You know when you find an incredible vintage dress, but it’s just too small? Normal people might realize it doesn’t fit and leave it behind. Me? I tried my best to wriggle my hips into a dress that was clearly made for a woman who was much smaller.

And the result…was not pretty.

I so wanted this beautiful dress to fit that I ripped a couple of the zipper teeth off in the process! I was devastated. I also felt pretty foolish. I mean, this dress is obviously several sizes too small for me.

In any case, I knew I couldn’t just leave it as is. I’m also pretty intimidated by fixing/sewing zippers. Doesn’t it just look like it’d be really hard to do? But good news: it’s not!

First things first. I found a perfect shade of thread.

Then, I slipped the zipper back on track through the gap left by the missing teeth. If you’re fixing a zipper where some of the teeth are just damaged, you might consider pulling a few out so the zipper is easier to slip back on track.

The fuzzy looking threads on the left side of the zipper is where the teeth came off.

This is what it should look like once it’s back on track:

I know, I know, the hole is still there. Don’t panic! Next, turn the dress inside out:

I was pleasantly surprised to find that a previous zipper repair had been done near the original base of the zipper. I liked the idea that maybe 20 or 30 years ago some other size 8 tried to slip her way into a size 2 🙂

Anyway, back to business. Carefully stitch the hole shut, making sure to sew tightly. When you’re finished it should look like this:

The hole is completely shut and you can barely see the thread. Success! Now, turn the dress right side out again and voila!

A once broken zipper is now functional and pretty again!

Look how pretty it is on my friend Rachel:

Now it’s ready for someone to take home and dance the night away in.

And, of course, I learned my lesson too. Some dresses are just meant for other people to have!