I’m once again obsessed with pants sewing. I’ve abandoned, for now, the Style Arc patterns and am working with Burda. Burda Issue March 1999, Style 130 to be exact.
I chose this style because it was in my size and is pictured as a “jean” . However when I turned to the description, I found that there wasn’t a back yoke or pocket, as to be expected with a jean.
This effectively places the back crotch on the bias, just as a true jean. The pattern is drafted for woven, non-stretch fabrics. I have a number of pant’s fabrics in my stash that I’d like to use up and this seams like a good candidate. At 18″ this has a narrower leg than many trousers and even most jeans in my size. The front can be 2 pieces and that slant pocket can easily be changed to the traditional curved jean-pocket. Although a back yoke is traditional with a jean, the 1 piece back leg is faster to sew. This pattern also specifies a straight waistband. In my present thinking, this was a plus. I would be able to use the already-fitted waistband in my possession. This pattern could catch the “mom jean” handle. But I really don’t care. I am a mom. I am an old mom. Sometimes, it’s just good to be who I am and what I am.
Sometimes I have problems determining my size. My measurements do not fit neatly into anybody’s charts; and then there’s the matter of my bodily differences from the industry standards. Often it’s a matter of trying this size and then trying another. I mention this because, I once again chose the wrong size. I made the first pair up; tried them on and almost threw them in the trash. Then I said, no I need to take pics and do some thinking. I need to see if there are major issues other than being too small. To my surprise, the first size (and it’s one size larger than my measurements) didn’t actually have major issues. I mean I looked like a Billy Dean Sausage, but the crotch back and front looked about the right length; the side seam was straight up and down, not an S or C curve. I had removed 1.5″ from the leg length and the leg only looked a little long. Other than being too tight, these might have been wearable.
I’ve not been having success lately with pants. For that reason I chose to make the first pair 1 size larger than the chart said I should use. I thought that using one size larger, I would be able to downsize the fabric into a wearable item. I had measured the pattern pieces in several places and thought there was plenty of inches in the tissue. I couldn’t believe that first pair were so tight. I reviewed the fabric suggestion (woven , non-stretch linen); checked that I had added 3/8″ for my seam allowances and then I measured myself yet again in several places. I had made a size larger than the Burda charts said I should be using. I was perplexed. The the thing I was sure about, was that the crotch was not bad and the leg hung nicely.. So I simplified the tracing of the next larger size (I’m now tracing two sizes larger than my measurements). I didn’t split the leg and I eliminated the pocket and pocket bag. I wasn’t sure why the first pair had been too small since they were supposed to be 1 size larger than I am. My sewing was all quick and dirty. I wasn’t sure 2 sizes larger was going to be any better than 1 size larger; it was getting late; I just wanted to know if I had enough ease. To my relief, I was able comfortably to pull these up and fasten the waistband with a pin.
I took pictures. The front is not bad. It still seems a little tight between waistband and tummy. The side shows that the back is riding up, but otherwise is not terrible. I’ve seen worse in the grocery line KWIM? The back shows that the back is riding up, the back crotch looks short and the legs are wrinkled like I have old-lady-bu tt.
I begin the process of tweaking the fit. First, I let out the front dart; then added 3/8″ to the waistband and finally eased the waistband and the pant together. Better but still not perfect. Although not visible in the picture, the crotch felt too long in front. While the back obviously had bubbles of fabric directly underneath the waistband.
I was cautious about my changes. For the 2nd tweak, I changed the additional waistband ease to 1/4″ and stitched the waistband 1/4″ lower onto the pant waist. The legs really looked pretty good. They were the right length, no wrinkles in front and few on the back thigh.
Encouraged by the 2nd tweak, I started scooping the bu tt. The problem with raising the waistline is that the crotch rise gets shorter. I do seem to need the length, just lower down. Besides, I know that all my best fitting pants have that fish-hook crotch. I’m not surprised that I need to create it here. I also dropped the waistband 1/8″ more (total of 3/8″).
I’m not sure what I’m doing next. This was intended to be a muslin. Cut it out. See what doesn’t fit. See if I can fix what doesn’t fit. Then make a good pair of a different fabric. But I’m really pleased with how these look. I’m also in need of these pants. I have some physical issues which right now are causing some discomfort and stomach bloating. I don’t think I’m gaining weight. The scale stubbornly sits at the same place every time I weight myself. My rear is about 1/2″ larger than it was last year this time. My tummy however is 1.5″ larger than my hip. Usually my tummy is the same or slightly smaller than my hip measures My point is these don’t look bad at all and under the circumstances, these would be welcome additions to my closet.
My final thoughts on the pattern are mixed. There is more ease in the back leg than I like with jeans. So even though I thought these might be a jeans pattern, they are not. They are more like a slacks pattern or maybe just a trouser pattern with minimal ease for a trouser? As of now, I’d say that I need to trace Burda patterns starting 2 sizes larger than my measurements, tracing the crotch heights of one size larger and the extension (depth) 3 sizes larger; and shortening the legs 2″. This is more than I’d like to do, but if I could reliably trace and create a Burda pants pattern that would fit, well, I’d be willing to follow this procedure.