A metal zipper has to be shortened by removing the excessive metal teeth so that you can cut the extra length before sewing to your project. With the correct length, you don’t have to worry that you might accidentally hit the metal teeth and break the needle when sewing across.
I wish I have all the colors and sizes of metal zippers stock in my craft room or….. I stay next to a zipper store. In reality, I am not and I only stock a few for some lengths (4″, 8″, 14″ & 18″) in some most popular colors (white, beige, brown & green). I used this method to shorten all my metal zipper sewing projects, like this, this, & this… and many more to come.
I hope after reading this tutorial, you won’t hesitate any more with sewing a metal zipper on your project. I do understand how horrifying to hear a “sprungggg…” sound come out from your sewing machine while you are still pressing the paddle and guiding the zipper through the feed dog and presser foot, then you found that your needle tip disappeared and the needle crooked… scary, right!!! I experienced it before, so I know how you feel about needle breakage on your sewing machine.
Shorten Metal Zipper
1. Metal zipper
1. Wire cutters or nippers
5. Scissors or Pinking Shear
Carefully remove the top stops from the zipper with a wire cutter. Use the cutter tip to slightly ply open the top stop then remove it from the zipper.
Remove the teeth from the zipper by pulling them out one by one after ply open.
You may use nippers to remove the top stops and a stretch of zipper’s teeth in 1 pull which is a lot faster than pulling one by one, but, this method has a tendency to spoil the top stops. Use that method only if you have a pair of new top stops to put back after shortening.