Change your Zip Code Dress

Nancy Estep created this clever dress with two zip-on skirts using our Coats Fashion Zipper in Pink Camouflage. The zipper tape is printed with the “girly” camouflage so it becomes a trim as well as a functioning zipper.
Nancy adapted
Butterick pattern #5520 view A. Any pattern with a waistline seam could be used.

Below Nancy tells us how she changed the basic pattern and designed the two skirts:

  • Dress:
    Construct per the pattern instructions making this change:

    Insert a 9” invisible zipper in the center back seam from the neck and a 14” invisible zipper in the right underarm seam allowance. This is necessary because a 22″ center back zipper would go thorough the zipper trim at the waist.
  • Starting at the right side attach the decorative separating zipper (I used 2 zippers) to the top of the dress. Stitch to the left side seam. Starting at the back right side seam stitch the decorative separating zipper to the waist of the back of the dress.
  • Leave an opening in the left side seam and insert the zipper ends. Tip: the metal teeth of the zipper make it difficult to sew the zipper and get a smooth finish. After making sure the waist is the correct size, I used pliers and pulled a few of the teeth off. Now you can sew the side seam closed with no problem.

    Pink Skirt

  • Make the skirt about 1” longer than the dress skirt. You can make the skirt as full as you like. I wanted soft gathers at the waist and a fuller hem. I drafted my pattern but if you have a skirt that you like from anther pattern just make the adjustment for the hem and use the skirt pattern.

  • Insert a 9” invisible zipper in the right side seam leaving the 5/8” seam allowance around the waist above the zipper.
    • Gather this to fit the dress waist and stitch the zipper in place same as the dress. Tip: where the zipper meets on the left side pull a few teeth off using pliers and turn the zipper tape back and stitch.

      Ruffle Skirt
    • I did not want any more seams in this ruffled fabric than needed. I wanted to keep the ruffles in one continuous line. After I determined how full I want the skirt to be I cut skirt in one piece. For the length, I made the skirt 2/3 the length of the dress skirt.

  • Insert a 9” invisible in the side seam and follow the same instructions as the pink skirt. Gather to fit the waist of the dress and pull the metal teeth as needed to make the zipper tape lie flat.
  • 7 thoughts on “Change your Zip Code Dress

    1. Anonymous Reply

      I love your idea. I was thinking maybe a white dress with a black lace skirt and a very colorful half skirt.

    2. Anonymous Reply

      Interesting idea, but the pink ruffled skirt looks more like an apron.

    3. Anonymous Reply

      This is quite an interesting concept. The one with the pink ruffle looks like a dress with an apron. The first one is not bad with that middle contrast. The second one looks like a top and skirt and I think would be more flattering with a printed bottom including the brown in the print.

    4. Anonymous Reply

      I love the basic dress shape and look. The first add on skirt is lovely and shows that there is no end to what you can do. However, I feel that the ruffle skirt looks too much like she is wearing an apron and does not work as well as the longer skirt. It is a wonderful idea, and after some thought, the zippers should not be too difficult to put in. The written instruction seems a bit confusing, but I am sure that will be clarified during construction.

    5. Anonymous Reply

      drop the rows of ruffles and make it one row ruffle short like a peplum. this idea is amazing though. perfect vacation dress. three of these dresses in different colors and lengths and two bottoms for each. less clothes to pack, and a versatile wardrobe

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