Replacing a jeans zipper (tutorial)

I don’t mind doing mending (although it often has a low priority). I picked up this cute pair of jean shorts at the thrift shop for my daughter, but we quickly realized the reason they were there was that the zipper didn’t open, and the side seam was ripped.

A few minutes with the seam ripper and the old zipper was removed. This included unstitching the zipper carrier flap. I left the waistband in place and used scissors to trim the zipper tape. I found a navy zipper in my stash and pinned it in place to the right side (according to the wearer), folding over the top of the tape where it would normally be inserted into the waistband seam. I then stitched the carrier flap, zipper, and front panel back together.

Next I put the left hand side of the zipper into place, folding the zipper tape, and carefully topstitched from the right side of the fabric using navy thread, stopping at the curve. Closing the zipper, I went back and stitched the rest of the visible stitching line in gold thread, backstitching at the end to reinforce.

Finally I used a zigzag stitch to darn the side seam. Almost invisible against the embroidery of the jeans. Linking to November Tips and Tutorials with Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl.


  1. Replacing pants / jeans zippers is probably my least favourite job – I’d rather clean bathrooms than replace zippers, but I had to do 2 pair of slacks for my dad this summer, and I survived!

    1. I consider this a bit of a “cheat” method but it works!

      Personally I don’t really mind cleaning bathrooms–but I’d rather be sewing 🙂

      On Fri, Nov 9, 2018 at 10:55 AM Lisa in Port Hope wrote:


  2. I imagine that it could be tricky to get a zipper reinstalled neatly, so this is a great tutorial for a reference. Thank you so much for sharing and linking up with the Tips and Tutorials Festival!

    1. Not to mention saving that favourite pair of jeans to wear another day!



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