Last week we discussed colorblocking and layout options for the A-Frame Skirt – with so may options, it’s the gift that keeps on giving! During week 2 of this sew along, we’re taking a deep dive into creating the lapped zipper closure for the skirt. Blueprints for Sewing designer Taylor McVay is here to share her tips!
To start, press the seam where your zipper will go open. Press the open end of the seam as well, folding back the seam allowance.
With the zipper partially unzipped, align the left side of your zipper teeth with the folded edge of the fabric. There should be a small gap between the zipper teeth and the fabric edge. This will help keep the zipper from getting caught on the fabric. Pin or baste the zipper to the fabric along this edge.
Ever wonder why your zip has extra, toothless tape at the top? This is to give you a bit of room for seam allowance, if your zippers end is being sewn into something else. That way, you don’t have to sew over teeth. Align the edge of this tape with the edge of your fabric, or align it so that the zipper head is 1/2″ or 5/8″ (or whatever your seam allowance is) from the edge of the fabric.
The other side of the opening will become the ‘lap’. It often helps to mark this stitching line with chalk. For most zippers, you’ll want the stitching to be 3/8″-1/2″ away from the opening. You want to be sure that wherever your stitching line is, it must catch both the seam allowance and the zipper tape. Since those two factors are variable, try pinning or basting along this guideline, then checking the back to be sure you’ve gone through all layers.
Basting is a fantastic technique to have in your arsenal. If you have the patience for it, baste your zipper onto the fabric by hand, instead of using pins. This will help keep things aligned and predictable during each step of the process.
Set up your zipper foot with the needle coming down on the right side of the foot. Starting at the top of your zipper, sew along the folded fabric edge. Try to keep your fabric aligned with the side of the foot, making sure your stitching catches this fold. It’s better to be a little further from the fabric edge than miss it entirely while sewing (which results in a zipper that is not attached).
Click on over to the Blueprints for Sewing blog for next steps on this helpful visual tutorial. So many great, close-up pics!
Join us next week! There’s been a slight change. We’re veering from the schedule for an an exciting tutorial about how to add an easy-fit elastic waistband to the skirt back.