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Darla Sewalong Day 4

Welcome back to day 4 of the Darla Sewalong. Today we are working on the zip back versions of the pattern again. If you are sewing one of the tie back versions, you can skip to day 5.

We will be inserting our invisible zipper today so make sure you have that handy.

Step 26 - Gently press the zipper coils open using an iron set to low heat. Be careful not to use too much heat or you will melt the plastic coils.

Step 27 - Zip your zipper back up. Place the zipper face down on top of the center back seam with the zipper stop 5/8” down from the raw upper edge of the Bodice. Pin through the zipper tape and the seam allowances only, placing pins every few inches to make sure that everything stays lined up and that you don’t twist your zipper.

 Step 28 - Unpick the center back basting stitches and unzip your zipper.

Switch your presser foot to an invisible zipper foot ( you will also need your regular zipper foot soon so keep that handy).

Using a basting stitch, stitch as close to the zipper teeth as possible on both sides, lining your stitching up with the fold line you pressed. I find that moving my needle over one spot on each of the zipper helps me get closer and get a better result. (You won’t be able to sew all the way down to the dot. Get as close as possible.)

Check that everything lines up and that the zipper is not visible when zipped. If it is, do another line of stitching closer than the first to the zipper teeth.

Also, double check that the waistseam matches on both sides when zipped.

Stitch again in a normal stitch length once you are happy with how it looks.

 I like to give the zipper a good press at this point to flatten out the coils and set the stitches. 

Step 29 - Switch to a regular zipper foot and stitch the remaining center back seam below the zipper stitching and above the dot, lining up the new stitch line as closely as possible to the zipper stitching. It should only be about 1 inch of stitching. You can also hand stitch this if it's easier for you.


Step 30 - Switch back to a regular presser foot. Using the zigzag stitch setting with a width of 5.0mm and a length of 0.5mm, stitch back and forth over the zipper teeth just below the zipper stitching. Trim the zipper below the zigzag stitching you just made.

 Step 31 - With right sides touching, line the Strap ends up with the top of the Bodice at the front notches and the back seams. Make sure the Straps are not twisted and baste at 3⁄8”.

 Step 32 - Press the bottom edge of the Bodice Lining up (wrong sides touching) by 3⁄8”.


Step 33 - Unzip the zipper. With right sides touching and the Straps sandwiched in the middle, pin the top edges of the Bodice Lining to the main Bodice, matching seams and notches.

The seam allowance of the zipper should be stretched flat.


Step 34 - Stitch the upper edge of the Bodice using a normal 1/2” seam allowance. Zip the zipper back up to check that the top edges of the Bodice are even. Adjust as needed.
Note: Now is a good time to try on your garment and check the fit of the Bodice side seams and Strap length.

Step 35 - Notch the curved areas along the top of the Bodice. Grade the seam allowances if bulky.

Step 36 - Press the Bodice Lining away from the main Bodice and over the seam allowances.

Understitch the Bodice Lining to the seam allowances close to the seam.


Step 37 - Pull the lining down with right sides touching. Line up the center back edges of the Bodice Lining, main Bodice, and zipper. Pin.

The bottom folded edge of the lining should just cover the waist seam.

Using a regular zipper foot, stitch through all layers at about 1⁄8” from the zipper.


Step 38 - Turn the Bodice right side out. Trim corners if needed to get nice right angles. Press.

Step 39 - Pin the entire bottom folded edge of the Bodice Lining so it just covers the seam where the main Bodice meets the Skirt / Pant. (Or use glue stick like I do.)

With the right side of the garment facing up, stitch in the ditch by sewing through all layers and catching the folded edge of the lining underneath. Backstitch on both ends. Be extra careful not to sew through your zipper teeth.

Note : This can also be hand sewn for a higher end finish.


Step 40 - If you want, hand sew a hook and eye on the inside of the Bodice, just above the zipper. I honestly don't generally find this necessary, but if you fear your zipper might slip it's always a good idea.

And that is it for today. We are super close to finishing the zip back views of the Darla and finish that up on Friday. The next couple of days will be dedicated to the tie back views.