Replace a Button Back with a Zipper!

I can not be the only one who kinda hates buttons and buttonholes.  I only this year got a machine that can do a 1 step measured button hole - and it does make things slightly easier, but buttons and buttons hole often land my projects in the unfinished pile for at least a day or two longer than necessary.  Honestly, I'm much rather put in a zipper for many patterns (not all because buttons really do have a beautiful aesthetic).  But zippers are quicker to do up on wriggly squiggly kiddos, they are easier on arthritic joints, many tweens&teens prefer the look over buttons, and you don't have to go through the button matching game.

Larissa has an awesome tutorial for us today on how to replace a button back with a zipper!



Do you want to swap out this:      

To create THIS!!!!!!!

Are you one of those seamstresses that follows a pattern to a "T"? I used to be that way! I was too afraid to make any changes at all! I wouldn't even adjust the length of a dress or skirt! Then, one day, I was at a friends house sewing and decided I didn't want to put buttons in the top I was making! My daughter is getting older and prefers zipper, so I decided to just go for it! The end result was less than pretty but it was wearable! Now, I feel like I can swap them interchangeably!

Today, I am making the Jocole Endless Dress (full review HERE) with the waist length bodice, no sleeves, and no collar. This pattern has so many options!

The first thing you need to do when replacing buttons with a zipper is figure out how much overlap you have on your back bodice for the buttons. This will vary from designer to designer. If the pattern is marked with a 'center back' line or mark, you just need to add the seam allowance and trim there. If not, , you will need to subtract your seam allowance (1/2"-5/8")  from the overlap amount and that will tell you how much you need to trim from the back bodice pieces. For the Endless dress, I needed to trim 1/2". (Don't worry, I realigned my pieces before cutting!)

Next, you want to follow the directions of your pattern until you get to the buttons. Always be sure to read through the directions before sewing. For this dress, I sewed the zipper in after attaching the skirt to the bodice.  Here is a great tutorial if you don't know how to sew a zipper: I love the way she does them! 


Then finish the dress per the directions. In the end, you will have a dress or top that fits the same as it would with buttons!

We'd love to see your zipper tips, tutorials, and projects - leave us links in the comments and we will com check out your stuff!!!!   Also, tag us on facebook and instagram #zipitgood