Anyone who has watched the final of The Great British Sewing Bee will probably know that I had more than a little trouble with the (bloody) zip in the back of my (sodding) evening gown. That damn thing reduced me to a sweating mass of gibbering tearfulness, all of which was totally unnecessary had I just taken a step back and thought for a minute.
But, you know, time pressure yada yada yada.
Excitingly, all the clothes I made on the show were sent back to me last week, so I finally had a chance to redeem myself. Also, to use the pintuck shirt as a fire starter (but that’s another story).
Here is the back of the dress with the original zip. Pretty terrible, right?
I didn’t take into account how lightweight the silk fabric was, mainly because I had practiced the dress using cheap poly satin that was much more robust. The first order of business was to remove the bling from the waistband, unpick the lining, and rip out the zip (gently, of course).
I then fused a strip of very lightweight woven interfacing to the wrong side of the silk, either side of the zip opening. This adds just enough support for the weight of the zip, and would have been SO BLOODY EASY to do in the sewing room *slaps self*.
Next, for a new zip – invisible this time, sewn in by hand to avoid stretching the silk. Stitch the lining to the zip tape, reattach the bling, and that’s it. A not-crap zip insertion.