Tuesday, March 12, 2013

CoutureGRAM: Burberry Prorsum zipper remedy

Things got really busy here, readers, and after a few trial runs, I am ready to launch my own couture business. The content of this blog will slightly change, and I hope I will be able to show some of my work and a few behind-the-seams posts. This will mean, however, less frequent posts as I really want to focus on quality.

The sew-along update will come this week - sorry for the slow speed. I have a lot of respect for those seasoned sew-along organizers like Gretchen, or Casey, or Tasia...  As for me, this skirt sew-along or draft-along will be the last one for a while, sorry. My biggest problem is the time, especially now.

Now, the previous post (the Chanel jacket mysteries) was a lot of fun. I got a looot of great comments, thanks. Isn't it fun to have a look at some amazing garment and pedantically dissect it, section by section.

So here is our next Couturegram post. It is not an haute couture piece, but quite elaborate bustier by Burberry Prorsum. I really liked it - mostly because it is influenced by Dior, and I love Dior (yes, me too). And I love the peplum...

Source: Saks Fifth Avenue
Now look at this zipper. While I thought it is a good choice to have a metal zipper which can handle stress, the fabric along it just can't handle all the stress. In the peplum area, along the zipper, it's behaving well, exposing only a thin line of metal teeth - there is no stress in this section. From the waist up, however, there is a lot of pulling.

Source: Saks Fifth Avenue
So, here is my question: what would you do to remedy this problem, or, how would you construct the garment to avoid this pulling at the zipper?

45 comments:

  1. Maybe a series of hooks on the inside? Similar to how a bra is constructed? Basically a way to distribute the stress along a second set of closures.

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    1. If the hooks are attached just somewhere from the inside of the bustier, some parts of the bustier above the waist may bulge when moving...

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  2. I would go for an exposed zipper in this case & design, to hide the seam allowances and the stress on the inside.

    Very happy news! I'm very exited for you and wish you all the luck!! Personally I would love to read about the challenges you might meet along the way, if that's something you'll feel comfortable to share, and also see your work.

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    1. Thanks, Milenushka! I will be happy to share the garments I make - that's my plan. This is something that, I feel, can make this blog different. So much has been said out there, and there are so many online ressources about couture, or sewing in general, that focusing on my work projects seems to be the right thing for me.

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    2. Exposed zipper is a good solution, I think - especially if it is an alteration. It would definitely improve the look, the tape would be stitched very close to zipper teeth. The only problem is that the flat piping (effect) will be lost...

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  3. This bustier is beautiful. I love the pleat details on the bust. I like the idea of an exposed zipper as suggested above. Since I'm not experienced with them, I probably would have gone with a covered zipper with hooks and eyes to hold the placket in place.
    Good luck in your new endeavors!

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    1. Do you mean a lapped zipper? That's also a solution - rather functional one since the flat piping will be sacrificed in this case too.

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  4. Congratulations on you new venture. I wish you much success.

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  5. The problem lies not with the zipper, but the fact that the bodice is too tight. The zipper is a design detail. Don't cover it up. The waist fits the model perfectly that's why it is behaving so well. It's a gorgeous top!
    Best of luck with your new endeavors.

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    1. I was going to say that! It's too small, it's pulling at the front too.

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    2. I would agree that it's a overfitting-issue, not a zipper-construction issue. Maybe take the side-seams out slightly

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  6. First of all: sorry about my bad English!
    Concerning the zipper problem, in my oppinion the bustier is to small.The Zipper never should support stress.I would give it some 1,5 cm more and than introduce some walebone sticks(do you know what i mean?)as in further times they did to make a bustier stand right up.Perhaps I would work it on a good fitting strapless bra, aswell.This would avoid at the same time the unhappy imression of beeing the modell a bit to fat under the arms( I know she is not)caused by the pressure.
    By the way, I love this peplum bustier.Very nice color!

    saludos
    Andrea

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  7. I agree, covering the zipper will compromise the design.

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  8. I wish you a lot of luck and fun with your new business!

    First, I would see to that the bodice had good fitting. I would have used a sturdy underlining and made the back pieces overlapping a bit when sewing in the zipper.
    Is this fabric stretchy?

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    1. This is the fabric info on the Saks Fifth Avenue site: Polyester/polyamide/elastane/silk. So, the bustier seems to be somewhat stretchy.

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  9. This just looks to me like it's too tight for the models bust even though it fits her waist fine.. i have this problem with RTW clothing so there isn't anything really wrong with the design. If it was made to fit there would be no gapping/pulling of the zipper

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    1. Thanks for commenting, NIki. In my rather humble experience, these type of strapless garments require inner support to stay up. If the foundation (corselet) is not there, the bustier will tend to slide down, especially if it is a gown. Making it really tight is the only way to somehow keep it up there if the designer decides to go without the foundation to keep the costs down for example.

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  10. A corselette (hooks and eyes) under this top to take the strain away.

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  11. I think that if this had an inner corselette with boning and a waist stay, that part would handle the stress and support of the top, and then the fashion fabric would just flow over the corselette. It needs to be snug in order to stay up, but the fashion fabric should not be providing that support. Just my guess, but I bet that it lacks proper inner construction.

