There’s a time and place for wax in your zipper

So I have this front zip surf vest I bought a while back by Billabong that I just love because it can zip on and off like a jacket- no over the head removal. This helps my sore neck greatly.

However, it has a horrible design flaw. At least for a frequent surfer like me. Its’ zipper teeth and zipper pull are completely exposed. Cute fashion look, but bad for function when I’m accumulating surf wax on my chest, lying on my board belly down, paddling into waves. Now I’ve got crazy wax buildup on the zipper, and it actually doesn’t make the zip-up any easier. Plus, the clean-up is going to become a nightmare.

This vest gets a lot of use- even in the Summer. But so much wax!!!

Not going to be fun to clean

 

So, to help start this process, I put the vest in a Ziplock bag and put it in the freezer overnight.

Didn’t want to get the nasty wax all over my somewhat clean freezer

Clean eating. By the way, Mini Eggs are EXCELLENT frozen.


After taking the vest out of the freezer the next day, I immediately began to remove the hardened wax while it was frozen. I used an old toothbrush that I had cleaned off well beforehand.

I tried not to scrape the material

The bristles helped clean the teeth

 

Since there was still some wax deep in some crevices, I had to use an alcohol wipe to wipe down the plastic teeth to try and dissolve the wax. That seemed to help quite a bit too.

Wiping down just the teeth of the zipper and zipper pull

An improvement


Now, I was ready to make a little zipper placket so I could save myself this cleaning pain in the future, hopefully.

For this zipper placket, I used some fun Lycra I bought ages ago on clearance, but you could also recycle an old rashguard for this project too, since it’s the same material.

Wacky

I measured the zipper on the jacket vest, wanting the placket to end up being 1 inch wide by 19 inches long.

Measuring across

About 19″


To make this strip, I needed to cut a piece 2 inches wide by 20 inches long, since I’m going to fold it over. I inferfaced this with light iron on interfacing. I just find it makes sewing with knits a lot easier, and it will give the placket a bit of structure.

I use this all the time with knits

Hemming each end


After that, I hemmed each end a 1/2″ inch and turned the ends right side out, then stitched down the placket on the outside raw edge to stabilize it some more.

Turned right side out

Light iron

Making sure the edges don’t move around

Then, I sandwiched the raw edge of the placket between the zipper teeth and the scant edge of the neoprene on the side of the fabric of the zipper. I clipped this all the way down, putting this placket on the zipper side where the zipper pull is.

I had to move the pull out of the way

It ain’t movin’

I used a needle a poly thread and hand tacked the layers together, since they were just too bulky for the home machine. Even with small tack stitches, it didn’t take long. This is also a good use for old fishing line, but the lighter, the better.

Hand sewing the placket in

Done!

The placket won’t get in the way of the zipper




This will help to prevent some wax from getting on the zipper in the future. It was easy enough to do, and I’m glad I didn’t have to scrap the nice vest.

Bonus tip: 

Don’t forget to store the toothbrush with your cleaning supplies. If you wax your teeth up, you’re going to freak people out in the lineup with a permagrin.

Although that’s not a bad idea.

Not much longer until I’m sporting this look

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2 thoughts on “There’s a time and place for wax in your zipper

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