So, let’s say that you are holed up in an abandoned farm house and the zombies are attacking and the zipper on your fly breaks. Now, Aunt Toby realizes that perhaps at this moment you are not worrying about your pants falling down while a zombie eats your brains, but you never know. Here’s a way to repair that fly, keep your pants up so that you can pay proper attention to the zombies and perhaps get a few damaging licks in before they overwhelm you. I mean, Shaun would have made sure his fly was all fastened up..Right?
You will need:
Some sort of firm fabric to make a panel of – it needs to be slightly longer than the fly is, and twice as wide. Firm fabric would be twill, denim, the sort of thing Dockers(tm) or Dickies(tm) pants are made from. If it’s lighter than that, make the panel slightly longer than the fly is and three times as wide You’ll be folding the panel in half if it’s firm fabric, into thirds(with one edge inside) if it’s not very firm. You basically need a panel to put buttonholes into, so you need something firm. I put four 3/4″ buttonholes into my panel, with the first about 3/4″ down from the top. You will be tucking the top edge under the waistband seam, so you will therefore end up with the top buttonhole about 1/2″ down.
Buttons – 3 or 4. I’m using 3/4″ wood buttons that I happened to have around. In your abandoned farm house, unless the owner was one of those (ahem, like I am) stashing sewers and has a big collection of buttons still on the cards, you won’t know the size of the button. And you probably won’t have a measuring tape either. But if you have buttons and don’t know the size, lay a measuring tape or ruler on a flat surface and put one of the buttons on it and measure it. Or, if there is no measuring tape available then compare the size across the widest part of the button with the first joint in your thumb. The average size of that part of a person’s body is actually about an inch and that will be a good estimate for how big the button is. That’s the size of the button hole you need to make. Mark the buttonhole placements evenly down the panel. If you have a sewing machine, use that to make your buttonholes and sew on the panel. If you do not have a sewing machine here’s how to make non-machine buttonholes:
Fold your panel into half (or thirds if it’s not really firm fabric) across the width and run an overcast stitch all the way around. Mark the places where you want your buttonholes down the length, as evenly as you can.
Center across the panel the length of the buttonhole you want to make and draw a line that long.
Take a pair of scissors, or (be careful!) a single edged razor blade or other sharp blade and carefully slit open that line. Do that for all the buttonholes you are going to make.
Take a needle and doubled thread and overcast the edges all around (if you know that arcane thing called a buttonhole stitch, use that :Buttonhole stitch
Then, line up the long side of the panel and sew that to the back side of the front panel of the fly – you’ll know where to sew by the original stitches that are in the front – that ‘j’ shaped stitching line.
Then, line up the buttons on the other side of the fly, to correspond with the buttonholes, and sew those on.
And watch the rest of the sewing adventure (and I promise, no zombies..really…)