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Couture Zipper Fly

Threads #186, Aug./Sept. 2016
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This article from Threads #186 (Aug./Sept. 2016) describes a precise method of sewing a fly zipper. In this procedure, the fly opening is machine-topstitched without the zipper. Then the zipper is sewn into the opening by hand. This may seem silly, but it works well for most fabrics, especially thick ones. On the overlap, it eliminates the problem of machine topstitching over the zipper teeth at the bottom, and it provides greater control and accuracy at all stages of the zipper insertion.

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  1. user-6828608 September 10th

    I hand stitch all my zippers with a pick stitch. The results are so much lovelier than machine stitched, and it works particularly well with wool and fabrics with a lot of body. Silly indeed! :-)

  2. user-7452025 July 30th

    Maybe I misunderstood the directions, but it seemed that after the placement of the zipper, the wearer would use their left hand to use the zipper. I have never had any pant or skirt where I used my left hand to unzip or zip. The flap has always closed the exposure from the left for using the right hand to unzip/zip. Have I got this mixed up on the pattern instructions? Thanks!

  3. CarolFresia August 6th

    Hi, user-7452025,
    Yes, these directions yield a zipper that laps right over left (so you would unzip with the left hand). This is traditional for women's clothing--it's the same direction a woman's blouse overlaps.
    These days, many women's ready-to-wear garments with fly zippers lap the other way (left over right), traditionally the "men's" way, as a style choice. Either way is correct. If you prefer that, simply reverse the directions given here.
    Carol J. Fresia
    Threads Senior Technical Editor

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