Saturday, November 22, 2014

Simplicity 1254 Progress (and zipper clarification)

I was finally able to order my fashion fabric (it's a royal purple wool from mood) so the motivation to sew up my muslin has finally arrived.

There's been some talk on PR about the zipper insertion on this pattern & since I'm working through it, I thought I'd take pictures as I went along. Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I'm not done with my muslin, so at this point there's no proving that I'm doing this right :)  The instructions have you insert the right side of the zipper in step 2, while the left side of the zipper isn't put in until step 17. That's right. There are 15 steps between inserting the two sides of the zipper. Ahem.

Ok. So the pattern originally has 3 lines along the center front seam. These are the solid purple lines on my muslin (I added the blue dashed--more on that later). From left to right we have the Center Front marking, the "fold" marking, and the zipper stitching line.

The instructions read "Separate zipper. On OUTSIDE, pin zipper half with slider & pull tab face down on RIGHT front, placing teeth 1/2" from the fold line & top stop just below seam line at neck edge. Hand-baste along stitching line for zipper. Using an adjustable zipper foot, machine stitch zipper in place along basting. Remove basting. The remaining half will be applied later." (FIFTEEN steps later).

Okay then. I drew a dotted line 1/2" away from my fold line so I could see where to line up the zipper teeth. I also drew the zipper stitching line on the wrong side of my fabric (in addition to the right side). I started hand basting the zipper but that got old real quick & didn't seem to be helping much. So this is what it ended up looking like. You can see that my stitching line is right along my (crooked) basting stitches.

Now, my zipper foot placed my stitching closer to the zipper teeth than the pattern's "zipper stitching line" is. So I used my regular zipper foot & nudged my needle alllll the way to the left. If you look at the wrong side of my fabric, you can see that this put my stitching pretty darn close to where the pattern wanted it. The most "off" I got was 1/8". My stitching line (apparently I used purple in my bobbin thread--sorry) is to the left of the pattern's line.

This is what things looked like with the zipper flipped right side...right. I'm fairly certain that Simplicity could have just marked where to apply the zipper & have you stitch it regularly....but they might have been trying to keep this pattern "easy". In doing so, though, I'm afraid they may have over-complicated things.

 My initial thoughts on the fit  (without sleeves or the other half of the zipper...eye roll) is that I'll need a broad back alteration and I might actually have to take the hips IN. A first for me, that's for sure. 


  1. Thank you so much for writing this up. I still haven't tackled my muslin yet for this pattern, but both the fitting tips and zipper pictures will be very helpful.

  2. Just stumbled upon your blog. I actually made this coat in a purple wool blend. I love it, although I wish I had done a muslin version first. The hip measurement is big, which was a first for me as well. Did you finish? How did it turn out?

  3. Making this coat now. How did yours turn out??

  4. Hi,
    I've just started to sew my second coat from this pattern. However, last time I made another collar due to lack of fabric. Now, I cannot find the sewing directions for the collar. Together with the pattern I have just one piece of paper, with instruction step 1 to 10 ( last step is how to fasten the sleeves). Is there anyone who can show how the collar is connected to the coat? Pictures of coats made from this pattern shows varying collars, differing more or less from the drawing on the pattern front page. So please, I would appreciate some instructions!

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