A Simplicity 1010 1953 Sundress and My Zipper Anxiety

Simplicity 1010 1953

A side lapped zipper conquered.
This was a fairly simple and straightforward pattern for me until it came to the zipper. Most vintage dresses have side zippers and they really are a nice touch and practically invisible. I’m not always the neatest when it comes to zippers. I have to admit when I was in design school a million years ago that I used to actually pay the dry cleaner to install them for me! I wasn’t exactly a stellar design student in those days, being more interested in going out dancing at night. How I dragged myself weary and bleary eyed to class, many a time. I wish I could do it over again! 
When I finished Maria’s wedding dress recently I actually had three tries at that zipper before I got it right. To make matters worse, I had to sew all the buttons and loops on top of the zipper and they had to be lined up perfectly. I think I had a few sleepless nights over that one. All my praying worked and the finished result was something I was very proud of.
So being zipper challenged I went to all my sewing books for the directions for a side lapped zipper and I just didn’t UNDERSTAND any of them. Lo and behold, I found this great lapped zipper tutorial on Gertie’s mega blog and it worked like a charm. (Seriously can I imagine getting like 108 comments about a pair of shoes I bought!?) She is a gifted seamstress as well as a great teacher and I especially like the hand picked part on her tutorial although next time I’ll make sure my thread matches with my fabric! Darn those details.

I used a border print cotton fabric I bought in the downtown LA garment district for only two dollars a yard. I may spend a fortune on gas to get there but it’s so worth it! 
The pattern was a tiny bit big but I didn’t notice it in my fitting and I already sewed the lining in so I’ll have to make a self fabric belt which is on my to do list.

 I am happy with the result and think I will try this pattern again although I will adjust the fit of the pattern. I did chop 8 inches off the pattern but then I realized old dresses had really wide hems so next time I will make the wide hem because I think it will add body.
I added some pretty vintage trim I found in one of my yard sale trips.
Have a great weekend and don’t forget to stop by tomorrow to link up your kids sewing projects. We mustn’t forget the little ones now, right?
So, do any of you have any shameful zipper stories?


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  1. yarndiva says

    A good zipper foot makes a bit of a difference in how easy it goes in. I saw that you have an older Bernina, so do I. Have a look at a #14 “Old Style”. It’s a zipper foot with a guide attached.
    Love the dress!

  2. Melissa @ Love Affair With My Brother says

    It looks great! congrats on conquering the zipper 🙂

  3. Sew Country Chick says

    Thanks gals, and thankf for the advice yarn diva, I’ve had a hard time finding attachments for my older Bernina

  4. Clare says

    I love it! Even just the pattern picture looks adorable… all made up and on you looks like the perfect summer dress. Beautiful!

  5. Rebecca says

    This is so cute! You did a wonderful job. The only shameful zipper story I have is when I put a regular zipper in a dress and sliced a huge gash in my dress while opening it up. :]

  6. Dharma says

    Very lovely dress. Love the border print fabric. I think the shoes you have on with the dress look charming!

  7. Sew Country Chick says

    Thanks for the compliments and Rebecca consider yourself lucky, I have dozens of zipper mishaps!

  8. Nähnädelchen says

    Wow, what a wonderful dress.Looks great. At which fabric store in LA did you bought the fabric?

  9. littlebetty says

    This is super cute and the fabric is adorable. I love your stripes and I love this.

    Good work on the zipper, they aren’t too hard. It becomes easier each time.

  10. says

    Hi, I popped in here from Sew Retro just to say that I love your dress! It’s so summery and pretty and I love the fabric. I’m always on the lookout for good border prints, they’re not easy to find in these parts.

  11. Clarissa says

    Linked over to your blog from Sew Retro. I love this dress. It looks like the perfect summer dress. It’s very cute. The print really translate well with this pattern.

  12. MaryMM says

    I love how you used the border print in this. Perfection. I am just moving to Ojai from the SF Bay Area and am loving learning/reading about your sewing related excursions in the area.

  13. angie.a says

    Wow, this is gorgeous! You’ve been busy and I need to get caught up, haha!

  14. SMJ says

    what a great dress, you look fabulous & i so can’t wait to try making a dress…when my sewing skills grow up a little. 🙂

  15. Carol Pack Urban says

    Gorgeous! Love the pattern. It’s so Debbie Reynolds. 🙂