Ahoy pirates! Today on the blog I wanted to show you how to shorten different style zippers. With the new Go-To Jacket patterns releasing, you will be playing around with various size zippers so I find that it’s easier to just stock up on longer zippers (30-36″) and then shorten them based on your needs.
*Plastic separating zippers
Let’s talk about plastic separating zippers first. They are my favorite zipper style for kids and women casual wear. And shortening them is a peace of cake. There’s no need for any fancy tool or muscles 😉
Simply grab a pair of scissors that you do NOT use to cut fabric, a measuring tape and a lighter. Measure the length of the zipper you need for your jacket, mark it on both sides of the separating zipper. Move the zipper pull down and cut the desired length. Follow the instructions I give you in the video below to create a “zipper stop”.
Note: since you’re working with an open flame (if you don’t have a hot knife) please be extra cautious and avoid having your little ones “help out” 🙂
TIP: Always measure 3 times before cutting the zipper, just to be sure.
*Metal Separating Zippers
The other separating zipper you may use for hoodies or jackets is a metal zipper. Walmart always carries them so, on a pinch, it’s a good alternative for plastic zippers.
Shortening a metal zipper is more time consuming and it requires a little bit of elbow grease and more tools but it’s totally doable. Just grab those non fabric scissors, a measuring tape and some long nose pliers and watch the video below.
TIP: Mark on both sides of the zipper where the waistband meets the bodice, the pockets and the hood. This will make it a lot easier to make sure that everything matches when you zip up the jacket.
*All purpose zippers
If you are making a Wiggle dress and you need to shorten the all purpose zipper you are using you will only need your scissors, a measuring tape and some thread. Simply mark on the BOTTOM of the zipper (not the top as you did for separating zippers) where you would like for the zipper pull to stop.
Sew by hand a zipper stop at the mark you just made. Simply sew back on forth over the zipper teeth a few times. You can certainly use your sewing machine for this step but I find it easier to just hand sew the thread zipper stop. Cut the zipper 1″ below the thread zipper stop you just created and seal your zipper ribbon with a lighter. Optionally, remove the plastic teeth below the thread zipper stop. Tadah! You have shortened your AP zipper in minutes.
Now that you have shortening zippers all figured out, go and sew all the Go To Jackets and make sure to post them in the Patterns for Pirates group!
Genius! I never would have thought about melting the plastic to create a zipper stop. Thank you so much!
Tetiana Nuttall says
Thank you very much for the video on shortening zips. It’s just great.