Friday, April 1, 2011

metal zippers: the perfect length

Yesterday I posted a tutorial about these zipped pants for which I bought extra long zippers (a deal it's a deal) and made it to size. 
Since I found myself doing this process quite often, I thought to share my "perfect zipper secret". 

... Because sometimes you find the right color, with the right teeth... but it's the wrong size! 
Don't worry and buy it anyway, I'll tell you how to fix it!
(If it's too long, I mean, there's nothing I can do if it's too short!)
Craft and fabric stores normally sell these "zipper repair kits" (my super awesome fabric store give me these parts for free, extra point for that guys!). 
Now, bare with me, I don't know the name of some of these parts, so I'll go the "italian" way, and show you a picture (and yes, I am making gestures while I'm typing because this is how we do!).

Method #1 fix the bottom:
This method is useful if you end up buying a separated zipper for a project that would need just a regular zipper.
--> What you need: 
* a pair of scissors that have seen better time (trust me, I learned the hard way) 
* pliers 
* fray check
* the THINGY-->look at the picture, looks like a miniature stud and has 4 sharp teeth.

Let's get this makeover happens:
* zip up the zipper !
* decide the length of the zipper, and place the thingy over the teeth on the front side of the zipper: the front side should have the little plate on top.
* give it some tough love (zipper ribbons are kind of thick) and push it through on the other side
* cut the bottom part of the zipper leaving a little over 1" 

* fray check the edge of the ribbon and wait until is really dry
* open the bottom part of the zipper 
* grab your pliers (normally you'll need one pair, but just in case, sometimes these metal teeth are hard to come out) and remove one by one, the teeth by grabbing the side of the tooth (the part that is attached to the ribbon) 

*** If something like this happens, don't panic, you have enough ribbon left to fray check it again and cut it in a clean line!! ;) 


Method #2 fix the top:

--> What you need: 
* a pair of scissors 
* pliers 
* fray check

* two of the OTHER THINGY-->look at the picture, looks like a metal C

* zip up your zipper and look at the position of the teeth where it closes. 
The teeth are one on top of the other, means that one side is 'one tooth longer' than the other side. 
* With a pencil, mark two different lines: one tiny next to the teeth which will be the exact length of your zipper, (mark your line keeping in mind which side has one extra tooth) 
* and another longer one about 1-1/2" over the first line (it's where you'll cut )

* pull down the zipper (this is crucial!!) 
* cut both sides of the zipper where you have marked the longer line
* fray check the ribbon and let it dry well


* grab the pliers, and pull the teeth out  until you get to the line on both sides   
* now get one of the other thingy let it sit like a reverse C around the ribbon just on top of the last tooth... tough love: SQUEEZE it!
* repeat on the other side

* and that's it!

xox, d.

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