Altered long black turtleneck

This turtleneck has an invisible zipper installed.  I did not have to take off the collar (turtle) part of the sweater to install it.

When I first posted directions for this, the example was a long turtleneck sweater top. I did not have step by step photos to show, as the sweater was altered a few years ago.  I recently followed this same method to create access in a turtleneck sweater dress.

I cut a center slit where the zipper should hit, and, after the zipper was installed  I gradually tapered the fabric from either end of the zipper (creating what amounts to a very gradual dart).

Even though I posted the link to this invisible zipper tutorial elsewhere, I will add it here too.  It is excellent in showing exactly what steps are taken to put in an invisible zipper:

http://www.coletterie.com/tutorials-tips-tricks/video-how-to-sew-an-invisible-zipper

To begin creating access:

  • I put on the dress, and marked (in this case with a safety pin) where my g-tube hit.
  • Next, I cut a strip of black woven fusible interfacing made by Pellon.  The interfacing was cut to be slightly longer than the 9″ invisible zipper I would be using, and about 1.5″ wide.
  • I moved the safety pin marking where my g-tube would hit, over horizontally a bit, so that I could iron on the interfacing.
  • I turned the dress wrongside out next, and ironed on the interfacing.  If the fabric of what you are altering will not fray quickly, you could skip the interfacing, but, as this is true “sweater knit” material, it seemed best to use it for this project.

After the interfacing was fused to the inside of the dress, I placed a cutting mat inside the dress, so that I could use a cutting wheel to cut through only one layer of fabric.  I made the opening only a little longer than the zipper.

image

  • Next, I pinned the zipper (which I had prepared by ironing zipper coils as flat as possible) to the right side of the dress.  The zipper teeth go on the seam allowance, AWAY from the opening.   And the zipper is pinned facing right side to the right side of fabric. If you are not familiar with installing an invisible zipper, refer to the tutorial link posted in this page.

image

Using an invisible zipper foot attachment on my sewing machine, I stitched this side to the dress. In the photo below, you can see the safety pin that is marking the height of where my g-tube will be. Notice that it is pretty much at the top of opening.  That is so that I can unzip without exposing my bra.  To center the zipper opening exactly over the g-tube would defeat the purpose of opening the dress in public and still keeping “the girls” covered up.

When you are installing the zipper, just double (triple) check to make sure you are stitching on the correct side of zipper teeth.

image

Once that side is stitched, Zip up the zipper, to make sure it zips, and that you have it installed correctly.

image

It helps me to turn the dress  180° to pin the second side of zipper in to place, (If the neck of dress was to my right for first side, I turn it around so that the hem is now on my right.)

image

Stitch the second side of zipper into the opening.

image

  • Next, zip closed.  You will have extra fabric folds at top and bottom of zipper.  Turn the garment inside out. You will see something similar to this.

image

  • Switch out to a regular zipper foot attachment.  Pinch the end of the zipper between your fingers, and feel where the stitching is to determine where to start stitching.  That is your guide to gently slope the seam up to top of garment, (and use the same method for sloping the seam to bottom).The photo below shows how  narrow the seam becomes as the stitching continues away from the zipper.

 

 

image

Below are photos showing the finished turtleneck sweaterdress, as well as the sweater top.

image

Sweater dress

 

zipper closed (pointing at the top, I'm such a dork!)

zipper closed (pointing at where it begins, I’m such a dork!)

zipper open

zipper open

image

If you don’t sew, or don’t feel confident trying this, but you’d like to have a  turtleneck that is tube accessible, consider taking these photos to a tailor who does alterations.