In Fitting Fashion

  • The Front Fly Tutorial

    This method of constructing the front fly zipper is a variation on the one I used in the assembly instructions for the Claire and Ellen patterns.  The method I show here is a little more streamlined and gives very consistent and professional results.  Give it a try and see what you think.
    What You Will Need

    I am demonstrating this process by using the Claire shorts pattern.  No matter what pattern you are using, you will need the Front, Fly Facing and Fly Guard pieces.  Add to that any interfacing that is required and the zipper.  For Claire (and Ellen) you will need the Zipper Stabilizer and Front Facing interfacing pieces as well as your zipper shortened to 4 1/2" if required.

    Transfer the Pattern Markings and Fuse Interfacing

    Transfer the notches that indicate center front and the zipper offset position.  Mark the small dot position.  Fuse the interfacing to their appropriate pieces.

    Prepare the Right Front

    On the Right Front only, cut off and discard the 3/8" (1 cm) zipper extension.  The Left Front must have this extension so that the zipper can be offset from center front by 3/8".  It is this extension that prevents the zipper from showing on the face of the garment.  (It's really important)

    Prepare the Parts

    To prepare the Fly Guard, fold it with right sides together and stitch the lower curved edge using 1/4" (0.6 cm) seam allowance.  Trim to 1/8" (0.3 cm) and turn right sides out.  Press.  Serge finish the vertical raw edge.

    To prepare the Fly Facing, serge finish the curved edge.

    Prepare the Front pieces by serge finishing the front and back rises.

    Set the zipper to the Fly Guard.  The zipper tape should be flush with the top edge and the serged edge of the zipper guard.

    Assemble the Fly

    Now you are ready to begin assembling the front fly.  Begin by pressing the Left Front zipper extension toward the wrong side by 3/8" (1 cm).  Then set the folded edge of the next to the zipper teeth and edge stitch the Left Front section to the Zipper Guard.

    Now prepare the Right Front by attaching the Fly Facing using a 3/8" (1 cm) seam allowance.  Press the seam allowance toward the Fly Facing and under stitch.

    Press the Fly Facing toward the wrong side along the center front seam line.

    If you are following along with the assembly instructions for the Claire shorts or Ellen Pants, proceed as outlined in the pattern instructions by preparing the Back sections then joining the side seams and inseams of the Front and Back together.  Otherwise, you may continue as below and join Front to Back at a later stage.

    With correct sides together, place the Left Front on top of the Right Front.  Align the center front notches and the small dots.

    Stitch the rise seam together using a 3/8" (1 cm) seam allowance.  Be sure to backstitch at the small dot to secure the fly opening.

    Now it is time to stitch the other side of the zipper tape to the Fly Facing.  Begin by laying the Front sections down with the Fly Guard facing up and the Fly Facing extended.  Check to be sure the center front notches are aligned.  Stitch the zipper to the Fly Facing.

    Topstitching the Fly

    Organize the Front sections so they are laying flat out in front of you.  Stitch the Fly Facing to the Right Front using 1/4" seam allowance.  I use the edge of my presser foot and guide it along the edge of the Fly Facing, this way I get a great looking topstitch every time.  Continue stitching until you can go no further.  Be sure to keep the Fly Guard free.

    Turn your work so that you see the face of the garment and the Fly Guard in position.  Finish the topstitching at the bottom of the fly opening through all layers.  Then tack the Fly Guard to the Front through all layers to prevent it from flipping back and forth.

    Your Front Fly is finished!

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