I have another two hacks for you today, and they both have to do with the zipper on the Midway Bomber Jacket.
Need your pattern? Get it here!
This is often the area that is most intimidating for people, but I promise, its really pretty quick and easy once you get going, and even a beginner can do it (my first sewing project EVER was a wetbag with a zipper). And once you do, you'll feel like a rockstar.
The first hack I'm going to show you is how to apply an exposed zipper. An exposed zipper is one that is sewn directly on top of your jacket, rather than being turned under. When I was envisioning my black athletic jacket, I kept thinking about the reflective zippers I've seen on high end ready-to-wear jackets, and I decided to figure out how to sew this type of zipper on my own Midway Bomber.
I purchased my zipper from Pacific Trimming, but you can find exposed zippers everywhere, even at JoAnns. They range from utilitarian to feminine and, so grab one that suits your project and let's get started.
Before you start, you should have your jacket fully constructed (pockets, waistband, collar) up until the point of zipper installation in the pattern.
The first thing you're going to do is apply fusible interfacing to the wrong side of the jacket front, as suggested in the pattern. This is really important to keep your jacket from stretching out and being wavy when you've finished (ask me how I know).
Next, serge/sew the raw edge of your jacket front, on both sides. You could also leave it raw, as knit won't fray, but I like the look of a finished edge here, since it will be visible from the inside.
Now, fold and press the front edge under, so that the interfacing on the wrong side is pressed against itself, and the front has a clean fold.
Put washaway wonder tape against the folded edge of the jacket, and put half of your zipper on, with the zipper facing up. This is the main difference between an exposed zip and a regular one- you are going to stitch right on top, with the zipper facing up!
Go ahead and sew right down, along the top of the zipper, making sure to keep your stitching nice and even (since it will be visible). When you're done, it should look like this from underneath.
Now, do the same thing to the other side, making sure your zipper lines up perfectly. And, voila, a cool reflective exposed zipper!
ZIPPER FACING HACK
Now, lets move on to the Zipper Facing. If you're sewing an unlined jacket, you may prefer to have a facing attached. There are probably multiple ways to do this, but I'm going to show you how I did it.
To start, cut two pieces of fabric for your zipper facing, the length of the jacket PLUS the waistband by 2.5 inches wide. Serge or finish one long edge.
Now, with your zipper and collar already sewn on per the pattern instructions, (this wont work with an exposed zipper! Only a regular one!) lay your facing piece on top of your zipper/jacket front, right sides together.
The bottom will be too long- go ahead and fold it up, so that the fold of the facing is equal to the fold of the jacket waistband extension, or perhaps a little shorter. Pin/clip along the zipper edge. Sew the facing to the jacket, along the top edge (over the collar, as its flipped down toward the jacket body) and down the front. If you find that it "grows" as you sew it, just fold up the bottom a little more when you get to that point to make sure its even with the bottom of the jacket (this is why we started from the top).
Clip your corner at the top of the jacket, as suggested in the pattern instructions, and turn the facing to the inside. You should have a neat corner at the top.
Topstitch your jacket, around the front and collar. This will secure the facing. You can also stitch in the ditch of the waistband to keep it from peeking out the bottom.
That's it! I hope these hacks were helpful in customizing your Midway Bomber Jacket (isn't that what sewing for yourself is all about!)
See our other hacks here:
Hood Hack and Add On/Seam Binding