Sewing · Tutorials

Tutorial – How to shorten a closed end zip

How to shorten a closed end zipYou have your pattern that your eager to start making but the only zip you have is too big.

No problem! In this quick and easy tutorial I’ll show you  how to shorten any size closed end zip so it fits the project you need.

What you’ll need:

  • Zip
  • Ruler
  • Scissors or rotary cutter
  • Needle and thread

To start with let me explain that a zip is measured from the start of the pull to the end where there is a stopper, which is usually metal. In this picture the zip I’ve used has a plastic one.

How to measure a zip

So as you can see in the picture above this zip is 9 inches, it then has half an inch either side to allow for your seam allowance.

Next you need to take the fabric and put your zip alongside it to see where you need to cut.

how to shorten a zip

Carefully with your rotary cutter cut the zip along the edge of the fabric. If you don’t have a rotary cutter you could mark with a pen and cut with a pair of scissors. I prefer to use a rotary cutter as it copes better with the plastic part of the zip.

Next you need to secure the end so the zip pull doesn’t come off the end. Using a coordinating thread whip stitch near to the end of the zip about 1/4 inch.

Whip stitch is quite simply making a single stitch on top of each other. I tend to do it 10-15 times.

If the zip in the pattern is a different size to the fabric, simply measure from the zip pull the length required and add an extra half an inch. Whip stitch as above.

Your zip is now ready to use as normal.

How to shorten a zip

I hope you have found this helpful! This is my first ever tutorial so please feel free to ask any questions or let me know if I’ve not been very clear.


How to shorten a closed end zip




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