Welcome back! I hope you had a productive weekend!
Today is the day that our pants start to look like PANTS! Sewing a fly front can seem really daunting. But, did you know it’s only seven short and quick lines of stitching? Seven. We can do that, right?! Since you’re already done with the pockets, I’ll now tell you that that was the most complex part. You also only have one fly front to sew as opposed to the two pockets you completed. You’re cruising!
There are a lot of ways out there to insert a fly zip. Many involve extra pattern pieces for the fly extensions, but this method includes them on the pant front. A special thank you goes to Heather Lou of Closet Case Files for both coming up with this method and giving me permission to adapt it for my pattern and teach it to you all. I learned this method with her Ginger Jeans pattern, and it was so extremely straight-forward that I immediately wondered why there were any other ways.
Some ground rules: when I say “left fly extension” I mean the pant leg that will go on YOUR left leg when being worn. Same for the “right fly extension” and right leg, and pressing seams to the right or left. Remembering this will help alleviate some confusion as we’re flipping the pants over for almost every step and “left” and “right” can become confusing. When in doubt, just hold it up with the wrong side toward you.
This is a photo-heavy post, but only because some of these steps can be hard to describe. A picture is worth a thousand words, as they say. Without further ado, let’s get started!
(1) Place both pant fronts right sides together, aligning along the fly extension and inseam edges.Baste (5.0mm stitch length) alongside interfacing, down from center notch to bottom of interfacing. Switch to a regular stitch length (2.5mm), backstitch a couple of stitches, then sew along the front crotch curve.
(2) Clip into the seam allowance at the bottom of the fly extension, clipping to, but not through, your stitch line. (Use the bottom of the interfacing as a guide where to clip.)
(1) Trim crotch curve seam allowance down to 3/8″ and finish edge, press to left side. Press fly extensions apart.
(2) Flip over (ride side up) and place a line of topstitching 1/8” to the right of the seam (remember the crotch seam allowance is pressed this direction since we flipped it over, and this topstitching is catching the left fly extension and the finished crotch curve seam below).
(1) Place both skirt fronts right sides together, aligning along the fly extension and center front edges.Baste (5.0mm stitch length) alongside interfacing, down from center notch to bottom of interfacing. Switch to a regular stitch length (2.5mm), backstitch a couple of stitches, then sew the center front seam. Clip into the seam allowance at the bottom of the fly extension, clipping to, but not through, your stitch line. Use the bottom of the interfacing as a guide for where to clip.
(2) Finish center front seam and press to left side. Press fly extensions apart and flip over (right sides up).
(3) Place a line of topstitching 1/8” to the right of the seam, making sure to catch the left fly extension and the finished center seam below.
(1) Flip everything back over (wrong side up)—it’s time to insert your zipper. On the right fly extension, make a mark 2″ down from the top and draw a line 1/2” from center seam.
(2) Turning the zipper face down, align the top of the zipper stop*** with the mark and the center of the zipper teeth along the line.
(3) Fold the pants/skirt out of the way and pin in place to the right fly extension only.
***Important! You MUST use a zipper with a stop at the top. Do not use a zipper that has no stop at the top! This area won’t get stitched over, so the slider will come right off without the stops. T’would be a sad day to finish and have the zip slider immediately come right off.
(1) With a zipper foot, sew along the right edge of the zipper teeth.
(2) With the pants/skirt staying in place, flip the zipper over, which will turn a portion of the fly extension, and sew along the entire now-folded edge, tucking the top of the zipper tape under as you topstitch.
(1) Open the pants/skirt with the wrong side up. The right fly extension and zipper will move to the left like a hinge. Pull them to the left, laying them flat on top of the left fly extension.
(2) Making sure they are pulled over as far as they will go and laying flat, pin the left side of the zipper tape to the left fly extension only, and fold the pant legs/skirt out of the way.
Sew along the left side of the zipper teeth, attaching it to the left fly extension. Move the top of the zipper tape over to the left as you sew (see photo). Your zipper is now inserted!
(1) Flip the pants/skirt back over with right side facing up. Using the included topstitching guide, trace (with chalk or erasable fabric marker) a line for your topstitching to the right of the center seam.
(2) Make sure that your stitch line will catch the fly extension below.
(3) Slowly and carefully topstitch along your line, starting at the waistband and ending at the center seam, backstitching at the end to secure. You will be sewing over the bottom of the plastic coil zipper; sew slowly and carefully and this will not hurt your machine.
(1) Flip the pants/skirt over with wrong side facing up.With regular scissors, trim off any zipper left beneath the fly extension. Grab your prepped fly shield and align the folded side with the left fly extension. Pin to right fly extension only and (2) sew together at 1/4″ seam allowance. Finish this edge. (I have used my serger to both sew and finish the edge.) Alternatively, you may bind this edge with bias tape.
Turn the pants/skirt over with right side up.We will place bar tacks in two places along the topstitching: at the middle of the curve and at the bottom, next to the center seam. This both secures the fly shield and protects the zipper from breaking when you take the pants/skirt off and on.
(1) Working carefully, remove the basting stitches holding fly closed and marvel at your completed fly front!
(2) On inside fly, stitch on top of existing top stitching from waistband to top of zipper teeth, backstitching to secure.
YOU’VE DONE IT! Feel free to run around claiming your victory, shorts front trailing behind you. 😉
Below you will find the list of links to each blog post in the sewalong. If you have any questions, absolutely feel free to e-mail me.
- Introducing the Chi-Town Chinos Sewing Pattern
- Introducing the Chi-Town Chinos Expansion Packs
- Chi-Town Chinos Tester Round-Up
- Chi-Town Chinos Expansion Pack Tester Round-Up
- Part 1 : Inspiration
- Part 2 : Supplies
- Part 3 : Customizing the Pattern
- Part 4 : Fitting + Finishing
- Part 5 : Prepwork
- Part 6 : Front Pockets
- Part 7 : Fly Front
- Part 8 : Back Assembly + Final Fitting
- Part 8.5 : Welt Pockets
- Part 9 : Waistband, Center Back Seam, Inseam, Side Seams
- Part 10 : Belt Loops, Bar Tacks, Hemming, Front Closure