Zippers on pant legs–jeans, yoga pants, and jogging pants–are a trendy update. On jeans, the zipper legs serve a double duty as both fashionable and functional. Zipper legs make it easier to pull the jeans on or off, especially over a pair of boots. With basic sewing skills or a sewing machine that has a removable arm, it will be much easier to efficiently install zippers on pre-existing finished pant legs. Adding zippers is a way to change the look and function of your favorite pairs of pants.
Things You'll Need
Measure the length of the opening that you desire to create in your pants legs with a seamstress measuring tape. Zippers can be purchased in several different lengths, colors, materials and styles, such as hidden zippers in addition to the common zipper.
Cut the sides of the pant legs with sharp seamstress scissors to accommodate the zipper. The package of the zipper may include the exact length of the opening for the best installation. Use this number, if available.
Remove the free arm of your sewing machine, if you are using a sewing machine, to install the zippers on the pants legs. Change the foot to a zipper foot if you have one available; it is possible to install zippers without a special foot on some sewing machines. Change the machine thread and bobbin to the appropriate color matching the pant legs. Thread your needle with thread matching your pant legs if sewing by hand.
Pin one side of the zipper to the pant leg opening. Sew this side on. Pin the other side in place. Open the zipper if you are sewing with a machine, and slide the pant leg cuff over the free arm. Sew the other side. If you are sewing by hand, sew the zipper in place without opening the zipper. The ability to do this depends on the size of the pant leg opening and the size of your hands.
Repeat the process for the other pant leg. Remove pins.
Use the correct size and weight sewing needles according to the material and thickness of the pant leg plus zipper.
References and ResourcesThreads Magazine: Sewing in a Zipper
ResourcesNeedlepointers.com: Zipper How to Articles
Sew Stitch Learn: Sewing Zippers