I’ve been wanting to tinker with a faux fly for a while, and considered trying it on the Bunny Bottoms, but I wasn’t sure how it would look with a harem style. But with the Grow Along pants? Perfection!
Apple Tree Sewing is by far my favourite pattern designer. She’s Canadian AND has a range of grow with me patterns, so I was pretty much sold even before I saw how well her instructions are laid out! That’s also why I love taking time to do testing for her new patterns, and why I always suggest her patterns first to customers. I mean who doesn’t want an item to last across multiple sizes?
But I digress.
Adding the Faux Fly
The overall construction for adding a faux fly, at least this way, is mostly similar to the flat assembly method mentioned in the instructions, though not completely identical.
I did the faux fly with moto patches, but it could be just as easily applied to full length pants with or without cuffs, and I’ll mention below the steps and page numbers to follow for each.
And don’t forget to pick up the pattern for the Grow Along pants, just released!
Modifying the Pattern Piece
First we need to modify the pattern piece, and I’ll be referring to the extra bit we’re adding to the pattern as the “fly piece“. I prefer to tape a separate piece of paper on the back so that I can easily fold it out of the way for when I don’t want to use a faux fly.
This is shown on size 3-6 years, so if you’re adding it to a smaller size you may want to adjust it to be a bit smaller. If you look at the curve, you want it to start maybe an inch up from where the crotch seams all meet. It absolutely needs to be above the seam allowance. (Personally I would do an inch away from that point even for smaller sizes.)
Now if you look at the top of the curve, where it would attach to the waistband, it sticks out a teeny bit further than the crotch point below, less than half an inch past that point. (If you have it stick out further it will have very little impact the final look, but it will use more fabric.)
Finally, the top edge needs to line up with the actual pattern piece. I did this by folding the extra fly piece under, with the crease along the straight edge of the crotch seam. You can then trim off any excess at the top.
Cutting out and preparing modified front pieces
Now you’re ready to cut out your two mirrored pieces, and both pieces should be with the extra fly piece.
Pin, right sides together, along the crotch curve, both below the fly piece and along the fly piece. I have it turned around now, so the legs are pointed up, and where the waistband will be attached is at the bottom.
If you’re using a sewing machine (with a strong stretch stitch), this part is easy. Sew along where you’ve just pinned, with the 3/8 inch seam allowance. After you’ve sewn, clip into where the crotch meets the fly piece, about 1/8 inch away from your seam. (Now you can skip a few steps!)
I used a serger, so I needed to do a couple extra steps.
We’ve just pinned. Now clip into where the crotch meets the fly piece, on both layers, but VERY CAREFULLY. We’re clipping now because we can’t after it has been serged. But make you’re only clipping into the seam allowance (2/8 inch MAX).
This picture shows it spread apart so you can see the small clip.
Now we’ll start serging from the leg end, not the fly end. Use a 3/8 seam allowance to start serging along the crotch curve, but watch you don’t cut into your fly piece.
In theory, your blade will have trimmed off the small amount of only the crotch seam, because we already clipped in to where the crotch curve met the fly piece.
As the fly piece gets closer to the blade, fold the fly fabric to the left, under the presser foot and away from the blade, and finish stitching the crotch curve very carefully, right up to, but not over the folded fly fabric.
Once the needles are very close to the fly fabric (as shown), leave them down into the fabric, lift the presser foot, and unfold the fly fabric. Smooth it out so that the fly fabric is flat and in line where you will be serging.
The seam allowance around the fly fabric isn’t important, as all this will be hidden anyway. So I didn’t trim off any excess fabric as I continued serging along the fly piece.
Now to finish! (Sewing machine users pick back up here)
Now, if you haven’t already, transfer the mark that you made on the pattern piece that is 3/8 inch into the original pattern piece, from the original crotch curve, along where the waistband will be attached. We want to know where the seam would have been if we weren’t sewing a faux fly.
I find it easiest to mark this spot with a pin (not a clip). (Truth be told, it only occurred to me after taking pictures that the mark should be where the seam would have been, not where the fabric would have ended. Oops!)
Once your pin is marking where the seam would have been, you can carefully unfold your fabric, and the pin will hold the layers in place right where you want them. You can now fold the fly to whichever side you like, smoothing out all the layers and still leaving that pin in place.
Now you can pin the other edge of the fly fabric at the top (where the waistband will hit), and then baste those three layers of fabric in place.
Next, pin and then topstitch the faux fly down, similar to topstitching the peekaboo pockets on the Bunnyhug or the Bunny Bottoms. I used a coverstitch, but you could also use a double needle, or any other stretch stitch depending on the finished look you want.
Here is the finished look from the front. If you have topstitching tails (like I do at the bottom of the faux fly from the coverstitch machine), it’s easier to deal with that now rather than once the pants are fully constructed.
And you can now continue on with the flat assembly method! The steps will vary depending on the option you’re doing, but I have them listed below.
I was doing the reversible with moto patches option, so next I added moto patches (steps 4-6 on p. 15-16), then bottom leg pieces (p. 17-18), then side panels just along the outer seam (p. 19-20, but do NOT sew along the inseam), then the back crotch curve (p. 41), then the leg inseam (p. 42), and continue on with the instructions on page 27.
For cuffed with moto patches, add the moto patches (steps 4-6 on p. 15-16), then side panels, then the back crotch curve (p. 41), then continue on with the instructions on page 42.
For reversible without moto patches, simply sew the back crotch curve (p. 41), then the leg inseam (p. 42), and continue on with the instructions on page 27.
For cuffed without moto patches, simply sew the back crotch curve (p. 41), then continue on with the instructions on page 42.