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How to Shorten a Zipper

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Learn how easy it is to shorten a zipper in this beginner friendly sewing tutorial from Hooked on Sewing!

Have you ever found yourself sewing a project or following a pattern that requires a zipper, only to find your zipper is too long? Well, if you haven’t experienced that yet, trust me, there will come a day!

I actually buy my nylon zippers in longer lengths than required by a pattern because I know I’m going to shorten the zipper anyway or maybe add some zipper tabs. Plus, I’d rather have a “longer than needed” zipper on hand than one that is too short!

Why do I have or buy long zippers? Because I buy them when they are on sale. In fact, I recently bought zippers on sale for $0.99 each. They were $0.99 whether I bought a 10″ or 22″ zipper, so I opted for the longest size in each color I bought.

When to Use a Shortened Zipper

I use shortened zippers a lot when I am sewing pouches, bags, pillow covers, purses, and more.

You can use a shortened zipper in any sewing project or pattern EXCEPT for when the pattern calls for a separating zipper or a metal zipper.

In fact, it’s really helpful to purchase a separating zipper at the size stated in the pattern. You can shorten separating zippers, but you shorten them from the top and not the bottom – just the opposite of shortening a nylon zipper.

Then for zippers with metal teeth, they are more difficult to shorten because you actually have to remove zipper teeth. But, we will cover both of these in a separate tutorial.

How to Use a Shortened Zipper

You can use a shortened zipper instead of a full size zipper with just about any sewing project. Just follow the below steps to shorten the zipper as desired, and then sew into your project as you would any zipper.

Video Tutorial

If you learn best by watching videos, then be sure to watch the YouTube video on How to Shorten a Zipper. You can watch it below or on the Hooked on Sewing YouTube channel.

How to Shorten a Zipper

You’ll find the full tutorial on How to Shorten a Zipper on The Hooked on Sewing blog. CLICK HERE or on the below image to go straight to the tutorial!

shorten a zipper by Hooked on Sewing

More Sewing Ideas

If you enjoy sewing tutorials like this one where we learned how to shorten a zipper, you might also like these sewing ideas from The Birch Cottage:

And don’t forget you’ll find lots of sewing ideas on Hooked on Sewing!

marking a zipper to shorten

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