Installing a Zipper in a Patagonia Fleece Jacket

Replace the zipper in your fleece jacket.
Author: Brittany McCrigler   Time Required: 45 minutes - 1 hour   Difficulty: Moderate
Step 1
  • Lay your jacket face-up onto a flat surface like a table. Unzip the zipper as much as possible.
  • Fold open the bottom corner of the jacket.
Step 2
  • Rip the seam that holds the zipper in place. This is the outside seam of the two rows of stitching.
Step 3
  • Start ripping the inside seam.
  • Rip only a few of the stitches.
  • Be sure to avoid ripping the serged edge. To do this, start the blade pointing away from the serge seam.
Step 4
  • After you have ripped a few stitches, fold the jacket closed again.
  • Pull the zipper webbing away from the teeth of the zipper.
  • Rip the stitches holding the webbing to the zipper.
Step 5
  • At the top of the zipper there will be an area where the collar is folded back over itself. Rip out the outermost seam holding the zipper webbing in place.
  • Both the zipper webbing and zipper should now be free from the jacket.
  • Repeat steps 1-5 on the other side of the zipper. The second side may or may not have webbing.
Step 6
  • Lay your jacket out, holding it to full length but not stretched. Measure from the top of the collar to waist.
  • Measure the same length on your zipper from the zipper stop up. Mark this with tailor’s chalk.
  • Measure two inches above that line and make a second mark with your tailor’s chalk.
  • Cut the zipper at the first mark you made. Be sure to cut between the teeth of the zipper to preserve your scissors.
  • Be sure that the zipper slider is below your first mark so you don't cut it off!
Step 7
  • Use end nipper pliers to cut off all of the zipper teeth above the first mark.
  • Cut the teeth in half, and then remove the back half with your fingers.
  • Remove two teeth below the mark on one side.
  • Repeat this step on the other side of the zipper, removing three teeth below the mark instead of two.
Step 8
  • Place the zipper stop directly above the last tooth on the zipper. Be sure you get all the way around the zipper.
  • Crimp the zipper stop into place using pliers.
  • Repeat this step on the second side of the zipper.
Step 9
  • Take the side of the zipper that had webbing, and fold the excess zipper tape on the end of the zipper away from the zipper teeth at a slight angle.
Step 10
  • Place the folded zipper end into the sewing machine.
  • Tack the fold into place with a few stitches.
Step 11
  • Clip the threads on the zipper.
  • Repeat steps 9-11 on the other side of the zipper.
Step 12
  • Take the side of the zipper that had the webbing, and lay it back into the webbing, aligning the zipper tape edge along the serged edge of the webbing.
  • Place the top of the zipper in the crease of the fold of the webbing at the collar.
Step 13
  • Fold the top of the zipper webbing over the zipper at the crease of the collar.
Step 14
  • Pin the folded zipper webbing in place.
Step 15
  • Pin the length of the zipper to the webbing, making sure that the zipper tape edge is still aligned with the serged edge of the webbing.
  • The serged edge is the edge with the, overlock, or zigzag stitching.
Step 16
  • Position the webbing and zipper in the sewing machine 1/4 of an inch from the zipper teeth on the side of the zipper tape.
  • Sew the zipper onto the webbing.
Step 17
  • While you’re sewing, remove the pins as you come to them. Running them over with your machine may break your needle.
Step 18
  • Backstitch at the end of the zipper to prevent the seam from unraveling.
  • Cut the threads, and free the zipper and webbing from the sewing machine.
Step 19
  • Take the jacket collar and open the folded section that you ripped out in step 6.
  • Sandwich the top of the zipper and webbing in between the two layers as you would see it when it is finished.
  • Align the top of the webbing with the border between the fleece and the start of the same type of fabric as the webbing, about 1/4 inch below the edge of the collar.
Step 20
  • Fold the backside of the collar fabric over the webbing that covers the zipper seam.
  • Holding the backside of the collar fabric in place, turn the collar back to the front side.
Step 21
  • Still holding the zipper and webbing between the two layers of collar fabric, pin the layers in place.
  • Continue pinning the webbing and zipper to the inside of the jacket, along the seam you originally ripped.
Step 22
  • When you come to the jacket's waist, sandwich the webbing and zipper between the folded edge at the waist.
Step 23
  • Change the presser foot to the zipper foot.
  • Sew the edge of the fleece to the jacket as close to the edge as possible.
  • Be sure to backstitch at each end of the seam.
Step 24
  • Topstitch the fleece to the zipper 1/4 inch from the zipper.
  • Backstitch at both ends of the seam.
Step 25
  • Sandwich the second side of the zipper in the collar just as you did the first side. This side will not have webbing.
  • Align the zipper at the waist of the jacket, sandwiching the zipper into the waist as necessary.
Step 26
  • Align the second side of the zipper at the border of the fleece (or any other fabric like a wind resistant material) about a quarter of an inch below the top edge of the collar, as you did on the previous side.
Step 27
  • Check that the zipper is sandwiched in the collar as on the other side.
  • Pin the second side of the zipper in place.
Step 28
  • Replace the zipper foot in your machine.
  • As before, sew the zipper into place very close to the edge.
Step 29
  • Topstitch the second side as before.
  • Clip threads, check out your work, and give yourself a pat on the back.