And speaking of acting without thinking, it doesn’t just happen to the very young.
For years, I’ve been troubled by the fact that the world of zippers seems to be shrinking. You should see the zipper display at my local Jo-Ann Fabrics. It looks like it’s left over from 1990. When I needed specialty zippers for my doll clothes work, I ordered from an online dealer.
So yes, I had 6-inch zippers on hand, but I needed a 5-inch zipper. These small zippers are sold in lots of six or eight, and I wasn’t inclined to order more. Cutting the garment to fit the zipper didn’t seem right either. As the time approached to insert the zipper into the little jacket I was making, I began to agonize over the dilemma. I considered Velcro. It just wasn’t the same.
Then –in the middle of the night – I suddenly realized that undoubtedly I could alter the 6-inch zipper. Online research proved that indeed this is what sewists are expected to do these days, and instructions abound for shortening a zipper. I hurriedly skimmed through those offered by one expert.
“Maybe you should pay a little more attention to what’s said here – you know, really think it through,” said the inner voice.
“Nah,” I replied. “I can do this – piece of cake.”
Somehow, in the excitement of having found a viable solution and my eagerness to proceed, I rushed ahead with the work. Without further ado, I clipped an inch off the 6-inch separating zipper. With great care, I pinned and basted it into place and then stitched, doing a reasonably good job of it, if I do say so myself.
Now I was ready to test the zipper. I connected the left side to the right and pulled the tab to the top – and right off. The little jacket had zipped beautifully – and I was holding the tab.
I turned off the sewing machine, the heater, the iron, the light –and closed the door on the sewing room, saying nothing to anyone, putting on a cheerful front and keeping my disappointment to myself.
The next day, I resolved to start over. I read through several websites and even watched a tutorial on shortening a zipper. Then I took another zipper from my stash, carefully clipped 7 or 8 teeth from the top and folded the tape under. I was in the process of whip stitching a stop for the tab on this new zipper when Mike came in and asked what I was doing.
“I did something incredibly stupid,” I began. And I finished with, “I ruined this zipper [which was still neatly zipped in the jacket], and I’m preparing another to replace it.”
“Well, we can fix it,” he said. So he simply pulled the zipper open and slipped the tab over the teeth on the right side – and I was back in business with the original zipper. I whip stitched a stop at the top of each side, and voila! – I’m ready to move on. KW