Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Techniques: Sewing a Fly-Front Zipper

 photo ready_zpsef315aa0.jpg
For countless miserable years I was under the impression that fly-front zippers were something difficult and daunting. Could not have been more wrong. These steps go through sewing a fly-front zipper in just five stitches!

For the steps leading to this (tracing and cutting the front pieces of your pants) see this post.

I. The prepared crotch-area should look like this - your two front pieces of the pants right sides facing, cut in a U-shape as shown below, edges zig-zagged. Notice how the length of the zipper corresponds to the length of the straight part before the U starts.
 photo 4preparecrotchforzipper_zps5327dc12.jpg
II. Mark that end point with a pin and start sewing from the bottom of the crotch, regular (about 2-mm) stitch, until you reach the pin, back up to reinforce. From there, change the stitch setting to the longest you have on your machine and sew all the way to the edge. Don't back up at the end. This part is just there as a holder, and will be removed at the end. You may want to snip some cuts in the long stitch to make it easier to remove later.
 photo 5markspotforsewing_zpsf0b13a8c.jpg
III. Open the pants and press with iron.
 photo 6ironcrotch_zpsaeefa9c5.jpg
IV. Place the zipper on the right side, face down.
 photo 7placezipper_zps5ec46a0d.jpg
V. Flip all the layers except for the piece the zipper is sitting on, to the other side.
 photo 8foldreadyforsewing_zps555ac927.jpg
VI. To sew the first stitch, push the zipper against the seam (you don't need to pin it down unless you want to,  the layers of the fabric will act as a stopper). the zipper tape should go over the seam, with the actual zipper snuggly pressed right against the seam. Sew a straight stitch a couple mm from the right edge of the zipper tape (I've lost my zipper foot so keep using a regular foot for zippers, and have had no problem). At the end, you'll want to open the zipper past the foot to get all the way and keep the stitch straight.
 photo 9sewfirstzipperstitch_zps2eb6dfdc.jpg
VII. You should now have this.
 photo 10sewnzipperfirststitch_zpsc0d05b70.jpg
VIII. Flip the zipper over as shown below, and top-stitch right at the edge of the fold, on the zipper tape.
 photo 11flipzipper_zpsdabaaa23.jpg
IX. The result should look like this.
 photo 12topstitchflippedzipper_zps50e0229b.jpg
X. Flip all the zipper to the other side, making sure the right-most piece doesn't come with (if you sew this with the other layers, you won't be able to open the zipper). You may want to pin the piece down to make sure it stays clear.
 photo 13foldonothersideandpin_zps03a06240.jpg
XI. Again, gather all the other layers to the other side, with just the un-sewn side of the fly and the zipper in your hand. Sew a straight stitch along the un-sewn edge of the zipper tape, attaching it to the un-sewn side of the fly.
 photo 14foldallotherlayersaway_zpsd2400a1a.jpg
Your fly will now look like this; the zipper is trapped inside. At this point, check where your zipper ends and mark that spot with a pin on the right side, and you're ready to sew the final stitch.
 photo 15shouldlooklikethis_zpsad978fc2.jpg
XII. For the last stitch, lay the pants flat with the fly on the left side (in the image, the zipper is in between the foot and the centre seam). Check where the edge of the fly is and sew a couple mm right from that, straight stitch, until you arrive at the pin marking the end of the zipper.
 photo 16sewtopin_zps23d05ee2.jpg
XIII. At the pin, start curving your stitch, until you arrive at the centre seam. reverse and stop there.
 photo 17curvedstitchafterpin_zps28f9fea5.jpg
XIV. The last step is to remove the long stitch you did at step II. Your zipper should then be ready.
 photo 18ready_zpsfe0aba74.jpg

xo,

Julia

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