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?
I'm a native New Yorker and sewing fanatic! I started sewing in 2009 and today make all my own clothes using vintage sewing machines and vintage patterns, in addition to sewing for private clients. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!