Zipper-Dee-Doo-Dah

Readers,
That merry tune you heard someone whistling Sunday afternoon was just me celebrating a major milestone. Yes, after starting this saga a year and a half ago, finally I have a pants pattern that fits!

Until I can model the pants myself in the ideal lighting conditions of my sister’s photo studio, I am using my point-and-shoot and my store mannequin, Ginger, in my sewing room.

These pants are a wearable test sewn from a stash fabric–a wool blend with the characteristics of wool crepe..  I didn’t choose the fabric for the color–a cool gray–but I wanted to see how the pants would feel and hang using a fabric of this weight and drape for future reference. The result was very nice.

I want to test other fabrics, like linen and linen blends with a range of weights and crispness, to see how differently the pants will turn out and whether I need to adapt the pattern.  I also want to test which types of pockets I can use that won’t gape.  But the upcoming tests of fabrics and construction techniques feel so much more doable than pattern-fitting!

One of the choices I made for my master pants pattern was a simple back closure with an invisible zipper for a streamlined look.  And I came across a wonderful method for installing an invisible zipper in a video by Kenneth King on the Threads website.  My efforts in the past had always resulted in the last inch or two of zipper tape not securely stitched down, which made me leery of using an invisible zipper in a pants application.  But Kenneth addresses the problem so well that I couldn’t wait to try his method, and with success after one try I’m a believer.

You know that student in every classroom who’s struggling to keep up, who’s asking too many questions and whom teachers have an instinct for avoiding?  That’s usually me.  So I am eternally grateful to teachers like Kenneth King who explain steps clearly and help students achieve enough success to build the confidence to continue.

If you want to know how to install an invisible zipper quickly and elegantly, Kenneth’s method is amazingly intuitive.  See A Smart Technique for an Imperceptible Zipper.

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4 thoughts on “Zipper-Dee-Doo-Dah

  1. Thank you so much for this post! I have a class coming up where I show students how to apply standard and invisible zippers this weekend, so I will be using Ken’s method for invisible zippers, now!

    • Oh, that’s great! The students will find it an intuitive way to install an invisible zipper and it will be easier on you as a teacher.

  2. Paula, these look great! I think the invisible zipper along with the faced waist are very flattering…even on Ginger. Did you use a pattern originally or draft one yourself? I’m sure you covered this in an earlier post, but I can’t seem to find it. I’ve been very lucky with McCalls 9333, a Palmer Pletsch from 1998. It features 4 different views but I had the most success with the slim leg with a narrow waist band. I admire wide waistbands and belts but on my 5’ short waisted frame the narrow band or faced/contour is best. Looking forward to seeing how this pair looks on you.

    • Sorry, Marguerite, I should have said that I started with McCall’s 6901, which is a Palmer-Pletsch pattern. So many changes were made that I stopped thinking of it as a commercial pattern. I decided on an invisible zipper back closure and a faced waist for a sleeker look (and easier construction) rather than a waistband and a fly front, which are not so flattering. I am just getting used to being 5′ 1.3″ tall after being 5’2″, which I know is pretty silly, but I’m becoming more sensitive to height enhancers and detractors.

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