I’ve been wanting to make the Ebony Tee Dress by Closet Case Patterns for a while now. It’s a simple swing dress pattern and I know it’s super easy to make any t-shirt or dress a swing dress, but I always feel more comfortable using a pattern for some reason. I love that the Ebony Tee has the two neckline options and a raglan option!
I shortened the sleeves on the long sleeve pattern piece and made them 2 1/2″ long. Looking back on it now, I still could have sew in the invisible zippers just as well in the raglan (which already had short sleeves), but oh well! I lengthened the pattern by 4″ on the “lengthen/shorten” line, but I think next time I’ll add another 2-3″. I had to adjust the angle once I cut and lengthened it, but it didn’t affect the swingy-ness at all.
I’ve seen a few dresses sold by stores that are starting to put zippers in the side seams to make dresses more nursing friendly, which is totally genius because I know plenty of moms who would LOVE to wear dresses after having a baby but it’s basically impossible unless it’s like a wrap dress or it has a stretchy neckline (which sometimes I would rather not do…). I figured that with the Ebony Tee, since it’s a swing design, there would be enough fabric to pull it to the side and nurse easily and discreetly.
So, let’s talk about how I added the invisible zippers! I sewed the shoulder seams, neckline, and top of both sleeves like the pattern instructed. Then I used this Youtube video (watched it like 12 times, but it’s super short and to the point) and used Wonder Tape to sew the zippers right where I wanted them. I would NOT do this without Wonder Tape, especially on knit fabric. I inserted the zippers right below the armpit and sewed them in just like the video says to. I basically used 1/4″ seam allowances for the zipper and lined the zipper right up to the Wonder Tape. I sewed down the dress the way she instructs in the video, and then turned my dress the other way and sewed from the top of the zipper to the underarm to finish it. I was sewing with a straight stitch the whole time, so afterwards I went over it with a zigzag stitch. It’s not a the prettiest inside of a dress I’ve sewn, but it is functional!
I bought this pretty ribbed knit from Fabric Outlet in San Francisco a couple months ago and I was so excited to use it. Fabric Outlet has an online store called Cali Fabrics and I was actually able to find the fabric I bought!
Did you make something for the 4th this year? Have you made the Ebony Tee Dress yet?
8 thoughts on “Ebony Tee with Invisible Zippers [Nursing Friendly]”
I would have never even thought to put zippers in the side seams. You’re a genius!
I’m glad you like it, Sky! It’s seriously so convenient!
Did you use the fusible interfacing as well as the wonder tape? Or did you use the tape in place of the interfacing? I’ve never used the wonder tape before. Thanks for this tutorial!!
Hi Melissa! I just used Wonder Tape because it made the knit fabric stay in place, and after I washed the dress the Wonder Tape just dissolves out. Fusible interfacing might work, but I always worry about getting an iron to close and melting the zipper, and I don’t know how strong it would be in this situation. Wonder Tape is the most MAGICAL thing and SO easy to work with! I *still* use it with almost everything I sew. You definitely need to try it!
Thanks!! I’m so excited to make some of my favorite dresses nursing friendly!!
Hey! I’m curious how the zippers worked for nursing? Was this functional? Thanks for sharing the tips! I’ve been thinking of adding zippers to side seems for awhile and this might be the motivation I need!
Hi Ingrid! Yes, the zippers were functional, and since this dress was stretchy and had plenty of fabric ease, I could easily pull it to the side to nurse. You should definitely try it! I did it for a few other dresses too and you can find the other with my ‘nursing friendly’ tag. Here’s the link: https://thesewingthingsblog.com/tag/nursing-friendly/ You may have to scroll down a bit to find the dresses. I hope that helps! 💕