Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Wednesday Words




Are zippers really that bad?.................Bunny



29 comments:

  1. Since I spend lots of time removing zippers, snugging up gowns and re-attaching them or replacing them, they are just another facet of real sewing. Funny how designers tried to make them the center of attention by leaving them exposed for a while...so glad that trend is fading! I have dresses that fit over my head that I have had to put in zippers but in the end did not need them so I can see why sewers like to avoid them especially when they are inserted into knits and buckle down the back...not a good look.

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    1. I purchased a couple of tops with exposed short zips in the back. Their weight pulled the top into an uncomfortable and odd position with the front neckline creeping up in a choke hold. I also am glad that trend is waning.

      To me zips are just part of the process. It's just one of the myriad techniques required in learning to sew why the big apprehension? and the pandering?

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  2. when I saw that (and before I read the comment from the marvelous Mrs Mole), I just assumed it was another know-nothing "designer" selling patterns to her beginner-sewist indie-loving peers!

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  3. What? I love zippers now that I have a proper invisible zipper foot and discovered that Threads article that helped me along the way. Now, invisible zips are my favourite!

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    1. Here is a link to a great article lapped zippers from Threads. Thanks for the reminder.


      Here is a link to a great article on installing invisible zips into knits from Threads. Thanks for the reminder.

      http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/5085/lapped-zippers-rule

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    2. I have taken several Craftsy classes and just finished watching "Sew better, sew faster. Advanced industry techniques" taught by Janet Pray. One lesson is marvelous instruction on inserting zippers.

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    3. Oops! No affiliation at all with Craftsy. I just love their classes. http://www.craftsy.com/classes/sewing?_ct=wberqbdql-sbqiiui&_ctp=sewing/recommended

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    4. No problem and thanks for the link.

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  4. Zippers don't scare me, but I do find myself pausing before taking on patterns with lots of buttonholes...placing/lining those babies up and getting them just right can be a pain.

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    1. Making a line of buttonholes down a completed garment that much effort has gone into still scares the bejeepers out of me. I think it is the only thing in sewing that still gives me trepidation. One bad move, even just on the machine's part, can ruin a garment. I so hate that. Zippers? Piece of cake!

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    2. I make a lot of shirts and blouses for myself, husband, grandsons, and a few for friends. Never have trouble with button and buttonhole location. I use the Simflex devise and have for many years. First I locate the position of the top buttonhole, I open the Simflex all the way and then adjust the spacing between, place it on the garment and use my seam guide to make sure it is the correct distance from the edge. I use a gel pen (just a regular gel pen as it washes out of cotton) and put a little dot where the button is to be. Then lay the other half next to the the first half of the front, make sure they are even from top to bottom, and mark the position of the top buttonhole. For vertical buttonholes, I move the position of the buttonhole down about half the width of the button so that there is no pulling when the shirt is buttoned and mark the bottom of the buttonhole with my gel pen, just a dot. After that I use a glue stick to glue the buttons in position and wait for the glue to dry.

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  5. I don't know why there's a fear, or "fear", of zippers.

    Agreeing with Graca that invisibles are the easiest to get right! And my how I love a lapped zipper - especially on a skirt. Swoon.

    I do have to say, I will never replace a zipper in a RTW item again though. I replaced the zipper in my down coat and nearly cried the entire time. A few months later, when my daughter broke the zipper on a pair of jeans she bought, those went RIGHT to the local seamstress - $12 well spent!

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  6. For some they are. I was in a small fabric store in Chicago. A 20 something had bought fabric for a skirt. The clerk asked about a zipper. She said, "I can't be bothered. I'll just fold back the edge and add snaps." At first I was shocked, and then I thought, pick your battles, at least she's sewing.

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    1. Yes, I am glad that she is. But why not pockets, or buttonholes, or collars? I think a bit of pandering has been done to our newbie sewists and details like zips and hems are left out of many blogger/indie patterns in order to make the claim of ease and speed and "you can do it", JMHO. I suspect this marketing technique works quite well as many use it.
      It's also interesting that the young sewist didn't say "zippers scare me, no thanks." Instead she said, "I can't be bothered." That says a lot to me.

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    2. Sounds like fast fashion was more her goal. Although, it would probably take me longer to line up and set snaps than it would to sew a zipper.

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    3. I thought the same thing: those snaps would take longer.

