Added Apr 28, 2013
I’ve been wanting to make a zip front dress for a while now, but first couldn’t find an open-ended metal zipper of the right length – there seemed to be nothing between 50cm and 90cm, the former’s obviously too short, and being 5’6" the latter would go neck-to-knee – and then, once I finally found a metal zipper, I didn’t know what fabric to use or what style to make.
I bought the fabric at Sydney’s biannual Love Vintage clothing, pattern, and fabric fair. We were about to head home then noticed there was one last little aisle of stalls on the end we hadn’t been down, and I found this fabric at the first stall. It’s genuine batik, either Indonesian or Malay (I can’t read the words, but it has the manufacturer’s label stamped on it), and I’m almost certain it’s hand dyed. It was originally much darker, with little difference between the black and the maroon, but once I washed out the loose dye it became vibrant.
I thought the fabric might work well for a zip-front dress partly because the golden colour matches the zip. It also worked well with the finished selvages, because the open end zipper doesn’t need any hemming or hiding. The skirt is simply half the fabric with pleats about 5cm wide facing towards the front. The fabric had a panel near one end (see also the front right of the skirt) that I used for the front of the bodice, The back uses the selvage as the top hem, and the cap sleeves also use the selvage. No pattern was used, just playing around with the fabric.
2 metres cotton batik
1 65cm open-ended metal zipper