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MN2211 Ash / Sewalongs

Ash Jeans Sewalong // How to sew a Fly Front

how to sew the fly front on the Ash jeans pattern // tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Ok, lets dive right in to our Ash jeans construction! Whats great about this pattern, is that the sewing steps are exactly the same for all versions. So no matter what leg style you are making, everything in this sewalong applies!

Another great thing about it? You get the scariest step out of the way first! Yeah, the fly front is a little intimidating, I know. Because I was intimidated by it too at first. But I promise, it really isn’t as bad as you think. After I was done, I couldn’t believe how easy it was. And then the rest of the construction felt like a breeze after that. So don’t be scared. Let’s get right to it, and you’ll see, too!

And remember, you’ll need to switch between regular thread and topstitching thread, and a regular foot and a zipper foot. So make sure to pay attention to that!

OK, let’s go….

how to sew the fly front on the Ash jeans pattern // tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

To start, we need to finish the raw edges of the front crotch with your preferred method. You can use a serger, zig zag stitch, pinking shears, etc. But if you use a serger (like above), make sure you are inly finishing the edge, and not trimming off any of the seam allowance.

how to sew the fly front on the Ash jeans pattern // tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Fold the fly extension piece in half with right sides together. With regular thread and presser foot, sew along the bottom curved edge 1/4” inch from the raw edge.

how to sew the fly front on the Ash jeans pattern // tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Turn the right way around, shape the curved edge and press.

how to sew the fly front on the Ash jeans pattern // tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Finish the raw edge of the long side of the fly extension (two layers of fabric), as well as the curved side of the fly (one layer). Again, you can use a serger, zig zag stitch, pinking shears, etc. But if you use a serger (like above), make sure you are only finishing the edge, and not trimming off any of the seam allowance.

how to sew the fly front on the Ash jeans pattern // tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary how to sew the fly front on the Ash jeans pattern // tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Place the fly extension down so that the folded edge is on the right and the finished longer edge is on the left. Place the zipper down, right side up, along the left side, so that the zipper stop lines up with the notch on the fly extension. Pin in place.

If your zipper is longer than the suggested length, please do not worry! We’ll show you what to do about that when you attach your waistband. For now make sure you line up your zipper stop with the notch, and let any additional zipper length stick up over the top.

how to sew the fly front on the Ash jeans pattern // tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Switch to a zipper presser foot. Sew in place 1/4” from the edge.

how to sew the fly front on the Ash jeans pattern // tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Now place the right front piece in front of you right side up. Grab the fly extension/zipper – with the right side/zipper facing down, place it along the crotch edge, lining up the finished edges. Make sure the notches are matched up.

The zipper is now sandwiched between fabric.

Pin in place.

how to sew the fly front on the Ash jeans pattern // tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Still using a zipper presser foot, sew 1/4′ from the crotch edge along the entire length of the fly extension.

how to sew the fly front on the Ash jeans pattern // tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Clip into the seam allowance just below the fly extension by 1/4”.

how to sew the fly front on the Ash jeans pattern // tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Flip the fly extension around so that it is also right side up. Still using a zipper foot, switch your thread to topstitching thread, and topstitch on the front piece 1/16” from the seam.

Don’t backstitch when you topstitch. Instead, use a needle to pull the top thread to the back and knot.

how to sew the fly front on the Ash jeans pattern // tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Now place the left front piece in front of you right side up. Put the fly piece on top, right sides together, lining up the straight edges. Make sure the crotch notches are matched up, and pin in place.

how to sew the fly front on the Ash jeans pattern // tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

With a regular foot and regular thread, sew 5/8” from the edge along the length of the fly.

Clip into the seam allowance  5/8” in, just below the fly.

how to sew the fly front on the Ash jeans pattern // tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Turn the fly around to the inside and press so that none of the fly is showing from the right side.

how to sew the fly front on the Ash jeans pattern // tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Keep your regular presser foot, but switch to topstitching thread. On the right side, topstitch 1/16” from the edge. Don’t backstitch, instead bring your top thread to the inside and knot.

how to sew the fly front on the Ash jeans pattern // tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Put the two front pieces together with right sides facing each other, lining up the crotch seam. Pin in place, and just baste together the crotch seam below the zipper with regular thread, 5/8”.

how to sew the fly front on the Ash jeans pattern // tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diaryhow to sew the fly front on the Ash jeans pattern // tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Open up your front. From the right side, overlap the fly over the zipper and fly extension. The folded edge of the fly will line up with the center front. Theres a notch at the waistline indicating this. Pin in place.

