Shorts! Burda 2010_04_143

originally published6/19/11




I’m in need of shorts. I worked on developing Burda 2010_04_143 for summer shorts a few months ago. I made a few adjustments during the initial fitting and then thought the pattern was OK. Until I started wearing them on a daily basis. They feel funny. They look OK. Heck they look good. But they feel funny. Careful examination revealed that the center crotch, which should be centered anatomically, was forward. Which indicates that either the back crotch is too long or the front too short. A day of wearing convinced me that the first version was NOT wearable. The verdict is still out on copies 2 and 3. They feel better than Version 1 but still odd.


But I’m perplexed.  I’d just discovered and really realized that clothes manufactures and sewing pattern companies use the same blocks over and over again.  They start with the same block and develop the next design.  My Perfect Bermuda Shorts were developed from Burda 2010_06_115.  I did start with a size 42 and add 1.5″ to crotch depth (front and back) and 1.5″ ease in both the front and back. With just a little tweaking, my 115’s were perfect.


So why don’t I just keep making 2010_06_115? Because they have a fitted waistband with corresponding facing, belt loops and many other delicious details which are completely obscured when I dress myself. That’s right. I never tuck my blouses and all the time-consuming details that show are:

  • the tip of the zipper
  • a little bit of the back pockets
  • maybe a little of the front pockets if I use patch pockets

I don’t like adding 45 minutes of sewing that can’t be appreciated.


2010_04_143 seemed like a great simple alternative.  Straight waistband (yes I know a lot of you hate those) the option for pockets.  I think the pattern  specified a side invisible zipper which I changed to a front faux-fly.


I never make a complete fly front with shield. Being modest, I’m not going anywhere without pan!ies.  I have no fear of pinching flesh, catching pub!ic hair or otherwise injuring myself with a zipper. My mom pan!ies take care of that issue.  It took a little thought but I extended the front and developed a zipper insertion procedure which gives the look of a full fly without much of the work.


Continuing on, I started working with 143 in size 46 because comparing my 115’s with the pattern for the 143’s the crotch lengths seemed the same.  I made a few pairs that look good but felt funny when worn.  I want to know, why? If Burda starts with the same block, why don’t the 143’s feel as good as my 115’s?  I’m not sure Burda starts with the same block.  When I compared the two patterns the crotch front was very different. There front hook is 1″ longer (not depth wise but the extension to meet the back crotch is 1″ longer!) The back was the same depth but the 143 center back is more slanted; center back of 115 much more vertical (upright.) There was additional ease in the 143 back about 1/2″.  Honestly, I thought Burda started with the same block; and with my having made simple, straight-forward adjustments to the 115’s; the differences would only be in the amount of overall ease.   I was surprised to see all the differences.


I copied 143 and then traced the differences from 115.  For good measure I added 1/2″ SA which I intended to remove during the final fitting.  When I got to the final fitting, I skipped it. Yep, I just added a gathering line to the top and eased the pant to the waistband.  I used a 4mm stitch length to attach the waistband.  Always, always always, depending upon inherent give of the fabric, my waistband length will need to be adjusted.  (That’s such a True for me that I usually baste the waistband with water soluble thread!)


Before you look at these I want to tell you that the fabric is a micro-cord probably 100% cotton. But I’m not sure.  The fabric is from the Under2’s and has been marinating in the stacks for several years.  I’m fairly sure I made full length, winter cords after the initial fabric purchase. I may even have made a coordinating jacket. But I don’t remember. Which indicates to me that this fabric has been marinating a good 15-20 years.  I love how soft the fabric is, which has me asking could these have some microfiber?  Has microfiber been around for 20 years?  Well, it’s is soft, but not drapy.  So the excess ease falls in folds






I really do think all the folds in the pictures are either from excess ease or the need for more pressing.  I did press a final time but think it’s pretty obvious I made a quick inattentive effort. (I’m hanging my head in shame and asking AnneR to forgive me.). Some of the wrinkles and folds though are undoubtedly resulting from the fact that the waistband is too large. Holey moley.  Can’t believe this, but this cotton corduroy waistband needs to be smaller than I usual.  I think the stiffer and less flexibility a fabric has, the longer my waistband is going to end up being.  I’m wrong with this fabric.  I pulled the shorts up repeatedly during the few photos. Top stitching was done with Marathon Polyester Embroidery thread using the triple stitch of my HV Ruby SM.  I think it’s delicious but as usual limited my top stitching so that I could, if I really wanted, I could make fit adjustments.

I’ve been wearing them all day.  When I make the next pair I will remove about 1/4″ from the side-seam  seam-allowances.  I don’t mind having shorts with a little fullness–when that’s what I have planned.  I’d like the final version to be close but not tight fitting.  I’d like to be able to decide how much ease I wanted in next pair and add what I want.  Happily, I can tell you, these are comfortable and I like wearing them.