Sewing Tutorial | Inserting a Fly Front Zipper

I used to hate HATE inserting flys until I figured out this awesome method. It’s nothing groundbreaking but I feel like every time I opened a new book or pattern they would give me a slightly different variation on how to insert a fly. These are my 7 steps to inserting a fly that works and looks great every single time, no more dreading this process.

You may recognize that this is a repost of part of my Maritime Shorts sewing instructions. I figured it would be useful in a singular post for a few reasons. One, for people who need to insert a fly and aren’t making the Maritime Shorts, now you don’t have to wade through 30 some odd instructions just to insert a fly in something completely unrelated. Two, as I release more patterns with flys it would make me SO happy to have a tutorial to refer to for that step instead of doing the same photos over and over and over. So without further ado, here is the tutorial for Inserting a Fly Front Zipper (after the jump).

Step 1 | First prepare your Fly Facing and Fly Shield by fusing your interfacing to the wrong side of each piece according to the instructions that came with your fusible. You can optionally serge or zig zag stitch around the curved edge of the Fly Facing. For the fly facing you can do one of two things. Fold the Fly Shield in half with wrong sides together, sew around the side and bottom edges and either serge or zig zag stitch around the edges OR you can fold the Fly Shield in half with right sides together, stitch around the side and bottom edges and flip right side out so the seams are concealed inside of the Fly Shield.

Step 2 | Place Fly Facing on Left Front edge and stitch from top to start of crotch seam. Grade the seam allowance, press Fly Facing away from garment and understitch.

Step 3 | Place closed zipper face down along the edge of the Fly Facing making sure that the zipper stop is ¾” from the bottom edge of the facing. Using a zipper foot, baste along the right edge of the zipper with bottom edge of zipper turned up. This will keep this side of the zipper from becoming caught when you topstitch the Fly Facing curve. Sew the left side of the zipper to the Fly Facing both along the coil and along the edge of the tape.

Step 4 | Turn Fly Facing to inside along the seamline and press. Baste along the curved edge of the Fly Facing about ¼” in from the edge, this is the line you will follow to topstitch the fly curve. Turn shorts right side out and topstitch along your basted line going from bottom to top. Remove basting threads.

Step 5 | Now to attach the right side of the zipper. Fold the right side of the shorts under ¼”, pin and baste to zipper. Close zipper to be sure that it is positioned correctly and evenly and that the tops of your shorts meet.

Step 6 | With the zipper closed position the Fly Shield from the inside of the shorts aligning the folded edge with the topstitching of the Fly Facing. Pin in place and flip garment to the right side. Baste along the zipper through all layers. Remove pins, open zipper and stitch along the zipper.

Step 7 | Place a bar tack across the bottom of the fly catching both the Fly Facing and Fly Shield. With the zipper open stitch across each side of the zipper tape. Trim the excess zipper tape even with the top of the shorts. Do not cut the zipper tapes without first stitching across the zipper tape!

That’s it, that wasn’t so bad, was it. Pretty easy actually! Now you’ll have to find something else to dread sewing. As always, if you have any questions you can post a comment below or send me an email.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
This entry was posted in Sewing Tutorials and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

36 Responses to Sewing Tutorial | Inserting a Fly Front Zipper

  1. I have just made my first ever fly. Next time, I’ll have to try your instructions!

  2. yesilikethat says:

    Yes! Thank you for this tutorial! I remember googling this a few years ago when I was making my first pair of trousers and there was nothing useful out there, except for a few mysterious diagrams and some cryptic instructions. Can’t wait to make the Moss skirt now.

  3. Barbara J says:

    I just completed a fly zipper using your tutorial. The only difference is I placed the fly facing on the right since it is a ladies capris … mine :) But I suppose that is no big deal. Thanks again.

    • I suppose I should specify in the tutorial that this is for a US jeans style fly, the fly facing is on the left here for ladies pants, and I think from your email address you may be in another country? Glad you found the tutorial helpful other than that!

  4. This is awesome, I love you, thank you for sharing, may gold coins fall out the sky into your treasure chest/ bank account/ similar. I think I got it. Will try it for realisies once the heat has died down a bit XD

  5. Pingback: stitched: grainline moss mini and sewaholic renfrew | a stitch too few

  6. JLM says:

    Thank you for these instructions. They are the best I ever seen. Made a very difficult procedure easy!!

  7. Pingback: Britex Fabrics - Blog

  8. Jossie says:

    Anyone know what to do when the pants are being lined? I’m stumped! Thanks for any help at all!

