Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Replacing A Coat Zipper

Recently I was asked to replace a few broken coat zippers, and I snapped a few pictures to share the process with you! I only documented this one method - I wish I had taken pictures of all three, because each one was a little bit different!

This one was a lined winter coat, but only one zipper needed replacing...the main one on the outer jacket.

Here is the broken zipper...

Here is an inside shot. There is a second zipper to attach the lining of the coat, but that one didn't need replacing.

Normally when replacing a zipper, I would take apart the seam holding in the old zipper and put in the new one exactly as the old one was. This one caused a problem, however. In order to take out the old zipper, I would have had to rip out...

That would have been a lot of ripping and I was nervous about getting it all back on correctly. Not to mention a whole second zipper to sew back on in the correct spot. So, I totally cheated.

I started by cutting off the teeth of the old, broken zipper.

This left me with a small strip of the old zipper left in the seam to secure the new zipper to.

I sewed the new zipper on with right sides together. The zipper will seem backwards, like the teeth are facing the wrong direction, but we aren't done yet. :)

The purple is the new zipper...the teal is the old one.

Here is the new zipper sewed on initially...see how the teeth are backwards? Let's fix that!

The last step is to turn the wrong end of the zipper in towards the inside of the coat and sew. I just followed the original stitching.

Repeat with the other side of the zipper.

This method does leave a small strip of the old zipper visible. It wouldn't be at all noticeable if the old and new zippers were the same colour. I was unable to find a new one the same shade of teal, which is why I went with the purple instead. However, with the colour blocking on this coat I think it looks fine! It almost looks like a bit of piping next to the zipper.

Here is the inside with the new zipper.

One trick of mine when putting in a new zipper is to save any type of zipper pull from the old one and attach it to the new one. This makes the zipper look original to the coat.

That is all...super easy! Now there is no reason not to tackle those broken zippers in your pile of mending. :) If I can help you with a specific project, let me know, I'd be glad to give answers if I can!

Also, I purchased these zippers from ZipperStop on Etsy. Not the shop I normally use, but they had the most options for puchasing separating zippers at the exact sizes I needed for these coats. They were easy to work with and actually sent me a free zipper when the first one wasn't exactly the right colour. I am a satisfied customer of ZipperStop!

What mending project seems like a daunting task to you? Have you ever put in a replacement zipper? How did it go?

Linked up with the Weekend Wind-Down party


  1. What an awesome tutorial for replacing a zipper! Thanks for sharing!! :)

    1. Well it is kind of the cheating way, but it works! Hope it helps you! =)

  2. That is so cool! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Great job, zippers have always been a sewing problem for me, thanks for the illustration. I would also like to thank you for linking up and sharing with us at the #WWDParty. Have a wonderful weekend.

    1. Zippers really aren't that bad, but it does take patience! Thanks for stopping by! =)


I appreciate you taking the time to comment! Some comments may need to be moderated, so don't be alarmed if your comment doesn't pop up right away. I can't wait to hear from you!