Step 1. Baste seam on left side of dress. Mark off the length of the zipper along the seam, 1/3 above the waistline and 2/3 below. Stitch seam—except the length measured off for zipper. Do not remove basting. Press seam open along its full length. Lay the closed fastener along the unstitched part of the seam on the inside of the dress. Be sure the center of the fastener lies exactly over the seam line, with the slider side down. Pin fastener in place, easing fabric slightly and using pins crosswise to keep it smooth and straight, as in Fig. 1.
Step 2. Baste the fastener in place, using catch stitches, as shown in Fig. 2. Remove pins. Turn dress right side out.
Step 3. Make a pocket to conceal slider, as in Fig. 3. Begin basting 1 ½ inches below top of fastener and ¼ inch from center of placket, and make shaped end 7/8 inch wide across the top. With cording foot of machine, begin at A and stitch down to B, across to C, up to D, and back to A. Keep stitching ¼ inch from center of placket, except where you follow basting at shaped end. Pivot needle at each corner and make square turn. Remove basting.
Step 4. For fabric guard under the fastener, as in Fig. 4, take a selvage strip of the dress fabric, 2 inches wide and 11 inches long. Fold in center and stitch along fold. Turn dress inside out. Place guard over fastener, with selvage edge on top. Lay selvage along seam edge of back side of placket. Baste and then stitch guard, fastener, and seam edge of dress together, holding them free from the dress while you do so. Stitch guard twice across both ends of fastener, holding ends free from dress. Remove basting.
A fabric guard is not necessary if the person wearing the dress always remembers to hold the dress in place on the body while operating the slide fastener—and to pull slide out to avoid catching lingerie.
Step 1. Take piece of fabric you are going to use for facing. Crease a line along the center on wrong side, or mark with basting thread. Lay closed fastener over this line, with the slider side on top and the slider ½ inch down from edge of facing—or the regular seam allowance for pattern used. Pin fastener in place, using pins crosswise, as shown in Fig. 1. Baste, easing fabric slightly. Remove pins.
Step 2. From right side of fabric, slash down creased or basted line to the metal bar at the end of the zipper. At end of slash, clip corners 1/8 inch, as shown in Fig. 2. Turn edges under a generous 1/8 inch and baste. Then, with cording foot of machine, stitch down one side exactly on basted edge, across end, and up other side. Pivot needle at each corner and make a square turn.
Step 3. Turn garment outside in. Lay facing in place, with zipper side down and center of fastener exactly over center front line of garment. (Baste this line along a lengthwise thread.) Pin and then baste zipper in place, catching outside edges of tape with stitches, as shown in Fig. 3.
Step 4 Remove pins. Turn garment right side out. Then follow Step 2 (above) exactly—except that, just before you do the machine stitching, you whip across the square end neatly and securely, using matching thread and concealed stitches. Do not cut off zipper tape ends. If collar is to be put on garment, conceal tape ends inside collar. If there is no collar, turn tape ends inside facing. Catch tape in stitching when you finish neckline, as shown at top right, Fig. 4 Remove bastings and press.
If the slider is wide, move it down ½ inch or so out of the way of the needle as you approach it in stitching, and then slide it back again into position.
To Attach Open-End Zipper (refer to the drawing also)
For a closure that comes apart completely at both ends, use the separating zipper.
To Attach: Baste the two sides of the front opening of the garment together, allowing the full seam width. Press open. Lay the closed zipper in place, with the slider side down and the center of the fastener exactly over the basted line. Pin in place and then baste through the tape, easing fabric slightly. Fasten each lower end of the zipper securely. To do this, draw a piece of strong tape through the hole and baste the ends of the tape in position so that they will be caught in with the stitching when you stitch the zipper in place; or sew through the hole with a strong thread, being careful not to let the stitches come through to the right side of the garment. Turn the garment right side out. Stitch the zipper in place, keeping the stitching ¼ inch away from the metal center. Strengthen this by adding a second row of stitching outside the first, or by stitching on a facing piece so that the stitching catches the zipper tape.
To Open: Pull the slider all the way down to the end. Do not open the fastener by pulling the edges of the garment apart or you may damage the zipper.
To Close: Make sure the slider is all the way down to the end. Take the slider between the thumb and first finger. Insert the pin in slider and push all the way down. Hold zipper in this position while you start to pull up slider. Never force fastener.
Plackets: The New Butterick Dressmaker 1927 (with an introduction by Jacques Worth). Chapter XVI, all about plackets:
Chapter 21, Plackets, (also Butterick) in this edition:
Or another edition of the Butterick Dressmaker from 1911:
I will be looking for more types of closures for snaps, hooks and eyes, and zippers and will post soon.