    Much luck with you new adventure! If you are willing to share, I would love to know what challenges and successes you meet along the way. Pursuing my couture sewing professionally is something that I'm very interested in doing!

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    1. Jamie, absolutely. and the waist stay is another crucial engineering detail that will help remove the strain from the outer layer in the waist area.

      I will be sharing some thoughts and ideas along the way, and projects as well, thanks for your interest. And do write to me if you have questions :)

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  12. Sorry I have no idea about the zipper but do want to say "Congratulations!" your new venture sounds just great - surely you'll be a big success! Good for you having the courage to go for it! All the best -

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    1. Thanks you! It has been in making for a while - but now I am ready to go for real :) I love this too much not to pursue it

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  13. Not much experience here, YET: would you mind to kindly look up this blog one day which might perhaps be helpful for you in this case?
    http://sewinggalaxy.blogspot.com.au

    LG, G.

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    1. Actually, I did recommend this blog several times here - thanks nevertheless :)

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  14. I'm with the corselette and waist stay. I made strapless bridesmaid dresses last year. it was the only way to make them secure and ensure that the fashion fabric does it's job. It also makes it more comfortable and secure for the wearer. there is nothing worse than wondering if your strapless dress/ top will actually stay up!

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  15. No idea...I normally stay away from strapless as they tend to flatten the chest area and look weird on me. Congratulations on the new business decision. I look forward to keep on reading about your adventures and what you learn.

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  16. Exciting news, it will be interesting to continue following you on this new path!
    As for the bustier, rtw bustiers are hardly never a good fit unfortunatly. I would suggest an underlininig with some boning or wearing it with a shaping corselett for a rtw alternative. But I would rather go back to the construction and see over the measurment chart (I'm a garment technician) and make the garment again with a better fit.

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  17. I'm excited for you and your turn in your sewing journey. I know it will be just wonderful for you and I wish you the best.

    If you look at the garment there is some horizontal wrinkling, too tight! My solutions would also be to have a foundation garment and stay built into the bustier. It will take the stress like it should and let the fashion fabric flow smoothly over the body, that is once a bit of fit is adjusted.

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  18. It seems just a bit too tight to me as well. Bunny's solution sounds the right way to go.
    Congratulations on starting your business! Good luck to you. You are at least living in an area where there is enough money to make your business feasible.
    BTW, I highly recommend this NY Times small business article how to use a blog to market your business. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/28/business/smallbusiness/increasing-sales-by-answering-customers-questions.html?pagewanted=all

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  19. Just looks too tight, which I think must be because there's not enough internal support. It fits fine at the waist, but I'd expect boning and a waist stay to help with the support.

    I don't think this particular item is at all fixable, since it needs more width across the back (notice how the front looks fine with no pulling). Perhaps if the seam allowances are wide enough, I would try to put in a bit more give to the __upper_back__ sides only.

    All in all I would do this for a new item:
    1. proper muslin to ensure good fit
    2. proper support on the inside
    3. once (1) and (2) hold true, the visible zipper should be a non-issue and there would be no more pulling

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  20. Easiest solution: Get a skinnier model? or make a larger size? It's also easier to eat or enjoy your food instead of picking at it in fear of busting out the zipper

    Less easy: A series of loop and covered tiny buttons, or if you want to skip the button covering work use the best decorative buttons. Saphire buttons?

    Fifi

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  21. What a beautiful colour! I suspect placing boning on either side of the zipper would stabilize it a bit, it could easily be concealed in the underlining :)

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  22. My first thought was also an exposed zipper. But thenmI think an inner corselet would be best, or, if this was not possible, how about only an inner closure,,with hooks and eyes, that is slightly tighter than the zipper closure? Couldn't that take the stress out of it?
    Wishing you all the best for your future plans!

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  23. Congratulations.

    New York Sewer

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  24. You know I'm with you all the way! Congratulations!!

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  25. Hi there

    I am with Bunny and others, as well as your goodself!

    The bustier is too tight for the model and that is why the centre back is revealing too much of the zipper. Good foundation garment and a waist stay sounds like a good solution to me.

    Sorry I am late to this debate, just come out of hospital. However, glad to be able to catch up on your blog now and wish you all the success you so richly deserve. Absolutely fabulous news about your new exciting adventure. Will follow with huge interest.

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  26. I might go for the simpler solution and put extra fabric right where it's lacking at the lips covering the zipper itself.

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  27. While I think the inner corselet is the best structural solution, it will add a problem of bulk under an already-too-small bustier, and will make the zipper pulling even worse than it is. IMO, the only real solution is to go up a size and then alter it down.

    Congratulations on launching your business! I'm so thrilled for you!!!!!!

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  28. On my bustier/boned bodices, I have an internal lacing panel (the holes are tiny button-holes and the lace is a rouleau) under the zip. This is what takes the strain of the bodice, whilst the zipper is merely to close the fabric. There is little bulk and no strain on the zip.

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