How To Sew A Fly Front Zipper For Beginners



The fly-front zipper is the traditional zipper application for men’s pants. It is often used on women’s clothes as well, however, because it provides such a neat and durable closing. Traditionally, in women’s clothes, the placket laps right over left as shown here; in men’s garments, it laps left over right.

A special pants zipper is often recommended for use with this application. If a pants zipper is not suitable because of its weight or color, a skirt zipper can be used. No matter what type of zipper you choose, it will probably require shortening; fly-front plackets are not as long as most other zipper plackets. See instructions at right. It is best to buy a pattern designed with a fly-front closing — it will supply all the necessary pattern pieces.

1. On right front, mark curve of topstitching with hand basting; mark the symbol indicating bottom of placket. Stitch front crotch seam from pattern marking to a point 1 or 1 ½ in (2.5 or 4 cm) from edge of inside leg.

2. With right sides together, baste right fly facing to right front edge, matching markings. Stitch from marking at bottom of zipper placket to waist. Remove the basting stitches.

3. Trim and grade the seam allowances; open out the facing and press it and the seam allowances away from the garment.

4. Position closed zipper face down on right side of facing. The left edge of zipper tape should lie along facing seam and bottom stop should be ¾ in (2 cm) from raw edge of facing. Top of zipper may extend beyond upper edge of facing. Baste zipper in place, turning up bottom of left zipper tape even with bottom stop. Baste left zipper tape to facing from bottom to top. On right zipper tape, stitch close to chain or ladder, using zipper foot and regular stitch length. Stitch a second time, close to edge of tape.

5. Turn facing to the inside on seamline. Press. On outside of garment, baste fly facing to front, following original basted markings. Then topstitch from bottom to top along basted markings, being careful not to catch left zipper tape in stitching. Pull threads to wrong side and tie. Remove all basting stitches.

6. With right sides together, stitch fly shield facing to fly shield on the unnotched edge. Trim and grade the seam; notch the curve. Turn shield to the right side and press. (Note: if fabric is bulky, cut the shield of the fabric and the shield facing out of lining fabric.)

7. Fold under and baste the edge of left pants from ¼ in (6 mm) beyond the seamline. Open zipper. Pin left front to zipper, next to ladder or chain, working from bottom to top. Baste in place. Close zipper to check positioning.

8. To position fly shield, work from the wrong side. Match curve of shield to curve of topstitching; pin temporarily.

9. Turn unit back to right side and baste through all layers of garment, zipper, and shield. Remove pins. Open zipper. Using a zipper foot, stitch through all layers from top to bottom, close to ladder or chain. Pull threads to the wrong side and tie.

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