Update 2/1/2021: An updated Upton Sewalong is available here.
Today is the trickiest step of the Upton Dress, but don’t worry, we’ll go through it slowly, and I can answer any questions you leave below!
Before we start, finish the dress back center seam on either side, which will be much easier than finishing after the zip goes in (of course, I managed to forget in this sewalong! Just pretend it’s serged….).
Start by laying out your dress back on a table, right side up, and pull the lining out of the way. You should have left an inch of the neckline unsewn – if you didn’t, use your seam ripper to separate the back neckline and lining now.
Use a warm (not hot) iron to press the zip teeth slightly open – this will help you get a close seam when you insert the zip.
Open the zip and lay it on top of the dress back, right sides together: the zip will be face down, and the zip teeth will be facing to the left. Using an invisible or regular zip foot, sew the zip to the dress back.
Now the second side is the tricky bit as we want to get the waistband to line up exactly. The best way to do this is to first close the zip, and mark the height of the waistband across the zip with chalk.
Now, open the zip, flip it over, and place on the other side of the dress back. Make sure the zip isn’t twisted – that’s super easy to do! Pin and gently do it up to check it’s OK. Now, pin the zip to the waistband using the chalk marks as a guide. Sew the zip just at this waistband section using a long basting stitch, and then do the zip up to see if it’s matching well at the waistband. If it isn’t, re-do. If it is, then now sew the entire second zip side.
Now we’re going to finish the seam below the zip. With zip closed, pin the back pieces from the bottom of the zip to the hem, right sides together. Sew the seam, starting just above and to the left of where the zip stitching ended (it’s easiest to do this with the zip foot on your machine) so it overlaps a little. Press back seam open.
And here’s your dress with the zip inserted.
Next up, we’ll be attaching the lining. Do you have any questions today? The first time inserting an invisible zip can be confusing, but once you’ve done it once it becomes straightforward!