When my Dad taught me how to drive did he let me learn in the family sedan? No. He made me drive the monster Dodge Ram full-sized pickup truck through the tiny streets of our neighborhood. Were pedestrians leaping off the sidewalk and into the safety of their shrubbery? Yes. But I honestly think I'm a better driver because of it. And I'm not making that part about the sidewalks up. I really did drive up on the sidewalk. Listen, that's a big vehicle and that was a tight corner.
Anyway, if you're going to sew in a zipper after never having done it before, why start on muslin or thick cotton? That's too easy. Around here, we go for the gold (or in this case faux satin shantung).
I read a million tutorials online and watched 400,000 videos on YouTube but the most helpful piece was this one on Sew, Mama, Sew.