Design Variation : Fly Front with Belt Loops
Fly-front zippers may look complicated, but don’t let them intimidate you. They’re actually very simple to sew with just a few extra steps. Drafting a fly front isn’t difficult either, making it possible for you to put together your own unique jeans-style skirt that can be dressed up or down for style and versatility.
Draft the Pattern
1). Trace your straight skirt front and back slopers onto drafting paper, leaving space all around for design features and seam allowances. Use the directions to change the pattern from two darts to one dart.
2). Adjust the waistline and make the waistband. Lower the waistline. Draft three separate contoured waistband pieces with separate facings: the left front, the right front, and the back (cut on the fabric fold). Use a curved ruler to smooth out the bend at the closed darts. This waistband is 1½” wide, but you can make it as wide as you want; just make sure the darts end above the waistline seam. To accommodate the fly-front opening, extend the right front waistband 1½” at the center front. Change the skirt length as desired on both the front and back patterns. Draft a 3″-wide contrast band across the bottom edge of the skirt front and back.
3). Draft the pockets.
a) The pockets require two pattern pieces: a pocket facing and a pocket backing. Draw the pieces on the skirt front and then trace them and add seam allowances. The pocket opening can be straight, curved, or even a fun shape; it’s up to you. Draw the pocket shape on the skirt as deep as you want.
b) Once you are happy with the design, trace the shapes onto drafting paper as shown and add ½” seam allowance all around.
4). Finish the skirt front pattern by cutting the front along the pocket opening. Add ½” seam allowance to the pocket opening.
5). To draft the fly-front opening for a 7″ zipper, measure 7″ down from the waistline on the center front to mark the bottom of the zipper. Draft a fly-front shield that is 2″ wide and as long as the zipper. Round off the bottom left corner as shown. The fly shield goes behind the zipper to protect your skin. Draft a fly facing that is 3″ wide and as long as your zipper.
6). Design the skirt back. The waistline has already been lowered and a waistband drafted (step 2). Draw a design line for the back yoke as desired. The yoke shown here is about 2″ wide all the way across, but yours can be as wide as you would like. Add registration marks. Cut off the yoke and tape any darts in the yoke closed.
To add a vent, follow the instructions. Don’t forget to add a contrast band across the bottom if you added one to the front.
If your yoke is narrow and there is still dart extending below it, you’ll need to omit it. To do this, measure the dart width and shave that amount off the side seam. Blend the side seam so that it curves naturally.
7). Draft the back pockets in the desired shape and size. (You can also trace the pockets off your favorite pair of jeans.) Add a ½” seam allowance at the side and bottom edges and a 1″ hem allowance across the top.
8). Complete the pattern. Add ½” seam allowances to all the pattern pieces except the fly facing, fly shield, and patch pocket (they already have seam allowances). Add ½” seam allowance to the bottom edge of the skirt and top edge of the contrast hem band. Add ¾” to the bottom of the hem band for a hem allowance.
PATTERN DRAFTING NOTE : To make a fly zipper closure, you need to first draft a few extra pieces, including a fly facing and shield. Most sportswear garments, such as jeans, have flies that open to the right. For dressy options, such as suit skirts, reverse the directions for a fly that opens to the left.
›› 2 yards of 44/45″ fabric
›› ¼ yard of 44/45″ fabric (for contrast band)
›› ½ yard of fusible interfacing
›› 7″ zipper
›› Zipper presser foot
›› ¾”-diameter button or snap
›› Tear-away stabilizer (optional for decorative stitching on back pockets)
›› Contrasting topstitching thread
›› Decorative thread (optional for decorative stitching on back pockets)
›› Topstitching machine needle
›› Matching thread
›› Tailor’s chalk or temporary fabric marker
Sew the Super Fly Skirt
1). Cut out the skirt fabric. Use the newly drafted pattern pieces to cut the following pieces from the primary fabric:
- two skirt fronts
- two skirt backs
- two front pocket backings and two front pocket facings
- two left-front waistbands and two right-front waistbands
- two back yokes
- two back patch pockets
- two back waistbands, each cut with the center back on the fabric fold
- one fly facing and one fly shield
From contrasting fabric : Cut two front bands and two back bands.
From interfacing : Cut one left front waistband, one right front waistband, and one back waistband from interfacing.
FABRIC NOTE : The raspberry-colored denim fabric gives this garment a casual appeal. However, you can make this same skirt from a suiting material for a more formal, office-friendly option.
2). Assemble the skirt front. Following the instructions, attach and stitch the slanted front pockets to each skirt front. Topstitch as desired. If you created contrasting bands, attach them to the bottom edge of each skirt piece now.
