Geranium Expansion Pack: the zipper

made by rae GXP zipper

For our final installment of the Geranium Expansion Pack element series, I want to introduce you to the element I’m perhaps most proud of: the zipper. The zipper is the most difficult element in the expansion pack, technique-wise, so I debated initially whether to include it at all, but in the end I really loved how the zipper looks in the back and how it eliminates the need to sew buttonholes, something I know some people find difficult.

Geranium XP - zipper

My goal was to write the zipper section so that someone who had never sewn a zipper before could do it without tears or swears (not sure if I got there; you’ll have to let me know if you try!). I worked very hard to make this set of instructions as detailed yet clear as I possibly could. I experimented with a few different ways of attaching it before settling on this approach (there are definitely other ways to add a zipper with a lining), so I hope you’ll find this to be a great way to add your first zipper!

Geranium XP - zipper

This technique involves using a standard coil zipper (though I also wanted it to work with an invisible zipper, which it does) and sandwiching the zipper between the lining and the bodice, as you can see in the photo above. The result is a rather lovely inside finish.

Geranium Expansion Pack - collar + zipper

Geranium Expansion Pack - collar + zipper

Geranium Expansion Pack - collar + zipper

The zipper is the only element in the expansion pack that re-orders the steps of the original pattern (instead of: shoulders/lining/side seams/skirt/hems, the order for the zipper is: shoulders/skirts/zipper/lining/side seams/hems). For this reason, I’d recommend that confident beginners try other elements in the expansion pack first before tackling the zipper. Additionally, adding the fitted or gathered sleeves makes the construction a bit more intense, but never fear!! If you follow the instructions carefully, they tell you exactly what to do and when, whether you’re adding sleeves, a collar, or a neck bow to a zippered dress. The expansion pack is very much like a “Choose-Your-Own-Adventure” book, truth be told.

Evidence that the sleeves and the zipper can indeed be added to the same dress:

Geranium XP - zipper

We added the zipper to the rose-colored dress for the cover shoot, which had the extended bodice, so you could see that it also works with the longer bodice. This means using a slightly longer zipper, and the longer lengths are provided in the zipper chart along with the zipper lengths needed for the original bodice.

Geranium Expansion Pack sewing pattern

I hope you’ve enjoyed this tour of all of the elements that make up the Geranium Expansion Pack! You can visit the Geranium Expansion Pack Page to see all blog posts related to this pattern!

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3 thoughts on “Geranium Expansion Pack: the zipper

  1. I suppose, since I have the original pattern, I’ll be buying this as well, but more importantly, where did you find this perfect flamingo fabric?!

  2. Can’t wait to try this with your instructions. I’ve been “winging it” when my daughters request zippers for the granddaughters’ dresses. My biggest struggle is making the top of the zipper look neat, and yours in the photos look wonderful. I love the inside finish as well. Woo hoo!

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