I have a drawer full of zippers but sometimes no matter how many I have in my stash there is never the right size for the project. So what do you do? Rush out to the shops and waste valuable sewing time or just shorten one you have? Learn how to shorten a zipper of course!
When bag making, shortening a zip also has the added bonus of giving you a neat finish at the end and maximizes the opening of your bag. You can also use these techniques with zipper tape sold by the yard.
First work out the length of zipper you need. Generally, when a pattern specifies a zip length, they are referring to the length of the teeth and not the length of the tape. So a 12-inch zip (30cm) measures 12 inches from the top stoppers to the bottom stopper.
(Read how to measure a zipper)
How to Shorten a Zipper: VIDEO
Sit back and watch my short YouTube video on how to shorten a zipper. I make weekly sewing videos so please subscribe to my channel.
HOW TO SHORTEN A ZIPPER
This method will show you how to shorten nylon regular and invisible zippers. You will need a different technique to shorten metal zippers.
Step 1: Start at the top stoppers and measure downwards to the required length. Mark the position required. Make sure the zip head is near the top stoppers.
Step 2: In the position you want your zipper to end, stitch across the teeth a few times to prevent your zip from coming apart.
This can be done on your machine using a wide zig-zag stitch or with a few hand stitches across the zipper teeth.
Step 3: Using some old scissors, Trim across 1 inch (2.5cm) from your stitches.
Be extra careful you are not cutting through any metal pieces.
Now you have learned how to shorten a zipper, you are ready to insert it into your next sewing project.
Do you have any extra tips for us on shortening zippers? Please share below if you do.