How to Put a Zipper in a Sweatshirt

+ Take it in with a zipper tutorial

sweatshirt: hanes (target)   button-up:     pants: I snatched up this $7 hanes sweatshirt from target because it was so soft and perfect for refashioning. Oh and did mention cheap?! It happened to be a little tinsy big in the mid section and instead of the usual boring take in, I decided to vamp it up with a zipper instead. This will be the first of a couple refashioned for this sweatshirt. This zipper take-in technique can also take in shirts and dresses too, what an awesome and simple added metallic touch that doubles as an alteration. Instructions: 7″-9″ metal zipper sweatshirt pins sewing machine or needle and thread marking pen or chalk Supplies: 1. Mark how much you want to take in your sweatshirt in the mid section. I wanted to take in 4 inches, so I marked the center back of the sweatshirt and marked 2 inches out from both sides for as long as the zipper. My zipper was 7″ – 9″. Start marking below the armpit, then 7″-9″ below. 2. Take the zipper, lay the zipper’s front right side unzipped and line it up with the marking on the left. I wish I had put the zipper end at the top instead, so it can unzip at the bottom there for you can use this while pregnant or what not. 3. Do the same with the opposite side of the zipper, but stop when you get near the bottom (or top depending on the side of the zipper). Then zip up the zipper and finish the end of the zipper that you didn’t get to finish. *Optional – take in the sleeves using this tutorial if you need. Just take in the sleeves and taper an inch or two before the armpit.

11 Love & Comments 120 [01.30.2013]


Inserting a Lapped Zipper for Beginners

 · Callie Works-Leary helps you "up your game" with these quick tips. Want more? Get the full suite of zipper techniques (in minutes!) by watching her full class on Bluprint. → …

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Tutorial: Installing an Invisible Zipper (with video

 · Just wanted to say thanks for the great tutorial. I haven’t put in an invisible zipper since I was about 10 learning how to sew in 4-H and that was with help from my sewing leader, so I really couldn’t remember how to do it. I followed your tutorial exactly except that I …

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How to Put a Zipper Back On: 5 Methods

You can put a zipper back on in most cases using s

You can put a zipper back on in most cases using simple tools like a dinner fork or a pair of pliers. For some kinds of damage, you may need a sewing machine or strong glue instead.

This may seem impossible after learning about all the carefully fitted and moving parts of a basic zipper! You may find yourself wondering, how do you reattach a zipper when something goes wrong with its basic components?

All you need to do is assess the type of damage and then pick one of these five simple, easy repair methods to try!

1. With a Fork

Since pretty much everyone has a fork or two at home, this method is one of the most popular ways of fixing a broken zipper.

You can use the fork method if the pull has come off one or both sides of the zipper. If you have bent or broken teeth or the tape has ripped away from the fabric of your clothing, you will need to try a different method.

To get the pull back on the zipper:

  1. Find a normal-sized dinner fork.
  2. Insert the zipper pull on top of the middle prongs of the fork so that those two prongs fit inside the empty space inside the slider.
  3. Next, carefully align the bottom stopper of the zipper over the left and right-hand prongs of the fork.
  4. Slowly slide the stopper up the prongs of the fork and onto the zipper teeth.
  5. You should start to see the teeth meshing together and closing.
  6. Draw the pull up the zipper, zipping it shut!

2. With Pliers

If you have a few basic tools at home, such as a pair of pliers, you can also use this simple tool to fix many broken zippers.

The basic concept of using pliers to fix a zipper does involve tearing away the bottom stopper, though, so you may have to purchase or make new stoppers if you try this method.

Also, please note that this method works only if the pull and slider have come off one or both sides of the teeth. If you have torn fabric or the fabric tape has torn away, you will need to try a different technique that you can find later in this section.

To fix a zipper with pliers:

  1. First, use your pliers to remove the bottom stoppers and teeth from the zipper. You will need to pull off enough teeth to reveal the bottom two or three inches of the tape, depending on the size of your pull and slider.
  2. Ease the zipper pull onto this exposed section of the fabric. If you started with a closed zipper, place the pull on right-side-up, but if you have an open zipper, place the pull on upside down.
  3. Next, hold the teeth taunt in one hand and slide the pull up onto the teeth from the fabric using your other hand.
  4. Try pulling the slider up and down the zipper chain several times to make sure the teeth will mesh together properly.
  5. Finally, you will have to repair the bottom of the zipper by putting on new stoppers and squeezing them closed with your pliers. This will keep the slider and pull from falling off again! You can usually find these components at a crafting store, or you can order them online from places such as Amazon or Etsy.

