Saturday, 11 April 2015

Invisible zip in right hand side seam with inseam pocket


As mentioned in my last post, I couldn't get the idea of a pocket in a side seam with an invisible zip out of my head.   Naturally I googled it, but didn't come up with anything - maybe I couldn't think of the right words to search for!  So after some experimenting with scraps, I think I've worked out how to do it.  

I will include my usual disclaimer that I am not an expert, and my how-to's are mainly to remind me of how I ever did something.  If they are helpful to someone else, that's great!  I'm not going to re-invent the wheel by explaining how to sew an invisible zip; instead here is a link to my favourite way to do it.   Here we go... 

YOU WILL NEED:

-      Invisible/concealed zip –  The bottom of the zip needs to finish below where the lower edge of the pocket will attach to the skirt.

Have a look at the photo in Point 5, and you will see that the end of my zip is about 2" below the bottom of the lower edge of the pocket. 

-          Two pocket pieces

-          Dress to sew them into!

BEFORE YOU START

Attach the skirt to the bodice, and finish the edges of the sides.  Also finish the edges of the pocket pieces.  Press the zip teeth with a cool iron.


I appreciate it doesn't help that I used a fabric that doesn't have an obvious right side, so here’s how I have labelled the pieces in the photo below:


Pockets:

A  - RIGHT SIDE
B  - RIGHT SIDE

The right sides are the sides that your hand will touch when you put your hand in your pocket.  If you have a fabric with an obvious right side, then this side faces up as in the photo above.

Zip:

FRONT RIGHT HALF
BACK LEFT HALF

The zip is right side up (the side that has the zip pull attached), the FRONT RIGHT HALF will attach to the front of the dress, the BACK LEFT HALF will attach to the back.


HOW TO SEW

One of the pocket pieces needs to be attached to the zip, so that when the zip is undone; both pocket pieces will be at the front of the dress. 

  1. Lay the zip down on top of the side seam of the dress, matching up where the top of the zip will attach to the top of the side seam (blue pin on the left in the photo below).  There is normally a notch on the pattern to mark this. 
On the wrong side of the zip, mark where the zip meets the waist seam.  I have marked the back of my zip with white chalk.  The waist seam is marked  with the red pin on the right in the photo below.  


  1. I like the top of my pockets to be 6cm below the waist seam.  I imagine most people will like a longer length, but I'm quite small.  We now need to mark this length on the zip.
            On the front of the FRONT RIGHT HALF of the zip, measure your preferred length
            down from the chalk waist seam mark.   In the photo below I have marked this with
            the orange pin which is at a right angle to the zip. 

Take pocket piece A, and lay it right side up.  Take the FRONT RIGHT HALF of the zip and lay it right side down on the pocket piece – right side of the zip and right side of the pocket are touching each other.

Line up the pin marking the position of the top of the pocket with the top of the pocket piece.  Pin the zip to the pocket using your seam allowance.




You can see in the photo where the white chalk mark on the zip lines up with the red pin marking the waist seam.

Sew the zip onto the pocket piece using an invisible zip foot.



  1. THIS STEP IS OPTIONAL

I like to understitch the edges of my pockets to the side seams as I think it makes the seam sit more neatly.  Feel free to skip this bit if you don’t do that.

Fold the right side of pocket piece A back on itself, so it and FRONT RIGHT HALF of the zip are both right sides up.  Press, using a cool iron so the zip teeth don’t melt, and understitch about ¼” from the edge of the teeth.  I used my wide zip foot for this, and sewed through the pocket, the pocket seam allowance and the zip tape.  In this photo, the pins are roughly where I will stitch.





  1. Take pocket piece B and attach it to the FRONT of the dress as normal.  If the fabric has an obvious right side, then both right sides will be facing up as in the photo below.




  1. Now we will attach the zip and pocket piece A to the front of the dress and pocket piece B in one step.
Pin the FRONT RIGHT HALF of the zip to the front of the dress, lining the two pocket pieces up, one on top of the other.  Mark the seam allowance at the top and bottom of the pockets (I've done this with white chalk).  Pin the two pocket pieces together as in the photo.  Sew, pivoting at the seam allowance at the pocket top and bottom.  I used my invisible zip foot for all of this, including sewing around the pocket, and it worked perfectly.




Here's what it looks like with the zip pulled closed.  You can see the LEFT BACK HALF of the zip on the left.



6. Sew the BACK LEFT HALF of the zip to the back of the dress.  Sew up the seam above and below the zip,and there you have it!



