Temperatures here have been frigid lately - 20 degrees when I woke up this morning - and Kate's winter coat, which we just bought in the fall, had a bum zipper that got caught every time she tried to zip it up. Given that Kate is an "I CAN DO IT MYSELF" kind of girl, and given that her school highly encourages kids to do things by themselves, this situation was challenging for all involved (plus, it was difficult for an adult to get that zipper up, which only added to the frustration). I had to get her a new one. Stores here stop selling winter jackets in December (I'm not kidding - they already have swimsuits and beach towels out), so we had few options (which did not bother me, really - I was not looking forward to paying $30+ for a jacket she'll only wear a few times). We stopped at Goodwill on our way home from school Thursday afternoon and found a perfect purple one for her. Great! And when we got in the car, Kate said, "I hope this one doesn't have the same zipper problem the other one had."
Dum, dah dum dum DUM!
I didn't even think to check the zipper while we were there. But sure enough, when we got it home and I tested the zipper, it didn't work. Part of the little plastic teeth were missing, and it could not be fixed (believe me, I tried). So I used...velcro!
The materials: jacket, velcro tape, thread.
The process: I cut off the existing zipper on both sides. I didn't pick out the seam, just cut it off as close to the teeth as I could. She won't wear this much longer this year, and it's not often that we need heavy winter coats here, so it doesn't have to hold up forever.
The cost: $2.50 for the jacket at Goodwill, plus the velcro tape and cotton thread I had here. Pretty good for a winter coat, I think.