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  7. I do notice on IG that when someone does tackle a zipper, they're all like "why was I so nervous?!" I really think a lot of this is hype, not unlike snowstorm hype. Otherwise, I don't think there would be a zillion bag/pouch patterns and whole etsy shops full of nothing but zips.

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  8. I agree with the others that inserting a zipper is much easier than a row of buttons and buttonholes...although I should look into that Simflex device mentioned above. My favorite zipper is the invisible zipper. The foot does most of the work!

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  9. Good teachers encourage others to up their game and that with practice they can "get it". This is the opposite of that. It reminds me of the time I was watching a cooking show and the host said something like "why bother chopping your own vegetables, it takes so much time." Um, because learning knife skills is a very basic cooking skill, will make all of cooking easier for you, is easy with a little practice and if it's not for you then maybe cooking isn't either. Click.

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    1. I agree that it is an important skill to learn, but can see both sides. After work, while cooking for one, I'll sometimes use bagged, pre-chopped veggies.

      I read ~10 years ago, about the efficiency of industrial-scale produce processing. Water is filtered and reused (so important in water-scarce areas like CA!), scraps are saved for hog feed or put in industrial high-temperature composters. The veggies are given a final rinse in ascorbic acid, Vit C, which acts like a natural preservative to extend shelf life.

      Done right, it's much more efficient than the 40% of produce that Americans buy and waste through rot at home.

      Then we had some major cases of microbiology disasters for industrial-scale produce gone wrong.

      This tempered my enthusiasm.

      If I had another lifetime, I'd like to write a textbook comparing home ec vs industrial ec...

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  10. I thought so until I took a Saturday morning for the sole purpose of gaining proficiency. I did every step super carefully. Ripped and did it again until I could put in a zipper perfectly. Took less than an hour. I can put in a zipper in 5 minutes, first time, every time. I dont avoid zippers anymore.

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    1. We can all learn a lot from you, Bev. Practice makes perfect, persistence pays off, do something ten times to get it down. These are all old cliches that still apply to any learning experience. Congrats to you on becoming a zipper master! Applause!

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  11. I don't know many sewists, but among the ones I know, I rarely find much fear of facing a challenge or eagerness to take an easy way out. They tend to love a juicy problem to solve or a new skill to conquer. Isn't that one of the most addictive aspects of sewing?

    My favorite zipper installation is the hand-picked zipper. Once I learned it from Susan Khalje, I pretty much abandoned machine-sewn zips. Invisible zippers seem to work well for many, but I have actually had wardrobe malfunction due to invisible zippers--more than once! Hand-picked zippers are so easy, very strong, and look fantastic to me.

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  12. I think zippers are much easier and faster than buttons and/or snaps. I completely agree with Mary, a hand picked zipper are easy, look great and are so satisfying to insert. Always perfect! I have an invisible zipper foot but never use it, preferring to insert a regular zipper by hand.

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  13. Zippers are much easier to insert if you have a good sewing machine that feeds well and if you fuse interfacing to the opening first.

    But, finding interfacing that doesn't bubble is challenging for newbies, who are often also sewing on crummy machines.

    I've learned how to sew zippers from my mom, home ec teacher, Bernina dealer and Margaret Islander videos. With practice and good techniques, it's possible.

    Like many have said, even if your machine doesn't give satisfactory results, hand-sewing in zippers doesn't take much time.

    Setting in zippers is not on par with crossing the Rubicon. I wonder why the pattern description makes it out to be such a big deal?

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  14. I love hand picked zippers. I think it would be easy to assume that they wouldn't be strong enough but they are! I have a pair of pants that I wear at least once a week for the past two years for work. The zipper is hand picked and shows no signs of stress. I love the look of a hand picked zip as well. I just love those little dimples!

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  15. As long as it's I'm not trying to replace zippers in outerwear or jeans, zips don't scare me. They do make me slow down, read instructions and take my time.

    Buttonholes are much more difficult to recover from errors.

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  16. I am happy to put zippers into things I make, but for myself, due to the amount of squish I have, my clothes need to either have enough ease to not need a zip for putting on, or so firm as to require something more reliable like hooks and eyes. So I don't really have anything with a functioning zipper in my wardrobe. I only just realised too! But my fave technique also is the hand picked, or a combo - machine sewn one side and hand picked on the lap side.

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  17. I don't hate them- honestly- that may come as a shock since 3/4 of my sewing has involved not using them! Really I just prefer a side zip and an unmolested back seam.
    But why do so many knit patterns have them?

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