14 August 2009

Hepburn Pants Zipper Tutorial

I know when the Loes Hinse Hepburn Pants pattern first came out, there was concern over the zipper insertion. Seamstresses far and wide were stymied by the instructions included in the pattern and boy, were they pissed off! Chaos ensued, the oceans boiled and there was a plague of locust...

Needless to say, I was a bit apprehensive to try these pants myself. However, when I did, I had absolutely no problems at all. I followed the instructions and sailed right through, no fuss, no muss. Now, before you think what a pompous bitc...ahem...gal, let me tell you that I usually excel at difficult tasks and then get totally stymied by the simplest things. Just call me the idiot savant.

So, I tossed together a Hepburn Pant zipper tutorial. Now, with extra visuals! Hopefully, this helps out a frustrated sewist or two. The following is the construction of view A (the high paper bag waist) as per the steps listed in the pattern instructions. View B is constructed in much the same way. Note that all the pictures can be clicked on to make them bigger for better detail.

Steps #1-13: Just follow the instructions - I don't think there's any wackiness here. For my pants, I tend to omit the pockets. I enjoy a good pocket, but I don't love the extra padding in the hip area, so I rarely use them.

Step #14: Notice on the front pattern piece there is a dot at the bottom of the fly opening (the dot is circled in red on the pattern piece and on the corresponding piece of fabric in the photo). You will stitch, right sides together, the two legs of the pants from that dot, around under the crotch, all the way to the top of the back waist. The stitching line creates a big "J" in profile.

Press open the seam. In the photo you can see that your pant legs should be completely attached together at the crotch, except for the fly region.

Steps #15-16: I think the construction of the waistband facing is well explained. Just remember that when the instructions say "right" and "left", it is referring to the location of the piece as it will be worn on the body when the pants are complete. Also, be sure to mark the dots in the lower corner of the right and left waistband facing pieces - they will come in handy later. As a side note, I used a lightweight white knit interfacing for this slightly stretchy RPL (rayon, polyester, lycra) fashion fabric.

Step #17: Turn pants right side out. With right sides together, pin the right fly front panel to the the right waistband facing (left photo). Sew together from the top of the waist to the marked dot and clip to the dot (right photo).

Step #18: Press this small seam open. The unstitched portion is pressed toward the waistband facing.

Step #19: Fold back the right fly panel at centre front, use the marked notched as a folding guideline and secure with pins. The fly panel and pant front should now be right sides together. See photos for Step #20 to see the fly panel folded properly.

Step #20: Continue pinning the waistband facing to the pant, right sides together, around the entire circumference of the waist. Sew facing to waist using a 1/4" seam.

Step #21: Fold waistband facing away from the pant. Understitch (sewing through both the facing and the seam allowances) close to the seam line around the circumference of the waist - you will not be able to understitch all the way into the right side. In the photo below, this is the right side of the back of the pants with the waistband facing at the top and the body of the pant below. You can see the understitching on the facing.

Step #22: Turn facing right side out and press. The photo shows the inside of the right front of the pant in the fly region.

Step #23: To locate the position of the top zipper stop on the left side of the fly, transfer the dot from the waistband facing to the same position on the fly. To do this, fold down the waistband facing onto the fly and mark the position of the dot onto the fly (marked with a pin in the photo).

Place the zipper face down on the edge of the fly and stitch in place. I have lined up the top zipper stop with the pin from the photo above.

Step #24: Turn zipper right side out and stitch along teeth.

Step #25: Press right fly along fold line.

Step #26: Stitch one end of the elastic to the loose seam allowance of the right waistband facing.

Turn elastic into the facing, lining up the elastic with the long edge of the facing, being sure the elastic does not twist.

Step #27, 28: Fold the seam allowance, wrong sides together, on the left side of the facing. Attach the elastic here, as shown in the photo.

Step #29: Attach the elastic to the long edge of the entire facing (I used my serger to attach and clean finish in one sweep). The elastic has to be stretched to distribute it evenly along the facing edge.

