How to shorten a metal zipper without wrecking your good sewing scissors


Some time ago, I came across a post about shortening zips – an idea I hadn’t come across before. I did ask the lady if she would like to contribute a piece for my SHOW & TELL feature, but I never heard back from her.

I went looking for it, for the Re-Blog Wednesday challenge, and I couldn’t find it, but I did find this one, written in 2012, it is a step by step tutorial on how to do it – hopefully some of you will find it useful!


Shortening a coil zipper is easy – just cut through the teeth and whipstitch a stop, right? But what about if you’ve got the problem of a pattern that needs an 8″ zipper, and all they carry in the silver zipper department is this zipper, which is clearly 9″ long  –


I’ll admit that up until this week, I would have just cut off the end of the zipper and sewn over the teeth. Of course, I woulda wound up potentially damaging my scissors, AND I’ve definitely bent a few needles using this method. Last weekend, I realized that there is a better way to shorten a metal zipper that keeps your scissors sharp and doesn’t risk the potential eye injury related to flying shards of broken needles. So here I share with you my revelation!

Shortening a metal zipper


  • metal zipper that needs to be shortened
  • a needle-nose…

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10 responses »

  1. I never replace zippers in jeans and I sew for my real job. The cleaners can have that task! This was an interesting post. In my job I insert zippers kin pillow covers everyday and make them the right length from a roll of zipper tape and tabs – regular and invisible zippers. It was a very tedious job when I first started but now easy peasy! Of course they aren’t metal zippers. ~Elle


    • Maybe I’m behind the times, I’ve never come across rolls of zipper tape with tabs – what a great idea!
      Not that I do much sewing these days – my machine has been gathering dust for a while – still I hope that the idea is useful to someone – smile!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Julz,

    Years ago, I needed to replace a zipper on my husband’s favourite pair of jeans. I was unable to find one the right size and he laughed at me, quite uncontrollably, for doing this to the longer one I was able to purchase. He thought it would have been easier to buy a new pair of jeans.

    The zipper cost $3.00. I had it shortened and in the jeans while he enjoyed a game of football on TV. He still has the pair of jeans.



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