Tuesday, April 10, 2007


So, this morning, whilst on personal leave to take care of some family business, I decided to take my ZimmerZipper Cardigan by a fabric store to get a zipper, which I would then take by a tailor to have it put in. Hilarity ensued.

The nice saleswoman at Hancock Fabrics took one look at the sweater and told me that there was no way they would have a zipper that long in the store. I need what I figure is a 28" zipper. This does not seem extravagantly long. I asked her if they had patterns for coats and jackets there at the fabric store, and, if so, how did her customers get zippers to put in them? She just shrugged. She suggested that they tailor might have a better supply of zippers.

Off to the tailors. The woman behind the counter actually popped her eyes when I mentioned that I had knit this sweater. She took the sweater to the back where she apparently consulted with someone, because when she came back, she said, "He says no." I asked if it was "no -- we don't have a zipper for this," or "no -- we can't put this in." The answer? Both.

She said that they couldn't put zippers in knit fabrics. I said, politely, that I was aware of the existence of zippers in knit fabrics. I pointed to the sweater the woman behind the counter was wearing, zipper and all. Another woman came over and took a look, expressed amazement at my ability to do such a thing ("Look! That chimpanzee is roller skating!") and took it to the back. I heard Conan the Tailor grunt something at her, and she came back, shaking her head.

I explained that while I could knit, I didn't know anything about sewing. She said that sewing a zipper into a knit garment would be too difficult. I patiently replied that yes, I'm sure it is difficult, which is why I'm willing to pay someone else to do this. She shrugged. When I asked if she could recommend someone who might be able to do this, she suggested an embroidery shop that she thought used to be at one of the local malls, but might not be anymore.


She did tell me that I'd done a good job on the sweater as I left the shop.

So now I'm bound and determined to sew a zipper on myself, by hand. If I can just figure out where to get one. Did I give up to easily on the fabric stores? Anyone have an idea of where I can get a brown, 28" separating zipper -- perhaps from an online source? I'm going to put it on myself and wear it to the tailor shop, even if it's July.


  1. This store had the best color selection (on a very cursory google search) http://www.rockywoods.com/zippers_main.htm
    Most other places only had black. Plus, this way you can tell them how the store also sold 100" zippers. ;)

  2. Wow. What an awful experience. I'm glad you feel empowered, though!

    Grumperina always orders zippers online - search her blog for a source.

  3. Like Janelle said -- I know Grumperina has blogged about an online source.

    I'd also call around to some other tailors -- it's sounds like the one you went to only wants to hem pants!

  4. Here is a local Boston source. This is a store front, but I am sure that if you call, they will help you - perhaps give you some guidance on the sewing part.

    This place has been in business FOREVER! I am not sure of the exact story but basically: Old school place - the owners might have immigrated to the US and started this place. It is THE place to go in Boston for zippers.

    Zipper Hospital 318 Harvard St. Brookline, Ma 617-277-0039

    Good luck, Kristina