Little triumphs

I’m so flattered by all the wonderful feedback on my shorts restyle tutorial, thanks everyone! ♥

Lately I rarely seem to do little posts about things, so here’s a break from my usual long-winded style. LOL

Yesterday, I spent 4 1/2 hours inserting a lapped zipper into the side seam of a dress I’m working on. You read that right, 4 1/2 hours of my life on a zipper. It was an afternoon and evening full of frustrations. I did a test run on some scrap fabric that worked well. I knew because of the 1/2″ seam allowance in my vintage pattern that I’d need to add a small piece of fabric to extend the seam allowance, which I figured out (incidentally this was a huge pain in the rump and I’m still not sure of the best way to finish it all from the inside, so next time I will extend the seam allowance on the pattern pieces instead!). I did this on the underlap side, but thought I could get away without doing it on the lapped side, because the first time I tried it I felt it make the overlap too stiff. Two passes at hand picking the zipper, unpicking and several hours later, I realized I was wrong. Eventually, I was able to get it to work.

Why is this remarkable? It’s just par for the course for most sewists. But I’m prone to giving up when I encounter frustrations like this. In fact much smaller frustrations have stopped me in my tracks. But this time I kept going. Even though I kept getting more frustrated as the evening went on and other problems mounted up, like the fabric getting a bit weary and saggy after all the handling. I kept on going.

And now I have my very first lapped zipper and hand picked zipper, all in one. Far from perfect, but dag nabbit, it’s in, it laps, it looks pretty good and it fits.

And on a more fun and less frustrating note: this weekend I made my first bias tape for the same project! I hope to have the dress finished this week to show off soon.

(Want to learn how to do a lapped zipper? Check out Casey’s 40s style side seam zipper tutorial and Gertie’s vintage-style lapped zipper tutorial.  Or a hand picked zipper? Tasia has a tutorial on that, too. This Threads Magazine article is also very helpful.)

Filed: Sewing

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Golly, 11 Comments!

  • Nice fabric!(and well done for not bailing out!)


  • Holy crap! Whose daughter are you??

    If you’ve learned how to “keep on at it in spite of super frustration,” does that mean maybe … someday … I will too?

    Your mom


  • lovely fabric! I’m always so proud of myself when I don’t give up, it’s annoying at the time but soooo satisfying when you complete, well done on keeping at it! Can’t wait to see the finished project!


  • Good on you for sticking it out!! If I get tripped up and frustrated, whatever I’m working on tends to head to the UFO pile for a good long time out. I bow to your determination…


  • Kudos on sticking it out to get such a good result! Sometimes I just have to put my sewing down and come back to it the next day – oodles of patience is not something I’m graced with. Lovely fabric, too!

    P.S. Just wanted to say how much I like your blog, it’s ace 🙂


  • Oh that fabric is amazing!


  • Gah. I can relate to sewing frustrations! I seem to have at least one with every project (I really need to start blogging about those…), and zippers are usually the culprit. Isn’t a nice feeling to actually work through the issue and have it turn out in the end though? Your zipper looks beautiful–I can’t wait to see the finished dress!

    Thanks for the link shout-out! 😉


  • Yay! Well done for keeping going – I’m the same, so I know how hard it is to carry on. And I’m quite sure zips were invented to be annoying for stitchers! Good work – it looks great 🙂


  • Love that fabric! Can’t wait to see the results 🙂


  • Wow,great job Tasha ! I have tried bias tape to no avail a real grrrrr. Yours is perfect. I just love matching bias . Thanks for the links I will be reading them as I go along teaching myself how to do.


  • ~ * ♥ * ~

    Good for you for not giving up Tasha! By the way, I hope you do not mind, but I featured your shorts tutorial on my blog today. : D

    bonita of Depict This!
    ~ * ♥ * ~


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