I’ve been working hard on my Something in Silk Dress and I’m pleased to say that it’s currently hanging on my dress form, Ena (EE-na), who is named after the woman who so kindly gave it to me when she outgrew it.
If you’ve missed the progress, catch up here:
I just completed the lapped side seam zipper, a detail often seen on vintage garments and patterns but rarely found in modern wear. Whenever I use a less common (i.e. vintage/couture) method in sewing I almost always turn to my Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Sewing, original copyright 1976, renewed 1978.
This 1-1/2″ thick behemoth of a text is just about the most comprehensive and easy-to-understand sewing book I’ve come across, modern, vintage, or otherwise. It’s old enough to have the classic vintage construction methods I’m looking for but modern enough to have a little info sprinkled in about newer concepts like working with knits and machines with zig-zag and buttonhole features.
Though I’ve done lapped zippers before, I always like a little visual reinforcement to give me the confidence to go ahead with it. I turned to the 14 page section on zippers. Fourteen pages on zippers – impressive, yes, but not as impressive as 18 different methods for bound buttonholes! That doesn’t even count hand-worked or machine buttonholes. I highly recommend this book if you can find it. I picked mine up in a thrift store for a very reasonable price ($12 maybe?) and grabbed another a few months later at a used book store for $5 to give to my sewing student.
Anyway, back to zippers. This section reminded me that I should hand-pick the zipper for an extra special finish on this silk rather than machine top stitch. So here is my lovely (albeit wrinkly because I just tried it on) hand-picked lapped zipper placket. I’m fairly pleased with it though the rapidly fraying edges gave me plenty of hassle as I tried to use Hong Kong finishes on them between the French seams above and below the placket. The hand-picking was a breeze after that.
Tomorrow: hemming. Perhaps I’ll reference the 24 page section on hems before I choose my method!