Saturday, April 14, 2007

The Long Awaited Zip-With-Facing Tutorial

Zips and Facings

Well, here it is. The long-awaited zipper tutorial I've been promising my students. Without further ado...

1. Prepare your pattern. Remove the seam allowance from the CB edge of the facing pattern piece, (or don't add any, if you're using BurdaMode or BurdaStyle patterns). Notch the seam line of the back pattern piece with a small clip at the neck edge

2. Sew the CB seam below the zipper opening.

3. Baste your zip to the seam allowance of the garment according to the style (centred or lapped).

4. Sew the CB seam of the facng to the CB seam of the garment, over the zip tape. It will look like the facing doesn't match the garment, but don't worry, it will in the next step.

5. Fold the garment on the seam line so it's inside out and the facing now matches the neck edge. The notch will be exactly on the fold. Stitch the neck edge. I generally use 0.5cm seam allowance, because I cut the excess off the pattern before I cut the garment out. Then there is no need to trim or clip, it will sit smoothly from the start. My picture just shows the back, but you need to plan ahead a little if the facing goes around the front as well. Either you need to have your shoulder seams already sewn, or you stop about 5cm short of the shoulder seam and complete it after sewing the shoulder seams.

6. Turn the garment through carefully. I'm very fussy about controlling where my seam allowances end up, so I fold them over my thumb and hold them in place as I turn. If you just turn and then poke at the seam allowances, they get all bunchy and bulky.

7. Topstitch the zipper from the outside according to the style, centred or lapped. I haven't mentioned pinning, but if you need to at any stage, please do.

8. From the inside, the join between garment facing and zipper should be nice and neat, with the facing seam offset from the CB, taking all those bulky seam allowances with them. If you placed the zipper quite low, so you've toothless tape at the top, sew on a hook and eye. I generally place my zipper fairly high, so I don't need to. When you're starting out with this technique, I recommend a lower zip, because turning the corner over the metal stopper can be awkward.


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