Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Phooey! Pants fly madness

I got through the fly on all 3 pairs and I don't like any of them, and so they will be ripped...

I think I need find wider zippers, with wider zipper tape for one thing.

If you don't like it, you won't wear it!

Rip, rip rip...

Does anyone know of a good trouser zipper tutorial?  Quick and easy to read is a must, otherwise I might as well be reading the old BWOF instructions.

I used the Stitches and Seams tutorial by Debbie which I have used so often before, but my zipper tape isn't wide enough for a nicely proportioned fly!  I don't want to order a yard of Riri, its expensive and the pulls are bulky.  But, there is nothing more frustrating than having to replace a zipper!

Immediate fixes:
-I think the gray ones are OK, but i will look at them and think about it
-The navy pair has a fly that is too narrow, wider zipper is necessary
-The black pair at the bottom, I love the fabric, its too light weight and probably needs underlining or interfacing, plus the stripes are crooked on the right side.  (Rhonda, this is the fab fabric that I got when we were at High's)

So much for my "Stepping out of my Comfort Zone" pledge to myself to not start another project until I finished the first... I'm on to the Marfy polka dot blouse with the tie front, I'll post pics soon.

I'm putting the pants aside until later in the month, its just time to spend some time apart


  1. I don't do fly fronts often enough to be any kind of expert, but I think Sandra Betzina has a good method in her Power Sewing book, I'm sure you can find it online somewhere if you don't have that book. I agree with you that if it doesn't feel right then they won't get worn, much as I hate ripping stitching out!

  2. I've used the method Allison describes since I found it a few years ago. No need for different zippers. Here's the link to a video on Threads:
    Essentially the zipper tape is stitched with a seam you don't see on the front, the topstitching is what you will see and that is not done on the zipper tape.

  3. Sometimes you just have to take a break. I have never done a fly front so kudos to you for your past successes.

  4. Take a break and come back to it later. Do something that's fun and will make you feel good and then when you go back to the zippers, you won't be so frustrated.

  5. I feel for you. I have something in time out right now.... so frustrating. I use Palmer Pletsch book Pants for Real People for my fly zipper instructions. It says the cut on fly extension must be 1.5 inches wide for success and sometimes they are not that wide on some patterns and this is what makes the zipper show. The book cliams you can put any colour zip in and it will not show using their method .... I tried it and they are right. I use Steam a Seam to hold thd zipper in place and this means fewer pins and thus a smoother result with less swearing. The zip is sewn on one side first then the overlap lies over the zipper and you stitch the zipper in with the topstitching.

  6. Another vote for Sandra Betzina's method! If you don't have the book,
    let me know and I'll scan the directions and email it to you.

  7. I am teaching trouser construction this fall and will be demonstrating a simple fly zipper installation so I will gather a few photos for you. I could post them on my blog or I could email them to you, as you wish.

  8. I like Jennifer Stern's tutorial:

  9. I agree with the comment that the fly extension should be 1.5" and think that maybe yours isn't? I don't think the zippers are the problem.

  10. I like your idea of taking a break and coming back to these later.

  11. This is something about BWOF instructions that puzzles me - especially the pants. Did you add enough SA to the fly area? I cut out a muslin of a Burda magazine pant a year ago and ran into the same problem. I don't recall adding enough to the fly. The tutorials mentioned are all pretty good and don't require a wider zipper. I'll be following your progress.

  12. I zip the zip to the inside facings first and then do the outside seam. You need at least an inch and a half on the fly facing seam,and the other side is tucked under by half an inch. It's the only method I use. Take a break, take the zips out and then start again. Tack and pin everything first before you sew. Just so you can see if whatever method you are using is going to work.

  13. Oh, it is horrible if things are not going well over and over! But I can tell you that you don't need wide zip tape to insert the zips neatly. You do however need to cut a plenty wide enough fly, in your fabric, and maybe that is the problem?
    I don't really use the instructions anymore but I learnt how to do a fly front through the excellent instructions in Burda patterns (in the envelope) and I believe Vogue has top notch instructions too. Clear illustrations as well as step by step written instructions.


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