What’s better than just one exposed zipper?
Two exposed zippers, of course!
(If you’re not a fan of visible zippers, you might want to look away now.)
They may be old hat, but I still love an exposed metal zipper, and they feature heavily in my latest project for the Minerva Blogging Network. Incidentally they’ve just added lots of amazing new bloggers, check the Network page to see them all!
The idea for this skirt started a few months ago when I pinned this double-zippered number from Net-A-Porter. As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to try and rip it off.
I already had the perfect Vogue pencil skirt pattern – 8603. It has two seams down the front (and the back). Basically, all I had to do was insert the exposed zippers into the front seams, and Bob’s your uncle.
Of course it ended up being slightly more complicated than that, but somehow it always does…
The fabric from Minerva is a dark grey flannel, flecked with lighter grey specks. It’s an intriguing mix of polyester, viscose, and lycra, and is beautifully thick, almost like a boiled wool, but stretchy like a ponte. I would love to make a biker jacket in this stuff.
As an underlining technique, I just pinned the lining and fashion fabric together, and then overlocked the edges. This is not the approved way to do it (you’re supposed to baste them together), but I am lazy, and it worked out okay.
I also added some lining rectangles just stitched onto the seam allowances as zip guards, and I cut the facing out from a plain black cotton to eliminate bulk. You can sort of see this below in an unfortunately blurry photo.
I’m really pleased with how this turned out, and I wish I had some better photos for you. As usual, I was finishing this right before deadline, so the photos are a before work job in the stairwell. My jumper is excessively crumpled and I had to bin half of the shots because of low-light, blurriness and/or shocking eye-bag footage.
One thing you can’t tell from the pictures is how heavy this skirt is. Seriously, it weighs a ton and feels very luxe, what with the fabric, the lining, and the two massive metal zippers. I will probably get toned abs just from hauling this thing around (although it’s actually very comfortable).
Here’s a top tip – if you use Wonder Tape to stick the exposed zip down before sewing it, you can easily line the edge of each folded seam up with the edge of the tape – see picture above. It’s pretty magical.
(And if you don’t own any Wonder Tape yet, why not? How much more do I have to bang on about it before you give in and buy some? It can only make your life easier.)
I hand-sewed the hem to the underlining, and didn’t press it as I didn’t want to mark the fabric, but I think it does actually need a bit of steam on there just to flatten it down.
The zips do look a bit rippled in the pic above. I ironed some interfacing to the edges of each seam to stabilise them, but the zips do bend a lot when you sit down, so I think some rippling is unavoidable.
If you like the look of this skirt, you can buy a kit from Minerva here including the fabric, lining, pattern, and two zips, for a mere £31.71, thus saving you £93.29 on the price of the designer item. Bargain!
(exposed zipper haters, it’s safe to open your eyes now)