Hi Sewists! If you’ve been following along you’ll know I’m making myself some denim shorts. I’m on track to get them done in time for the London Pride celebrations.
It started with this pocket…
You can catch up with parts 1, 2 & 3 here…
Now it’s time to put the fronts together. For this you need the two front leg pieces, the left fly facing, the fly shield and a zip. Ideally, you want your zip just the right length to line the stop up to the mark on the facing/ shield and the top to finish just below the waist seam. More on that in a minute.
Prepare the fly facing (I’ve already interfaced mine) by finishing the curved edge. I usually just overlock it, you could bias-bind it too, but for some reason I chose to clip and turn the seams and stitch them down. In retrospect this wasn’t the best option as it created a bit too much bulk later on. I’d go with zigzagging or overlocking in the future if the fabric is on the thick side.
I should mention here that when I added the seams to this pattern, I added an extra 5mm to the centre front at the fly opening. Before sewing the left fly facing on, I trim the extra 5mm off the left front piece. This gives me a bit more room on the right to make sure the zip is completely hidden.
The fly facing gets sewn onto the left front. Then the front pieces are sewn together along that short curve.
(eek, nasty thread nests! I REALLY need to service my machine!)
Then to get ready for the zip I fold and press 5mm over on the right-front-piece… this is a good time to finish the bottom of this seam (I overlocked it… you’ll see that in a bit).
Prepare the fly-shield… I sewed the bottom curve and overlocked the straight edge this time. Sew the zip to the fly shield, facing up and along the straight edge.
If you have a plastic zip, line the bottom up and sew the top into the waist seam later on to cut off the excess inside the waistband. You can do this with a metal zip too by carefully handwinding the machine over the zip teeth when the waistband goes on, but this method always puts my heart in my mouth! I’ve recently discovered the fun sport of ‘Zip-Wrestling’ and have found the courage to shorten them myself! Check out this blog post if you want to see how!
Position the fly shield so that the zip is lined up to the front edge and use your zip foot to sew it all together close to the teeth. I’ve also topstitched the left facing to the inside. (There’s that finished crotch seam too…!)
Now to get the zip attached to the left side. Lay the fronts flat and pin the fly in place…
Then carefully fiddle around so that you can pin the zip tape to the left fly facing only – without disturbing the arrangement. Sew this down, it doesn’t need to be too near the zip teeth here, thankfully.
Then, with the right fly shield pinned out of the way, mark, pin and sew the left fly facing in place, from the front with topstitching thread.
I ended up with a bit too much bulk and couldn’t get the needle through all the way to the end, but it is secure and looks fine from any polite distance. I finished off by adding two rows of topstitching to the crotch seam and a bar-tack to hold the shield and facing together.
There, now that should do the trick. Hopefully I’ll get the main seams and the waistband done in my next session.
Until then, Happy Sewing!
Notes to self;
- Try to work out how I’m going to live without my sewing machine while it gets serviced.
- Don’t blame the machine all the time… sew more steadily & tidily!
- Try making the fly facing and shield out of lighter weight fabric to avoid bulky seams…?
- Eek, where are my rivets…?!
Another vote for buying or borrowing a machine here! I got my Singer when my first machine went in for a lengthy repair, and it’s often really useful to have two, especially when making anything with top stitching. I used to kid myself I’d do things like loads of tracing or cutting when I didn’t have my machine, but I never did.
Thank you 🙏 I’ve got a lovely old elna that I should get out more often… but I really need a bigger sewing space! 😅🙏🤞
Could of done with this a few weeks back then I made my boys trousers lol
As for machine servicing … you have a beautiful Elna Grasshopper! Find a vintage pattern to make on your vintage machine. It would be a brilliant project to work on whilst your main machine is at respite 😀
Or find a machine service person to come do the job at home lmao 😀
Yes, I used my grasshopper on my last shorts & it’s SO nice to use! I’ll just have to make sure I’ve made all my tshirts before I send my main machine away!
Maybe I could do a sewing machine repair course?!
ohhh now there’s an interesting idea …. There’s actually not many sewing machine service engineers around these days. little van driving about doing in home service and repairs could be a profitable little venture 🙂
And think of all the Sewists I’d get to meet! Hmm… 👍🙏🤞👏
On the same topic as above – buy an inexpensive straight (and zig zag if you don’t have a serger) stitch machine.
If I needed to buy one I’d spend a bit more and get that new little Singer. Very cute and comes in colors, and built to be portable.
Ex Singer sewing machine sales person speaking now: They might well become collector’s items, if they wear well and because they look reminiscent of the Singer Featherweight model 221.
Thanks for the in depth notes & pics on the pants, I’ve never made pants that complicated and I’m thinking of trying it.
Ooh, thanks for the tip 👍 I’ll look into it.
You should definitely try some jeans, it’s not really difficult, just lots of things to do!
Good luck! 😊🙏👍
It looks like everything is moving along quite well. I really enjoy your “notes to self “ I would like to get in the habit of doing that when working with new products and patterns. I can feel your pain being without your sewing machine even when you have others. Looking forward to your next post.
Thank you. I’m sure I’d forget everything I’ve learnt if I didn’t write it down here! 👍🙏
Great job so far. On the problem of servicing…I borrowed my daughters machine because, in all honesty, I could not be without one…. beg, borrow or steal… perhaps not😲
Haha, yes, perhaps not steal! But I’ll definitely try begging or borrowing! Thank you 😊👍🙏