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Deck yourself out for your next cruise! What clothes should you bring, and what should stay at home. Offer up packing tips, and savvy shopping info, too

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  #1  
Old July 3rd, 2009, 12:00 PM
Goldryder Goldryder is offline
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Red face Doing up that side zip on a formal dress....

....OK...minor niggle/dilemma here, so looking for ideas on how to tame that most awkward problem of doing up the zip on a formal dress when it is on the left hand side (ie from waist to under the arm), when you only have one pair of hands available (you're own)...?

I have been having all sorts of fun and games trying to fathom out an easy way to do side zips up on my formal dresses, but have ended up in a right pickle doing so.

Any ideas or tips on how to tame that zip would be very much appreciated
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  #2  
Old July 3rd, 2009, 12:12 PM
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I HATE SIDE ZIPS!!!!!!!!!! I rarely buy a dress that has one. I am very claustrophobic and a side zip makes me feel all closed in. On my first cruise, I had a strapless dress with a side zip. I went up to the cabin , by myself, to change. I couldn't get the zipper down, I got all panicky, and almost went for the scissors to cut myself out of the dress!!!!!
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  #3  
Old July 3rd, 2009, 12:45 PM
cb at sea cb at sea is offline
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I have the same problem with some back zippers---sometimes, I just can't reach to the top, if it's a lower cut back...
I've never been adverse to asking the room attendant (if they're around) for help!
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  #4  
Old July 3rd, 2009, 01:36 PM
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There is always an item that helps to adapt:

http://www.wrightstuff.biz/cordzipperpull.html
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  #5  
Old July 3rd, 2009, 02:07 PM
Andee Andee is offline
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You can do the same thing with a piece of string--thread it through the hole at the end of the zipper pull, grab the two loose ends, and pull.

Last edited by Andee; July 3rd, 2009 at 02:07 PM. Reason: typo
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Old July 3rd, 2009, 04:18 PM
Goldryder Goldryder is offline
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hmmm the string idea is OK for back zips, but side ones can be a little trickier to tame since you aren't pulling from the center of them, if that makes sense, you're usually pulling from the front/side sort of direction...

I have 3 dresses, all side zipped, all a right pain in the backside to do up...will have to find an easy way to manage it somehow
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  #7  
Old July 3rd, 2009, 05:27 PM
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Maybe the aid with a handle would work better?

http://www.wrightstuff.biz/combutaidzip.html
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  #8  
Old July 3rd, 2009, 05:41 PM
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What works best for me (though it hardly qualifies as "great" help ) is to use my right hand (my dominant hand) to hold the dress taut just below the bottom part of the zipper and to use my left hand (non-dominant) to pull the zipper up. When zipping down, I reverse the place of my hands.
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  #9  
Old July 3rd, 2009, 10:53 PM
wanasail wanasail is offline
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Zipper pulls would be great if you have the kind of zipper head with a hole in it. My two dresses with side zips have invisible type zippers with sleek, no hole heads. They are a pain in the butt.

Last edited by wanasail; July 3rd, 2009 at 10:54 PM.
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  #10  
Old July 3rd, 2009, 11:14 PM
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All this time, I thought it was just me. I'even resorted to putting the dress on sideways, zipping it up, then squiggle it back to "right" it. Only works because it's a one shoulder dress. Best thing that I've found that works for me everytime is for DH to zip it
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  #11  
Old July 4th, 2009, 12:31 AM
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Guess it would be even harder by the second formal night with all those extra meals....
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  #12  
Old July 4th, 2009, 12:55 AM
Jane110 Jane110 is offline
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This really gives me a chuckle, as I'm always so happy when there's a side zip, as opposed to a back zip. Side zips are so easy for me, and so I assumed the same for everyone else.
My hands reach the side of my torso easily.
See, now you all have me worried that my arms are too long!

You can't reach the left side of your torso w/ your right hand, and vice versa?

BTW, I have on of those zipper pulls for back zip dresses and it's terrific!
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  #13  
Old July 4th, 2009, 05:31 AM
Goldryder Goldryder is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaseyoz View Post
Guess it would be even harder by the second formal night with all those extra meals....
...I have 9 formals on the next cruise....

I am so pleased that I am not the only one who has battles with side zips...they get so fiddly when they refuse to do up and I get stressed...fingers aren't what they used to be thanks to arthritis & a mild stroke (patience has never been one of my virtues either)....

The three dresses are designer ones that were at a sale and I couldn't resist them, one can be wriggled about but the other two definitely can't...

I will give the zip pulls a try but any other ideas will be gratefully received too, please
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  #14  
Old July 4th, 2009, 08:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane110 View Post
This really gives me a chuckle, as I'm always so happy when there's a side zip, as opposed to a back zip. Side zips are so easy for me, and so I assumed the same for everyone else.
My hands reach the side of my torso easily.
See, now you all have me worried that my arms are too long!

You can't reach the left side of your torso w/ your right hand, and vice versa?

