Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Exposed Zipper Top

When I saw this colorful striped cotton at Spotlight, I envisioned a simple top with exposed zipper. So, that's what I did when I got home since I've got just a the colored metal zipper to go with it.

The fabric actually had more colors but I only used the top portion with purple, blue, grey and yellow.  It's a simple top that I just trace off one of my existing top. I've made the front shorter than the back so that it will be more of a tapered short top look.

This is how I insert the exposed zipper.
1) Measure the size of your zipper and back bodice. Place your zipper in position to get a gauge on how long you want the zipper to be exposed. Using a disappearing pen, draw the zipper position, starting from neckline.

2) Cut a piece of fabric slightly wider and longer than your zipper.  This is actually the zipper facing that you will sew with your zipper.  Treat the seams by serging or zig zag all the raw edges. Using the disappearing pen again, draw a line in the middle of the Facing.

3) Then, pin the facing in the middle of the back where the zipper position is. Remember that the Facing and Back bodice are Right Side Facing. i.e. Facing has the Right side face down. 

4) Start sewing from the top, aligning the left side of your zipper foot to the middle of the line of the Facing. See below. The distance is up to you. If you wish to expose more of your zipper, you can sew it further away from the middle line. As an after thought, I should have sewn it further away so that more of the zipper is exposed. Oh well. Live and Learn. Sew all the way down and then turn right angle and sew about 0.5" or 1", depending how wide is your zipper. Then, lift up your zipper foot again, with needle still in the fabric, turn the fabric again so that you can continue to sew up towards the neckline. You will be sewing a rectangle around the middle line on the Facing.

5) Then, use a scissor and cut from the neckline, all the way down near the end of the rectangle. At the ends, you can cut 2 slits to help you turn the facing to the wrong side. Then, turn the facing to the Wrong side of the back bodice. Press with iron so that it lies flat.

6) Now, you can place your zipper behind the rectangle and pin in place.

7) Using a zipper foot, sew all around the rectangle opening and you are done sewing the zipper!  Just need to sew up the shoulder seams for front and back. Hem the sleeves and bottom and you are good to go.

For the front of the bodice, I've made a simple small pleat to make it more interesting. Here's the front view. 

Back view with the exposed zipper

closer look at the zipper

Side view with matching stripes and interesting high low front and back.

My kids were trying to get into the picture and I'm trying hard to push them away here. I was rushing off to work and trying to take some photos before I dash off to work.  

Now, I really need to get into the sewing mojo since Christmas is around the corner again. This time I'll pace myself and do what I can.  Maybe I can just buy the gifts this year : P

I've actually sewn 2 jackets for the girls. They are really cute although maybe too hot for our weather here.  Will share more in next post.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Yellow Dove Sofa Cover

Time flies. It's November and I've not been sewing much. Well, the reason was we have shifted house and did a lot of packings, unpacking, throwing away unused items and cleaning, fixing, etc etc in the whole month of October.

I can't believe we have 53 cartons of items! That exclude the plastic toyogo boxes of clothes, breakable items, potted plants, sewing machines etc. Thank God we had planned well and the move was executed smoothly. I'm blessed and so touched that my parents came over to help us with the move.

Anyway, the only thing I've sewn in October was a new sofa cover. There is this sofa set that my mother in law gave us. The original cover were quite coarse against the skin and I didn't like the dark color.  So, I had this insane idea to sew a new cover myself. Yah, what was I thinking. Here was I  cutting up the fabric in the midst of packing with carton boxes piling all around me. But I just can't bear to hold the sewing till the move.

Anyway, I didn't get to finish them before the move. Only managed to finish the 3 bottom seat cushion covers since they are basic rectangles. The fabric is a mustard yellow corduroy that I got from Spotlight.  For the measurement I took the original cover and measure off them to get the estimates.

The top of the sofa was a bit of challenge since it is not a strict rectangle but more of the slope on the front.  So I trace out the existing one and make a template. The only paper template that I made.  You can see my template below if you are interested to try this. I've use the space inside the template to note down all the measurements for the 3 sofa covers.  So I only need to keep this template that also contain the measurement instruction! The sofa set consist of 2 smaller ones and 1 big one so you will see 2 measurements.

click to see.

Did you notice that the Dove print for the 2 smaller sofa set below actually match across? I'm so pleased with this. This is due to the precise cutting layout you see below.  The twill fabric with yellow dove print is also from Spotlight. From afar, my girl commented that it looks like yellow spectacles. Oh well. I fell in love with the cheery color and print but you know what, the grain was off for this print! If you intend to buy this same fabric, just be careful. Since I'm more concerned that the print down look off align, I just ignore the fabric grain and just cut along the print so that it will still looks straight.  I also use bigger seam allowance so that it will cover the off grain print.

The cutting layout draft for the Dove print. I label each piece by A, B, C, D so it's easier to plan and draw. Basically this will help me to visualize the amount of fabric that I need. It's important to draw this especially if you have directional print. Since my fabric is off grain, in the end I needed more so back to the store the next day!

Here's my girl enjoying herself on the new sofa cover. Please ignore the steel shelvings below. There are still some unpacking to do so I taking a break to sew here. Hopefully I can hit the sewing room for some clothes sewing soon.