If you want to get really crafty, you can also add a drop of super glue to the ends of the zipper teeth to replace the removed stopper. But you will want to perform this operation carefully, so you do not accidentally glue the zipper shut for good!

3. With a Sewing Machine

If you have access to a sewing machine, you can easily fix some types of broken zippers in just a few minutes.

When do you need to sew a zipper? If you see dangling threads or a gaping hole between the zipper tape and the fabric of your garment, you will need to sew the tape back into place.

You possibly could perform the necessary sewing by hand with a needle and thread, but you do have to stitch through some thick material. This means you will find the task much easier with a sewing machine.

You can also use a modified form of this technique to replace a broken zipper with a new zipper if your find lots of broken or bent teeth that you can’t easily repair.

To repair a zipper with a sewing machine:

  1. First, use sewing pins or quilting clips to put the zipper tape back on the garment’s fabric. Try to align the loose potion of the tape in a straight line with the part of the zipper that remains attached to the clothing.
  2. Set up your sewing machine with thread that matches the garment and a zipper foot. A zipper presser foot has one open side that allows the needle to stitch close to the edge of the metal teeth.
  3. Carefully insert the garment under the needle to place the presser foot just above the pinned section of the zipper tape.
  4. Lower the presser foot and use the handwheel to put the needle down.
  5. Sew a straight line from the remaining stitches in the tape, down the torn-out portion, and connect back up with the remaining stitching in the tape below the gap.
  6. Neatly clip thread ends.
  7. Slide the pull up and down to ensure the repaired zipper will work!

You can use a slightly more advanced version of this method if you need to entirely replace a zipper, too. For that technique, you will first need to rip out the damaged zipper using a seam ripper. Then pin a new zipper into place and stitch down it using a zipper foot just as you did in the previous method.

You will need to sew across the bottom of the zipper to finish it off. This acts as a bottom stopper and prevents the pull from sliding off!

4. With Glue

In some cases, you can use glue to put a loose zipper back where it belongs. You may want to consider this method if your zipper has torn away from a material you can’t easily sew, such as a suitcase or a pair of boots.

To glue a torn zipper back into place:

  1. Figure out where the torn-away portion of the zipper should lie. If a large portion of the tape has ripped free, you may want to draw a chalk line on the boot or bag to indicate where to place the zipper.
  2. Next, draw a thin line of super glue on the item where you plan to place the loose zipper tape.
  3. Carefully smooth the tape (the fabric portion of the zipper) onto the glue. Make sure you do not get glue on the teeth, or you may never get it to close properly again!
  4. Use binder clips or small woodworking clamps to hold the zipper firmly in place as the glue dries. Follow the instructions on the glue bottle to find out how long to let the zipper sit.
  5. Finally, remove the clips and try zipping and unzipping to see if your fix worked!

5. Replace Zipper Pull

Replacing a zipper pull can also sometimes rescue a piece of clothing. If you examine the broken zipper and discover that all the teeth look good, but the slider and pull have disappeared, all you need to do is buy a new pull and reinsert it on the teeth!

You can buy zipper pulls quite cheaply online or at most sewing and craft stores such as Joann Fabric and Michaels. You can also buy affordable zipper repair kits that will include these components and sometimes come with handy tools such as a pair of pliers as well!

On rare occasions, you might also have a damaged pull in which the slider has gotten smashed and can’t go up and down the teeth. In this case, you will also find it easiest to replace the pull with a new one that works smoothly.

To replace a zipper pull, you can use either the fork or plier method. The trick is that you have to get the new pull past the stop at the top of the zipper. Using the fork method may give you the best result here, as you do not have to pull out any of the teeth for this method!

Some Final Words

Zipper problems happen. When they do, your nice convenient zipper becomes a little monster that interferes with your day and may cause some embarrassment. The good news is that most zipper problems are easy to fix and you can enjoy the convenience the zipper provides once again.

Never be afraid of a zipper problem again.