Yes, a side zipper can easily go unnoticed (AND is easy to reach!), but I also love a side zipper because:
- Tucked neatly under the arm, a side zipper in an off color is less noticeable
- A 14" length (vs. 22" for a back zipper) is less expensive
- No dealing with neck edges and facings
- A lapped zipper is easier to sew
Problem A: The stitching is puckering up on one side and you have extra or not enough fabric on one side or the other.
What is happening: The front and back side seams openings are not the same length.
Problem B: The waist seams don't match up.
What is happening: You may have the same length, front to back, but the top to bottom are offset just enough to keep the waist seams from matching correctly.
Solution to problem A and B: You need to find out which piece is too long/short. Is it the front or back/ bodice or skirt?
Problem C: We've got both sides the same, but sewing the lapped side of the zipper with a perfectly matched waist seam is difficult!
What is happening: You've pinned your lap to the zipper tape over and over again, but still the waist seams do not match up once sewn. Figuring out just where and how to perfectly match seam to seam on the zipper tape, along with the natural drag of the zipper foot can easily put everything completely out of alignment.
Solution to Problem C:
Problem D: No matter how hard you try, there is always a "bump" in the top stitching at the end because the zipper pull gets in the way.
What is happening: You can't figure out how anyone could have straight stitching at the end of a zipper! The pull is too large. The zipper foot can't get past it, you have an unsightly zag in the stitching.
Solution to Problem D:
Finish sewing to the end, pivoting at the corner just past the top stop. Use this method of moving the pull any time it keeps you from sewing a straight seam.