Monthly Archives: December 2013

Zipper Replacement Raincoat

I found a great raincoat on clearance. It was obvious why it was on clearance. The zipper jams. However, some quick math suggested that I should buy it anyway. The math being 5 to 7 yards of windstop fabric, lining, and notions including a zipper would exceed the $60 for the coat. It would be cheaper to replace the zipper than to make a new coat from scratch.

how to replace a zipper

Two weeks later I found the same style coat, same lousy zipper, different color for $40. I bought it too.

That was about five years ago. And I just got around to replacing the zippers.
This was an intimidating project. In brief,

  • Baste layers together
  • Mark zipper placement
  • Remove old zipper
  • Baste new zipper in place, by hand
  • Sew in new zipper
  • Finish ends, by hand
  • Remove basting

It took me about four days with constant interruption to get the first coat done. I used a plastic zipper because the metal ones scratch my hands too much. And if you look very closely at the khaki coat you can see the old holes where I wasn’t able to line up the stitches exactly. Otherwise, I don’t think it’s obvious that the zipper was replaced. On the black coat, I couldn’t get a good picture showing that there are tiny holes running parallel to the new stitching.

stitching on eddie bauer raincoat

I used this tutorial from Simply Homemaking. But I didn’t have success with the zipper foot. The fabric bunched and puckered under it. So I used a walking foot. Using the walking foot, I could not get the stitches as close to the zipper. But I was still able to get the needle close enough to catch the zipper tape.

Since I really like to see a person in a garment on blogs, I had my nine year old take a few pictures. Unfortunately, I looked horrible in them, like someone looking up at a scary giant, me being the giant. I will try again, with a taller photographer. Seriously, bloggers, who is doing your photo shoots?


Delicious Ugly Soup

This soup tastes better than it looks. Sort of like split-pea’s tropical cousin.

Almost Tropical Soup

I have a 1 1/2 Quart Slow Cooker that I dearly love; because I can fill it up with soup ingredients in the morning, then head out to the gym or to run errands and return to hot soup for lunch.

Sometimes the recipe is tried and true. But often, it’s what’s in the house. Like my Almost Tropical soup. Does butternut squash grow in the tropics? I’m thinking no. But here’s the soup.


  • 2 plantains, sliced
  • 1/2 butternut squash, cubed
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 10 oz can of coconut milk or crushed pineapple


Put first three ingredients into the slow cooker, set to low.  Leave for about six hours. Add coconut or pineapple. Puree with an immersion blender. Reheat if necessary.

Add any spice you like. I’m partial to ginger. But cumin and garlic work too.

Return with a Velveteen Doll Dress

After my long, unplanned blogging break I’m back. Around April, I became frustrated with my dysfunctional camera. And I realized that combined with all of the absolutely mandatory things I need to do, blogging became too much. But, I missed it – missed sharing and communicating with fellow sewing bloggers. And, I have a new camera.

I have been sewing in my absence (not as much as I would like). So, to catch up, here’s my latest labor of love, another velveteen doll dress for DD3.

DD3 was obsessed with the purple fabric. And I didn’t have enough of it to make a dress for her. So her doll was the next best thing. (The dress looks very blue in the pictures. But it is a vivid purple.)

I used a zigzag stitch to attach the ribbon belt.

American Girl Doll in Velveteen Dress

The lining is bagged toward the center. A lot of hand sewing went into this doll dress. If you look closely, you’ll see the slip stitch in the middle.

Slip Stitch Dress Lining Velvet Doll Dress

Instead of wrestling with a traditional hem, I bagged the lining to the waist.

The velveteen and lining (from a re-purposed shirt) kept slipping around. So I basted them at the armscyce, sleeve cap and top and bottom waist.

AG Doll Dress with Bagged Lining Hem

The fastening is velcro.

18 Inch Doll Dress with Velcro Fasteners