Jane awhile back talked about her handpicked zipper that she did on Butterick 5917. I tend to avoid any hand sewing like the plague. My Sewing OCD comes out like crazy because I want all the stitches to be nice and even. Plus, I’m a horrific hand-sewer to begin with, OCD aside.
So it was with great reluctance that I decided to put in a handpicked zipper into this lovely skirt I was making, and see what all the fuss is about. In addition, I went absolutely against the book here and DIDN’T LINE IT! Consider me officially straight jacket crazy.
The traditional way of doing a handpicked zipper is with a prickstitch. A prickstitch is a like a backstitch, I wanted an near invisible stitch and thought the machine way would be to distracting.
To make a prickstitch bring the needle up through all layers of the zipper tape and garment. (Below I’m using a sample fabric.)
Take the needle place it close to the stitch, and ‘prick’ up the fabric and/or zipper facing. Bring the needle out through the layers.
Pull the thread through and you will only have a small dot of thread on the outside of the garment.
Continue to make stitches placing the needle near or even slightly behind the last stitch.
The back side will have a line of stitches like so. (OCD rising up like an uncontrollable wave!!)
Typically you space the pricks about 1/4″. Don’t pull the thread to tight or puckers will result.
A handpicked zipper offers near invisibility to the surface, but it’s quite strong. I did this on a rainy Sunday afternoon, and really it didn’t take that much time at all and was rather a pleasant task to do. Plus, it looks very minimal which I like. And, really it’s a better zipper install then when I do it by machine. Go figure. So are you ready to give it a try?
[…] but I enjoyed the process of finishing so much that I can’t keep those details to myself! I handpicked the zipper into the skirt, which was my first time doing so and I’m beyond happy with it […]
You did a great job! I’ve picked one zipper in my life 22″ back jumpsuit. It was in a class and it lasted 10 years of wearing the garment at Christmas each year! I’m not thinking of this as a new process again. 🙂 Unless it’s a request from a customer.
Love it! Isn’t it an awesome technique?
Lovely, Jill! The hand stitching on your zipper looks awesome. Maybe I am ready to give it a try!
You should! Do it while you sit on the porch and watch the people go by.