Learning to (sew a) fly. Guy LaRoche pants (V2578).

Wow.  Where did January go?  I was so busy at work this month, I was too exhausted to do much more than read a book before bed.  I started these pants at the beginning of the month, but only just finished them.  Meantime, the passage of time included me taking up running again, which is making sewing (fitting) a little more challenging as my body starts re-shaping itself.

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The pattern is from 2001: a lovely Guy LaRoche pant and jacket.  I had considered making the skirt in stead of trousers, but decided to push my self to learn new skills and work on fitting.  I’m planning on making the suit with a lovely dark brown tropical wool and the jacket multi-toned tan wool.  Description for the trouser:  “Semi-fitted, straight-legged pants have contour waistband and fly zipper closing.”

But since I have limited experience with a fly closure, practice was in order first.  And, as I’ll write below, I’m not sure if it’s my limited experience or the directions, but I did a fair amount of ripping out.

I first practiced the fly with the muslin (though not the waistband, which would have highlighted an error in the instructions).  The muslin revealed (to me at least) horizontal wrinkles, so I graded out to I think a 16 (or between 14 and 16).  The pant is narrow, but my thighs are wide.  I was also going to need length, so I added an inch.  I did not encounter issues with the fly.

Three weeks later, I found time to do the fly again.  And again.  I was proud of my first attempt:

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I’ve pinned out the pleat.

Until I realized that I put in the right fly backward.  I also couldn’t figure out how I got a pleat at the bottom part of the zipper.  I followed the directions, but I think it has something to do with the second step in the middle of the photo – you’re to fold over and press, tapering to nothing.  I can’t see that in the picture, and I clearly didn’t do it right.

 

Rip out, redo.  Looks great.  I proceeded with adding the waistband to realize that the left fly is mis-marked for zipper placement.  I painstakingly marked the fabric, and it’s about 1/2 inch too close to the fold. You can see in the directions below that the fold should line up with the top stitching on the right.  And, when I attached the waistband, I had an extra half inch.  I trimmed it, at this point, because it was too late to do anything else.  However, it did make it difficult to put the button hole in neatly, because there wasn’t enough space…

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My left fly doesn’t line up with the right fly top-stitching as it does in the sketch below, and I ended up with extra waistband and a funky button hole.

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Does anyone know how to prevent the funky turn at the corners you see in the picture below?  I was super careful cutting, stitching and turning, and yet the corners are distorted.  Enough that I will likely wear these trousers only with tops un-tucked.  It’s like I pulled too much and stretched the fabric out of shape.

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Oh, speaking of the fabric:  a tropical wool with stretch, cross-woven black and white to produce a lovely blue grey (from Rag & Bone).  I purchased it as roll end from Emma One Sock last fall.

Other random thoughts:  I intend to wear these with a kitten heel, as they are too short otherwise (even after adding an inch).  I’ll add length to the next pair, to help elongate the legs.  These were lined, btw, but I left out the lining.   I will start the jacket for the suit before the brown pants.  I want to re-muslin giving all the running I’d doing.

And, with that, it’s time for a run.

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12 thoughts on “Learning to (sew a) fly. Guy LaRoche pants (V2578).

  1. I no longer use any method except the one done here by Sandra Betzina.

    She went to a tailor and asked him how to make perfect fly zippers. The method is fool-proof.

    Also Peggy Sagers has great tips on turning corners, she doesn’t trim them, but folds the seam allowances over on one another to form a nice corner and then turns it out. She has a ton of videos under Silhouette Patterns on Youtube.

  2. Sorry that video is a commercial for her DVD, it doesn’t show the fly application. But this video does show it completely.

  3. Seconding the comment about not trimming the corners; I find it works better too. Not that I’d claim mine are perfect…

    There are so many little variations on how to sew a fly front. I hadn’t seen one exactly like this before; the method of attaching the facing is different to the version I do where you see right to the end of the facing. I think Vogues may make a better finish though.

    1. I’ll have to try the corners. As for the next fly, I’m going to look at a couple of other Vogue patterns I have with fly closures – see if the illustrations are any better. I wore the pants yesterday, and they are quite comfortable! (but no pockets)

  4. This is one of my favourite trouser patterns. Love your fabric choice. I echo Catherine about not trimming the corners on the waistband before t urning it. I keep them square, and them fold the top down, the end in, and the bottom up; lightly press and turn it. It seems to keep the corners square and even though there’s more fabric in the seam allowances, the folding makes it neat and tidy, not bulky.

    1. So far I like them – I wore them yesterday. I’m doing the jacket now, and will return to the second pair of trousers in a week or two (theoretically). I’ll try this method of folding too.

      1. I sure hope so… decided to use couture (mostly anyway) on the jacket. So, I hope it’s worth the effort. The jacket doesn’t look that complicated, though I’ve never mastered welt pockets.

      2. Okay, so I know you made it years ago… but I’m calling on your regular experience here, too. The sleeves are on the bias (because they are cut in one with the front/back. But the separate lining pieces are also to be cut on the bias. My inclination is to cut the lining (I’m using silk CDC) on the straight grain for stability. Your thought? (I doubt you remember what you did, but maybe, otherwise, just your expertise!)

      3. Gosh! I don’t remember what I did, but I do know I didn’t know enough to change how a patten was drafted, so I probably cut the lining as directed. I would still, today, just give the lining a chance to finish hanging before I attached it to the cuffs.

      4. Nix that. Studying the pattern again, I realized the sleeve also has the shoulder, and if I cut the sleeve on the straight, the shoulder would be on the bias. Rather have the stability in the shoulder! (I’m glad my grandmother and mom taught be to read the directions before cutting – and I do so multiple times).

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