Sunday, December 9, 2012

Zipper Replacement in a Leather Jacket Tutorial

When my son came home for Thanksgiving, he brought home a job that I really wasn't sure if I could do it or not.  He received this leather jacket as a gift from a friend about five years ago and the zipper needed to be replaced.  After calling my Mom and asking her how she would handle this project, I was ready to start.  I've replaced many zippers in jackets before, but I have not worked on a leather jacket.
The first thing I did was make my zipper exactly the length as the old zipper so I marked it with a pin and used my needle nose pliers to take off the zipper stop and the extra zipper teeth that I didn't need.

I carefully removed the old zipper using my seam ripper. 
 Since I cannot use pins in leather, my Mom and I came up with the idea of using double stick tape instead of pins.  The tape would be inside of the coat so it would not matter.  The zipper was carefully lined up along the edge of the coat.  Don't forget to reattach the zipper stop for a professional look.  Once the zipper was lined up,

 I used more tape to under the zipper so the leather lining would stay in place as I sewed.

I took my time and made sure that everything lined up on the top and bottom of the zipper.
I also double checked to make sure that when I sewed it would catch the zipper.

I used a silicone spray on the bed of my sewing machine so the leather would easily slide while I sewed.
I also used a Teflon coated foot so it would make the sewing easier.

Below I am matching my stitch length with the holes in the coat.
I don't know what you call the little yellow tools in the picture, but I use them when I am sewing on heavy fabric.  It makes it simple to sew on or off thick pieces of fabric.

Here I am sewing and found that this coat is extremely heavy and I broke my leather needle after taking this picture.  I found that this coat was really putting a drag on my machine and my needle wanted to hit the needle plate so I hand cranked one stitch at a time, which I wasn't planning on.

I did get both sides of the zipper in.
After I was done, I decided to double stitch the zipper half way down so it would stand up to the wear and tear.  I'm happy with the results and my son is extremely happy that this was all done free of charge.
Now I am ready to sew something fun!

Happy Zipping
I mean Quilting!

Kay Lynne


Val said...

Wow. I never would have tried that but you make it look easy. I happen to have a stack of suitable zippers but no leather jacket :)

P. said...

Boy, you sure are a brave soul for attempting this--and congrats on your success!

They make actual tools like those yellow things for sewing over thick parts? I've just been using the flat part of my seam ripper. Very carefully, I might add!

Anonymous said...

oh you are so clever Kay Lynne. xx

Fleurette said...

Wow.. i'm impressed! As good as new, well done.