We just received a fresh shipment of zippers and this prompted me to do a few zipper tutorials here on the blog. I thought I would start by showing a short demo on how to shorten a zipper. I have a ton of zippers that I've picked up here and there over the years and I've always found that its best to have long zippers on hand because you can shorten them whenever needed to be the length that a sewing project calls for. Here I'll show my preferred method.
You will need: * a zipper to be shortened * thread * hand sewing needle * a pair of scissors
Step 1: To start, determine how long you need the zipper to be and then mark the place where the new zipper stop will be stitched.
Step 2: Thread a needle, double stranded and put a knot in the end. From here, take your freshly threaded needle and begin to stitch a bar tack around the coils where your new zipper stop will be. A bar tack in this particular sense is just stitches that wrap around the coils of the zipper. No need to try and actually put your needle through the zipper coils, just stitch the bar tack around the coils, through the zipper tape. About 5 - 8 wraps of thread around the zipper coils will do ya.
Step 3: From your newly formed zipper stop, measure down about 1 - 1.5 inches and cut the rest of your zipper off. I like to cut my zipper off with regular old paper scissors instead of my sewing shears, just to ensure that I keep my shears as sharp as possible and don't throw off the hand balance.
And Voila! That is how you shorten a zipper. The zipper pull and slider will now stop at the new thread tack, your new zipper stop location. Easy as pie!
Note here that I've used an invisible zipper but the same method translates to traditional zips, metal zips and really, every other type of zipper.