Saturday, January 18, 2014

My First Fly Front

I'm participating in the Make a Garment a Month challenge and the theme for January is to learn a new skill. I figured it was time to dive deep into the ocean of my sewing fears and try a fly front.
My first fly front!
Kristy of Lower Your Presser Foot has made up a Burdastyle trouser pattern that I'd been eyeing. They looked so great on her, I decided to give it a whirl. With this style of trouser, my cowardly method of moving the zip to another location wouldn't cut the mustard. Time to gird my loins and get to it.

I used some stretch twill in a nice greenish-gray that I got at Britex last time we were in San Francisco. Lesson #1 - don't buy fabric for trousers unless you've checked how much yardage you're going to need. I thought 1.5 yards of 54" fabric should be fine. I'm only 5'2" for gosh sakes. Turns out it takes more fabric than you might think to wrap all the way around your legs. I had to get extremely creative with my cutting layout, including having the front pieces cut North to South and the back pieces cut South to North. When I got done I could stash my leftover fabric scraps in an egg cup.

I figured out pretty quickly that using Burdastyle instructions to insert your first fly front was a bad idea. I read those instructions 15 times and was still at a loss. 

Boy am I glad I live in the information age. I scoured the internet for information on fly fronts and found a Threads tutorial by Sandra Betzina that I actually thought I understood. Sadly, her pattern was using cut-on fly facings. I had already cut my pieces according to the Burdastyle pattern, which has separate fly facings. And no way could I re-cut anything. I manhandled my pattern pieces into a construct that more or less let me follow along with Sandra and ended up with something that works, and doesn't look too bad from the outside. The inside's a different story. Looks like one side of the zip attacked the other and ripped its guts out.

This is the good side. The bad side is too terrifying to show to the public.



side - the top is one of my 700 Renfrews

Love those pockets
The trousers actually turned out pretty much as I hoped they would. It is so great having fellow sewists who act as pattern testers for me. I was looking for something a little slimmer-cut than my last few pairs of pants. I wanted them to be kind of like a nice, comfy pair of weekend jeans. Only I'm not ready yet to sew a pair of jeans. Maybe for 'Face Your Fears 2015.'

I have another piece of stretch twill that's earmarked for my second try at these. I can tell you one thing for sure though, I'll be altering that pattern to use a cut-on fly!

I should be able to do that by just lining up the seam lines for the fly pattern pieces with the seam lines for the center front pattern pieces, right?

My pattern review is on here.


  1. Hi Nancy, enjoyed reading your post! The pants do look great on you. I am very impressed!

    1. Hi Stoney Lonesome! Great to meet a fellow MAGAMer! And thanks for the encouragement!

  2. Great looking pants and you have done an excellent job on your fly! Line up your stitching lines for the fly pattern and even sticky tape them in place and then you will never get caught out again!

    1. Thanks for the tip! I'm going to give that a try.

  3. Your trousers look lovely. Nice fabric. I've never made a fly front and don't feel ready yet !

    1. Hey, if I can do it it can't be too hard. Do check out the Threads video when you give it a try. It's the bee's knees.

  4. You did a great job on these..Looks nice on you. Proud you did the fly front and now your ready to make more..ha Happy sewing.

  5. Very impressive!-Lisa