Shirt varies slightly from the basic style. The shoulder seams are still sewn together first but then the neckband is attached. The neckband is left open and attached from the left back opening to the right back opening. Then topstitched around the neckline.

The jersey fabric recommended for this pattern really needs stabilising with iron on interfacing before sewing in the zip, to prevent the material from stretching and puckering out of shape. Add interfacing to both sides of the back seam about 4 cm/1 inch wide and as long as your zip.

Lillia Zip Back image
Lillia Zip Back

 

Lillia T-shirt with Surprise open Back image
Lillia T-shirt with Surprise open Back

I’m interested in the different looks you can get from the one pattern so here are some ideas;

As well as the surprise opening in the back and the exposed zipper, you could have side vents with it longer at the back than the front, a wide hem of a contrast fabric, either contrasting in colour or weight. Don’t forget that with the Lillia pattern you get the ¾ sleeve option as well so you could change that to be a contrasting jersey fabric on the sleeves. You could use a binding on the sleeve hem to match with the neckband. Play around with your use of fabrics, lace on the back, jersey on the front. Silk or cotton on the front and jersey on the back.

Lillia T-shirt with Surprise Back image
Lillia T-shirt with Surprise Back

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Happy Sewing

How to sew a concealed zipper

There is just no getting around the fact that in order to sew your own beautiful clothes you need to be able to master certain skills and techniques. One of these has got to be the neat insertion of a zip into your garment.

I thought we could take a look at how to apply a concealed or invisible zip. It gives a very polished, finished look and can be used wherever you would use a regular zip.

If you are used to inserting conventional zips the method of sewing in a concealed zip can seem a bit unusual or backwards at first.

Before you start

You will need a special concealed zipper foot for your sewing machine, these are different for each manufacture.

How to sew a concealed zipper

Do not stitch the seam where the zip is to go at all before you put the zip in! (this is the part which takes some getting used to!)

Open your zip completely. Place it in position on the outside/right side, of your fabric. The top stop should be 1.25cm/ ½ inch from the seam line at the neck edge for a dress or top and the same distance down from the waist for a skirt or trousers.

Pin the zip in position, you can baste it in position here if you are new to this method or you think the fabric might move about during sewing.

Sewing a Concealed Zipper image
Sewing a Concealed Zipper

 

Using your concealed zipper foot attachment, place the groove of the foot over the teeth of the zip with needle on the zip tape. you may need to adjust the position of the needle on the sewing machine so that the stitches will be nice and close to the teeth, but not so close that they catch on them.

Sewing a Concealed Zipper image
Sewing a Concealed Zipper

Continue to stitch down the length of the zip, go slowly if you need to, to ensure good positioning. Sew until your zipper foot comes into contact with the slider at the bottom of the zip.

Sewing a Concealed Zipper image
Sewing a Concealed Zipper Slider

Repeat the same process for the other side of the zip. You will now be using the other groove in the zipper foot and may have to change the sewing machine needle position again.

Remove any basting stitches.
When both sides of the zip are attached you can sew the remainder of the seam closed. Do this with the zip closed, using your regular sewing foot. Avoid catching the bottom of the zip in the seam as you sew it. You can secure the bottom ends of the zip to your seam allowance either by hand or machine stitch.

Dallia Dress with Concealed Zipper image
Dallia Dress with Concealed Zipper

I have used this method on the centre back zip of my Dallia dress, with a hook & eye above it to secure the fastening.

Dallia Dress Back image
Dallia Dress Back

Take a look at all the new patterns in my pattern store which updates regularly as new PDF downloadable patterns are added.

Please leave any comments below. Also subscribe to the newsletter and follow me on google+facebooktwitterand bloglovin to keep in touch.

Happy Sewing