Disaster: What to do with a broken invisible zip?

Remember this dress? I made it last year as a bit of an experiment. It’s an unusual shape, and has no centre back seam so there’s a zip in the shoulder and the side so you can get in and out.

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Notice anything about the shoulder zip now?

Silver brocade dress shoulder zip

Closer? That’s right, the zip no longer has a slider. I obviously didn’t do a good enough job of sewing the zip in, because the slider came off the bottom of the tape! I had cut the zip off above the original stop to make it fit the dress. The bottom of the tape pulled out of the seam at some point and the slider just slipped off the end.

Shoulder zip closeup

Unfortunately I can’t see a good way to fix this. The dress is fully lined and the bodice lining is stitched in the ditch through all layers at the empire seam, so any attempt to replace the zip will involve a lot of ripping out and hand sewing, and will probably look terrible. I am no use at all at hand sewing.

I had the idea of stitching an exposed zip over the top of the invisible zip, hiding it completely. But I completely failed to find any zips for sale online which combined the right length, colour, and reasonable postage costs. None of the bricks and mortar sewing shops near me had anything suitable either.

Then I thought of putting a frog closure over the gap and mail ordered a couple of these, described as ‘small frog fasteners’.

False frog

Only it turns out they aren’t frog fasteners, they are ‘fake’ frog fasteners. Great if you don’t need your dress to actually open, but they’re not going to work for me. Also I’m no longer convinced a frog fastener would hold the shoulder together well enough.

I’m stumped. Anyone got any bright ideas for fixing this? Or know of a UK shop with a good range of zips?

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