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Dec 7, 2011

Suit Pants Day 4 - Whoops!


Friends, I've done it, you've done it.  OK, at least I've done it.

I refer, of course, to the old sewing the pants fly shut when you topstitch along the front.  To be honest, I've never done this before, so why I did it this time is anybody's guess.  I had the legs all sewn up and the back center seam basted (on these dress pants, the back center seam will be the last one sewn, along with the right and left sides of the waistband) and I was ready to try them on.  I reached to unzip my zipper and -- gadzooks: I'd sewn the fly shut!

But that's not all.  Not only had I topstitched over the fly (what I'm calling the fly is the protruding piece you add just behind the right front side of the zipper and extends to the left), I had actually overcast together the matching edges of the fly and fly facing (the side that's turned under to the left).  I couldn't just rip the seam at this point; I had to trim the overcast stitches off, leaving both fly and fly facing roughly 1/4" narrower than before.

But what is it they say about necessity being the mother of invention?  (Actually, that is what they say.)  I dug out some vintage cotton bias tape I'd picked up recently at the flea market, and added it to the edges of both fly and fly facing.  This wasn't truly necessary, of course, but it does look pretty.  This is the kind of 100% cotton tape you never see anymore in the stores -- plaid! -- and yes, I pre-shrank it.  Cute, no?


So that was the mistake of the day and I'm averaging at least a few daily.

The good new is that I now have a real pair of pants, albeit without waistband.  Here I am trying on the left leg (before I realized I'd topstitched my fly closed).


I got my side pockets on without any of the problems I mentioned yesterday.  I double-stitched and overcast my inside pockets.  I'm not serging on this project -- for some reason the serger feels too rough.  Overcasting looks fine to me.



I've been pressing my seams over a seam roll and pressing with my wooden clapper.  The benefit of a seam roll is not only that it fits through the pants leg, but also that the slight roll prevents the overcast (or serged) seam edges from imprinting themselves on the fabric.  I've been pressing carefully on the "wool" setting of my iron with a muslin press cloth.  So far, no problems with that. 


I already have two kinds of commercial waistbanding, but I may try to find something in black.  The narrow one seems too narrow (and without the little "skirt" commercial waistbanding usually has), while the wide one seems too wide.  I'll figure something out. 


I also tested buttonholes using thick buttonhole twist thread and the 5/8" keyhole template in my vintage Singer buttonholer.  It worked.


I'd love to finish these today, readers.  We'll see how it goes...

Have a great day, everybody!

PS - Have you ever sewn a fly shut -- or something equally embarrassing?

23 comments:

  1. Love the added funky bias tape....sorry for the added time all of that took you. It's a good rainy day for sewing...hope you get it all finished without further problems.

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  2. Sewing mistakes keep my DVD player smoking--they mean I watch another movie or episode before I feel like I am moving forward again. As a near-pro ripper-outer, I've ripped serger stitches as well as tiny straight stitches, which only the best fabrics will withstand. That flap under the right side of the fly is the fly facing, meant to protect the person from the zipper teeth. Looks great so far. I hope to be sewing soon instead of grading papers!

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  3. Now you've arrived! If you haven't sewn at least one fly closed, you can't call yourself a seamster.

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  4. I managed to sew closed the pockets on a pair of pants. They had zips too. Opened the (beautifully sewn) invisible zip in the side seam and....no pocket, or rather there was a pocket, just not an accessible one, lol. Never sew when tired.

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  5. This isn't sewing but it's sewing related....
    I made myself a pencil skirt pattern and forgot to draw in "my" hip curve. I only found out when trying on the toile on and wondered why the heck it felt so tight coming up my thighs. Needless to say it never passed my mid thighs. My waist was: 33 and hips 42...go figure.
    Moral: never sew or draft while tired

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  6. And never cut out the pattern pieces at night- lay them out yes but cut them out no - my sewis mom taught me this once I did it with a taffeta plaid and made it a real mess

    Sarah C

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  7. Yes, Peter, I've done it, too. More than once at work and at home :)

    Your pants are coming along wonderfully! I love the plaid bias tape!! Can't wait for the next post!

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  8. I can't believe how fortunate I am to stumble across your blog for the first time today! I've been fervently reading the archives and soaking up the treasure of information. Yeah!

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  9. Very resourceful and a lot of fun - the bias tape. If I get through a sewing project without making at least one mistake, I feel amazing. The pants are looking good and you're using your tools appropriately - the clapper and the ham. The buttonhole and top stitching are looking good, too. Keep up the great work - you are an inspiration.

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  10. The pants are looking good! My worst was probably in sewing a dress that had to be worn by a friend that night and thinking "Gah! what is all this extra stuff doing on the side? I'll just cut it off." Wth? I had to sew her into it later :-/ (Now I'm off to do an etsy search for vintage bias tape!)

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  11. I love the plaid bias tape! It looks wonderful. You are so clever. That's why I never miss your blog.

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  12. yep, I've done stuff like that...did it last weekend and found myself oh-so-thankful for my brand new seam ripper

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  13. Yes. I sewed the fly shut on my most recent pair of jeans. On the other pair, I sewed the zipper in backwards.

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  14. OMG! I have done so many ridiculously foolish things while sewing. Welcome to the club. How about sewing the buttonholes for the openings for a drawstring through both layers of the casing! and cutting them open before noticing the mistake!!!
    I love the plaid binding. Sometimes our mistakes do turn into some nifty details.

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  15. I've sewn a sleeve into the armscye inside out. That's a crappy dumb-dumb move.

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  16. On one shirt I got the sleeves (which had plackets that had gone in beautifully) wrong way round so that the poor wearer has to button the cuffs cross-handed. And the shirt after that (with the best collar I'd ever made) I put the front placket on the wrong side. Couldn't bear to have the poor made wrestle with that, so I made a whole new shirt for him and I have a very posh cotton flannel nightshirt!

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  17. I once sewed in a sleeve inside out using a stretch stitch on a knit denim jumpsuit (in the 70's!) as well as putting in a zipper on the hem edge of a skirt instead of the waist edge - both nightmares to rip out!

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  18. Count me in, i have done it too, with the first ever pair of pants i sew, fly fronts are kind of Achilles heel! I bought the book Making Trousers for Men and Women and its been lying in my bookshelf for about an year now, i haven't been making much of formal pants, may be i will sometime next year ;)

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  19. Many, many years ago, I remember sewing sleeves with cuffs and plackets on the wrong sides of a dress. The cuffs buttoned crazily. So I carefully ripped them out and sewed them in exactly the same way again! ..... and its definitely not the worst that I have done in the sewing room, just the worst I will admit to right now.
    Sewgranny

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  20. just last month I sewed the sleeve of a shirt on inside out and the underarm seam was on the outside! :D

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  21. Love the plaid bias tape detail! That's a real 'silk purse' moment. I love reading about people's sewing mistakes. I've carefully serged t-shirt neck binding onto sleeve holes more than once.

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  22. Love the plaid tape! Early in my zipper sewing career (perhaps the second one?) I took extra time, basting and making sure it was all incredibly neat. It was beautiful, cleanly topstitched and wonderfully done -- until I went to unzip them and try them on and realized that I had put the entire zipper in backwards (the zipper tab was on the inside).

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