Sincerely, Shantelle

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Saturday, June 29, 2019: Y'all. How in the world I had went all week without posting my challenge and progress, I have NO IDEA!! I had caught up on instagram and was excited about that. Sad to know on the flipside, I hadn't posted here. SMH.

Anywho, for this week's challenge I've chosen "zipper." I've been venturing out in patterns and pattern designers over the past couple of months, and I've been finding the ones I'm drawn to have zippers, piping, cords, lace, fringe, trim, lots of fun extras. I'm not a big fan of drawstrings near the neck (because we have a toddler and our daughter sleeps in a bunk bed) so I don't add them to anything I make. Piping, lace, fringe is all easy stuff. No challenege there, other than finding a nice, affordable, unique source for them.

Zippers, on the other hand...they're such a cool looking touch to certain items. The problem is, they're not always fun to sew, at least not for me. I hope to reverse that theory by finding tips to make it easier on myself, and then share them with y'all, in hopes that anyone else who is reluctant comes across this post, they'll be able to succeed afterward!

Here's a little peek at the fabrics I've worked with. Item just needs to be photographed, then all tips, tricks, and other info will be updated tomorrow. 😬

Sunday, June 30, 2019: Alright, alright, alright y'all! I'm back, and feeling proud. This is probably the prettiest zipper I've ever sewn. I didn't have to seam rip, don't have puckering in my topstitching, and it's just...GAH....perfection.

Here's the shot I took as soon as I finished.

I said I didn't like zippers I took the time during this sew to figure out why. I concluded with a couple of tips that I think will make zipper sewing just as flawless in the future.

INTERFACING Use medium weight interfacing where the zipper will be sewn! I made three zipper pocket hoodies over the past couple of weeks, and all of them have tiny puckers around my topstitch. Since it's recommended to use a walking foot when sewing knits on a sewing machine, and you can't really do that when you need to use a zipper foot, I needed to figure out something. It clicked that the fabric should be prevented from stretching. I only adhered a 1/2" strip down the back of my fabric where the zipper was to be sewn, and it TOTALLY prevented the puckers and also allowed my zipper to stay EXACTLY where I wanted it. The last (and first) hoodie I made with a full length zipper, one side stretched out more because I didn't use interfacing, and the bottom of the hoodie looks a little crooked. Still bothers me everytime my husband wears it lol! Wish I knew this last year.

WONDER TAPE Use wash away wonder tape to hold the zipper in place. This tape is my best friend for pockets, of course it's perfect for zippers too! I found that this was easier and less annoying than dealing with pins or clips to hold the zipper in place. I was also able to get almost perfect placement on each side of the skirt while doing so.

ZIPPER TYPE This one is much more an observation than a tip, but maybe can be taken as such. This was my first time sewing with a metal teeth zipper, and my zipper foot worked REALLY well with it. I feel like when I sew with the plastic, small teeth zippers, my zipper foot has ZERO regard for the teeth and will somehow or another allow the needle too close. I've sewn onto the zipper teeth before, sewn so close I couldn't unzip it without seam-ripping, just a whole host of annoyance. With the metal teeth zipper, the foot stayed perfectly aligned with the zipper teeth the entire way through, from installing to topstitching. I could't be more pleased with the outcome.

An image from Sincerely, Shantelle
An image from Sincerely, Shantelle
An image from Sincerely, Shantelle

This was such a great week...perhaps the first time I felt like I truly NAILED my challenge. Yay for small successes! Onto next week now...