Why I Prefer Thread Eyes Over Metal Ones AND Evidence that the Pattern Instructions Do Not Always Give the Best Method

This is from a project I made quite a while ago - a plaid skirt. Oh! the hours I spent trying to patch it up.

SIDE NOTE: Watching Susan Khalje's course on Craftsy, I have learned that it wasn't my fault that the plaid never matched up impeccably; you can get "forked pins" that solve the problem - Susan didn't even need a walking foot!

Anyway, back to the post. The pattern instructions tell you to apply the facing before you insert the zip. As you may imagine, this puts a lot of bulk at the zip, making it very hard to sew neatly, hence the large bulge near the top.

What I ought to have done is insert the zip, and then add the facing, either "bagging" the zip so that it looks like RTW, or turning under the seam allowances and hand stitching them to the zip tape. I would now use a felling stitch which is like a slip stitch but stronger and less visible. I have been using it a lot more since I watched Gertie's Bombshell Dress Course on Craftsy. (I wish I were getting paid for all this "advertising" but they don't even know I'm doing it!)

Something else I ought to have done is use make a thread eye instead of using those metal ones (does anyone actually like those?). One of the advantages of the thread eyes is that you can make them right on the fold of the fabric so the lap stays down flatter, as you can see.

As it is now, more or less.

Another advantage of thread eyes is that you can use two if your garment is unruly. Now I have one on the fold and one on the inside so the zip is about as good as it's going to be. (I'm not undoing all that stitching.)

How to Make a Thread Eye/Bar:

  1. Secure your thread with a few backstitches.
  2. Sew a few stitches about 4mm long on the spot, over a pin held at a slight angle if you wish to have a bit of slack in your thread eye.
  3. Sew blanket stitches along the group of threads, catching only the threads and not the fabric.
  4. When you have covered the thread with blanket stitches, secure your thread with backstitches and work it into the fabric. This means push the needle through the fabric as if you were making a long stitch, and bring it out. Then pull the thread up, snip close to the fabric, and relax the fabric. Your thread tail will disappear into the garment. You can start this way as well if you wish.

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