Friday, December 29, 2006

Fly Topstitching

In a recent comment, Lorna asked if I used a template for the topstitching on my jeans fly. The answer is YES! Unfortunately, I can't seem to locate an internet source or even a reference for the notion(s) that I use so I don't know if it's still available. I don't remember where I bought it, but it's likely either Joann's or Nancy's Notions. I also don't know who makes it as there are no brand markings on the templates. Big lotta help I am, huh?

Still, I thought I would show you the template(s) and how I use them. If you ever see these for sale, I'd advise you to scoop them up. Also, if you're already familiar with these and know who makes them, please let me know. Edited to add: Thanks Belinda for a link to a source for these templates. You Rock!

This is the set of templates. With these two pieces, markings and measurements for 4 common fly widths are included, 3/4", 1", 1-1/4", and 1-1/2". There are also length markings on each end of the templates. I don't use those as my flys are always sized … er … on the fly. ;-) The circles are finger & thumb grips.

On the underside of each template are pointy "grabber" thingies. These hook into the center front seam gently, but strongly enough so that the template doesn't move.

This shows the template hooked onto the fold of the demo fabric. If this were an actual center front seam, the pointy grabbers would be hooked into the seam ditch. After the template is in place, I trace around the template with my chacoliner. The templates are made to be sewn around using a zipper foot, but I like tracing and just following my line. Less chance of cracking my template that way.

This is the chalk line tracing. I topstitch on this line using an open toe or a clear foot. If the fly is to have double topstitching as in the example at the top, I'll use a "toe" of the presser foot butted up next to that first stitching line for placement and my machine's needle positioning to adjust the spacing if necessary.

Since we're talking about fly topstitching templates, I thought I'd point out that zipper packaging includes a template. If you open the package carefully and then trim the bottom curve with scissors to finish the curve, you can use the back flap as a tracing template. These templates are 1-1/4" wide.

Oh, and here's a pic mentioned in a PR thread and nabbed from the Nieman Marcus website. These pants sold for $270. Is that $1 per pucker??


  1. The templates (I use the same ones) are called "Stitch-Along Fly Front Zipper Guides". Mine were made by Neata Products but an internet search shows Dritz now market them.

    Here is a link -

    HTH. I love mine. :)

  2. Wow, I never thought about why the back of the zipper package was shaped that way. *slaps forehead*

  3. Belinda, I just *knew* you'd come through! Thanks bunches. :-)

  4. I also have these templates. I purchased them years ago from Nancy's Notions, but have not noticed them lately. When I use them, I also trace the stitching line. I tried to stitch around them like Nancy did, but the templates slipped a bit.

  5. This was very helpful, thanks! And that Neiman Marcus photo is hilariously sad! Even I can do a better fly.

  6. Thanks Debbie for posting the templates and thanks to Belinda for letting you know about the source. Now if I can only get myself to get past whatever mental block I have about making pants and sewing a fly front, they could be a worthwhile notion.

  7. I sew it from the inside, and use the edge of the - hmmmm, is it the fly facing or the fly shield - as the guide line.

    Though I should add that I've only sewn 3 fly front pants in the past 12 months (and they were the first in 33 years of sewing).

  8. Since nobody in this world seems to carry the template you can take a look at the viking fly front template its basically the same thing here's the link

  9. First, thanks so much for all your wonderful, helpful posts and tutorials. I'm a newbie sewer and need all the help I can get.

    I have a humble request. Since these templates are nowhere to be found anymore, would you be willing to trace them out on a piece of paper, scan it and post it so we can make our own? It would probably help if you also made a one inch square box on that paper so we can figure out if the scale is right when we copy them.

    Thanks again for everything! :o)

  10. Holly, if you look up in the post, there's a pic of a zipper package. Look closely - the back of the package is a template. That's all you need.


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