I hope it makes sense, the bit about the distance between the waist seam and the top of the pocket got typed about 15 times!  If anybody has a question, please leave it in the comments and I'll get back to you.

Lynne

33 comments:

  1. I'm definitely saving this for the future! I mad a burda shorts pattern a couple summers ago that instructed for a side zip and pocket, but you can imagine that I absolutely could not make sense of their instructions... thanks for sharing!

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    1. Ooo, I hadn't thought of side seam pickets in shorts or trousers! I admire you for trying a Burda pattern, I never have because of all the horror stories about the instructions.

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  2. Well done! Kudos to you for persevering and sharing.

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    1. Thank you! Sometimes I get something in my hesd, and won't let it beat me!

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  3. I'm sure loads of people will find this very useful. I'm not sure that my sewing skills will ever be up to it!!

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    1. Thank you! I think that if anybody can sew an invisible zip, then they could do this. It turned out to be easier than I thought.

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  4. Wow, thank you for this tutorial Lynne! I always move the zipper to the back when I need pockets but this tutorial will save me from doing that. Thank you!!

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    1. Thank you! I usually do that too! But I didn't want to separate the back of the collar on this dress.

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  5. Brilliant! Consider this 'pinned'! Thanks for taking the time to explain this to us :)

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    1. Thsnk you! No problem, and I hope you are keeping well.

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  6. Thanks for putting this together, I feel like I've tried this before and got really stuck! Can't remember, but I'll have to give it a go in the future!

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    1. Thank you! Hope it works out ok!

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  7. This is bookmarked! Brilliant and clear directions, thanks Lynne. Now, I just need a dress to make and try it out for myself - great idea.

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    1. Thank you! I'm glad it makes sense!

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  8. Amazing tutorial! Will definitely be trying this out! :)

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge! :)

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  9. Fantastic tutorial Lynne! I had a skirt with pockets that I wanted to put an invisible side zip into but ended up just putting a centre back zip instead just to avoid having to work out how to do it. Now I'll know exactly what to do next time :)

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  10. Thank you, thank you. thank you!! I'm making my daughter's wedding gown and she insisted on pockets, but we had moved the center back zip to the side seam. I had despaired of ever figuring out how to do the invisible zip with the side seam pocket. Thank you for taking the time and effort to share this technique with us.

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    1. No problem!! I'm glad you found it helpful. Good luck with your daughter's wedding dress; what an epic make! I'm all for pockets in everything; I didn't have pockets in my wedding dress, but if I had, I would definately have used them. I'm going to be using this tutorial myself this weekend, so I'm hoping it will make sense to me!

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  11. Thank you for the wonderful tutorial! I am stuck struggling to make this a left side seam and pocket. Any insight you might have would be wonderful. I have tried doing everything in reverse, but no luck.

    Thank you!


    Patti

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    1. Apologies for taking so long to answer, I forgot about the moderated comments!! I recently found a tutorial that I saved, and it is for a left seam zip in a skirt with a pocket. Here's the link:

      http://www.dottodotstudio.co.uk/tutorial-adding-pockets-into-a-side-seam-with-concealed-zip/

      Hope that helps!

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  12. Thank you for the tutorial! I am trying to install in a left hand seam and pocket. I have tried reversing this nifty neat procedure you have but to no avail. If you have any insight on how I might get this installed, please let me know.
    thank you

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  13. Thanks so much for this!I have been sewing for 35 years and this is my first time ever installing a zipper with side seam pocket. I have a Simplicity pattern for a skirt I need to finish in a couple of days and the instructions included in the pattern are awful. As soon as I saw your pictures and instructions I knew I was saved LOL! Thanks again

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    1. Hi Andrea, thanks for emailing me, and I hope your skirt turned out well.

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  14. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I tried several other tutorials and I just could not figure it out. Yours actually made sense to me and was not nearly as difficult as I was trying to make it out to be.

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    1. Thank you for your lovely comment! I'm so glad this has been helpful to so many people, and also that it makes sense!

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  15. You absolute life saving angel, I have spent the last week trying to solve this puzzle of a problem! Wonderful tutorial and is so easy to understand too! Thank you so much ��

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    1. LOL, thank you!! I'm glad this was helpful, and also that it made sense!

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  16. Been stressing over this for a while now...just found your super simple and easy tutorial and could not be happier with the result! Thanks a million!

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  17. Love this! Now my future skirts can have 2 pockets!

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    1. Excellent!! It was the thought of a dress with only one pocket that drove me to work this out. Only one pocket is all kinds of wrong!!

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Thank you for reading my blog! I love reading your comments, so please feel free to leave a comment if you have the time :) Lynne.