What Is A Fly Zipper Shield And Why Is It Used In Dressmaking
A zipper shield plays an important role in a fly-front zipper application. Essentially, a fly shield provides a barrier between skin and zipper resulting in a comfortable, non-irritable finish. Fly front zippers are positioned at the center front of bottoms like trousers, shorts and skirts. Their location is in a more sensitive area of the body which can be more perceptive and sensitive to the zipper. Fly front applications are conventionally constructed of metal chain zippers which have a heavier duty rougher structure than conventional plastic coil zippers.
The fly shield is a double layers compartments that is stitched to the wrong side of the zipper application to fully cover both the zipper tape and zipper teeth. Once the shield is attached, non of the zipper components should be visible on the inside if the garment when the zipper is closed. The fly shield itself should be clean finished align all edges except the top horizontal wedge which is naturally, stitched into a waistband or another seam.
The most conventional fly shield structure is a curved bottom double layer compartment featuring a seam along all edges. This style fly shield is constructed of tow pieces that are aligned with face sides touching and stitching along its curved outer edge.
Before turning the fly shield compartment to its right sided to expose the clean-finished edges, clip wedge notches into the curved portion of the seam allowance as shown above. Doing so ensures that the curved edge is smooth, bulk and tension free.
The fly shield should also be clean finished along its vertical straight edge which in the application process is stitched to the garment. The most conventional way to finish these edges is by using an overedge stitch like serging or zigzag as shown above. It is up to you what technique you choose as long as the resulting clean-finished edge does not add unnecessary bulk and thickness to the garment layers.
Attaching the fly shield is the last step in the zipper application process. Keeping the fly front zipper closed, the fly shield is simply placed on top of the exposed zipper teeth/tape (on the garment wrong side) such that its top unfinished edge aligns with the garment's top horizontal edge, and its straight vertical edge opposite the curve done aligns with the garment seam allowance as shown above. If the facing was cut from the same pattern as the fly shield and their shapes are identical, them the fly shield will perfectly overlap the facing underneath fully sandwiching the zipper in between.
While the fly shield is aligned in proper position form the wrong side of the garment keeping the zipper in closed position, it is permanently stitched from the right side of the application while the zipper is fully open. This final stitch not only connects the fly shield to the garment it also completes the right side of the zipper.