V8774: A confusing three piece jeans fly

When I made my toile for the V8774 Jeans, I followed the instructions to the letter. It was confusing, time-consuming and very fiddly. And I still put the zip in facing the inside rather than the outside (entirely my own fault), and got confused as to which of the three lines at the fly was the ‘folding line’ (hence why you could see my zip showing through here).

Of course… there’s always an easier way. You just have to find it!

I found it, and I’m so totally sharing it. If you’re sewing a fly on pants – you absolutely need to watch this video on the Thread’s website by Sandra Betzina (I bow down to her genius):
Video: An Easy, Flat Fly-Front Zipper

I would have LOVED to be able to apply this video directly to these pants. But, unfortunately for me, this Vogue jeans pattern is different – it has a ‘Fly’ and a ‘Fly facing’ (effectively making it a 3 piece fly, once you consider the front of the pants), both of which the pattern Sandra was using, doesn’t have. 

The Fly

The Fly Facing

Checking pairs of RTW jeans I own, this three piece fly seems to be the norm. Although V8774 would have you use self-fabric bias binding to finish the edges – um, hello – bulk? Instead I’ve used the same fabric as was used for my pocket bags – some left-over Liberty of London cotton.  

The ‘Fly’ is at the front and the ‘Fly Facing’ is underneath

I’m sure there are plenty of good resources out there in www land, but I soldiered through and used a combination of Sandra’s expertise and the Vogue instructions. I got a result that looks RTW, and that I can live with:

I was hoping to document the process here today, but I ended up so confused that I didn’t think it right to record that kind of experience. So another time!

Some good news though – I used an AWESOME RTW-styled zipper I purchased from Taylor Tailor – who I came across whilst researching jeans construction on the Male Pattern Boldness jeans sewalong. Taylor has a great store for all things jeans related – even bought some of his selvedge denim for a future project… 

7″ antique brass finish jeans zipper from Taylor Taylor

Has anyone else got any nightmare zipper experiences they’d like to share with me so I know I’m not the only one?



  1. The first pair of trousers I tried to make had a three piece fly – which I tried to sew hungover – and I was prepared to keep trying, until someone very kind sent me the link to the Sandra video via my blog. I adapt any trouser pattern now to have a fly like in her video. I think they sit much flatter, and are of course so much easier to sew!!

  2. I think many of the Vogue patterns have 3 piece flys, and I agree with Rachel – they don't seem to sit as flat as other construction methods do. Your fly looks fabulous though – and I am totally getting one of those cool looking zippers when I get to my jeans project.Also, the first time I tried to install a zipper, it was one of the invisible ones. I didn't have the fancy presser foot (I do now, and it is a godsend), and the stitching was a mess. Add to that the fact that I somehow managed to sew it wrong-side up and didn't realize it was all twisted until I was totally done and trying to sew up the seam (I was using the instructions included with the zipper… not very helpful). When I ripped out all of the stitching I got a little too vigorous and ended up breaking the zipper and I had to buy a new one. That first time was rather catastrophic. All further zipper attempts have been much better…

  3. Oh dear – that sounds like a horrid first experience! Definitely do get some of his zips – they have the same feel to them as an expensive pair of jeans when you do them up – the right kind of resistance, if that makes sense. And thank you! I applied the interfacing tip from Sandra's video which I think is why the front fly sits nice and flat.

  4. Your jeans zip looks perfect!My mother taught me how to correctly sew a placket fly (the placket is the 3rd piece you have called the facing) about 30 odd years ago! so I don't recall any early dramas that I might have had.Thanks for the note on Burdastyle website. It's about time they realised, isn't it ;)

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