Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday Confession

Zippers


In my last confession, I mentioned ignoring the construction sequence in some pattern instructions so that I could insert my zipper between two flat pieces of fabric, instead of having to insert it into a completed child's dress with a very narrow circumference. In response, two people mentioned that they prefer "picked zippers."

My confession starts here: I had never heard of a picked zipper before.

And it continues here: In fact, the only two types of zipper installations that I have ever done are standard-centered and invisible.

I know that there are other types - fly front and lapped, for example. (And picked!)

What about you? Which ones are a standard part of your sewing repetoire? Which ones have you tried? Do you have a favorite? One that you really want to learn or improve on? Where do you reside in the world of zippers?

Photo credit: Threads magazine

11 comments:

Summerset said...

I have done all the zipper applications you mentioned. In order of preference for me: invisible/hand picked, fly, lapped, and centered. I actually prefer a hand picked zipper over a lapped or centered zipper. I can put one in quicker and neater by hand than either machine method. I tend use invisbles except for fly fronts or for dresses with side seam zipper. For those side seam zipper dresses and some art/couture garments, I use the hand picked zipper. There is no way I'm wrangling an entire dress (usually a 50's dress with a huge skirt to boot!) into the machine properly for a centered zipper.

Claire S. said...

I've done them all, too, at least once - except for the invisible zip.

My 3 skirts of the past year called for a center back zip. The first one I used the machine, the second 2 were hand picked. I did a MUCH better job by hand than with the machine - I just can't seem to make it neat at the top.

I've done a lapped zip in the side of a skirt.

3 Fly zips on pants.

I'd love to learn the invisible zip - it looks great on the back of a dress.

sewducky said...

I pick all zippers. I can do them by machine, and have a zipper foot (okay my machine and puzzle box is old: they didn't have a zipper foot, it has a cording foot, it also has a boning foot too for corsets, so you know it's old) and I still do them by hand. Control, ease, looks- all the reasons apply. Aside from the fact by the time I change my foot, baste the zipper in, and then go to sew it I can have it hand done by then.

I'm the only one in the family that does picked zippers too. That picture you have is one of the reasons why. While I learned it out of a book 20 some odd years ago, the picture is what really set it in my mind to do it ALL the time. That and a brocade dress the back zip ruined the look of.

Sarah said...

I have done a hand-picked zipper with little success the first time, and a regular zipper with much more... I have yet to go the invisible route, but will be doing so for my next dress for a formal...
I need to learn fly and lapped zips... sigh. And mastering the hand-picked would be a good idea for the same full skirts Summerset is talking about.

KARIMA said...

up until recently I made very few clothing that needed zippers. When I do make a dress, I do the standard center zipper. I've never tried an invisible zipper. In my younger days, I've tried lapped zippers and I've done "picked" zipper(if I understand correctly is just a zipper that put in by hand, totally or partially).

Lindsay T said...

I feel pretty neutral about zippers, to be honest. I've never done a hand-picked zipper but I can see the purpose of one. I guess I don't sew enough of them to have strong feelings one way or the other.

Lisa Laree said...

I am a quick-and-dirty seamstress; my usual zipper application (for a skirt or dress) is centered...baste the seam shut, press it open, slap the zipper down w/Wash-away basting tape, and topstitch. Not real elegant, but it doesn't look too bad.

However, I am pining to learn to do elegant zippers; Cynthia Guffey shows lovely zippers in her classes and I was overjoyed to see she was teaching a class on zipper installation at Atlanta this year...until I recollected that, due to inconveniences like leaking roofs and dying automobiles, it's not in the budget. Maybe someday....

Faye Lewis said...

I love your Friday confessions. I do "I guess what is called" a mock front fly zipper, lapped and centered and several invisible one. I what to become more proficient with the invisible ones. I'm currently working with a "front fly zipper". I guess the difference in the two is using the fly pattern piece and the underlap pattern piece. I only know about the hand picked zippers from reading Threads Magazine.

Becky said...

The only reason I know what a picked zipper is is because of reading about them once in Threads Magazine. I don't think I've ever done one. But I've done lots of centered zippers (sewing those in was the bane of my existence while growing up and learning to sew, because I always got them in wonky), and I switched to using invisible zippers whenever possible during college. Still working on mastering how to get those in without a gap just below the zipper, and I like centered zippers more now that I hand-baste them in place first. I've also done lapped, and am working on fly. Fly-front is the one I'd most like to master at the moment, since I'm still determined to learn jeans-making and that's an essential part of the style!

mamafitz said...

i've done all those zipper applications (and for fly i've done both real and mock), but like summerset, my preference is for invisible, then hand-picked. i suck at machine inserted zips (centered and lapped), and am faster with a hand-picked one.

Vicki said...

I am an invisible zipper girl. In my past sewing life I did lapped and centered but now only invisible. I have done one hand picked zip for an evening dress.