How to Install a Zipper
Don't let a pant zipper installation scare you away from a really awesome project!
Ok, I shouldn't say that. I mean, heck, I shied away from intimidating aspects of garment sewing for years, so I get it.
But. You only get better when you do! So...DO. And then do again. And again.. until you got it down and then show off - because you can!
Let's get right into it!
With the Hampshire Trouser we recommend a 5" or longer coil zipper. If your zipper tape is longer than 5" then you may choose to use it as is or to shorten its length.
You can shorten your zipper by aligning the top of the zipper tape to the top of the pant along the crotch curve. Make an indication on the zipper tape 1/2 cm (1/4") above the notch of the crotch curve.
Using a wide and stationary zigzag stitch, stitch across the zipper coil in the same spot several times to create a new zipper stop. Trim away the excess zipper tape, leaving at least 1 cm (3/8") of zipper below the new stop.
PREPPING PATTERN PIECES
It helps to apply light weight fusing to the FLY FACING and FLY SHIELD to add stability. In this tutorial, I have not done so because I'm working with a fairly sturdy fabric.
Neaten the curved lines of the crotch on both sides of the pant, the long curved edge of the FLY FACING and after folding the FLY SHIELD in half, wrong sides facing, neaten its raw edges too.
WORKING THE FLY
On the left front pant, match the straight edge of the FLY FACING to the crotch line, right sides facing. Stitch with a 1 cm (3/8") seam allowance to join.
Open the FLY FACING and press the seam allowance towards the pant. Top stitch the seam allowance in place.
On the "right" front pant, match the zipper tape to the crotch line, right side facing. Move the zipper tape 1/2 cm (1/4") in from the crotch line edge. Apply a basting stitch to the zipper tape to keep it in place for the next step.
As you've probably noticed, my zipper tape is longer than 5". I've aligned the zipper stop to the notch, and I am allowing the top of the zipper to travel beyond the waistline.
Next, match the neatened straight edge of the FLY SHIELD to the crotch line. Stitch with a 1 cm (3/8") seam allowance to join.
Open the FLY SHIELD and press the seam allowance towards the pant. Top stitch the seam allowance in place as close to the fold line as possible.
Match the "right and left" sides of the front pant, right sides facing. The seam joints of the FLY SHIELD and FLY FACING should meet. If they don't line up, then you will have trouble later with the FLY FACING being able to cover the zipper and FLY SHIELD.
Apply a basting stitch along the joint line of the right and left sides of the pants from the waistline to where the FLY SHIELD and FLY FACING meet the crotch curve. From there, reduce the stitch length to normal and stitch along the crotch curve with a 1 cm (3/8") seam allowance.
Now, as the FLY FACING lays naturally over the FLY SHIELD, pin the loose side of the zipper tape in place where it rest naturally. Stitch the zipper tape in place to join, while ensuring the FLY SHIELD is not included in the stitch.
Next, rest the FLY FACING on the pant on its side and pin in place.
Stitch along neatened edge of the FLY FACING down its length and along the curved base. Take the stitch all the way to the basting stitch line.
Check out the front of the pant to ensure the stitch line looks correct.
Lay the FLY SHIELD over the FLY FACING and zipper. Secure in place with a few pins.
On the right side of the pant, apply two narrow and short zigzag stitches to the crotch stitch line. One near the center crotch line joint and one at the top of the bottom curve of the stitch line. Ensure this stitch travels through the FLY FACING and FLY SHIELD. These stitches will keep the FLY SHIELD in place.
Remove the basting stitches that joined the front pant pieces.
One more thing! Make sure you can move that zipper up and down! And don't worry about the excess zipper tape above the waistline. That can be trimmed away when we apply the waistband.
I hope that helped get you through your Hampshire Trouser zipper installation!
If you just successfully installed your first pant zipper then you just took your skillZ to the next level! CONGRATS!
As always, feel free to let me know if you have any questions or concerns!