01 of 05
Buying and Measuring a ZipperZippers come in a wide variety of lengths but they are not always the perfect length for what you want to create or for what you are sewing. It is very rare for ready made garments to have the same size zipper that would match what is available for home sewing. Shortening a zipper for it to fit is not a hard task.
Continue to 2 of 5 below.
- Shortening a zipper does not mean you have to have zipper teeth poking into your skin on garments.
- Always a buy a zipper that is longer than you need if the perfect length is not... available.
- Measure the area you want to insert the zipper in to.
02 of 05
Measure and Bar Tack the Zipper
Transfer the measurement on to the zipper and mark the zipper tape for the length you want.
Sew a bar tack over the zipper teeth at the mark. A bar tack is sewn by setting the stitch width wide enough for the needle to land on both sides of the zipper teeth and setting the stitch length so that the stitches are almost right on top of each other.Continue to 3 of 5 below.
03 of 05
Cutting and Removing Zipper TeethCut the zipper below the bar tack, leaving 3/4 to 1" of zipper.
Carefully snip just the teeth off of the zipper tape, leaving as much of the zipper tape in tact as possible.Continue to 4 of 5 below.
04 of 05
Backing the Cut EndPlace a ribbon, scrap of bias tape or fabric on the back side of the zipper under where you removed the teeth. This backing fabric will give you a smooth surface to keep the zipper tape in tact and protect your skin.Continue to 5 of 5 below.
05 of 05
Finishing a Shortened Zipper
Zig zag over the edges of the zipper tape and backing material, keeping the edges of the zipper tape even with the original zipper tape width as well as flat and smooth. Zig zag the raw end of the zipper tape to prevent fraying.
Sew the zipper in as you normally would.