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October 2010
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Tips For Sewing Zippers

While we’re on the topic of installing various types of zippers, I thought this would be a great time to give some extra tips, hints, pointers and “did you know” information about zippers.  You may already be aware of some of these little tidbits, but hopefully you’ll see something that you didn’t already know, or that you can pass along to your other sewing friends.

** Did you know that sewing a zipper into a garment is faster than making buttonholes and sewing on buttons?  (NOW I know why I seem to always gravitate to the patterns with zippers instead of buttons/buttonholes!)

** If you have a nylon-coil or polyester-coil zipper that is the right color, but too long for the sewing project, simply cut it to the necessary size and “bar tack” across the coil 3/4″ from the bottom for the “stopper”.  The bar tack can be machine sewn or hand sewn.  NOTE:  for me, it is easier to MEASURE the size I need, then do the new bar tack in the right place, THEN cut the zipper — this way I can be sure the zipper won’t separate while I’m in the middle of doing the bar tack.

** If you have zippers in jackets or pants that won’t “zip” — rub up and down the zipper with a pencil lead, and the zipper is good as new!  YAY!  If you thought you’d have to replace that “broken” zipper, try the pencil lead procedure FIRST, and most likely you’ll save yourself some work!

** If you can’t find a zipper in the exact shade of your fabric, choose a slightly darker zipper.

** Short decorative zippers that have the wide teeth can be sewn on the front of a child’s play shirt and you’ll find this will fascinate him for a long period of time.  Kids love to play with zippers and when sewn on a play shirt it will be much easier for him/her to zip it up and down.

These sewing tips are an excerpt from our  “500 Kwik And Easy Sewing Tips” book.  If you have additional tips and hints for working with zippers, please let us know so we can pass them along to our readers.

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Pattern Maker, Instructor & Author

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