If you’ve taken the plunge and decided to sew your own jeans, every detail has to be just right. To avoid your new garment looking too homemade, choose hardware that will give a professional finish. YKK zips, from the Japanese market leaders, look great and are also built to last, so you won’t need to worry about a wardrobe malfunction!
Jean zips look best with metal teeth, a classic choice for denim garments. For the perfect results, don’t reach for a standard zip. Instead, choose a purpose-designed denim zipper, specially made for use in jeans. These will give a great finish every time.
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Sewing a fly zipper can be difficult, especially if it’s your first time. Luckily, denim is a sturdy and forgiving fabric, which is necessary if you have to unpick and redo your stitches. Take things slowly, and carefully follow the pattern instructions as you insert your fly zip. Always use the correct zipper foot on your sewing machine, and for best results baste the denim zip into place first. For easy basting, set your stitch length to about twice as long as normal. This way, it will be easy to rip the basting stitches out when you’ve finished this step. A heavy-duty zip is essential because you won’t want to sew the fly again if your zipper breaks while being worn!
Jeans have a reputation for being a particularly difficult garment to sew. Choose your pattern carefully, and take time when selecting your denim. You need to think beyond the colour. The weight of the denim is important, as is its percentage of stretch (if any). Skinny jeans often depend on a high level of stretch, while other styles look better in non-stretch woven fabrics. For professional results, you will also want to choose topstitching thread. Jeans often feature this in a contrasting colour, such as gold or orange on dark blue, but if you’re worried about wobbly stitches, you might want to stick with a closer colour match. If you’re determined to get that fully professional look, rivets and a specific jeans button are a great way of finishing the look.
With so much to think about, your choice of jean zipper may well be the easiest part of the project selection! No matter what style of jeans you’re making, whether for men or women, the zip will be a constant. A strong metal YKK zipper will look great and provide durability in any pair of jeans.