Zipper Sweater Transformation




I found this great old zipper at my local Scrap. Here's a list of creative use centers around the US. It's awesome and fun to dig around random abandoned stuff looking for materials just waiting to be turned into something.

I decided to add the zipper to this comfy sweater that was in need of a little extra something.

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Step 1: Materials

sweater - pick one you like but is a bit boring

zipper - mine was about 16in and I trimmed it down. The size is up to you and how you want to style it.

straight pins

sewing scissors



fabric glue

ribbon (1/2")

double fusible web/interfacing (strip/ribbon type is most convenient)


clothes iron

Step 2: Positioning

Pin your zipper where you want it.

Step 3: First Stitch

Stitch the outside edges of the zipper to the sweater with your needle and thread.

Step 4: Trimming the Zipper

There are lots of ways to shorten a zipper, but since mine was plastic, I decided to melt the end with a lighter to create a new stopping point.

Step 5: Zipper Bottom Finishing

Cut the zipper out of the fabric edging below the melted section.

Cut off all but about a 1/4" on one side and fold under. Stitch it in place.

Fold over the other side and trim off about a 1/4" past the edge of the opposite side. (see image) Tuck under the last 1/4" and stitch in place.

Step 6: Fusing

Lay a strip of double fusible web inside the length of the zipper.

Zip it closed.

Turn the iron inside out and place a rolled up towel inside. The towel allows you to iron as little of the sweater as possible (mine was partially synthetic) while fusing the zipper to the sweater inside the zipper. Use the point of the iron along the edge of the zipper. Don't run the iron along the plastic of the zipper. You wouldn't want to fuse the zipper to itself or the webbing.

Step 7: Cut the Sweater

Cut the sweater down the center of the zipper. The fusible webbing should keep the sweater from unraveling.

Step 8: Finishing

When you unzip the zipper, one side is visible as it flops down. Stitch the ribbon to the visible size.

The side that is not visible is up to you. I didn't feel like adding ribbon where it wouldn't be seen, so I added fabric glue to ensure the sweater wouldn't unravel later. The fusible web is good for a temporary hold while you're working or on a more tightly woven material, but this sweater had a very loose knit in sections and needed a bit more security.

Step 9: Enjoy!

Zipped or unzipped, this sweater is fun and comfy.

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    4 Discussions


    4 years ago

    i always look for the off-side zipps. Pretty hard to find and usually crazy expensive. well done!!