BTW, I have on of those zipper pulls for back zip dresses and it's terrific!
Hi Jane ahhhhh....see what you get for assuming?
I absolutely HATE dresses with side zippers...not because
I am claustrophobic but just because they are a total pain the
a$$ to do.
Lynn, so sorry you had to cut yourself out of that dress

Jane, have you moved yet? Wishing you and hubby an easy
transition
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  #15  
Old July 5th, 2009, 01:53 AM
10splyr 10splyr is offline
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when the invisible zippers encounter seams such as the bodice seam with the skirt seam (that would be 4 layers of fabric if the garment is lined) it then becomes a real B**c* and, as far as I am concerned, almost impossible to do by yourself. I'm not talking about lower end garments either b/c I have a David Meister that is REALLY hard to zip.

I really think all dressmakers need to think about leaving a small amount of fabric "give" on the zipper when a dress is supposed to hug your body.
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  #16  
Old July 5th, 2009, 11:37 PM
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I used to do a lot of sewing, but don't really have the time anymore. I understand that manufacturers think the invisible zippers are great, but they're only great if you can zip them. I've had a few dresses with no problem, but all those bias cut dresses with the side zipper are horendous. I actually bought a new dress for formal night, partly because it took me and my husband about 20 minutes to get it unzipped when I was trying it on a month ago. My new dress has a back zip, and I need help zipping it because I can't reach it. However, the zipper moves!!! I'm not stuck!
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  #17  
Old July 6th, 2009, 01:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 10splyr View Post
when the invisible zippers encounter seams such as the bodice seam with the skirt seam (that would be 4 layers of fabric if the garment is lined) it then becomes a real B**c* and, as far as I am concerned, almost impossible to do by yourself. I'm not talking about lower end garments either b/c I have a David Meister that is REALLY hard to zip.

I really think all dressmakers need to think about leaving a small amount of fabric "give" on the zipper when a dress is supposed to hug your body.
Oh I hear ya'.
I have an Anne Klein cocktail dress that is shutter pleats the whole way down and it's lined. So every 1 1/2 inch along the 18 inch zipper I run into a spot where the zipper doesn't want to clear. Even DH has a hard time zipping it and complains but once I'm in, the dress fits like a glove and I love it. BTW, DH likes to unzip it.
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  #18  
Old July 6th, 2009, 03:20 AM
Goldryder Goldryder is offline
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One of my formals is going to be a real challenge, it's a PearceIIFironda and has a halter neck but with added 2" wide ribbon shoulder straps that are sown in. The dress has a side zip and a cumberbund type waist to it...triple whammy on the zip obstacle department.

To get it on you have to go at it from underneath, then head through one set of ribbons and the halter (the halter neck is buttoned but doesn't need to be opened). Once you are in the middle of all the straps you then have to shimmy it all into the right place due to it having an inbuilt bra support and then finally a hook & eye under the arm before attacking/taming the zip that runs from about hip level up to the hook & eye.

The dress is 100% pure silk & silk chiffon, I am 5'11" tall and it's about 3" longer than I am tall, it's black with a delicate floral spray pattern on it, the ribbons are scarlet red and they start at the bust and go over the shoulders, down the back into a bow and then drape onto the floor, they too are 100% silk. The dress is BEAUTIFUL..just a right pain in the whoozit to get into and do up

The dress is here...the boddice is a little complicated, the ribbons go right down the back. I have bought a special pair of shoes to wear with it too, black peep-toe courts, with 4.5" heel and 1" sole that are covered in sequins, they look really nice with the dress and lift the hem off the floor too
Attached Images
File Type: jpg dress.jpg (9.3 KB, 46 views)
File Type: jpg dress1.jpg (10.9 KB, 47 views)
File Type: jpg dress2.jpg (9.0 KB, 46 views)

Last edited by Goldryder; July 6th, 2009 at 03:22 AM.
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  #19  
Old July 9th, 2009, 02:11 AM
Jane110 Jane110 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lois R View Post
Hi Jane ahhhhh....see what you get for assuming?
I absolutely HATE dresses with side zippers...not because
I am claustrophobic but just because they are a total pain the
a$$ to do.
Lynn, so sorry you had to cut yourself out of that dress

Jane, have you moved yet? Wishing you and hubby an easy
transition
Sorry folks.....this is OT.....

Haven't moved yet Lois. We hit a few snags with the NYC Dept of Buildings, and just yesterday got the permit to combine the two apts, so the wall will be broken through tomorrow! YAY!
Most of the other work is done - freshly painted, new moulding, a wall built to create an office area, new a/c's installed. All that's left to do is to create the "saddle" between the two apts where the wall was, then sand and lacquer the floors. The french doors I bought haven't arrived yet; they're being made in Cal. They're mahogany, with etched glass and then zinc inlaid 1930's like design within the glass, which will look pretty across from the wrought iron railing. The apt was built in 1937 and I'm trying to keep the architectural details in that style.

I'm going on a two night cruise at the end of the month and will be bringing 2 side zip dresses! I love 'em!
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Old July 9th, 2009, 08:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane110 View Post
This really gives me a chuckle, as I'm always so happy when there's a side zip, as opposed to a back zip. Side zips are so easy for me, and so I assumed the same for everyone else.
My hands reach the side of my torso easily.
See, now you all have me worried that my arms are too long!

You can't reach the left side of your torso w/ your right hand, and vice versa?
LOL...I was thinking the same thing...I have no problems with side zips...what's wrong with me?
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