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Forum > Sewing Techniques and Tips > Fly Front Jeans and Pants ( Moderated by MissCelie)

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Fly Front Jeans and Pants
Topstitching a Rugged but Beautiful Fly Front
a7yrstitch
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a7yrstitch  Friend of PR
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Texas USA
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Date: 2/7/12 12:09 PM

I was admiring the beautifully done details on Mary Nanna's jeans and it made me remember that when the fabric and zipper are heavy, as is usually the case for a jean type pant, I have trouble with getting a nice finish to the top stitching of the lower curve of the fly front.

In the past I've used my Pfaff 1229 with dual feed engaged and just an ordinary sewing foot. I'm about to start on some 'jeans' (trouser jean cut) on my Bernina.

Anyone want to share their tips on this? Is the bottom stop of your zipper above the top stitched fly curve or below the top stitched fly curve?

Do you use a particular foot?

I've always applied the zipper with the top stop exposed at the top of the fly (not buried into the waistband). I thought that this was important for the zipper to be able to lock. But.............I don't like that little side to side separation at the top of the heavy zipper. So, I guess part of the question would be where are you placing the top and bottom zipper stops within the fly and in relation to the fly top stitching?

I do use a 'hump jumper' so there is no problem with the last few stitches where the foot might normally be hanging off a cliff of fabric. The problem is in the beginning of the transition from straight to curve where I'm going over the zipper.

Thanks everyone.

Anatomy of a Zipper

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I have no idea what Apple thought I was saying so be a Peach and credit anything bizarre to auto correct.

MNBarb
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MNBarb  Friend of PR
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Date: 2/7/12 1:24 PM

In my effort to fit pants I might have to crow about what I've learned about zipper installation.

Just when I think I've got this figured out someone will come along and have better methods.

-I prefer the the look of a sewn-on fly extension.
-The zipper going into the waistband looks more RTW and the zipper should lock if the pull is in the down position.
-When topstitching, I mark the bottom zipper stop and steer clear of it to avoid wonky-ness. It works well to draw the topstitching line with chalk or another marking method. I use the zipper or regular foot depending on the thickness of fabric and how much of a lump is made by the zipper stop.
-For casual pants I like to double-row topstitch and bartack where jeans would be bartacked.
-My older machine is a bit of a lurcher. It's difficult to make nice topstitched curves if your machine wants to run away with your fabric.
-Practice, practice and practice more.

This might be like showing photos of your children (a faux pas) but here is my most recent fly front. Isn't she cute?

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Barb
"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." Thomas Edison
"I not only use all the brains I have, but all I can borrow." Woodrow Wilson

Sherril Miller
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Sherril Miller  Friend of PR
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Date: 2/7/12 1:42 PM

Barb, those pants look fantastic. And it's OK to "share" your beautiful work with us. No faux pas here.

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Visit my blog at http://sewingsaga.blogspot.com

If it's worth sewing, it's worth sewing well;
and if it's worth sewing well, it's worth FITTING FIRST! - TSL

a7yrstitch
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a7yrstitch  Friend of PR
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In reply to MNBarb


Date: 2/7/12 2:06 PM

Beautiful and thank you. I rarely try on rtw jeans because I am so very, very short in the rise so, yes, I have missed that the rtw has the zipper extending into the waistband. (And, it serves as a good reminder to shop the details even if I can't shop the pants.)

And, I haven't been running the bartacking across to match the width of the double stitching in the crotch like you do. Very nice big difference!

I do prefer a fly extension. I will mark the bottom zipper stop. And, I will do some practice runs with and without the dual feed engaged. As much as I like the dual feed it could be that for this task it takes away that tiny bit of extra control I need for the curve.

Thanks, MNBarb, I'm excited; I love the look and am especially excited about losing that annoying little gap at the top of the zipper. I've done this with skirts and dresses; why haven't I thought of it for pants?????

Adorable child

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I have no idea what Apple thought I was saying so be a Peach and credit anything bizarre to auto correct.

M.S.
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M.S.
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Date: 2/7/12 2:50 PM

MNBarb, your sewing looks fantastic!! Perfect pants!

quathy
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quathy  Friend of PR
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Date: 2/7/12 5:18 PM

I just finished one on kid's jeans, using tutorial from Hot Patterns (NAYY). Warning- her video makes a left-handed fly! I had to re-do :(
But she did her topstitching without any guide... I prefer to chalk-trace the fly extension curve and just sew on that. I did the entire fly using my standard straight-stitch foot. Sorry no pic of that yet...

HotPatterns fly tutorial on YouTube

-- Edited on 2/7/12 5:19 PM --

idahodogs
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idahodogs
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In reply to MNBarb


Date: 2/7/12 7:58 PM

Barb - I love your facing fabric, and the outside of your pants looks amazing too!! I think I shall print out your picture and hang it near my machine to remind myself what I am aiming for

I myself have only just begun to get the hang of SB's cut-on fly-shield method, and I have to say, I like your sewn on one much better - is there a book or tutorial you used to learn how to do it?

I checked out the Hot Patterns tutorial, but I usually do better with pictures that hold still while I study them for several minutes

MNBarb
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MNBarb  Friend of PR
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In reply to idahodogs


Date: 2/8/12 7:36 AM

Thanks everyone, for the compliments. Sometimes when things turn out you just want to share but it's a bit inappropriate to be flasihng a home-sewn fly in public.

Idahodogs, I used 3 lunch breaks Googling directions for sewn-on facing fly with visuals (I'm not great with video either. I always want them to stop and show me details) I never did find a good tutorial.

Anyway, the fly in the photo is from Simplicity 3880 and I mostly used their instructions. I also found similar instructions in Readers' Digest New Complete Guide to Sewing from the library (pages 294-297 if you own the book).

------
Barb
"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." Thomas Edison
"I not only use all the brains I have, but all I can borrow." Woodrow Wilson

n45
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Date: 2/8/12 8:07 AM

Those are great Barb!
I think I will try the bartacking.

Tom P
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Tom P  Friend of PR
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In reply to a7yrstitch


Date: 2/8/12 8:12 AM

A couple of things.

The zipper is locking or not depending on the slider. If the slider is locking and the pull is down, the zipper will lock. It's ok to just have the teeth sewn into a waistband. In fact, it's better to have the zipper a little longer, in case you mess up and the exposed zipper length is a little off. You can always trim the extra that falls in the waistband.

The bottom stop can also be below the fly opening. If it's a little above, you end up with a small hole at the bottom of the zipper. This is covered by the fly, and never comes open on the pants where I've ended up with it.

To get smooth topstitching, I stitch on the wrong side using the edge of the fly facing as a guide. Don't feel like you need to follow the edge exactly. Also, what shows up as poor topstitching is when the line of stitching changes curvature. That is, if you don't make the turns an a single smooth motion, but you try to slightly move the fabric a little back and forth, say to follow the edge of the fly facing. It's better to leave a little space at the edge than to try to be too cute with the stitching. Once you get one line of stitching, you can stitch a nearby line from the right side.

Getting smooth topstitching with contrast thread is really a challenge. If I'm making jeans other than blue, I try to use matching thread for just that reason. There's nothing wrong with that, either.

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