Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Un-Broken Zipper

This past weekend, I tested my self restraint in the most dangerous of fashions: I went to Anthropologie with ever-so-innocent intentions "just to look." Amazingly enough, I walked out with just two things: a peplum shirt and a skirt with a broken zipper.

I don't know about you, but when I see a skirt for $14.95 at Anthro, I sort of have to buy it, you know? Sure, I've never replaced a zipper - and actually, I ruled that option out immediately because I knew it was near impossible with the little fabric I had to work with - but I really liked the skirt and figured at worst, I'd have some pretty green lace to make something with if I couldn't wear it.

This might seem like a lot of work for a skirt, but I only spent about $5 on supplies (50% off button sale + a few coupons at JoAnns!), so in total I paid about $20 for this originally $88 skirt.

What you'll need:
An article of clothing with a broken zipper
A handful of pretty buttons (enough to cover the length of the zipper)
Thin elastic cord (I used white and colored it green to match the skirt because my only options were white or black)
Small piece of fabric that matches the inside of your garment
Needle + thread to match the garment
Hot glue gun
Measuring tape
Seam ripper
To start, measure your zipper from the inside of the garment. Based on how many buttons you have, decide how far apart they need to be and mark the skirt where each one should sit. My zipper was 24cm and I had 6 buttons, so I started 2cm from the top and marked at every 3cm. Do this on both sides of the skirt since you will do buttons on one side and elastic hooks on the other.1. Using a seam ripper, make a tiny hole between the layers of fabric where the button will go through.2. Push the button through.3. Sew the button in place to the inside of the skirt. Make sure it is sewn tightly.4. Repeat steps 1-3 for all buttons.
5. This will sound ridiculous, but I colored my elastic with a green Sharpie because I didn't like how plain black or white looked. You won't be able to see much of the elastic, but I wanted it to match.

6. Measure and cut 2in of elastic for each button. The actual hook will be pretty short, but it's easier to sew the elastic if it has a long base.

7. Place the elastic in a loop where you marked on the garment. You may want to test the length before sewing, as it can't be too loose.

8. Sew the elastic in place, again making sure it is tight so it doesn't pull out when you put it around the button.
At this point, I was pretty over sewing, but I wanted to cover the buttons so I hot glued a strip of the matching fabric over them.
As a final touch, I did the same thing on the hook side, but made it a bit longer to act as a panel of sorts just in case I needed the extra coverage. This piece ensures I am not over-exposed since the buttons are not as forgiving as a zipper.


  1. It looks great! I didn't know how to do this... what a versatile idea! Love the sharpie-d elastic; it made a big difference.

    1. Thanks! Here's to hoping Sharpie is in fact ever-permanent :)

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks!! I wore it alone in the office yesterday :)