Next up in the Floreat sewalong, I’m going to walk you through the two centre-back closure options – an invisible centre-back zip or slit opening. I love having two options! An invisible zipper is such a nice, clean finish. But if you’ve never done a zipper before and aren’t ready quite yet, or if you just like quick and easy finishes – then the slit opening is for you!
Note: If you are making a dress or blouse with sleeves, then you’ll want to tackle the centre back now, as one of your first steps. But if you are making a sleeveless dress or blouse, hold off, and come back to this post later!! Do not sew your centre back early on if you are doing a sleeveless version. Instead, hold off until we cover how to do the sleeveless facing first (post coming in a few days).
Ok, let’s go…
Start by finishing the raw centre back edges of your two Back pieces, separately. Use your preferred method. If using a serger/overlock, make sure you just finish the raw edge and not trim off too much.
Place the two Back pieces together with right sides together. Line up the centre back edges and pin in place.
Sew together 5/8″ from the raw edge, from the slit opening notch down to the hem. Backstitch.
Above the notch will be left open.
Press the seam open. And that’s it for now!
CENTRE BACK ZIPPER
We’ll be using an invisible zipper.
First, open the zipper, place face down, and carefully iron each side so that the coils lie flat. Be careful not to use too hot a setting which can melt the metal coil.
Note – this isn’t 100% necessary if you are using an invisible zipper foot. But I always like to do this.
Finish the raw centre back edges of your two Back pieces, separately. Use your preferred method. If using a serger/overlock, make sure you just finish the raw edge and not trim off too much.
This is a bonus tip – set your machine to a long basting stitch, and baste 5/8″ from the centre back edge on both back pieces. You don’t have to go the entire length of the centre back, just to the zipper notch.
This will act as a guide for where to place your zipper.
Place your Right Back piece down in front of you with the right side facing up. Place the invisible zipper face down on top of it, so the zipper teeth should be facing away from the centre back.
Make sure the top of the zipper teeth is just below 5/8″ from the top edge.
Line up the zipper coil on top of your basting stitches, and pin in place.
Using either an invisible zipper foot or a regular zipper foot (doesn’t really matter which one you use!), sew along the zipper tape close to the coil. Stop when your sewing foot hits the zipper slider.
Now place the Left Back piece in front of you with right side facing up at you.
Place the Right Back, with the zipper, face down on top of the Left Back. Place the other side of the zipper face down, just like you did before, lining the coil up on top of the basting stitches.
Again, the top of the zipper tape should be just over 5/8″ from the top edge.
Pin in place.
Again, using your zipper foot, sew close to the coil. Stop when your machine foot hits the zipper slider at the bottom.
Close your zipper up. Looking good, right?
Fold your back in half with right sides together. Move the bottom tail of the zipper out of the way, and line up the rest of the centre back edges. Pin in place.
Sew the rest of the centre back seam 5/8″ from the edge. Your two lines of stitching most likely won’t match up or even line up perfectly – and that’s ok! You won’t notice from the outside.
Press the seam open, and you’re done! Now we’ve completed the centre back zip or slit opening, we’ll move onto the Pockets & Seams next!
LOOKING FOR MORE FLOREAT POSTS?
Here’s the full list of Floreat posts and tutorials:
- Pattern tester round-up
- Inspiration + Ideas
- Waist tie and separate belt
- Centre back: zipper and slit options (this post!)
- Pockets and seams (sleeved dress and blouse versions)
- Neckline facing (sleeved versions)
- Sleeveless version: facing and seams
- Bonus: Knit version
- Inspiration: Floreat as maternity