Tuesday 17 September 2013

The Zipper Goddess

Its getting cool in the evenings around here and fall is definitely on the way.
This morning the houses roof was covered in frost and the grass out front was covered in a crispy coating of frozen white too.
 Auspicious weather for the upcoming hunting season...

I have been racing to complete a number of pending tasks so that I can go moose hunting  with my bow. 
Some of these jobs are getting done while others are are not. 
My roof for example needs re-shingling and I have been trying to get it fixed for a couple of years now but it looks like it might have to wait again until the spring.
There is more wood to cut before the snow and repairs to the front steps but these things can wait until after the hunt.....

It seems lately its the small jobs that have been the ones getting accomplished....
Most recently my hunting duffle bag...

The zipper on this bag has been broken now since last season. I noticed during last years hunt as I pulled the slide on the zipper to close the bag the coils  would open behind the slider body as I zipped it closed. I made due for a while  but the zipper finally gave out and would no longer work to close the bag. Whats bothersome is the fact that the bag is still totally good other than it wouldn't close. 
I examined my options. I could buy a new bag, but I haven't been working for a while, and can really use to spend the money somewhere else first, and besides....why should I have to buy a new one....
Why not try to fix it?

Well why not? I know how to use a sewing machine and sew by hand and if I could locate another zipper you would think that I could swap the bad one for a good one....

Well after measuring the zipper I tried to locate one online but could not find one that matched the original. 
It is a big zipper measuring over 48 inches and is very heavy duty 
(or at least is supposed to be)
I thought about the problem a bit and decided to see if I could find some local help so I called the fabric store in a near town. 

It was my luck that the person on the other end of the phone when I called the store was totally familiar with malfunctioning zippers and had actually fixed a lot of them. 
I told her that I was going to rip the old zipper out and bring it in to buy a replacement but she said that maybe the zipper could be repaired instead of being replaced and that I should bring the whole bag in to the store.
I didn't think you could repair zippers. I thought if they broke you needed to replace them?
Apparently not!

Two days later at the fabric store I met the nice person I talked to on the phone. 

I will call her "The Zipper Goddess"!

After she examined the coil teeth on the zipper she told me that it was likely the zipper slider that was not working and suggested we take it off and try to pinch it back into shape. They sometimes become bent from use and can cause issues like the one I was having with my bag. 
We tried this and the zipper worked but not well,  but  after a couple of cycles opening and closing the bag it started to not work again. 
At this point she suggested

"you might find this a funny suggestion but I would try to find a similar zipper off a purse or snow suit at a thrift store to use for parts to fix your bag"

I wanted to hug her for this idea and went off thrifting to 3 of my local favourite thrift stores.  
It took me about 2 hours to find this old musty bag for $4 but the zippers coils and slider bodies were a match. 
I cut the sliders off with a box knife and then back at the sewing store we just zipped them on the old zipper being careful to align the teeth.

 Almost magically my bag was fixed!

 Later at home I put heavy duty auto staples on each end of the zipper so that when I worked it the slider would not slide off the ends of the coils.

Yes sometimes you can repair your zippers without replacing them and with used parts too! 

Thank you Zipper Goddess!



Cap said...

Is there anything that you can't McGiver? For $4.00 and your time you saved $50.00. Good work

Astrid said...

awesome story daddy :)! good job

Natasha aka "The Zipper Goddess" said...

Thank you so much Martin. That is the first time I have ever been blogged about. I had a lot of fun helping you out and sharing some of my zipper wisdom with you. It's always nice to find someone else who shares a love for vintage pieces. And a love for searching for amazing finds at thrift and antique stores. I shared the link on my wall. I hope that's alright. I cant wait to read all about your adventures.
Until we meet again...

Tameka Lauricella @ IntegrityWE said...

What's holding you back from repairing your roof? If it has been showing signs of damage, then you shouldn't ignore it or it might cause you great trouble. I hope you prioritize it this time, and don't wait 'til spring next year before you fix the problem.