I am making a rub-off jeans pattern for one of my kids. When I got to the zipper fly, I compared the child-sized zipper to adult-sized ones, and to my surprise, they were about the same width. It varied a little from pair to pair, but my husband’s fly topstitching was almost the same width as that on child’s size 6 pair of jeans. So, that got me thinking that rather than trace the zipper fly pieces for this pair of jeans, I could just make a zipper fly template and use the same pattern when I make myself jeans, too. I’d just change the length of the pattern pieces, and maybe I’d make the topstitching a couple of millimeters further from the edge for adult jeans.
Despite the fact that I’ve sewn over a dozen zipper flies, they still make my head spin. I’ll get it all figured out, then after not sewing one for a year, I’ll have forgotten everything. For self-drafted patterns, I was using a variation of the women’s zipper fly instructions in the original version of the Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Sewing. I wasn’t really happy with this method. There is one step in particular, where you have to fold up the end of the zipper tape to keep from stitching through it, that I tend to mess up half the time and have to pick out my stitches.
I want to sew real jeans zipper flies that look like the ones on ready-to-wear jeans. I looked through all of my sewing patterns and only found instructions for sewing mock flies (the fly facing is part of the pants front and folded over rather than sewn on). I looked through all of my sewing and patternmaking books and struck out there too. I looked through a dozen or so zipper fly tutorials on the internet, and every single one was for sewing a mock fly. Except they don’t call them that anymore. They just call them a zipper fly. I’d be OK with a mock fly on a skirt, maybe dress pants, or even little girls’ jeans, but darn it, I wanted to sew a “real” jeans zipper fly and I couldn’t find instructions for one. So what did I do? I figured it out myself and wrote a tutorial, of course.
There seems to be no end of variations on how to sew a zipper fly, so I’m not worried about doing it “the right way”. There really doesn’t appear to be such a thing as “the right way” to sew a fly. Even looking through the zipper flies on the ready-to-wear pants in my house, I can see they used different construction methods.
If anyone knows of any other good zipper fly tutorials (ones with a sewn on fly facing, not a mock fly), please post a link in the comments.