How NOT to install an invisible zip

I managed to create a rather undesired effect with my first invisible zip installation!

Distorted zip open

Lots of tutorials for invisible zips advise you to press open the zipper tape before inserting the zip so that you can get at the fold where the stitching should go easier.  They also give you plenty of caution about not touching the zipper teeth with the iron.  However, I was so focused on avoiding the zipper teeth, that I didn’t think to check the heat settings for my zip, so continued with my iron on the high cotton setting.

Sadly this seems to have melted and distorted the tape such that one side is now curved instead of straight!

Distorted zip closed

The strangest thing though is that I didn’t notice this until I had inserted the zip in my skirt toile and couldn’t understand why the skirt looked fine on one side but weirdly distorted on the other.  I unpicked the zip and clearly saw the problem.

I was then baffled by how I’d managed to install the zip in the first place and wished I’d taken a photo of the toile to prove that I had!  Maybe the tape was still curving as I installed the zip, or I was just so focused on the process of installing my first zip that I didn’t see the fault.

Distorted zip and normal zip

Anyway, I tried again with the zip I’d brought for the real skirt, but didn’t press it open this time.  (in the meantime I’d come across some other tutorials that strongly advise NOT pressing the zipper tape open such as Sunni Standing from A Fashionable Stitch who has done a great Craftsy mini class on Mastering Zipper Techniques, which is free!  If you haven’t already, I’d recommend checking it out)

Now the zip looked nice and smooth and at least I’d got in a bit more practice of installing the zip before tackling the real skirt.  Plus I learnt a very valuable lesson about checking heat settings before pressing!

Invisible zip

Have you ever been so focused on avoiding one mistake that you didn’t see the other mistake you were making?

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