Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Zipper Replacement Part Deux

Way back in 2011, I replaced a zipper in one of k-ster's winter jackets.  Go see.

It wasn't quite as hard as I thought it would be.  Which was a good thing because during this past snow storm, his very large Nike parka zipper bit the dust.   The jacket is in fine condition though it's at least a decade and a half old, so throwing it out wasn't an option.

But, it's a really long, puffy jacket, like football teams wear on the sidelines, so I didn't think I could handle the zipper.

I thought the zipper was like 48 inches long and I've never seen anything longer than 36" at the fabric store.  I asked the local cobbler who does weird things other than mending shoes.  He told me that he only does leather jackets and that the nearest tailor won't do zippers if the coat is down.  Which I thought it was.

Down, as in down feathers.

When I got home, I measured it and was shocked to discover it's a regular 36" zipper.

But, remembering the great parka redo of 2011, I didn't want to rip out that many seams to replace it.

So, I enlisted the help of k-ster himself and for about an hour, we each took a side and ripped out many seams to get that zipper out.

It turns out it's not down, so I guess I could have taken it to that tailor.  But I hate paying money for something I can actually do.  And the worst part was the ripping out and I got help, so off I went.

It was a little scary to see all of the open seaming, worrying that I might not get it all back in the right way.

I had to push all of this aside and change my thread to make this happen, but I'm waiting for more shirts for the band uniforms so I had time anyway.

They didn't have as many parka zippers as I expected and for a moment, I was afraid I was going to have to get some wild color and really upset him.  It needed to be one that releases at both ends because it's so long, when he gets in his truck, he needs it to be more open or he'd never climb up there.

Luckily, there was a 36" black.

In the process of ripping out the old zipper, k-ster got a hair brained idea that I should make an inside pocket so he can put his phone in there.  And it would need to be strong so it wouldn't rip, and big enough that he wouldn't have to wrestle with getting his phone in and out.

At first, I said no, but I gave it some thought and decided it might not be pretty, but I could probably do something.

Determined not to spend a penny on that part, I got some drapery fabric that I have (for durability) and some fleece for the lining.

Making that part was the easiest chore of the day.  Putting in the jacket was scary and I don't love how it look.

I had to cut into that puffy nylon/batting layer and make my own opening.  I know nothing about putting in pockets, but I do know that I probably needed to do something on the edges where I cut that nylon so it won't rip.

I'm not proud of this part of the project but a) it's inside and no one should be looking and b) I'm pretty sure it's damned secure and won't rip.

I put a little velcro at the top of the pocket so he won't lose the phone when he leans forward.

That's inside the lining which no one will ever see now that the zipper is back in.

After stabbing myself pretty hard with a pin and then shoving a lot more pins into that very spot, I managed to get it all put back together.  I'm so impatient that I made it more difficult than I needed to, putting pins in the wrong way and stabbing myself left and right.

But, it's ready to go and has a fine zipper that is very securely sewn in.  I don't do the many, many seams that a factory does when they do a zipper, but I don't expect he will have this for another 10-15 years, so I think we're good.

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