Shortening a coil zipper

Daddy daughter front 1

(Pattern: Summit Peak by New Horizons Designs. Fabric: Urban Grunge French Terry from Buttons & Bibs)

          I don’t know about you, but there was a very long period of my sewing life where I avoided zippers. I was terrified of them.  However, over the years, many amazingly wonderful patterns have been created and there’s no way around it. You just need the zipper.

          For example, your husband approaches you one day (and he NEVER “asks” you to make him anything) and requests matching daddy-daughter zippy hoodies. You can’t very well say no.

         Furthermore, sometimes (as was the case with these hoodies) your local fabric shop doesn’t have the length of zipper you require in the colour you need. So you buy a longer zipper and need to shorten it.  Today I’m going to show you how to shorten a coil zipper, easily.

Assuming you’ve got your garment ready to install the zipper, make sure it is pressed and then lay it out flat. Lay your zipper along the edge and mark the total height of your piece with a pin:

Measure from the pin down by the seam allowance + 1/8″. In this case, the seam allowance is 3/8″ so I measured down 1/2″ as shown below.

Using side cutters or snips of some sort, clip each of the coils between your pins.

Push each of the snipped coils toward the zipper tape then pull out of the stitiching using needle nosed pliers.

Your zipper should now look like this (with all the coils above your pin removed).

Remove your pin. The coil where you removed the pin will still have a piece of plastic sticking out. Pull your zipper tape away from it as best as you can and snip it off.

Place your zipper stop immediately above the top coil. Squeeze it shut with a pair of pliers.

Repeat for the other size of the zipper and, voila! You’re done adjusting your zipper. Cut off the excess at the top and install your zipper as normal.

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