Comedy of errors

(note: this rant corresponds to the Franken-vintage dress I started talking about yesterday)

Gagh!! My fingers are sore and I’ve got a whole bunch of ripping out to do.

1. Remember that it’s easier to put in invisible zippers when the garment is flat, which means putting the back and back skirt together first (hoping that any skirt alterations can be done at the base…). Mean to leave a bit open at the side seams to do side-then-waist (so much easier to get a matching waist seam that way!) but fail to. Eh, whatever.

2. Sew up the back seam (zipper opening with a long basting stitch, bottom with regular, divided by backtacking). Find out the waist seam isn’t even. Take another couple of passes to get it even and the seam allowance unwavy. Press seam open. Lay zipper on top to get the preliminary zipper placement. Realize that (a) I’d forgotten to interface the zipper opening, and (b) I’d run out of Wash Away Wonder Tape on the last zipper I did. Since I can’t really fuse interfacing without taking out the prep seam and taking off the zipper I decide to see if it’d be ok without it – the cotton is a decently firm weave. Try basting the zipper on but couldn’t keep everything firmly in place with it (methinks proper backstitching would have been a better way to go), so try a no-sew iron on seam tape on the bits that are over the waist seam (the ones that have to get lined up properly) and visually line the rest up next to the serged edge threads. The seam tape is a little stiff and glue-y, but might even help the lack of interfacing.

3. Try sewing the zipper. I’ve only got the regular zipper foot on my machine, and usually that’s fine (worked out well with the tunic last week!). Ummm… well, it went in with only a bit of puckering, and things are lined up – but it’s not close enough to the zipper teeth to be invisible. I’d picked a white one to go with the white band I’m putting around the top, as that’s where the zipper pull is going to be lying. No, for some reason that didn’t spark any warning bells.

4. Decide I’d rather not try on the machine again and go with the more control of hand picking the zipper right next to the teeth (leaving the machine stitching in as “basting”). Fight with thread. Fight with thread some more. After the 4th try (with beeswax!), the splitting etc has me realizing that spool is probably just too old. Trashed. Different spool much better, even though it’s likely old too! Time passes. Fingers get jammed. One day I will learn to use a thimble!

5. Finally done. Zips fine, everything tucked away like it should be.

Except the hanging tab is at 5/8″ down from the top of the peach back. I haven’t put the white band on top yet.


Please don’t call, I’ll be busy taking out two layers of stitching, adding a band, interfacing properly, basting in a zipper up to the top, and sewing it carefully by machine.

Because I know if I leave it now, I’ll be ignoring the sewing machine for a month and a half. Sigh.


2 thoughts on “Comedy of errors

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