Step #30: To finish the left side of the fly, fold down the facing and stitch it to the fly region.

Step #31, 32: To finish the right side of the fly front, the instructions have you attach the zipper and topstitch the fly all in one step. I prefer to attach the zipper first and then topstitch in two separate steps. I feel this gives me greater control over this procedure. Below is how I do it.

Attach zipper to the right fly region. Line up the edge of the zipper tape with the edge of the right fly flap. Slip the top portion of the zipper tape under the right facing. Stitch the zipper in place along the teeth. Be sure to only stitch through facing - do not stitch right through to front of pant.

Step #33: Topstitch the fly front, through all layers. I like to mark my topstitching line with chalk.

Step #34-38: Follow the given instructions. The top of your pants should look like this:

And, voila! Hepburn pants the HZC way!

ETA: To see the completed Hepburn pants, click here.


Maggie said...

Shannon, really great tutorial. I've become much more interested in this pattern after seeing your collection of them on you.

Trudy said...

Thanks so much for the tute!

kiltsnquilts said...

Great tutorial, it isgenerous of you to take so much time to make this easier! I haven't even seen the pattern instructions (haven't got my copy yet but seriously thinking about it :-)) but feel sure I could follow them now with no problems!

Another pair of Hepburns bites the dust :-)

Nancy K said...

I don't have this pattern, but I do have the HP Razer pant with a faced waist and fly zip that has a totally useless set of directions for doing said fly. This method is much better and it enables you to try these pants on during construction. There is also a pair of BWOF pants that I like that has a faced fly front and this tutorial will come in handy. Thanks for a great tutorial.

Nylorac Creations said...

Oh, thank you for this info. I have saved it for when I make these pants. Can't wait to see the photos of your new garments you have made recently.

Linda T said...

You have made that look so easy to do step by step. I don't have this pattern, but I think I'll order it based on what wonderful creations you have come up with.

By the way, congrats on your interfacing win. I got some too and I love to win (since I so seldome do!).

Teddylyn said...

Thank you so much for this awesome tutorial! I will get out my pattern and make a pair this week to force myself to follow your directions! I wonder if the sizing for these pants is similar to the other LH pants patterns...

Lynda in LV

gwensews said...

Thank you for a wonderful tutorial. That was a lot of work, and very appreciated.

Maja said...

Thank you for a wonderful tutorial!

Jen said...

Thank you, THANK YOU, thank you. I already see where I went wrong. I'll be making a pair soon and will follow your instructions.

Danielle said...

What a great tutorial! I might have to try to make these :)

Tany said...

This is an awesome tutorial!! Well done!

Gail said...

Thanks for the useful tutorial. I always keep the good ones on file.

Teddylyn said...

me again--with a question?

How do these compare to Oxfords when deciding what size to make? Same size? Just wondering before I take the big step to cut mine out...



Terri K said...

Thanks for the tutorial and super photos. I like the Hepburns for their classic, elegant trouser look.

Lucie said...

This is a fantastic tutorial. You make it look so easy.

Anonymous said...

Thank you ,,2 years later for this tutorial I am searching ALL over for help w/ this pant( just ordered it) however,,,,,I just received in the LOOK from Casual Elegance ( Feb 2011) There is a different tutorial where you cut off 1 inch and basically use the Euro pattern over it( hope I got this correct!) Do you keep your waist high as per pattern? Guess I will be cutting out a few of these to see which one works best, I DO Like the higher waist w/ a skinny belt w/ tucked in blouses( now THAT feels like Katherine Hepburn to me so evening glam,,,) T think I will have to learn to do both!,, I am doing the same thing to my Oxfords now.
THANK YOU for your kindness ,,as I am a returning seamstress and this is supposed to be FUN(big sigh,) and not stressful! Zipper insertion * Hepburn's/Oxford's = stress so far.
This should clear it up for me.

Teddylyn said...

Miss your posts...hope all is well!