This evening I learned to install an invisible zipper.
When I used to sew as a young person, I found zipper installation a real pain. This may have been in part because my skill and care levels were decidedly low, but it was also because the zippers on the market then were relatively bulky and not very attractive even when installed properly.
Recalling my youthful struggles with zipper installation, I approached this evening's lesson with some trepidation, but invisible zipper installation turned out to be ever so easy, and the result is lovely to behold. Here is a photo of the zipper opening with the zipper closed (pull tab is on the left of the photo):
You wouldn't even know there was a zipper, except for the small pull tab.
Here is is with the zipper open:
Before installing the zipper, I found an excellent blog entry: http://blog.sewserendipity.com/2009/08/dont-fear-invisible-zipper.html with easy-to-interpret illustrations. I also purchased an invisible zipper foot, which has a groove into which the zipper coil fits so the needle stays exactly where it needs to be.
I read somewhere that in order to be really good at sewing, one must put in at least 10,000 hours. I don't know whether this is meant to include reading and talking about sewing, or if it's 10,000 hands-on hours. Even if I can only find a couple of hours a day to sew, I should have enough of my lifetime left to get really good. If it keeps being as much fun as it is now, it will be a most pleasant way to spend 10,000 hours.
So far, I'm only using cheap fabric to learn on (except for a linen skirt with which I am greatly pleased). So if I don't get something quite right, it's not the end of the world. I've been wearing the muslin practice garments to work in the garden, and I love them. They're so light-weight and cool. It's actually cooler to work in the garden wearing a long-sleeved white muslin shirt that to have bare arms.