Add Zippers to a T

black t with shoulder zippers 27Blue t with shoulder zippers 6Zipper Shoulder T-shirt

Turn a simple fitted T-shirt into a “cold shoulder” top by adding Coats Fashion Zippers.




Light weight fusible stabilizer: 2” wide by length of zipper plus 2”

Light weight fabric: 2” wide by length of zipper plus 2” (facing)


  1. On the T-shirt, mark the mid-point of the shoulder seam. Determine the center of the stabilizer by folding in half horizontally. Crease lightly with fingers. On the wrong side of the shirt, align the center the stabilizer horizontally with the shoulder seam. The fusible side should be against the wrong side of the shirt. Fuse in place following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  2. To create opening for zipper: Draw a rectangle in the center of the stabilizer that is ¾” wide by the length of the zipper. Measure the zipper from top stop to bottom stop to make sure opening will clear the zipper.
  3. On the wrong side of the lightweight fabric, repeat step 2, centering the rectangle on the fabric.
  4. Place the marked fabric, right sides together on the T-shirt, aligning the rectangles on the fabric and stabilizer. Hint- stick a pin through all layers at the corners and pin in place.
  5. Stitch carefully through all layers, pivoting at corners. Cut through the center of the rectangle through all layers stopping ½” from each end. From the center cut, cut diagonally to each corner. Do NOT cut through the stitching. Turn the fabric to the wrong side and press, creating a “window”.
  6. Place the zipper underneath the opening and pin or baste in place. Using a zipper foot, edge stitch along the opening attaching the zipper.
    Close up UnZipped
    Close up UnZipped

    Close up inside detail
    Close up inside detail
Close-up Front detail
Close-up Front detail

One thought on “Add Zippers to a T

  1. Geni Reply

    What a cute and contemporary idea! I think it would be much easier to do with a TNT “T” pattern before sewing up the side seam, after sewing the sleeve in flat.
    Thanks for the idea.

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