Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Dreaded Invisible Zipper!

About six months ago, I bought an invisible zipper foot for my Pfaff.  I had visions of sewing invisible zippers in everything, so I also bought a handful of invisible zippers at Sil Thread at 257 W38th in Manhattan.  The foot and the zippers were placed in the 'things I want to do' box and never left.  It's a new year, and I'm tired of that $20 foot nagging at me so I decided to make a sample tonight.

On the first attempt, I sewed the zipper in beautifully backwards.  I couldn't imagine why my WS was on the good side of the zipper.  A curved Olfa razor blade is a wonderful thing. Without much angst, I cut the zipper off my sample cloth and tried again.  The second attempt was much better, but I realized I hadn't tried to match my fabric print and hadn't taken pictures to refer to when I forget how to insert a zipper.  I was a real Olfa Zorro tonight.

My first step was to match up the fabric print as best I could along the seam line which would have the zipper.

Then I unfolded and cut the fabric 5/8" from my seam.. I couldn't think of another way to do it tonight.  This was followed by pinning the left side of the open zipper to the RS left panel of my sample.  The zipper teeth are measured 5/8" from the fabric edge.  Once pinned in place, the zipper teeth chain is fed into the left groove of the invisible zipper foot.  Pfaff's foot has a plow that unrolls the zipper chain and stitches so that the chain rolls back over hiding the stitches.  I used bright pink thread for the sample; it really doesn't show up much (except for shreds of the two prior generations of stitches I'd left from earlier attempts).

I found the next step intellectually challenging.  The right side of the zipper is crossed over and place down on the RS of the right side fabric.

It is then stitched down using the right groove of the invisible zipper foot.  Stitching on both side goes up to the pull foot.

At this point, the zipper is in.  The invisible zipper foot is taken off and a regular zipper foot put on.  The work is folded so right sides are together.  The zipper foot is tucked up close to the stitch line of the zipper.

The needle is moved as far to the right as possible.  Stitching begins just above the end of the zipper stitches already in place.  Stitching proceeds along the length of the zipper, folded now inside the fabric, and then continuing on along the 5/8" seam allowance to the end of the fabric.

I'd say I was pretty close on matching the print.  I could have done better, but I didn't have all night either.  My excuses are .. The sample fabric pieces were just leftovers and I didn't cut them precisely on the grain and that poor zipper had been put in and taken out about six times.. it was starting to twist and I was too lazy to iron it out.  Other than that, the zipper foot won't be nagging at me from its box now.


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