  9. Kel says:

    I now officially hate zippers. Although this tutorial is great, it seems to be different to the instructions in the maritime shorts pattern. Running from the computer to the sewing machine every 2 minutes to check how to do it, and alternatively reading the pattern instructions as well made me stuff it up about a bazillion times. When I finally got it figured out and sewn in, I’d somehow managed to put the zipper in inside out… DOH! Next time, I will put my computer next to my sewing machine and follow only this tutorial. Ohwell, at least I’m now well skilled in unpicking.

    • Hmm, the tutorial and the instructions in the Maritime pattern are actually identical, in fact I copied and pasted the text from the pattern instructions straight into the blog post. I just double checked and they’re exactly the same, the only difference is the illustrations vs. photographs.

      • Kel says:

        Oh man I am the biggest idiot in the world. I do apologise! Next time I should read the step numbers. I was reading across the page instead of down the page meaning I was going from step 10, to step 12, then step 11… no wonder I was having such difficulties! I will not give up on my zipper, but I think I’ve unpicked it so many times now that I’ve started to ruin the fabric :( Otherwise, I love my maritime shorts.

  10. Pingback: Ginger Made: Grainline Studio Moss Mini Skirt! | Ginger Makes...

  11. Beth says:

    Thank you for the great explanation! I finished my first moss skirt today and I love it! Great pattern :)

  12. Pingback: Moss » makes the things

  13. Pingback: Moss skirt and Renfrew top | squishy lab

  14. Leonie says:

    Thank you for this tutorial! I’m masking the Moss Mini skirt right now and I can not get my Head around step 5 (or step 14 in the pattern). Didn’t I just sew the zipper on both sides to the fly? How am I able to Open the zipper? Mine is sewn flat to the fly, which is sewn to the left skirt front.
    I Hope You can help me, thank you very much!
    Leonie

  15. Stephanie says:

    This version works for me. I like my zipper offset, and this process is getting printed out and posted up in my workshop. Thanks!

  16. Pingback: Painted Moss Mini | Sweet Little Chickadee

  17. velosewer says:

    I have now followed your instructions and I can gladly say, your instructions worked. So now I know. And the zipper looks straight too.
    I used to follow another method but the top was always skewed for some reason. This method is dead straight and even:))
    Thanks Jen.

  18. Masha says:

    I think I am missing something. I followed the alternate instructions for the fly shield – I folded it right-sides-together, stitched around, then turned right-side-out. But now my fly shield is smaller than the one in your photos (which was just stitched and serged, not flipped), so when I position it with the folded edge aligned with the topstitching of the fly facing, it doesn’t cover the zipper. What am I missing?

  19. Pingback: Maybe I should just rename this the Twice a Year blog….. - Tottie Wee Miniatures

  20. Pingback: Completed: Grainline Moss Mini Skirt

  21. Hanna Geshelin says:

    After an hour, having basted and removed zipper four times, I’m moving to a different tutorial. I thought the instructions were clear, but after struggling for all thsi time I realize that can’t make sense of the photos, they seem to contradict each other. Don’t have a clue why everyone else finds these easy or what I’m doing wrong.

    • Jen says:

      Hi Hannah- If you let me know what you’re having trouble with I’d be more than happy to help but without more info on what’s going wrong I can’t do much. Different methods work for different people and perhaps this just isn’t your method.

      • Thanks, but a lot of time has passed and I don’t remember what my issues were. :-( I found another tutorial that worked for me. As you suggested, different strokes for different folks.

  22. Hannah says:

    That was an amazing tutorial!!!! thank you so much!
    I was struggling with how the pattern said to put them in, but now i get it. I will be bookmarking this for future reference :P

  23. Pingback: Houndstooth Moss Mini but longer | grayallday

  24. Pingback: Jeans in June & July – my not-so-skinny Named Jamie Jeans | Sew Busy Lizzy

  25. Pingback: Burda 6/2010 cuffed shorts | Made in my living room

  26. Pingback: those 70s high waisted flare jeans: Project Sewn - Noodlehead

  27. Pingback: Jedediah shorts sur la mer! |

  28. Pingback: Bow ties are cool, ok? | Fifty Two Fancies

  29. Pingback: Done! Moss Skirt | Material Girls

  30. deborah cajegas says:

    thank you soooo much of your tutorial. I’ve been looking quite sometimes how to attach zipper on trousers in different tutorial way but quite hard for me to understand as a beginners.
    but i found yours very clear and easy to follow.
    thank you once again for sharing to public.
    i did mine and it perfectly works well.
    thank you! you deserved 5 stars from me.
    good luck and share more.
    God bless!!!!

  31. Pingback: New from Old

Leave a Reply