Thursday, November 10, 2016

Jeans Zipper Repair

It's the time of the year for sharing...germs, that is. A yucky cold has been making its way around my house, and combined with daylight savings time (the nemesis of parents everywhere) I haven't had much energy for sewing this week. Instead, I tackled an item from my mending pile and learned something new--how to fix a broken jeans zipper.

I have one pair of me-made jeans, using the Jamie Jeans pattern from Named. Thanks to the super-stretchy fabric, I was able to fit back into these almost immediately post-partum. I love them hard. Imagine my devastation when, one busy Monday morning (isn't it always a Monday?) I yanked the zipper pull right off. At first I was worried that they were ruined forever, that I'd have to find a way to convert it into a button fly. But I found this tutorial about fixing broken zippers and rejoiced.

The reason my zipper pull came off in the first place is because I (apparently) didn't secure the tape inside of my waistband. Or I did, but over time it worked its way loose. From now on, I will add zipper stops at the top of my cut zippers. Perhaps I should have been doing that all along, but one of the problems with being self-taught is missing out on the little things. That is, until you learn the lesson the hard way!

After shopping around locally, I was unable to find a zipper repair kit as mentioned in the tutorial, and I ended up ordering the pieces I needed from Wawak. It was less expensive anyway, considering I purchased a quantity of 100 zipper stops for a few dollars. I did, however, order the wrong color. I checked an old invoice from Wawak and thought I was correctly matching some zippers I bought there, but I guess I'm older and more forgetful than I thought. I also ordered some pliers from Wawak since I didn't have any dedicated to sewing.

Following the tutorial wasn't as easy as I'd hoped. I couldn't remove the existing bottom stop, no matter how hard I yanked with the pliers. I took a risk and cut it off. Luckily, it worked. I was able to put the zipper pull back on from the bottom, and then add a new bottom stop.

I also could not clamp the new top stops over existing teeth. I had to remove the top teeth, which was kind of destroying the zipper tape, thus making it pointless because I'd have nowhere to clamp the top stop. I ended up wiggling the teeth higher but not completely off, leaving enough space to clamp the top stop.

It's good enough. I'll certainly be more careful from now on when zipping these up. Unless the top stops fall off, I shouldn't have any more problems. I'll gladly spend 30 minutes with a pair of pliers versus hours assembling a new pair of jeans!

Have you ever repaired a pants zipper?


  1. Oh I didn't know this could be done! Next broken zipper won't scare me now :D
    Thank you

  2. I don't know how many times I've about yanked my arm out of socket trying to remove zipper stops and teeth! Ha! I've replaced a zipper pull for a co-worker before. Was so happy that I didn't have to replace the whole zipper.


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