3). Sew the zipper and fly.
a) Stitch the center front seam from the hem edge up to the zipper marking; backstitch. Clip the seam allowance at the marking (bottom of the fly opening).
b) Fold the fly facing in half with the wrong sides together. Pin it on the right side of the left skirt front with the raw edges aligned; stitch with ½” seam allowance.
c) Press the fly facing away from the seam and edgestitch the skirt front along the seam, through the facing.
d) Finish the fly-shield edges one of two ways: You can sew them together along the long edges with right sides together and then turn them right side out. Or, you can finish them on a serger with the wrong sides together.
e) Attach the zipper presser foot to your machine. Place the zipper facedown on the unfinished front zipper edge. Lay the assembled fly shield on top and stitch it in place, along the right side of the zipper tape, as shown.
f) Turn the zipper and fly shield over and press. Edgestitch the zipper in place close to the zipper teeth.
g) From the front of the skirt, pin the fly closed.
h) Turn the skirt wrong side out and stitch the zipper tape to the fly facing close to the right side of the zipper teeth.
i) Turn the skirt right side out and pin the fly closed again; push the fly shield out of the way. Draw a topstitching line on the skirt, using a temporary fabric marker, ¾” from the opening and following the curve of the fly shield, as shown. Topstitch along the line.
4). Attach the back yokes. Remove the zipper foot and reinstall the regular presser foot to attach the back yokes. Pin one yoke to one skirt back with right sides together and edges aligned. Stitch in place and repeat for the remaining yoke and skirt back.
5). Sew the center-back seam. For help sewing a vent, if you drafted one.
6). Assemble and attach the back pockets. Turn under the top edge of one back pocket ½” twice. Topstitch along both folds. Repeat for the second pocket. If you want to decorate them, do that now.
Press under the remaining edges of each pocket ½”. Position the pockets on the skirt, below the yoke, and topstitch them in place close to the side and bottom edges. Topstitch them again ¼” inside the first stitching.
7). Assemble the skirt. With the right sides together and side seams aligned, stitch the skirt front to the skirt back.
8). Assemble the waistbands. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of one left and one right front waistband and one back waistband. Then, with right sides together and side seams aligned, stitch the interfaced front waistbands to the interfaced back waistband. Repeat to join the non-interfaced waistband pieces to make the facing.
Follow the instructions for help attaching a two-piece waistband with separate facing; if you want to add belt loops, read the opposite page before attaching the waistband. Make sure the edges of the waistbands align with the finished edges of the fly-front opening. Topstitch on all edges of the waistband as desired.
9). Make the waistband buttonhole. Mark a ⅞”-long horizontal buttonhole on the left front waistband, starting ⅛” to the left of the halfway point between the edge of the fly and the topstitching (as shown). Cut open the buttonhole and close the skirt. Mark the desired button location on the right front waistband. Open the fly and hand-sew the button in place.
10). Hem the skirt. Press under a ⅜” double-fold hem at the bottom of the contrasting band and topstitch it in place, or hem the bottom of the skirt as desired. In keeping with the design of the skirt, topstitch the hem with a contrasting thread.
If you want to add a design to your pockets, draw it onto the pocket fabric using a temporary fabric marker. Then pin a piece of tear-away stabilizer behind the pocket. Machine-stitch your design onto the pocket. Repeat for the second pocket.
Belt loops are quick to make and add a nice finishing touch. Draft them longer for a wider belt.
MAKING BELT LOOPS
1). Draft a belt loop equal to the depth of the waistband + ¾” ×1¼” wide. Cut as many belt loops as desired from your fabric.
2). Fold the loop in half lengthwise with the right sides together, and stitch the long edges together with ¼” seam allowance. Trim the seam allowance to 1⁄8″ and turn the belt loop right side out. Press. Repeat with the remaining belt loops.
3). Topstitch, if desired, along each long edge of the belt loops.
ATTACHING BELT LOOPS
There are two ways to attach belt loops: before the waistband is attached to the skirt or topstitched in place after the skirt is made.
Before Waistband Is Attached
1). Pin one narrow edge of each belt loop along the top edge of the right side of the skirt. Baste them in place.
2). Assemble the waistband as usual, making sure not to catch the belt loop in the stitching. Once the waistband is complete (including any topstitching), extend the belt loops up and fold under the top edges to match the top edge of the waistband. Make sure you don’t lay the belt loop flush against the skirt; add a little bit of room, or ease, so your belt can fit through the loop. Topstitch the folded edges of the loops in place with a narrow zigzag stitch.
Topstitch After Construction
1). Assemble the skirt completely, including the waistband. Then, turn under the unfinished, narrow edges of each belt loop 3⁄8″.
2). Position the belt loops on the skirt so the edges of the belt loops are even with the edges of the waistband. Topstitch the belt loops in place along the top and bottom waistband edges with a narrow zigzag stitch, adding a little bit of room, or ease, so your belt can fit through the loop.
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