How to Alter an Invisible Zipper

Invisible zippers create subtle closures for dresses, dress pants, and skirts. While not truly invisible, they are hardly noticeable on the outside of the garment and blend easily into the seam.

Invisible zippers come in a variety of colors and lengths so that you can choose the right zipper for your sewing project. What if you have to alter your pattern or garment and the zipper no longer fits? Can you alter or shorten an invisible zipper to fit your sewing needs? If your invisible zipper is longer than that required for your sewing project, it can be easily shortened to fit.

Things You'll Need

  • Invisible zipper
  • Thread
  • Needle
  • Scissors

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Shortening from the Bottom

Measure your garment or project to determine the needed length of your zipper.

Measure the closed zipper from the top to the desired length, adding 1 inch for an invisible zipper, and mark.

Stitch across the zipper at the mark several times. You can whipstitch or zigzag stitch with a needle and double thread or you can sew on your sewing machine back and forth several times.

Cut the zipper 1/2 inch below the stitching and install it according to the manufacturer's directions.

Shortening from the Top

Install the zipper into the garment according to the manufacturer's directions, placing the bottom stop of the zipper at the desired length.

Open the zipper.

Stitch by hand or machine across the zipper at the top several times to create a new top stop.

Cut off the excess zipper to make even with the raw edge of the garment.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you are sewing the zipper into an article of clothing with a waistband, the waistband can act as the new top stop and the excess zipper can simply be cut off.
  • You can use glue and a hot glue gun to make a new zipper stop when shortening from the bottom rather than stitching across the zipper.


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