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 – NYLON (plastic teeth) ZIPPERS and INVISIBLE ZIPPERS
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.
Stitch across the tape a few times using a straight stitch to secure your zip from coming apart. If you are worried about damaging your machine, then simply put a few hand stitches across the zip.
Trim across 1 inch (2.5cm) from your stitches. Be extra careful you are not cutting through any metal pieces.
Now you are ready to insert your zipper into your sewing project. Do you have any extra tips for us on shortening zippers? Please share below.