If you hate replacing zippers, check out this "cheater" way to replace a zipper in a coat or jacket.
Fast and Easy Way to Fix a Zipper
From start to finish, this took me exactly 40 minutes - and that was with stopping every few minutes to take photos, and cropping the photos and uploading them to my email so I could write this tutorial when I came back to the computer.
I could have done it in about 20 minutes if I hadn't been planning to write about this zipper changing process.
Cut Off the Old Zipper
Since this tutorial is about changing a zipper the fastest way possible, let's stick with the fast theme and jump right into the steps!
- Grab your scissors and cut off the old zipper as close to the seam as you possibly can.
- Cut slowly and carefully so you don't cut the jacket.
- Cut both zipper pieces all the way off.
- Pick off any frayed pieces you can see from the old zipper's ribbon.
Center the Zipper
- Pick up the new zipper and center it on one side, right where the old zipper rested.
- If you use pins, pin the zipper down.
- If you prefer to sew without pins, make a couple small tailor's chalk marks on the end corners and a few along the edge of the zipper's ribbon to make it easy to check your work as you sew - as long as you can see your marks and the zipper is lined up, you'll know you're on track.
- The new zipper will often be either longer or shorter than the new one, that's why you center the new zipper to get the best result.
- If the new zipper is a touch too long, you can fold the top end under before you begin sewing and then when you stitch it down it will be hidden.
Stitch the Zipper to the Jacket
- Put the zipper foot on your sewing machine and make sure it is set to make a straight stitch.
- Sew the first line of stitching with the zipper foot's edge against the zipper teeth, then sew a second line of stitching with the needle close to the edge of the zipper's ribbon or tape.
- If you are working on a thick coat, it can be challenging to sew straight (as you can probably see in my picture...) and the best remedy for that (TIP) is to sew slowly while keeping a firm hand on the jacket.
Snap and Turn
- If the jacket also has snaps or buttons, fasten them then turn the coat inside out.
- The side of the zipper you haven't sewn yet should be perfectly lined up where you need to stitch it - in this photo you can see due to the contrasting color of the zipper I'm installing.
- Either pin the unstitched zipper edge in place or mark the corners and raw edge with tailor's chalk.
- Unzip the zipper.
- Sew the second side in place the same way you did the first side, sewing against the zipper teeth first and then close to the zipper's edge.
- Clip off your thread ends and turn the coat right side out.
You Just Replaced a Jacket Zipper the Fastest and Easiest Way Possible
If your zipper matches the coat, it will not stand out like this contrasting colored zipper does - though when the snap placket is closed, you cannot see the zipper in this coat at all.
If you try this super easy zipper changing technique, I would love to hear your thoughts on the process.
I hope you like this simple way to replace a zipper as much as I did.
(Seriously, I hate doing alterations, I totally prefer making a whole new garment to things like replacing zippers, but I really didn't mind this at all.)