Well, I believe I promised moving along with Sewing 102 back in February? What can I say, kids come first and somethings just don’t always go as planned 🙂 Also I was planning on sharing the zip fly tutorial, I researched a million zip fly tutorials, books, etc… I even took apart an old pair of my kids jeans. I made one and it was kind of a mess. (close but totally not right) so I threw it aside. Then while making the W pants for the Alphabet Collection Melissa the sewing genius walks you through a super easy zip fly. (seriously her patterns are amazing!) After making a beautiful zip fly I was inspired to give it another go. I do a zip fly a little differently than Melissa, but if you want to give a go at a pattern that includes a zip fly give her pants a go, you won’t be sorry.
The zip fly not only makes ease of wear better since they can open wider to get on an off, but I always feel like it is the little details that really make home made clothes look less home-ec and more polished professional. So I will show you how to add a zip fly to ANY pants pattern, you have. Kids, adults, male or female. (although note a boys fly goes the opposite direction so you will want to flip the instructions)
I had this great stretch poplin from Joanns in a polka dot. I was going to use this for a project run and play outfit but it got vetoed, and I am kind of kicking myself for not making them sooner because I am in polka dot heaven. Abbey loves the polka dots too. (hence the slight overdose don’t you love kid style)
So I made the Lovely Rita Skinnies only I left off the button tabs since the polka dots were enough. You can use any pants pattern. Lay the front pieces right sides together. Measure up about an inch past the crotch curve. You can kind of eyeball it. Sew from that point down to the point in the crotch. You will want to make sure and back stitch at the top of the sewing line. Then serge, zig-zag, or clip with pinking shears. Measure from the top of the waist down about 1/2″ below the stitch line. This will be the height of you fly pieces.
Now for the fly pieces. You need 1 fly facing and 2 fly shield pieces. The width is about 2 inches, and the height is the measurement from above. You will simply curve the bottom edge. For a girl you will curve the bottom right edge of the Fly facing and the bottom right of the fly shield pieces (reverse one) For a boy the other way around.
Now with pants laying so the right side of the pants (for the person wearing them) is down, fold the left side downward to the stitch line so it is out of the way. (reverse for boys)
With right sides together sew the fly facing to the pant piece at the center seam. Stop before you get to the fold.
Then press the fly facing out flat. Finish the edge of the facing however you desire.
Next take your zipper. I used a 7″ zipper knowing I would have to cut it. For ease of sewing line up the bottom of the zipper in place with the bottom of the fly facing, and let the top hang over. The zipper should be face down. Line up the zipper so the left edge of the zipper is lined up with the seam, sew along the right edge as close to the zipper teeth as possible. You are sewing the zipper to the fly facing.
Turn the facing towards the back of the pants at the seam line where the facing and pants meet. Press along that seam. Now stitch the fly facing in place following the curve of the facing. A double stitch is traditional but you could to a single row as well.
If you desire you can top stitch along the folded seam, just be careful not to sew through the zipper.
Now for the fly shield. Sew the two fly shields right sides together along the curved edge. Clip the curve.
Turn the shield right side out and press the seam.
Finish the straight edge as you like. Either serge, zig-zag stitch, or fold the edges under and topstitch.
Now for the other side of the pants. Fold the center edge under by the seam allowance. Press.
Line up the zipper with the folded edge and sew in place. When doing this you may need to sew a little over from right at the zipper teeth, make sure the front crotch seam lays nice and smooth before you sew the zipper in place or you could get a pucker. (speaking from experience here)
Now turn the pants around to the back and stitch the fly shield in place along the straight edge so it covers the left side of the zipper. You will also “tack stitch” the shield in place on the curved side. This keeps the shield in place when you are opening and closing the pants, a tack stitch is a wide zig zag stitch back and forth with no stitch length. (much like a whip stitch)
To finish the zipper sew over the zipper along the top sewing back and forth a few times. Then cut the zipper off at the top.
You may have to alter the waistband piece of a pattern if you have added a zip fly. Simply measure the waist (zip fly shield included) add seam allowance. (this one is 2.5″ wide) Sew the waistband outer piece to the waist line.
Press the waistband upward.
Sew the waistband lining to the waistband piece along the front side and top.
Fold the bottom edge of the lining under then turn the lining to the inside and sew along the top, bottom and front side to secure. Top stitching the top is not necessary, but it looks more polished, the bottom secures the lining in place.
Add a button and button hole to the waist band and you have a finished zip fly! Pretty awesome right?? For me it’s a great way to place a pop of color since Abbey will only wear things that have pink or purple somewhere, sometimes I hide it 🙂
Just in case you wonder by the pictures, I did spice up the Lovely Rita’s this time with a curved back yoke. I was inspired by some riding pants, and you know how I love a good curved line 🙂 SO I simply cut the pattern in a curve added seam allowances and then sewed the yoke to the pants. Quick and easy.
I just love the look of a more polished pant.
And the polka dot overload is fun as well, everything black and white goes together right?
Once you have made up one zip fly, you may never go back to a non zip. (except when I sew for Jude he kind of hates zippers)
Also you get a little sneak peek of one of the fall/winter patterns coming out soon. (soon mean you know in the next few months, when life provides time 🙂