This little knight in shining armor came in the mail this week and put an end to the maxi dress zipper nonsense. It was as simple as pin basting the zipper, checking the fit to ensure that there was no buckling where the zipper met the bias-cut fabric, and stitching with this magical foot. I do have to give due credit to both Sunni’s tutorial and the Colette Pattern’s tutorial for why everything finally went so smoothly.
There was one catch. I just couldn’t get the bottom of the zipper and bias gathering to machine stitch easily – that last little bit that you can’t sew with the zipper open. If you’ve read Sunni’s tutorial, then you know that you have to gather the seams of bias-cut fabric in order to stitch them smoothly onto a straight-grain zipper. There was a bit of necessary gathering in this last inch that I just wasn’t able to machine stitch “invisibly” once the zipper was closed. My solution? I went ahead and machine stitched the fabric to the zipper as best as I could to maintain the proper gathering. I then hand stitched the fabric really close to the zipper just as the machine had done for the rest of the zipper. The result? A perfectly invisible zipper from top to bottom.
I tried the dress on one last time just to be certain that this saga really was over, and I’m happy to say that the zipper does lay flat. My goal has always been to finish this dress before my birthday, the first day of fall, since I do intend to consider this dress my last piece of Summer Essential sewing. I didn’t realize I’d be cutting it so close, but it’s so nice knowing that I only have a bit more pressing and hand sewing before I can meet that goal.
As an aside, before ordering the metal invisible zipper foot from the internet, I purchased one from my local chain fabric store. It was the only one they carried, and it was only $2.29, so I figured it was worth a shot, even if it did look a little… colorful, shall we say.
It was surprisingly easy to figure out how to use. Unfortunately, this little foot doesn’t fit my machine; my needle clamp is incompatible. Confused as to what I mean? Scroll to the last photo on this Coats and Clark blog post, and you’ll see what the problem is. But, I’m convinced it would have worked – and for less than $3. So, if your needle clamp is on the skinny side, then don’t overlook this cheap little guy. From what I’ve experienced these past couple of months, having an invisible zipper foot makes a world of difference when sewing in an invisible zipper.