- 1). Remove the top stitching along the zipper fly front placket or side zipper insert with a seam ripper. Continue to remove the top stitching along the zipper taping as well. As the fly front zipper starts to loosen, spread the fabric open.
- 2). Measure the length of the zipper teeth with a flexible tape measure or ruler. The zipper taping generally finishes 1/2 inch above and below the teeth for stitching.
- 3). Turn the pants inside out, raw seams facing you. Fit the pants on a dress form with legs. Pin the open seams made in Step 1 along the raw edges with straight pins. The raw edges appear uneven at this point.
- 4). Mark the zipper length along the back seam with tailor's chalk or a disappearing ink fabric pen using the dimension from Step 2.
- 5). Cut away the uneven fabric from Step 3 with fabric scissors. Leave 1/4 inch of seam allowance to stitch the front or side seam closed in a later step. If you removed a front zipper placket, the open fabric will look like an extension because of the placket, which refers to a two-layer fabric piece covering a zipper or buttons.
- 6). Pin the front or side seams closed with straight pins, and remove them carefully from the dress form.
- 7). Cover the pinned center front seam or side seam, depending on the original zipper position, with a nonstick protective sheet. Set the iron at the recommended temperature according to your fabric type. Press the seam open.
- 8). Pin the zipper taping to the right side raw edge panel along the center back seam. The zipper teeth and pull should face the right side of the fabric. Press the pinned zipper back seam. Keep in mind you will not make a placket for the back zipper.
- 9). Change the sewing machine straight stitch foot to a zipper foot attachment. Most models include a sliding bar, which you can adjust by turning the screw to stitch along the zipper teeth.
Slide the foot to sit along the right side edge of the zipper teeth. Machine stitch the zipper taping into place.
Repeat Step 8 by pinning the left side zipper taping along the left side raw edge panel and stitch along the zipper. Remember to slide the zipper foot to the opposite side to stitch along the left side.
Turn the pants inside out, right sides of the fabric facing you. Cover the center-back seam with the protective sheet, and press it again.
Turn the pants inside out, wrong sides of the fabric facing you once again. Stitch several reinforcement stitches at the bottom of the zipper taping, preventing the seam from opening. Bear in mind that back-center seam zippers must endure added stress from natural movement and ease in the seat when sitting, walking or bending.
Stitch several reinforcement stitches along the top of the zipper taping. If your zipper type has excess fabric above the zipper pull, you can remove 1/4 inch from the taping by clipping it with pinking shears. If you have a slight gap or opening above the zipper pull along the waistline, hand-sew a hook-and-eye trim with matching thread and hand-sewing needle as another option. Cut away all loose threads prior to wearing the refashioned zipper back pant.
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