Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Simplicity 2362 -- Order in Sewing

Or How to Put in an Invisible Zipper when the Instructions Use a Regular Zipper

 Ok, I didn't really make that face when I put in the zipper, but if you are relatively new to sewing and have jumped on the invisible zipper bandwagon, then following the printed instructions will be darn near impossible, and I'm here to give you some order to the proceedings. (That didn't have anything to do with the face I was making. Oh, well.)

The main difference is that is it is easiest to put in an invisible zipper (IZ) first when your dress, skirt, outfit, whatever, is still two dimensional... or flat. With the regular zipper, most patterns instruct you to insert it at the end of the sewing process.

So, with that introduction, I'm going to outline the order that I put this sundress together, using an IZ. (Cross your fingers I don't forget a step.)

  1. Pleat back skirt pieces, and attach back yoke pieces to the skirt pieces.
  2. Insert IZ. Set the back aside.
  3. Make the front yoke piece.
  4. Make the front skirt piece with the pockets . In the Simplicity instructions, this is steps 24 to 29. (Don't you love the pockets on this pattern!)
  5. Attach the completed front yoke piece to the completed front skirt piece. Set aside.
  6. Make the shoulder straps (steps 9-11). Baste the shoulder straps to the back yoke where indicated (or where you like them, like I did).
  7. (optional) Pin fit the dress, by pinning the side seams, and the shoulder straps to the front. It's easy to try on and fit here, because you already have the zipper inserted. Yay! It fits!
  8. Sew the side seams, baste the shoulder straps to the front where you like them, and set aside. Don't twist those straps though or you'll be sad.
  9. Make the yoke lining as indicated, and insert it (steps 17-23, 32). The main difference here is that you are working with the entire dress in the way, but it really isn't that cumbersome. Also, I pinned and stitched the back center of the lining directly to the IZ so that I wouldn't have to hand stitch that part down.
And, Step #10... Hem!

For the record, I didn't eliminate any steps, but just reordered them. And did you see the bow at the top of the zipper? Well, I didn't like the way the IZ looked as it wasn't quite to the top edge, but not enough room for a hook, so I made a simple bow, and safety pinned it (yes, you read right) to the yoke, strategically covering the top of the zipper.

Also, even though this is getting kind of long, a couple of other notes...
  • I should have made a muslin of at least the yoke and straps, because I hated the way they felt and fit. The straps were simply too wide for my shoulders, so I narrowed them, and attached them more toward the center in the back. It involved lots of ripping out and resewing, as I decided to do this after the lining was attached. I didn't rip it off completely though. Picture of the shoulder strap here.
  • I made the pockets bigger where you put your hand in. They were way too skimpy. I also used lining fabric for the pocket facing to avoid that large print from showing through. Pictures here and here and one more here.
 In looking at the pictures, I'm wondering if the style and fabric make me look too young. Wait! That would be a good thing!


  1. Very cool! Love the invisible pockets, those could be handy.

  2. I love this bright beautiful dress that matches its wearer so well! Great tutorial on the zipper insertion.

  3. Bought Simplicity pattern #2362 a long time ago but just went to make it. Discovered that mine is missing the whole 2nd page of instructions. Do you have any idea where I could get them without going to the expense of buying a whole new pattern?



Related Posts with Thumbnails