Flip over so the wrong side is now facing you.

how to sew the fly front on the Ash jeans pattern // tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Move the fly extension out of the way, so that you can see the backside of the zipper on top of the fly. Pin the zipper to the fly ONLY, not to the front piece too. The edge of the zipper tape should be the same distance from the edge of the fly all the way down.

how to sew the fly front on the Ash jeans pattern // tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

See, pinned to the fly only.

how to sew the fly front on the Ash jeans pattern // tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary how to sew the fly front on the Ash jeans pattern // tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Switch back to a zipper presser foot. Using regular thread, Sew the zipper to the FLY ONLY. Sew a line of stitches 1/16” from the zipper tape edge, and another line about 1/4” away – close to the zipper teeth.

how to sew the fly front on the Ash jeans pattern // tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Again, you’re only sewing to the fly only. This is what it will look like from the other side of the fly.

how to sew the fly front on the Ash jeans pattern // tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Now unpick the basting stitches at the crotch seam, and pin the right crotch side out of the way.

Pin the fly extension open and out of the way to the right.

We’re moving all of this out of the way so that we don’t catch any of it while topstitching in the next step.

how to sew the fly front on the Ash jeans pattern // tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary how to sew the fly front on the Ash jeans pattern // tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Using regular thread, preferably a contrasting color, baste around the outer edge of the fly from the inside. You’ll be basting through the fly AND the left leg side.

When you turn around to the front, this basting will act as your guide for topstitching.

how to sew the fly front on the Ash jeans pattern // tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Switch to your topstitching thread. Using a regular foot, topstitch along your basting stitch guide. Go slowly! This topstitching is the most visible part of your jeans. You want it to be as neat as possible.

Sew another line of topstitching 1/4” away from the first line.

Do not backstitch with these. Rather, use a needle to bring the top thread to the inside and knot, as usual.

You can now unpick the basting stitches and unpin the fly extension and right crotch.

how to sew the fly front on the Ash jeans pattern // tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Once again, pin the crotch area together with right sides facing each other. Pin in place.

how to sew the fly front on the Ash jeans pattern // tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Sew together 5/8” from the edge using regular thread, getting as close to the fly/fly extension as possible.

how to sew the fly front on the Ash jeans pattern // tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Clip into the curve of the seam allowance and press towards the left side.

how to sew the fly front on the Ash jeans pattern // tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Now turn it around so that the front side is facing you. Remember, the crotch seam should now be pressed to the left leg.

From the outside, mark where the bottom of the zipper stop is. You can use a pin or tailors chalk.

how to sew the fly front on the Ash jeans pattern // tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Switch again to topstitching thread. With a regular foot, topstitch along the crotch on the left leg/fly side, 1/6” from the seam. Start from the bottom of the crotch and go up towards the fly.

how to sew the fly front on the Ash jeans pattern // tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary how to sew the fly front on the Ash jeans pattern // tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

When you reach your mark at the bottom of the zipper stop, pivot and sew across 1/4”. Then pivot again and continue topstitching parallel to the first line of topstitching, back down towards the end of the crotch.

how to sew the fly front on the Ash jeans pattern // tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

You’ll have two lines of parallel topstitching.

how to sew the fly front on the Ash jeans pattern // tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Now we need to add some bar tacks. Bar tacks are just tight zig zag stitches sewn with topstitching thread. They are used on areas with a lot of stress, for added reinforcement.

To set your machine for a bar tack, choose your zig zag stitch setting. Then lower your stitch length. Not all the way, just lower than a normal zig zag stitch. My machine has a little mark (see above, just above the zero) to indicate a bar tack setting. But after some testing, I went just a bit below that. So make sure you test some bar tacks out on scrap denim before doing it on your garment.

how to sew the fly front on the Ash jeans pattern // tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Sew one bar tack along the 1/4” horizontal line of topstitching that connects the two parallel crotch topstitching.

Sew another bar tack along the inner line of topstitching of the fly, just above where it begins to curve.

That’s it! You’ve installed a gorgeous jeans fly front!

// LOOKING FOR MORE ASH POSTS? //

Here’s the full list of Ash posts and tutorials:

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About Author

Holly writes part time for the Megan Nielsen blog– sewing like crazy, creating tutorials and sewalongs. She has been sewing since she was a little girl, and has her degree in apparel design. Now she’s a stay at home mama, and spends all her free nap times at her sewing machine.

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Katie Parrott
Katie Parrott
1 year ago

I just want to say thank you so much for this amazing tutorial!! I used this for my first time EVER putting in a zip and it came out perfectly!

Meg
Admin
Meg
1 year ago
Reply to  Katie Parrott

You’re so welcome Katie! I’m so glad that you found it useful – this kind of feedback absolutely makes my day!! xo

Ruth
Ruth
7 months ago

Thw pictures are a bit confusing. We pinned the fly out of the way to the right leg as the view from the wrong side show and then on the right side it shows the opposite leg? It’s a bit confusing. Please clarify.

Meg
Admin
Meg
7 months ago
Reply to  Ruth

Hi Ruth! Sorry to hear you’re having trouble. It sounds like you’re stuck on the zip fly topstitching? The important thing to remember is that you’re keeping the right leg and fly extension out of the way, as you’re sewing on the left leg and left crotch. Once you’ve finished topstitching around the curve of the fly then you can release the right leg and fly extension and carry on. I hope that helps!