In case you missed it, we just launched our new jeans pattern, the Brooks Jeans! We are so excited to finally have a jeans pattern in our collection. You can check out the pattern here.
If you have never sewn jeans before, don’t worry! You can totally do it. As always, we have provided really detailed instructions that will guide you every step of the way. The zipper fly is such a fun way to level up your sewing. It may be challenging but let me tell you, it is truly magical! You will be amazed once you sew your first zipper fly. I’m going to walk you through it in more detail in this blog post today.
Note: There are many ways to sew a zipper fly and this may not be the way you are familiar with. Personally, I love learning new approaches in sewing but I also love using my favourite techniques for things. If this method of construction is not for you, that’s A-OK! You can use your preferred method and still get a great result.
If you are feeling nervous about sewing the zipper fly on your project, you can sew a test fly! You don’t even need to cut out full front leg pieces, you just need the crotch curve, the fly facing, and the zipper shield. Use a cheap plastic zipper for your practice version. Once you sew through the instructions once, you will feel much more confident to move on to your final jeans.
First, finish the curved side of the fly facing, the long unfinished side of the zipper shield, and the center front of both front legs using your preferred method. I’ve used a serger here and I re-marked my notches using pink chalk.
With right sides together, sew the fly facing to the left front leg. Grade the fly facing seam allowance down to 1/4” (0.6 cm). I’m using my applique scissors here. I am not trimming the seam allowance on the leg.
Press the fly facing away from the left leg. With right sides facing, sew the legs together at the crotch. Sew from the notch to the inseam.
Your stitches should fall right next to the zipper fly, not on top of it. Here is a picture of the seam when I open it. ☝️
Clip 3/8” (1 cm) into the seam allowance of the right (as worn) leg at the notch.
Press the seam allowances below the notch towards the left (as worn) leg. Press the fly facing onto the wrong side of the left (as worn) leg.
Pin the fly facing in place from the right side of the jeans.
Starting at the waist, edgestitch along the center front of the left (as worn) leg, 1/8” (0.3 cm) away from the edge. Sew from the waist to the crotch, moving the other leg out of the way as you sew. On the right side of the fabric, I’ve highlighted my stitching line in white so you can see it better.
With the zipper facing down, sew the zipper onto the right (as worn) leg. The top zipper stop should sit just over 5/8” (1.6 cm) down from the top edge of the pant leg. In this tutorial, I am going to shorten my zipper later on in the process. If you prefer, you can shorten it now, before you sew it on. Flip the zipper over so it is right side up and give it a good press.
Line up the center front notches. Ensure everything is lying flat before pinning in place vertically along the center front edgestitching.
Fold the jeans with right sides facing. The fly facing and the zipper should be sticking out here. Sew the zipper to the fly facing where it naturally falls. Sew two lines of stitching here to make it extra secure.
Open the jeans back up and move the pins to secure the fly facing again. Using the fly stitching template, mark your stitch line. Ensure your line does not intersect with your bottom zipper stop. In my case, it crosses over my zipper teeth, which is fine.
Sew your first line of stitching following your marking. Sew a second line, 1/4” (0.6 cm) outside of the first. Sew really slowly and carefully over the zipper teeth if you have an extra long zipper. I like to use my handwheel here and make sure the needle goes through the teeth. Don’t worry if your stitching is not perfect, especially around the bottom curve. A few wobbles is totally OK! Mine isn’t perfect either.
Next, we are going to attach the zipper shield. Pin this to the seam allowance and zipper tape on the right (as worn) leg.
Sew the zipper shield using a 1/4” (0.6 cm) seam allowance. You may not be able to sew al the way to the bottom and that is totally fine. Use a zipper foot here to make it easier to sew this narrow seam next to all that bulk.
If you haven’t already, shorten the zipper so the end is hidden under the zipper shield. I’m using a wire cutter to cut through the teeth so I don’t damage my scissors.
Edgestitch right next to the zipper on the right (as worn) leg. You won’t be able to stitch all the way down, but go as far as you can.
Working from the right side, sew a second line of topstitching on the bottom part of the center front seam. Start sewing at the crotch, 1/4” (0.6 cm) away from the edgestitching and sew to ~3/4” (2 cm) past the fly topstitching lines. Slightly flare out the top of your topstitching if you would like. Pivot and sew towards the center of the jeans. Make sure the zipper shield is laying flat. Go slowly and avoid sewing on your zipper teeth/stop.
Now, when you peek into the bottom of your zipper, everything should look tidy and the zipper should be secure.
Sew bartacks to secure the zipper shield in place over the zipper. I’ve sewn three because I messed up the placement of my first bar tack and decided to go with it! One of the bar tacks is supposed to be at the top of the crotch topstitching and one should be on the outer fly facing stitching, just where the curve starts to straighten.
Congrats! Your zipper fly is complete! You can move on to sewing the rest of the jeans and know that the hard part is over. Well done!
You can grab the Brooks Jeans pattern in our shop!
Thank you for the wonderful front fly zipper tutorial. God Bless you! Doris in Indiana