Fixing a zip

This is probably something everyone who sews has experienced: you get asked if you can change broken zips, take up trousers and fix holes in shirts.

I don’t really enjoy doing these things, especially as I only have time to sew in the evenings and on weekends.  However, since it was my husband asking and the garment in question a Thomas Hooper hooded jacket which means a lot to him, I couldn’t really say no. (Also, it’s good practice for putting in zips!)

The zip in question had been broken for about 2 years, but he had still been wearing it without being able to close it. (He really loves that jacket…)

The first thing I noticed, when I finally took a good look at the jacket, was how wonky the zip was:


hoody with wonky zip


It just seems incredible to me that it could be this bad. I guess washing and wearing over the years is probably a part of this, as the zip won’t stretch out while the cotton/elastane mix will.

In any case, I took the zip out.

The construction after that was fairly easy, if a bit more time-intense than i had anticipated (, because I have no time-management skills). I think it took me about an hour.

First, I pinned one side of the new zip to the outside of the jacket.


more pins


I sewed this on using a blind stitch foot, as it gives me enough room for the zip. It’s actually my go-to method for zips and I have found it really effective.


sewing on one side


Then it’s on to matching the design on the front. I usually do this by closing the zip and pinning the unsewn side of the zip onto the right side of the jacket where I think it needs to be:



pinned in place


This system works as a guideline of where the zip will sit once it’s closed and makes sure that it doesn’t end up uneven.

After sewing the second side of the zip on, I did some top-stitching. I tried to do this in the same place where it was done with the old zip, but didn’t manage, as the fabric was so stretched out. It’s a shame that it doesn’t really hide the zip either.

Nevertheless, I managed to make the jacket slightly straighter than before.


one complete hoody


This is the finished product on my mannequin, which is admittedly maybe the wrong shape for this jacket. I also just realised that in the picture, the image doesn’t look lined up at all. I swear it’s just the top stitching being pulled outwards, so you can’t see how it matches perfectly. 😉

My husband was over the moon though. I guess sometimes it is worth doing alterations for other people.