Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Second Choice

A couple of weeks ago, the Marin Symphony produced another wonderful concert, which meant that I had the perfect excuse to finish up my Ceil Chapman dress.  But as you can see, I did not wear the dress.  Instead, after a minor catastrophe, I had to run home and to change.  This dress is what I came up with.

Everything on the Ceil Chapman was completed in plenty of time, although getting into the dress by myself was problematic, even during construction.  But that did not really concern me.  I was going to Mom’s anyway for pictures, so I figured an extra pair of hands would solve the zipper issue I was having.  But I was wrong.

Before you yell at me for attempting to use an invisible zipper with a bulky seam, I should tell you this was a metal vintage zip.  And I have had no problem in the past using them with fairly bulky seams because they are sturdy (another one worked beautifully on this dress).

But even after all the ends were tucked in and tacked down for stability, it was no longer possible to zip the zipper on my body.  With the waist stay, it should have been easy.  

The dress fits, but the darn invisible zipper just cannot make it past the seam bulk at the waistline on the body.  It works on the sewing table, although I need to get a running start at it – but that is normal for any invisible zip.

The project has been put away until I process how I want to proceed.  I think the only solution is to rip out the zipper.  I just hope I have not trimmed too much away from the corners.  Anyway, this is a job that must be done in the daylight - it is hard enough to see black thread on black wool in the best of circumstances, and I am going to need all the help I can get!

So, I am rather sick to my stomach about it at the moment, but hopefully a bit of time will give me the courage to do a little surgery on the dress.

Wish me luck!

Dress:  Made by me, Butterick 5814
Wrap:  Vintage, gift
Shoes:  Via Spiga
Earrings:  Givenchy


  1. yes,good luck,your dress is great,and a vintage zip is stronger and realist!
    blog"folie de mode"

  2. Hope you can sort out your zipper issues. The red lace is beautiful though

  3. Can you use hooks and eyes instead of the zipper, or does it need the stability of the zipper? (I've forgotten whether it zips on the side or not.) I'm looking forward to seeing the finished product!

  4. Stunning!!! Utterly stunning dress! I'm sorry that the zipper is giving you problems though - oh no! I'll be wishing you tons of luck and keeping my fingers firmly crossed for you, honey.

    ♥ Jessica

  5. Could you do a double zip-ectomy? One running up to the waist, one running down to the waist, and a hook-n-eye as the golden railroad spike???

  6. Good luck on your zipper issues. The dress is a stunner!

  7. Sending you positive energy to remedy that zipper situation! I know you'll come up with something.

  8. sometimes on those pesky invisible zippers you have to let a bit of the tape show. when you get to the place where the bulk is too much for the zipper to handle if you sew a bit farther away from the teeth it should remedy the problem of it not zipping up.
    I have had to do this on formal dresses. and I have noticed that manufactures do it a lot as well.
    good luck!

  9. Wow great look! I think you would love some of the vintage dresses in our collection :)
    Becky x

  10. Such a beautiful dress! And that wrap is so perfect. I've had my share of invisible zipper issues -- I don't envy you, but you will be so happy after the fix! Good luck!

  11. Love, love, LOVE this! I love the sash and the wrap and the color! Brilliant!

    I have yet to tack invisible zippers... I'm still wretched at putting normal ones in!