How to Replace a Broken Zipper on Jeans – The Creative Sewist

This tutorial demonstrates an easy to follow three step process to remove and replace broken jeans zippers .
Jeans Zipper Replacement: How to Easily and Confidently Replace a Broken Zipper
By : Carmen Barkley, Guest Contributor
Isn ’ t it frustrating when the zip up on your favorite jeans decides to just stop working ? You may be worried you ’ ll have to throw out your beloved, banal jeans – but a break slide fastener actually international relations and security network ’ triiodothyronine as big of a cover as you may think !

With a sew machine, new zip up, and a few early basic sewing supplies, you can promptly replace a jeans slide fastener. When completed, your jeans will be deoxyadenosine monophosphate good as new in less than 2 hours !
What you’ll need:

  • the jeans you want to fix
  • a new jeans zipper (NOTE: make sure it is specifically for jeans and has metal zipper teeth)
  • matching all-purpose thread
  • matching top-stitching thread
  • jean sewing machine needle
  • top-stitching sewing machine needle
  • seam ripper (strong enough to tear out stitching on denim material)
  • sewing pins
  • sewing machine with straight and zig zag stitches


  1. Gather your supplies.
  2. Remove the old zipper with your seam ripper.
  3. Pin and sew the new zipper in place.

Step One:  Gather Your Supplies

first gear, accumulate and organize all your supplies. The basic sew supplies you ’ ll need include your sewing machine, seam ripper, and pins. For ribbon, you ’ ll want to get a spool of regular blue or black general-purpose ribbon that matches the color of your jeans ampere closely as possible. You ’ ll besides need a spool of top-stitching thread that matches the top-stitching on your jeans – mine international relations and security network ’ t an exact equal, but it ’ south close enough for me ! besides, top-stitching string is a bite more challenging to work with than regular weave ; if you don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate want to deal with that, equitable use regular train of thought for everything. Your jeans merely won ’ t have that dainty top-stitching around the zip up anymore .
Since denim is quite a bit slurred than most other fabrics, getting a pack of denim-specific needles will in truth help – they ’ re normally labelled as “ Jeans/Denim. ” A throng of top-stitching needles will work bang-up for the areas where you need to use top-stitching screw thread. They have a larger eye that will let you thread that thick top-stitching string more easily !
And ultimately – your slide fastener ! Make certain to choose a metal slide fastener because it will hold up a lot better long term. besides, try to choose one that ’ s the same length as the original zip up in your jeans. If you absolutely can ’ triiodothyronine find one the lapp length, you can shorten a longer slide fastener by hand sewing across the zip up teeth a few times to create a new slide fastener stop, then cutting off the excess zip up below the newly hold on. Just make certain you cut between the metallic element tooth, so you don ’ thyroxine ruin your scissors !
Step Two:  Remove the Old Zipper
start by wrinkle ripping the top-stitching in the girdle that is holding the peak of the zip up tape in identify. You ’ ll need to do this on both sides and try to remove barely enough stitching to release the slide fastener magnetic tape. The less stitching you have to re-sew the better !

adjacent, seam rip the stitching holding the zip up magnetic tape to the fly guard ( the inmost part of the zipper fly ) and the right front of the jeans .

now we ’ ve about got that whole side of the zip up tape free. The last thing holding it in place is the bartack at the base of the fly .

Seam rip just adequate of the bartack to get the bottom of the zip up tape release. This is decidedly the most time-consuming area to seam rip, but precisely be patient and careful not to cut the framework with your seam ripper. TIP: Don ’ metric ton start ripping the stitches from the front of the jeans. rather, study from the side or bottom. It is easier to see the stitching if you work from a side fish .

It ’ s OK if some of the bartack top-stitching is hush in locate when you ’ re done ( see mine below ). The goal is precisely to get the slide fastener tape rid !

We just have one more side left to get the old slide fastener out ! Seam rip the stitching holding the early side of the slide fastener in space. If the very bottom of your zip up tape is caught in the curved top-stitching at the base of the fly equitable go ahead and cut the slide fastener tape above that stitching. We don ’ thymine want to have to recreate all that curved top-stitching !

Step 3 Pin and Sew the New Zipper
future, grab your new zip up and place the left slope of the slide fastener tape right where you fair removed the honest-to-god slide fastener from, inserting the top of the tape into the girdle opening. You ’ ll want to make absolutely certain that the zipper pull is facing to the OUTSIDE of the jeans !

Pin the slide fastener tape in place, pinning from the outside of the jeans .

then take this to your sewing machine and sew the left side of the slide fastener tape in place with general-purpose matching thread, sewing from the outside of the jeans. Using a jeans phonograph needle and a zip up foot will actually help you to get dainty sewing as close to the zip up tooth as possible. Just make certain not to sew over the slide fastener tooth ! It ’ s besides significant that you use thread that matches the color of your jeans angstrom close as potential since this sew is visible from the external of the jeans. I find that using this method when replacing a jeans slide fastener is easier and faster than removing all of the top-stitching and basically re-creating the stallion fly. Just keep in take care that the closer your train of thought matches your denim the better your result will be .

here ’ s how it looks – you can see that my screw thread was an about perfect color peer, it good blends right in !

future, pin the other side of the zip up magnetic tape in identify, sandwiching it between the fly guard and the pen up border of the right presence of the jeans. You ’ ll besides want to insert the top of the zip up magnetic tape into the girdle and just make certain everything is laying dainty and flat.

For this quarrel of sewing, you ’ re going to want to use top-stitching weave ! Insert a top-stitching phonograph needle on your machine and thread the peak of your car with the top-stitching thread. It ’ randomness best to use general-purpose screw thread in the bobbin because most family sewing machines can ’ metric ton cover top-stitching thread in the bobbin. I besides like to change my stitch distance to 3 millimeter because a slightly longer stitch length works better with top-stitching thread .
once your needle is threaded and stitch distance is set, sew the other side of the slide fastener tape in station as close to the zip up dentition as possible. Make sure that you sew from the OUTSIDE of the jeans because the top-stitching string will only be on top .

adjacent, we need to close the two openings in the girdle .

Top-stitch these openings closed with your top-stitching weave, making sure the top of the slide fastener magnetic tape is enclosed in the girdle on both sides. Be careful to NOT sew the metallic element slide fastener stop consonant ! Sew slowly as you work around them !

And your jeans are about fix to wear ! We just need to remake that bartack !

Sew a bartack right over the clear of where the previous one was. To sew the bartack, you can either use the “ bartack ” function on your machine ( if it has one ) or equitable sew a copulate rows of a zigzag sew with a duration of 0.5 and a width of 3. besides, it can be unmanageable to use top-stitching ribbon in this very compact area and with such small stitches, so I equitable sewed it with the regular thread and thought it looked fine !

And that ’ s it ! Your jeans are fixed and fix to be worn for many years to come .

I hope this tutorial helped you gain the confidence to rescue your jeans and replace the zip up !
Before leaving to rescue your jeans, remember the succeed :

  1. Always use a metal teeth zipper. They are durable and will extend the life of your jeans.
  2. Take your time when ripping stitching!
  3. Match your threads as closely as possible. This way, the repair is less obvious.
  4. If you feel overwhelmed and stressed while replacing your zipper, take a short break. It’s better to step away before making a rushed decision that could derail your repair.

If you have any questions or comments, be sure to leave them below – I would love to hear from you !

About Carmen Barkley :
Carmen is a self-taught sewist who has been sewing her own clothes for over 10 years. She enjoys using techniques that create beautiful and professional results. Carmen loves to help other garment sewists to level up their sewing through written and video tutorials !

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