Zipper or no zipper?
Although a zipper is not specifically seen as part of a couture item, with the arrival of the blind zipper a beautiful closure has appeared on the market which is (of course!) now also used within couture.
With a well-inserted blind zipper, the seam is pulled towards each other. Because of this, you won’t see the zipper, but the place where the zipper is used, looks like a seam. However, there is one prerequisite for achieving this flawless result: there must be no tension on the seam.
A corset is one of those pieces of clothing where we see a lot of tension on the seams. Therefor, to avoid a bad-looking blind zipper, the corset is closed on the inside with hooks and eyes that take all the tension. Only the outer fabric is closed with the blind zipper. More about this type of closure can be found in this blogpost (written in Dutch).
Faultless insert of a blind zipper
For a blind zipper to fit perfectly, it is important that the two seams fit exactly together. This applies in particular when the zipper is placed over a dividing seam (for example, at the transition from the skirt of a dress to the bodice).
I tried to insert a blind zipper in all sorts of ways, but even when using a sewing foot that was specially developed for inserting a blind zipper, I often was not satisfied with the result.
Eventually I came to the conclusion that my preferred way of inserting a blind zipper is by hand.
This seems very complicated, but in reality it is not. When you get the hang of it, the zipper fits in well without frustration. I think that is well worth the effort.
I would like to take you through my work process. Of course there is only one way to do this. I do not claim that this is the only way, and certainly not the only right way. Many roads lead to Rome!
To help you get started, I have described my working method step-by-step below:
- Thread-mark the seam allowances
- Indicate on the zipper ribbon exactly the beginning and end of the closure as it should be in the seam; both on the left and on the right side of the zipper ribbon (I do this with a basting thread in contrasting color)
- Indicate the same distance on the seams (basting thread in contrasting color)
- Open the zipper and iron the rolled-in ribbon flat
- Pin and thread the zipper in the garment
- Check whether the zipper closes properly
- Sew the zipper in place with small stitching stitches, exactly in the fold, right next to the teeth of the zipper, but not too close.
What are your favorite methods to insert a blind zipper? Share it with us in the messages below!
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The program of workshops, masterclasses and courses at Dutch Couture Academy is aimed at (future) professionals in the fashion industry who are looking for an opportunity to specialise in couture techniques. Enthusiastic amateurs are also very welcome! In the courses a balance is sought between technology and inspiration, between knowledge and skills and artistic expression. Discovering your own handwriting is seen as crucial in the distinctive craftsmanship of every student.