a blog about my adventures in dressmaking, crochet, knitting and anything else i try to make.

zip repair

hi all!

i’m back for the second time this week, more cheerful and more positive about my sewing!

if you read the last post, i’m sure you’ll have sensed a bit of disappointment and lack of enthusiasm about the dress i made. it sounds silly and i was going to edit the post, but the neck line going all wrong really did annoy me because the fabric was lovely, and although not expensive, just made me deflated about the process.

i’ve decided to leave the post in my moody prose, because sometimes we just don’t feel happy about sewing, and i’m not about false pretences online! 

anyway, down to the nitty gritty. one of the guys on my team at work mentioned to me a couple of weeks ago that he was going to have to get a new coat because the zip on his coat had ripped. 

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the coat cost him £100 and he didn’t buy it that long ago! i said i would have a go at putting a new zip in for him before he wasted his money, when he likes this one! he’s currently on honeymoon in florida (not jealous at all) so i had plenty of time to do this repair.

last night i decided to unpick the old zip (accidently tried to unpick my hand too, ouch) and then meaured up the zip i had bought. the original zip was an inbetween length – 29 inches, so i bought a 30 inch metal zip from ebay which is exactly the same colour as the original. it was only £4 with free delivery. bit better than £100 on a new coat!

i decided when i got home from my course today that i would get rid of the zipper teeth i didn’t need, ready for sewing. this involved pliers and STRENGTH. i felt awesome ripping those out! 

while i wasn’t doing much else, i pinned it into place. it was a bit tricky matching the front and lining of the coat up together. so i did the front then basted it in, then did the back and basted it in.  this meant i had to repeat the process four times, but i’d already decided i was going to take my time and do this properly. when it’s for someone else i don’t feel like i can get away with the short cuts i would normally take on things for myself!

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i wasn’t going to machine it into place today, but as i’d already done all the hard work, i decided it wouldn’t take 20 mins for me to actually finish it off. 

after the simplicity meet up and listening to may talk about sewing feet from vintage singers, i decided to raid my mom’s machine feet box and have a mooch around at them.

there was three in there i thought that might be suitable.

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the one with the sideways extender (don’t know how else to refer to this!) wasn’t right for this task but would be ace for sewing up the seam at the bottom of zips. 

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these two were good. i went with the one without the hinge, because i thought i would have a bit more control over the fabric and sewing. it was okay, got a little stuck when there was around 6 layers of fabric to get over, but i’m not complaining. 

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i’ve never sewn so many layers of fabric on my machine before and it sounds so weird to say but i’m so proud of how well my machine handled the fabric! so lame. but it’s given me confidence that maybe if i did want to make the most beautiful grainline duffel coat, then i could!

sewing the zip in was super simple, i just followed where the stitching used to be, replaced the top stitching at the top and bottom of the coat, and then unpicked my basting stitches! as you can see above, i used a bright yellow so i could see it. 

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the zip does up perfectly and i’m actually really proud of this.

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it definitely doesn’t mean i’ll be doing repairs all the time though!

this turned into a relatively long post about sewing a zip haha, but i feel a lot happier about my sewing today and i’m happy that i’ve managed to do this. now the coat will live on!

1 Discussion on “zip repair”
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