Zipper Replacement Raincoat

I found a great raincoat on clearance. It was obvious why it was on clearance. The zipper jams. However, some quick math suggested that I should buy it anyway. The math being 5 to 7 yards of windstop fabric, lining, and notions including a zipper would exceed the $60 for the coat. It would be cheaper to replace the zipper than to make a new coat from scratch.

how to replace a zipper

Two weeks later I found the same style coat, same lousy zipper, different color for $40. I bought it too.

That was about five years ago. And I just got around to replacing the zippers.
This was an intimidating project. In brief,

  • Baste layers together
  • Mark zipper placement
  • Remove old zipper
  • Baste new zipper in place, by hand
  • Sew in new zipper
  • Finish ends, by hand
  • Remove basting

It took me about four days with constant interruption to get the first coat done. I used a plastic zipper because the metal ones scratch my hands too much. And if you look very closely at the khaki coat you can see the old holes where I wasn’t able to line up the stitches exactly. Otherwise, I don’t think it’s obvious that the zipper was replaced. On the black coat, I couldn’t get a good picture showing that there are tiny holes running parallel to the new stitching.

stitching on eddie bauer raincoat

I used this tutorial from Simply Homemaking. But I didn’t have success with the zipper foot. The fabric bunched and puckered under it. So I used a walking foot. Using the walking foot, I could not get the stitches as close to the zipper. But I was still able to get the needle close enough to catch the zipper tape.

Since I really like to see a person in a garment on blogs, I had my nine year old take a few pictures. Unfortunately, I looked horrible in them, like someone looking up at a scary giant, me being the giant. I will try again, with a taller photographer. Seriously, bloggers, who is doing your photo shoots?

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