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Mom, can you replace the zipper on this?

Request to replace a zipper in a hoodie.

Mom, can you replace the zipper on this? The words I dread hearing!

Argh, those dreaded words! I told my husband when we were first married that I didn’t mend or alter, I only created, and I’ve pretty much held to it! Who knew that, fast forward  32 years, I would be teaching beginner sewing lessons and would have three daughters that don’t know how to sew? How does this happen? My new motto is ” I only teach, I don’t sew for people”.

Replacing the zipper on a hoody.

Mom, can you replace the zipper on this?

This zipper was such an easy fix, I couldn’t say no. Many times zippers are totally enclosed within the garment (picture a jeans zipper, yikes!) but this one just lay on the wrong side of the hoody, super easy! Plus, it was a really UGLY white zipper with silver teeth! Obviously what the manufacturer puts into everything, regardless of whether or not it matches!

Replacing a zipper

Zipper pull gone completely so it needs a brand new zipper. This was an easy fix, the zipper just lay on the garment’s wrong side.

Of course the problem comes when the zipper in the garment is 23 inches and the replacement zippers only come in 22 or 24 inches. So, what to do? Rule of thumb is you always choose a longer zipper and shorten it, as I mentioned in my Sewing Tips. It’s really simple to do on a standard zipper but when metal teeth are involved, it’s a bit trickier. Also, with a separating zipper, like what you will find in a zip up hoodie, you must shorten the zipper from the top.

I found this handy tutorial for removing zipper teeth on Craft Passion that spelled it out quite nicely. The tutorial is very clear with great photos and made it look really easy!

Ok, I admit, there was a fair bit of huffing and puffing and more than a few curse words until I got the hang of it. I did finally manage to get the stops off to be reinstalled after the shortening process, but I struggled with removing the teeth. I finally found that if I held the pliers differently than she did in the tutorial, it worked better for me.

Removing metal zipper teeth.

I found if I held the wire cutting pliers like this, I could actually snip the teeth off.

I actually snipped off the teeth to remove them. Perhaps not the best way as there were projectiles flying all over the place! I’m sure I’ll be vacuuming them up for years. (or at least my husband will!)

I nicely got one side done and checked the length, only to find I needed to shorten a bit more. Note to self, check zipper length BEFORE replacing zipper stop!

Still too long.

After removing the teeth and replacing the stop I realized the zipper was still too long!

I finally got both sides of the zipper shortened to the right length. Once that was done the actual insertion of the zipper was really easy. I just needed to make sure that the bottom band and the pockets all lined up.

Voila! The new zipper looks so much better than the old one did and my daughter is thrilled.

Zipper replaced.

Zipper DONE! AND much nicer than the original, I might add!

Close up of replaced zipper.

A close up of the zipper! What a great match, SO much better than the white one!

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