This past weekend I installed the zipper and completed the fly portion of my jeans.
At the rate I’m going, I will be lucky to complete this “muslin” by the end of the month for the PatternReview jeans contest. I certainly won’t have the sangria pair done by then. Currently, my professional life has entered a state of upheaval, so it’s put a damper on the amount of time I can devote to this project. Nevertheless, the contest did get me started on this project, and I will finish it. I’m looking forward to the result.
The notes I provided below aren’t strictly in the order I followed them, so apologies for any confusion. The MPB sewalong makes the ordering pretty clear.
Initial zipper attachment
With my Crayola washable marker, I drew a line up the center front. The pattern instructions have you run a basting stitch up that center line, from below the zipper (at the dot) up to the waist.
Peter, in the jeans sewalong at the MPB blog, didn’t do this basting stitch. I did. I just set the stitch length to maximum and did a straight stitch along the center line, then pressed the fly and crotch seam open.
I pinned one side of the zipper, then taped down the other side with Wash-away Wonder Tape to baste the zipper in place and guarantee it wouldn’t shift around in funny ways while stitching.
This was my first time ever using the machine’s included zipper foot – woot! But it’s not first my time ever setting a zipper. I did that for my fun little earphone case.
After turning the inside zipper, I pressed it, using a presscloth to protect the iron plate from getting scratched by the zipper teeth. This set the crease on the right-hand side before I stitched the zipper tape to the left fly.
Why I hate stretch denim, #3
After sitting unattended for a few days, my stretch denim is curling, making fabric harder to work with. The fabric curls in on itself, and in one case the curled fabric got caught in a seam without me knowing it.
The Fly shield
For the sew-on fly shield piece, Peter at the MPB sewalong offers some sheer brilliance with his inside-out/turn/serge technique.
I encountered some difficulty where the fly shield meets up with the crotch seam. The machine couldn’t quite get all the way to the crotch seam due to bulk getting in the way, so I did a bit of hand sewing to finish the last bit of the fly shield seam.
I also used the Wash-away Wonder Tape to hold down down the curved end of the fly shield before stitching it to the fly piece.
While topstitching the left front fly edge, the right fly inadvertently folded itself underneath and got caught into the topstitching on first attempt. Fortunately, I discovered that quickly. I then fixed everything down with blue painter’s tape to keep this from happening, also to ensure no puckers form when topstitching the left side.
I decided to use edgestitching foot to help topstitch along the left edge of the fly opening, guiding the foot along the center seam. This was bad idea. The guide blade on the edgestitch foot kept getting caught in the “ditch” of the seam and impairing the feed of fabric. I moved the needle a little closer to edge to avoid the ditch.
For the double-line of topstitching outlining the zipper. I traced some chalk lines on outside to guide the double-topstitching around the fly. I also marked the zipper stop with a bit of chalk to avoid hitting it with the sewing machine needle. The result turned out well, but not perfect (sorry I missed taking a photo of the finished topstitching).
I initially forgot to reset the stitch length when doing the fly topstitching. Again, I recovered from the boo-boo before I got too far into the topstitching.
The Crotch seam
For the crotch seam, I followed along with the sew-along when I should have read ahead. I should have finished the fabric edges on the crotch seam earlier in the constructed, right after clip is cut from the seam allowance right up to the stitching line.
I used the overcasting stitch and overcasting foot on my conventional sewing machine, rather than the serger. It’s just easier to do that acute inside curve on the sewing machine. I selected the overcast stitch the machine’s manual recommends for heavy fabrics.
I still need to double-topstitch the crotch seam and do the bartacks around the fly area, but the hard part is done.