How to: Shorten a metal zipper.

If you want to add some interesting details to a design one of the easiest ways is to add an interesting zip. I love metal zippers, they just instantly change your garment from dull to fabulous! In this post I will show you how to shorten a metal zipper.

The Pin Pegs mini skirt looks fabulous with a metal zipper.

The only problem is they are very hard to find in the right size or colour, unless you want to go online and buy about 50 in a bulk lot! Also, unlike nylon zippers you can’t just sew over the teeth without breaking your needles. I have found the best way to get the correct length is to shorten a longer zipper. The longer metal teeth zippers seem to be more readily available.

Metal zippers can be shortened by removing the metal teeth so that you can cut the extra length before sewing into your garment. Once you get the length right you don’t have to worry about breaking needles when sewing across the zipper. All you really need to do this is a set of pliers and some patience, but totally worth it to get that funky look.

Here is how I shorten a metal zipper.

Measure the zipper to the length you require and mark the zipper tape. It is tempting to cut the zipper to this point so you don’t have to remove so many teeth but believe me it will be a lot more work. I tried it once and ended up with the tape fraying and a compete mess!!


Remove the zipper stops with your pliers.


Be very careful not to cut through them completely as you will be putting these back on. You just want to slightly open the stops and then gently remove from the zipper.

Now remove the zipper teeth one tooth at a time. Don’t be too rough otherwise you’ll end up with a frayed zipper tape. Remove one or two teeth just below your marked line.


Using your pliers, put your stops back on just above the teeth. If you are having difficulty putting the stops back on you may have to pry them apart a little bit more. Just be careful here you don’t want to cut through them completely otherwise you’ll be off to the shops to buys some stops. You will squeeze gently to crimp them back on.




There you go! Pretty easy really and you can make the length exactly as short or long as you want and be much more flexible with your design.

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