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For my final project in my Flat Patternmaking class, I had to draft a complete pattern from scratch and construct it. I’m REALLY in love with my dress design that has a mandarin collar and a pleated back. My only concern is where do I add my invisible zipper? I CANNOT but it in the back because it will interrupt my pleating detail, but I need to have one because of my collar.

My idea is to add two invisible zippers. One on the side seam, (so it fits nicely through the waist) and one in the shoulder seam (so it fits through the head.)

My question is How would a shoulder side seam zipper look? Is it a crazy idea or do people actually do it? what are some tips for sewing in a zipper in this area?


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  • Patti_12-28-2011_large

    Dec 4, 2011, 03.54 PMby patti-r

    Where would a shoulder zipper end without going into the collar??? Tip: preshrink zippers and tape seams where used. Most Mandarin collars have front buttons/frogs or key hole opening or a diagonal piece from collar toward armhole or an open slit from center front toward center of bust and some collars are split in the back with a short zipper.

    “ichigogirl” member posted this site a few days ago about free pdf patterns in English it is a Russian site:


    Check patterns 5337 and 5331 (maybe diagonal zipper) leko patterns both patterns on same page 17 or 18:


    Google: “Asian Mandarin collar dresses” may show other neckline closures ideas.

    Hoping others have more input.

    1 Reply
    • 3031300359_08ff51dde8_large

      Dec 4, 2011, 09.15 PMby Marla Rodriguez

      patti-r, I was thinking of having the invisible zipper open at the collar and end at the tip of the shoulder seam.

      thanks for the suggestions :)

  • 20596winter_20fairy_large

    Dec 4, 2011, 04.15 PMby sewingfan1

    If you did your pleating right, you could still have an invisible zipper down the centre back but make it look like it was continuous pleating, I’ve seen pleated dresses for sure that still have zippers.

    2 Replies
    • 3031300359_08ff51dde8_large

      Dec 4, 2011, 09.18 PMby Marla Rodriguez

      My pleats are not vertical, it is somewhat of a sunburts, or radiating design if you know what i mean, that’s why I can’t add a zipper on the back

    • 20596winter_20fairy_large

      Dec 5, 2011, 02.54 PMby sewingfan1

      aha! Now that would be more of a problem :-)

  • Dsc08840_large

    Dec 5, 2011, 05.02 PMby Sabrina Wharton-Brown

    Maybe you could use hooks and eyes on the shoulder (it would be better to make thread bars instead of using metal eyes).

    I think Schiaparelli used a zip on a shoulder seam a long time ago, but was couture and they sew things differently. Plus, the zip was on show.

    • This is a question
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