Old PJs, New Baby Romper – Lapped zip, part 2

Following on from my post last week about using some old pyjamas to make a new romper, here is how I inserted the zip. The techniques shown can be used for any garment which is why it’s having it’s own post.

For the zip, I found an old closed end zip. It is lilac but it’s the same tone as the other colours so I think it will look ok.

Now, I’m going to admit that I’m not very good at lapped zips. They always look ok from the top but the underneath often looks wobbly. I have developed/discovered a method to make a lapped zip immaculate and I’m going to share it with you.

First very accurately press the seam allowance in.

Next open the zip out. Pin the zip tape to the left hand side of the opening. You need to set it back a smidge. I do this by eye but I would guess its about 5mm.

Tack the zip tape in place, I know it seems a faff but it means that theres no room for error when you machine it in place.

Very unconventionally, I machine this in from the underneath side. I do this because I can make sure the zip tape doesn’t wobble.

Now the right hand side can be dealt with. Close the zip, match the top and bottom and make sure any seams are aligned. If you have one, I find this easiest to do on a sleeve board. The edge of the zip teeth are pinned against the pressed edge. Pin the rest of the zip in place. Make sure the top of the zip tape is nudged under the seam allowance to keep everything tidy. Tack this side in place.

Machine the right hand side of the zip in place. When you get close to the zip pull, insert needle into fabric, lift machine foot and move the zip pull out the way. Now lower the machine foot and continue to bottom of opening. Again insert needle into fabric, lift machine foot and rotate work; lower machine foot and stitch across bottom of opening. If your stitching doesn’t meet the left hand stitching then rotate and continue up to meet that first line of stitching.

If you were making a garment with a lapped zip and you wanted to add buttons with elasticated button loops for an wedding/occasion dress. You put the button loop tape between the right hand side pressed edge and the zip tape. The buttons are then stitched on the left hand side between the stitched line and the pressed edge. This conceals the zip completely and looks like a buttoned up opening.

I’ve now finished my neck binding and I can add a hook and eye to top to stop it gapping at the top. This isn’t mentioned in the pattern because this is where I’m meant to add the bow. As I said previously, I’m not making a bow, I think it looks ridiculous and most likely annoying to wear.

Hook and Eye

A successful hook and eye isn’t visible on outside once sewn. Use either button thread or I quite like to use regular sewing thread which is quadrupled. To sew on the hook, set it back slightly from edge. You need to go through the holes at back of hook a few times each and then stitch over base of hook. This stops it flapping about. To cast off, insert needle through work (I brought mine out under binding) and over-sew a few times.

For the eye, set it back from edge. Sew through the holes at back and then sew over the bar a couple times. Again this stops it flapping about which would be annoying when trying to attach.

Inside leg details

The zip is the only opening on this garment. It has obviously been designed by someone who doesn’t have children or has never had to deal with a wriggly child with an explosive nappy. I can’t be bothered with completely undressing Edith every time she needs a nappy change, she’ll get cross with me and I’ll get frustrated. So I’m going to add an inside leg popper opening, I’ll show you how in the final post of this mini series of blogs.

In the meantime thanks for reading.

Rosie xx

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