Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane

Denim Tips 4 – Fly Zip


Hot Patterns Boyfriend jeans – Fly zip.
I am somewhat disappointed (and confused) with the instructions included with this pattern. At some points there seems to be an assumption that you know what you are doing and some steps are glossed over or left out completely. Other instructions (measurements) are just plain wrong and it seems no one proof read them first; 1 1/2″ is NOT 6.25cm. There’s even a sentence that refers to the SKIRT!
It doesn’t help too much either that the diagrams are only line drawings with no shading to show you right side or wrong side of fabric. So I’ve made this photographic rendition of the steps involved in inserting the zip and making the fly front in the hopes that it will help some of you who are making jeans for the first time or, like me, just not too sure.
Step one – Sew the fronts right sides together just below the bottom of the fly for about 2″ towards the point of the front crotch.  Make a smile.
1. Machine tack (baste) with a large stitch (4mm) the fly openings from the end of the first stitching to the waistband and press open.
Hand tack (baste) the zip to the fly shield along the left hand edge of both. The zip top should extend further than the shield, it is cut off later. After attaching the waistband I noticed that the right side is not long enough to catch the shield so remember to cut the waistband 2″ longer at centre front for a more professional finish later.


1. Fold the right front of the jeans under the left but leave the fly open.

2. Match the free edge of the zip with the centre front.


3. Turn the zip and shield over and  tack (baste) the basted edge to the right hand edge of the fly only. Aim to match the top of the shield with the top edge of the jeans and the bottom with the bottom of the fly.

This is to prevent the metal zip teeth cutting into your tummy when wearing, so apart from comfort, it also adds colour and a professional finish.


4. Sew this basted edge by machine through the fly only – NOT the front of the jeans. Sew close to the zip teeth but watch you don’t hit the metal teeth or you’ll lose a needle! Jeans zips generally have wide tape so you may not need to change to a zipper foot, this means more grip when using your usual sewing foot.


5. Trim off the excess from the fly front and overlock or zig-zag to neater the edge and stop fraying.


6. Fold the zip right way out and pin through the fly, shield and zip tape.

Sew along this line of pins.

Zip and shield folded back in place.


7. Let the zip fall naturally to the left and pin as it lies against the left hand fly. Hold the shield out of the way. Sew this line but just the zip tape and the fly – NOT the front of the jeans.

8. Trim off any excess and overlock the edge if you want.


9. Turn the jeans over and mark up the outside stitching line. This should catch the left hand zip tape and curve round at the bottom to hold the end of the zip.
Move the shield out of the way and stitch by machine. This is seen by the public so take your time. Use a larger stitch 2.5mm or so and you can stitch again for a double top stitching look. Take care at the bottom as you may sew over the metal stops or teeth – better to hand turn the needle and sew slowly – or you’ll lose another needle.

Give it all a good pressing and rip out the tacks (basting stitches) at the centre front.
After you sew the waistband on you cut the extra off the zip, so don’t worry that it’s hanging out at this stage.

There – that’s better than a line drawing isn’t it?

Next time……. Construction Order

Hope this helps and thanks for reading. Ruth


4 thoughts on “Denim Tips 4 – Fly Zip

  1. AWESOME instructions!The fly zip is what I screwed up on the first pair of jeans I made (last month.) Then I practiced making a fly zip, just using a big square of fabric, that wasn't even part of a jeans pattern. I think i understand how it goes together now. Your instructions are very helpful to jog my memory, too.:-)

  2. God bless you, Ruth! The zip instructions on this particular pattern are driving me bonkers. I’ve put in a gazillion zips, but couldn’t for the life of me figure out the instructions on this one. Your pictures and stepwise instructions are so appreciated. 😅

  3. Pingback: Scrap Shirt | corecouture

  4. I threw out all my remaining Hot Patterns a couple of weeks ago. THEY ARE RUBBISH. I love the designs, but there are just way too many errors, omissions, and ,,,well, they’re rubbish. I wasted a lot of time, and some gorgeous denim and lining trying to make their Agostini jacket for the wifr. I’m no novice, but it was totally unsalvageable. I wrote and emailed…no reply. I emailed again. Not even an acknowledgement. I finally ripped out the expensive zips, and binned the lot. This is something I NEVER do. Badly drafted, no proof reading etc etc. Stay away

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