Learn how to sew zipper tabs to create a professional finished look for your zippers – whether you shortened your zippers or not!
Last week I shared with you How to Shorten a Zipper. So, I thought we’d build on that lesson with this one on How to Sew Zipper Tabs.
I use zipper tabs alot in my sewing, especially when sewing zipper pouches, bags, purses, or boxy pouches. They really do add a nice finished professional look!
How to Sew Zipper Tabs
What are Zipper Tabs?
Zipper tabs are pieces of fabric sewn onto one or both ends of a zipper. It covers the raw unfinished zipper ends. They are most often used in bag making. The fabric covers the ends of the zipper tape and provides a nice finished look.
How to Shorten a Zipper
If you need to shorten a zipper, you can read about how to shorten a zipper HERE. Shortening a zipper is really pretty easy. In fact, I shorten zippers all the time. And even prefer to buy zippers longer than I think I’ll need, just so I can shorten them.
If you learn best by watching videos, then you can watch my How to Sew Zipper Tabs video tutorial on my YouTube Channel. Just CLICK HERE or on the below image to go directly to the YouTube video.
Learn how to sew zipper tabs to create a professional finished look for your zippers - whether you shortened your zippers or not!
- fabric scraps
- matching thread
- fabric marking pen
- rotary cutter
- self-healing mat
- acrylic ruler
- ironing board
- pins or clips
- sewing machine
If you need to shorten the length of your zipper, follow the instructions HERE on how to shorten a zipper.
Take your scissors or rotary cutter and trim the bottom end of the zipper close to the bottom stop.
Then you will need to sew a new zipper stop at the top of the zipper. You are going to sew the zipper stop just above the existing zipper stops. You can either stitch straight across the zipper (make sure you don’t stitch across the zipper stop) or create a bar tack like you did when you shortened the bottom of the zipper (as pictured above).
Pin the zipper ends in place so the teeth are touching (as pictured below).
Then you will either stitch straight across the zipper, making sure to backstitch or sew a new zipper stop (this is also called a bar tack) by using the zigzag stitch. I prefer the zigzag stitch, but it’s totally your option.
Be sure to lower your feed dogs before stitching the zigzag stitch. I used a 6.0mm zigzag stitch. Simply stitch back and forth a few times.
Trim the top of the zipper close to the new zipper stop.
If you haven’t done so already, cut two pieces of fabric 1-1/2”x2”.
Then fold the fabric in half, wrong sides together and press. Your folded fabric will now measure 1-1/2” wide by 1” tall.
Then open up the pressed fabric and fold the ends towards the fold and press.
Fold again along the middle fold line and press.
Insert one end of the zipper into the middle of the folded zipper tab and pin or clip in place. Then insert the other end of the zipper into the middle of the folded zipper tab and pin or clip in place.
Your zipper should now be sandwiched in the middle of the folded zipper tabs. Make sure you have trimmed your zipper ends enough so that when you stitch across the edge of the zipper tabs that you do not stitch across the zipper stop.
Sew across the zipper tabs close to the edge. Repeat with the other end of the zipper.
Next you will trim the zipper tabs even with the edges of the zipper tape.
And here you have your finished zipper with the zipper tabs sewn in place. Your finished zipper is now ready to be sewn into your project.
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Shorten a Zipper & Sew Zipper Tabs Guide
You can download this free Guide on Shortening a Zipper and Sewing Zipper Tabs. This is a 17 page PDF that you can download and print. I like to three-hole punch the guides and store them in a 3-ring binder for easy reference.
Simply complete the below form to have the Zipper Guide delivered straight to your email inbox:
Sewing with Zippers
If you enjoyed this sewing tutorial on How to Sew Zipper Tabs, you might enjoy these other tutorials and patterns that include zippers:
- Zipper Anatomy
- Different Types of Zippers
- How to Shorten a Zipper
- Small Lined Zipper Pouch
- Fabric and Clear Vinyl Zipper Pouch
Learn to Sew
Zippers aren’t the only tutorial you’ll find here on Hooked on Sewing. In fact, there’s an entire Learn to Sew series designed with the beginner sewist in mind. In this series, I cover everything from what to look for in a sewing machine, how to care for and clean your machine, fabric, thread selection, and so much more.
Start with lesson #1 and work your way through the entire course. Better yet, sign up below to have the lessons emailed directly to you: