Sunday, 7 February 2016

Pink Shift Dress With Marshmallow Pink Lining

Hello and happy weekend to everyone! I've decided to make a shift dress each month in 2016 and last weekend was my last chance to squeeze in a January dress. I trotted off to Fabric Land early on Saturday morning and splurged on three dresses worth of lining in a colour that is best described as marshmallow pink. I also armed myself with a couple of invisible zips, spools or thread and a metre and half of pink fabric for my January dress.
The dress pattern is a mash-up of Tilly's Francoise dress and the shell top pattern from the latest Great British Sewing Bee book, with the added complication of a full lining. Because I found that the original Francoise dress that I made sticks to my tights and embarrassingly has a habit of riding upwards, I decided to try adding a lining to this dress. Better that than an old-fashioned petticoat.

Everything basically went completely tickety-boo for the most part. In fact for some bits adding a lining actually saves time and neatens the inside of the dress up. No bias binding for the bottom of the armholes, no interfacing etc etc.
Then I came to inserting the zip....

I can't fault Tilly's instructions but, oh-my-goodness, for some reason what a fight I had. At one point I got so annoyed with sewing-unpicking-sewing-unpicking that I pretty much decided to give up sewing forever. At this point I had ended up with a bit of a mess at the top of the dress with the zip not really matching up with the top of the dress.
Not quite the look I was hoping for but it's definitely liveable...I also think I could possibly do with hemming it slightly shorter so there's slightly less fabric in the bottom half of the dress but that will have to wait for a day when I'm not sick of the sight of this dress going backwards and forwards through my machine.

Anyway...for February's dress...I'm going for some gorgeous black and white geometric patterned fabric inspired by these pins. I'm going for perfectly inserted invisible zip and I'm going for slightly less angry sewing... and a slightly shorter hem line.

Have you ever attempted an invisible zip? How was it!?


  1. I think there's room for improvement in the instructions you've followed for the concealed zip insertion. If you don't fit it with the zip closed, there's a chance the sides might not line up properly, and it's so much harder to ensure the top of the zip aligns with the top of the garment. For the sake of a few more minutes, it's worth doing it properly. Method follow. When I sew a concealed zip in, I machine baste the opening (leave the seam below the zip opening alone for now). Press the basted seam open, then position the concealed zip face down with the zipper teeth centralised over the basted seamline (zip is closed at this point - never open). This lets you line the top of the zip up properly with the top of your garment, ensuring you have enough seam allowances when applying facings without stitching into the zip teeth. I then hand baste the zip tape (with the zip still closed) to each side of the seam allowance (ie not catching the front fabric, just the seam allowances). Open up your machine basting and the zip, THEN press the concealed zip teeth to the side to allow you to sew close to them. Sew the zip to the seam allowance as normal. After you've sewn the zip into place, remove the hand basting, et voila, a perfectly fitted zip. You can then finish the bottom of the zip and the seam below it as normal. Don't blame yourself for a poor result caused by inadequate instructions, and please don't let it put you off trying a concealed zip again.

  2. This is such fashion style, thank you for sharing!


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