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MN2208 Dawn / Sewalongs

Dawn Sewalong: How to sew an exposed button fly

how to sew an exposed button fly on the Dawn jeans by Megan Nielsen Patterns

Hey everyone! Here we are with our last fly option for the Dawn jeans – an exposed button fly. This is a really simple alternative to the button fly with the buttons being more of a feature instead of hidden away. And honestly, it’s my personal favourite! I like to see all of those shiny buttons on display. So that’s what we will be going over today. You won’t need the button fly pattern piece (9), other than for the button placement. So no need to cut that one out of your fabric.

If you are looking to do a classic button fly, follow along with yesterday’s post here. Or if you want to do a zipper fly front, you can find those instructions here.

P.S – you’ll need to swap between regular thread and topstitching thread throughout the construction. I’ve marked which one is being used in bold for each step.

how to sew an exposed button fly on the Dawn jeans by Megan Nielsen Patterns We will be starting with the fly extension piece.

how to sew an exposed button fly on the Dawn jeans by Megan Nielsen Patterns Fold your fly extension in half, with right sides together. Line up the bottom curved edge, and sew that bottom edge only using regular thread, 1/4″ from the raw edge.

how to sew an exposed button fly on the Dawn jeans by Megan Nielsen Patterns Turn your fly extension the right way around, re-shape the bottom curved edge, and press.

how to sew an exposed button fly on the Dawn jeans by Megan Nielsen Patterns On the fly extension (8), that you just worked on, finish the raw straight edge only. This will be through two layers of fabric.

Also, grab the fly piece (7) and finish the curved edge only. This is only one layer of fabric.

You can use your preferred method for finishing the edges. But if you use a serger/overlock, make sure you finish the edge only and do not trim off any seam allowance.

how to sew an exposed button fly on the Dawn jeans by Megan Nielsen Patterns Now lay your right front pant leg piece down with the right side facing up at you.

If you haven’t already finished the raw edge of the crotch, do it now. Again, make sure you finish the edge only and do not trim off any seam allowance.

how to sew an exposed button fly on the Dawn jeans by Megan Nielsen Patterns Place the fly extension on top of the right front piece, lining up the finished straight edge with the edge. Make sure the notches are aligned, and pin in place.

how to sew an exposed button fly on the Dawn jeans by Megan Nielsen Patterns Sew in place 1/4″ from the edge using regular thread.

how to sew an exposed button fly on the Dawn jeans by Megan Nielsen Patterns Clip into the seam allowance (1/4″) on the front crotch, just below the fly extension.

how to sew an exposed button fly on the Dawn jeans by Megan Nielsen PatternsFlip the fly extension out so that the right side of both the right front and fly extension are nothing facing up at you. The seam allowance should be towards the right front pant leg, not the fly extension.

Press well.

how to sew an exposed button fly on the Dawn jeans by Megan Nielsen Patterns how to sew an exposed button fly on the Dawn jeans by Megan Nielsen Patterns Using topstitching thread, topstitch 1/16″ from the seam on the front piece, not the fly extension. You’ll be stitching the seam allowance to the front piece at this point.

Do not backstitch. Instead, use a hand sewing needle to pull the topstitching thread to the wrong side, and knot.

how to sew an exposed button fly on the Dawn jeans by Megan Nielsen Patterns Now lay your left front leg in front of you with the right side facing up.

how to sew an exposed button fly on the Dawn jeans by Megan Nielsen Patterns Place the fly piece down on top of the left front leg, with right sides together. So the wrong side of the fly piece is facing you. Line up the straight edge with the crotch edge of the left front leg, and make sure the notches match up.

Pin in place.

how to sew an exposed button fly on the Dawn jeans by Megan Nielsen Patterns Using regular thread, sew 5/8″ from the raw edge along the entire length of the fly.

how to sew an exposed button fly on the Dawn jeans by Megan Nielsen Patterns Clip into the seam allowance  (5/8″) on the left front leg, just below the fly.

how to sew an exposed button fly on the Dawn jeans by Megan Nielsen Patterns how to sew an exposed button fly on the Dawn jeans by Megan Nielsen PatternsTurn the fly around towards the inside (wrong side of the left front leg). Press the folded edge, ensuring that the seam and fly will not show from the right side of the garment.

how to sew an exposed button fly on the Dawn jeans by Megan Nielsen Patterns Using a contrasting regular thread, set your machine to a long stitch length, and sew a line of basting stitches around the curved edge. You will be sewing this through the fly and front leg piece.

Keep it close to the curved edge, and go slow to keep it neat. This is going to be used as your guide for topstitching.

how to sew an exposed button fly on the Dawn jeans by Megan Nielsen Patterns Flip back around to the right side, and you can see how those basting stitches create your guide for topstitching.

how to sew an exposed button fly on the Dawn jeans by Megan Nielsen Patterns On the right side of the garment, using topstitching thread, topstitch along the basting guide.

Go slowly! This is a very visible area of topstitching so you want it to be as neat as possible.

Do not backstitch. Instead use a hand sewing needle to pull the topstitching thread to the wrong side, and knot.

how to sew an exposed button fly on the Dawn jeans by Megan Nielsen Patterns how to sew an exposed button fly on the Dawn jeans by Megan Nielsen Patterns Remove the contrasting basting stitches.

