Picture of jean zipper to button-fly
The zipper on my jeans went from problematic to straight-up broken. It started as just an errant zipper and ended with me trying to 'fix' things with a pair of pliers. The result was misaligned teeth and the mesh coming undone.

Instead of ripping the zipper seams and sewing in a new one I decided to modify these jeans to have a button-fly. This simple clothing mod took me less than 30 minutues to make and gave my jeans a new lease on life. The best part is that when the jeans are buttoned up like look just they did before, no one is the wiser!

Here's how I did it!
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Step 1: Remove old zipper

Picture of remove old zipper
I considered removing the seams that hold the zipper in, but realized I wouldn't be able to achieve the same stiching as the manufacturer and elected to just remove the exposed portion of the zipper ribbon. With a sharp blade both sides of the zipper was removed.

Step 2: Line up and sew buttons

Picture of line up and sew buttons
I used 2 bottons for my fly, but you might be able to get away with one (some womens or childrens jeans have a really short zipper). I lined up my buttons on teh inside flap in a location which would be concealed when the top flap is placed over. An opening will be made on the top flap in the next step.

Sew buttons onto bottom flap. When sewing do not sew buttons tight against the fabric, allowing a space between the underside of the button and fabric will allow your button to easy fit into the button holes. Here's a good technique for sewing on these kinds of buttons.

Make a few passes through the button and fabric with your needle and thread, then poke the needle up through the fabric but not the button. Wind the thread around the button several times, then sew through the windings you just made to secure the thread in place. Repeat for as many buttons as you have for your jeans.
Instralala1 year ago
Plastic buttons? Really? If your zipper breaks, replace it with something more durable like metal buttons.
anezinis2 years ago
good idea but the butos is ugly
annieannie2 years ago
you just saved me from tossing out a favorite pair of jeans because of the zipper broke!!! Yay :)
franki113 years ago
So an old trick we used as kids was we would run the thread through wax to coat it and make it stronger (we used cotton thread) It was great for buttons that were under a lot of stress (like button flys;-))
canida3 years ago
Nice fix! I prefer button-fly jeans, but they're a bit hard to find these days.