Popped Seams: Of Machine and Hand-Sewn Zippers for Vogue 8409

Vogue 8409. The drawing doesn't look like
 much, but the pattern is well-drafted.
 I had high hopes for this one.  I really did.

Well, I did after seeing it here. The drawing doesn't appealed to me, but it looks really good after it has been made up.

I started this in April, using a dark brown polyester/rayon/spandex (I believe) ponte roma double knit from Haberman Fabrics. I love ponte roma, which, for those who don't know is a very stable knit with a very small amount of stretch, and was excited to use it. The dress came out well and I put it aside for a long time until last week.

This is the partially finished product. You can't see
much detail, but it came out well.
Last Friday, after debating whether or not to install the zipper by hand or by machine, I attempted to machine sew the zipper into the dress.

Big mistake.

Now, I know how to put both standard and invisible zippers into a garment; neither are that hard. In fact, I prefer invisible zippers if you're planning to use a machine to install them. But this zipper installation went very wrong very quickly. Everything was going well, until I came to a very thick seam and then my needle veered off to the right. See the picture below.
Detail of the zipper at the back waist.
You can't tell in this picture, because I'm not the best photographer in the world (sorry!) but there is a seam going down the center of the back. To the right of that seam at the bottom is where I was sewing the zipper in place, but if you look up, you see alot of puckering and an uneven seam to the right of the center seam. Why? Because at that point, I was stitching through six, then four, and then six layers of double knit because the midriff piece (that part in the middle) that you see has a facing, or a sort of cover to keep the yucky raw edges under wraps, on the inside of the dress. So that means alot of fabric piled up, which creates a hump that is very difficult for the needle to work with.

A sort of perfectionist, I wasn't pleased with this and attempted to take the zipper out, but because the fabric is so thick, it is impossible to see the stiches and pop them without damaging the fabric.

You win some, you lose some. This one, I had to take a loss on all because of the zipper, which is very sad because it's a nice, easy-to-use pattern and I'm sure that it fits well. I might give it to my cat or my dad's kittens to use as a mattress or something. That's just about all it's good for now.

On the bright side, now I have more time to work on another Vogue dress. This time, I'm hand-picking the gosh darned zipper. 


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