I decided after I posted yesterday that I would post some pictures of my lapped zipper application today. It's always easier for me to see something first and then do it.
Preparation: First machine baste the center back together. Mark about 15" below the neckline of the dress. BASTE to this mark, then change to a regular stitch length, go back and forth a couple of stitches, and stitch with a regular stitch length to the bottom of the dress back. Press that seam open.
Step 1: Work on the INSIDE of the dress. Fold the dress and extend the RIGHT seam allowance.
Place the CLOSED zipper face down on the seam allowance with the stop at the top about 7/8" below the raw neck edge. Then carefully unzip it, keeping the right side of the zipper face down on that right seam allowance. Using your zipper foot, BASTE that side of the zipper to the seam allowance.
I remembered after the fact that it would have worked better to pull the small piece of zipper tape above the metal stop to the right (closer to the edge of the seam allowance) and stitch it down that way.
Step 2: Change to a regular stitch length. Zip the zipper up, and turn it face up. The seam allowance will fold beside the zipper teeth. Bring the fold close to the teeth (but not touching.) I use my edge stitch foot to sew the next line of stitching, which is right along that folded seam allowance. In the next picture I've used pink arrows to try to show where the stitching is. (This is one of those times when it would have been helpful if I wasn't using matching thread!)
Step 3: Unfold dress back and turn right side up. Spread it flat over the unstitched part of the zipper. On the outside of the dress, make a mark (with pen or washable ink) to mark the bottom of your zipper. (If your zipper is longer than you need, stitch back and forth over the teeth an inch below where you want it to end and then trim below your stitching.)
This is where I put scotch tape on my zipper to give me a perfectly straight edge to topstitch. Start by stitching across the bottom of the zipper, then topstitch about 3/8-1/2" from the seamline. Stop about 2" from the zipper pull.
Take out your basting stitches, and then unzip the zipper. Then it's easy to finish the rest of the topstitching. And no one is going to say that this zipper looks homemade!
(If you're wondering, yes, the ribbon did indeed change color. I decided that I didn't like the way the orange looked in some lights, and so I picked it off and put on pink.)
Tomorrow: Dress construction!