Now sew the second line of topstitching, 1/4″ away on the inside of the first line. Again, do not backstitch.

You’ll see that you will also need to topstitch a straight line 1/16″ from the folded edge along the entire length of the fly. Sorry, I forgot to photograph this step!

how to sew an exposed button fly on the Dawn jeans by Megan Nielsen Patterns Grab the button fly pattern piece. You don’t need a fabric piece for this, but we will use the pattern piece as a guide for the buttonhole placements. Transfer the buttonholes from the pattern piece to the fabric. You can do this with a fabric marker or tailors chalk, pins, basting stitches, or whichever your preferred method is.

how to sew an exposed button fly on the Dawn jeans by Megan Nielsen PatternsSew the buttonholes in these three positions. Above, I used my machine’s keyhole button feature. Don’t have a keyhole feature, and need help creating your buttonholes? We have a post here to help you!

Also, these buttonholes should be, and typically are, sewn with topstitching thread. But if your machine is struggling to sew buttonholes with topstitching thread there is an alternative method – you can instead use two spools of regular thread in the same colour as your topstitching thread. I’m going to show you what I mean quickly…

// SEWING BUTTONHOLES WITH TWO REGULAR THREADS //

how to sew an exposed button fly on the Dawn jeans by Megan Nielsen Patterns So here’s an example of the two side-by-side. Again, this is my machine’s keyhole button feature.

The top one is sewn with two strands of regular thread.

The bottom one is sewn with topstitching thread.

Psssst, wanna know a secret? I actually like the look of the two strands of regular thread better! On my machine, at least.  

Here’s how I did it…

how to sew an exposed button fly on the Dawn jeans by Megan Nielsen Patterns

how to sew an exposed button fly on the Dawn jeans by Megan Nielsen Patterns If your machine has a spot for a second spool, you simply thread both strands though your machine together. Just like you normally would, it’s just two strands of thread together instead of one.

If you’ve ever sewn with a twin needle, its just like how you would thread your machine for that.

how to sew an exposed button fly on the Dawn jeans by Megan Nielsen Patterns But for this, you want to thread both strands through your one denim needle.

And that’s it! So whether you choose this method or topstitching thread, get your buttonholes made now.

how to sew an exposed button fly on the Dawn jeans by Megan Nielsen Patterns Once you have your buttonholes made, you can cut them open.

how to sew an exposed button fly on the Dawn jeans by Megan Nielsen Patterns Place the two front leg pieces together with right sides together. Line up the remaining crotch section and pin.

Sew together 5/8″ from the raw edge, using regular thread.

Clip into the seam allowance, and press towards the left leg side (the side with the fly and buttonholes).

how to sew an exposed button fly on the Dawn jeans by Megan Nielsen Patterns From the right side, close up the front by overlapping the fly over the fly extension. The folded edge of the fly should line up with the centre front notch on the right leg waistline.

Pin in place if necessary.

how to sew an exposed button fly on the Dawn jeans by Megan Nielsen Patterns Switch back to topstitching thread. On the right side of the garment, topstitch along the crotch 1/6″ from the seam.  You are doing this on the left leg side (same side as the fly). Start at the bottom of the crotch, and head up towards the fly.

how to sew an exposed button fly on the Dawn jeans by Megan Nielsen Patterns Stop 3/4″ above the bottom edge of the fly. Pivot 90 degrees, and sew 1/4″ across the fly through all layers of fabric.

how to sew an exposed button fly on the Dawn jeans by Megan Nielsen Patterns Pivot again, and sew back down the crotch, 1/4″ away from the first line of stitching.

how to sew an exposed button fly on the Dawn jeans by Megan Nielsen Patterns You’ll now have two lines of parallel stitching along the crotch, connected just above the fly.

how to sew the fly front on the Ash jeans pattern // tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design DiaryNow we need to add some bar tacks. Bar tacks are just tight zig-zag stitches sewn with topstitching thread. They are used in 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 an exposed button fly on the Dawn jeans by Megan Nielsen Patterns 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.

These bar tacks will be through all layers of fabric, including the fly extension.

how to sew an exposed button fly on the Dawn jeans by Megan Nielsen PatternsOnce you’ve finished the rest of your garment (find the links for all of the other steps below!), you can add all of your buttons. You can find the post on how to install the buttons here.

Make sure you overlap the fly over the fly extension correctly and mark your button placement on the fly extension along the very left side of your keyhole buttonholes (not in the middle of the buttonholes). The buttons should end up being right along the very edge of the fly extension.


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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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Misha Herbert
Misha Herbert
10 months ago

Hi! Is it possible to add an exposed button fly to the Ash jeans? If not, could you make the Dawn jeans with a stretch denim? ?

Meg
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Meg
10 months ago
Reply to  Misha Herbert

Hi Misha!

The great news is the answer to both those questions is yes :) You can make Ash with a button fly, but remember it is a stretch jean with negative ease, which means you’ll likely get pulling at the buttons. When it comes to Dawn you can certainly make it with stretch denim, i would just recommend checking the finished garment measurements and perhaps size down 1 or 2 sizes to account for the fabric stretch – otherwise you might end up with a looser fit than you wanted (or you might like that!). I hope that helps! xo

Misha Herbert
Misha Herbert
10 months ago
Reply to  Meg

Hey Meg!

That’s super helpful, thanks so much! Take care :)