Burda Feb 2011 #136

What I wanted was the exact styling I had developed in my 428’s but not the 24″ hem circumference of that pattern. I know that a certain amount of flare and ease can be removed from the leg.  In actual practice I’ve found that more than 1/2″  from each side (2″ total) starts effecting the hang of the pant.  I want to remove at least 4″ and maybe more. Given my experience, and since I have so many patterns available, it made more sense to look for a new pattern which has been drafted with a narrower leg. I thought I’d found exactly what I wanted in the February 2011 Burda Style #136 pant. It has all the pieces for my favorite the front slant pocket; was specifically drafted for woven fabrics and finishes with hem circumferences of 16″.
I’ve developed a love/hate relationship with Burda Style.  I totally hate their photographic efforts.  Generally I can’t see the details of the garment because it has been created in dark colors and then the model forced into a quirky pose which conceals the features of the garment.  Often the picture seems to focus on the RTW items so that when looking at the photo I think that the pattern will be the RTW item and what’s in the pattern section is entirely different.  BS rearrangement of the on-line site was so completely disconcerting for me that I never re-registered.  I thought others would discover the secrets of the new site and lead the way. I was even more disconcerted to find that most of the other users have been unable to navigate the English BS site and have taken to reading and linking to the other languages sites. Let’s not forget the actual patterns. Which now come on 4 pages and cause me headaches to trace.  I spend as much time hunting for the pieces as tracing them and nearly always miss some important mark.  For this pattern, February 2011 #136, I didn’t find the straight of grain for the back or the front pleat mark which the instructions assure me that I must make on the front and stitching on the inside.  Trying to locate my size back darts from amongst the 10 on the page which were layered over other blue markings was such a nightmare, I decided that I could add darts wherever needed on my own.  Yes there is more than one pattern on that page using the same ink color. I definitely would not recommend Burda Style for the beginner.  But I still love the actual design details of the patterns and the fit of the pants. So I persist…

This pattern has my 4 darts in the back and 2 tucks (which were easily changed to darts) in the front. It also contains a front zipper. Not a true fly but then I never make a true fly anyway.  I thought it would be a near copy of Loes Hinse popular European pants and was disappointed when reading the instructions which revealed that the waist was 1-3/8″ above the natural waistline. This is a big downside for me. I am short-waisted.  Wearing a high-waisted pant usually looks like I don’t even have a midriff area. A really high waist makes my lungs feel constricted and interferes with my breathing.  Sometime during the day of wearing a high-waist garment, I will look down and see that the high waist has folded down and outward becoming a shelf.  So although there is no mention of boning, I know I need to give serious consideration to supporting that high waist or accepting the “shelf” as a design element.  Or I could trim that waist down to my comfort level.  I chose the latter.

I chose to change the design from a high waist to ending at my waist level. The pattern includes facing pieces.  I’ve traced those and I’ll keep them for reference but the actual pant is made with same attached waistband/elastic-casing as I used with my 428’s.  I do like elastic waistlines.  I don’t like the really bulky waistline, but in this type design the elastic solves my problem of fluctuating waistline circumference and also eliminates the need to tweak the waistline/waistband for each fabric.  I used the 428 pattern pieces to compare with the 136’s and  adapted the waistline height and darts. I continued the now proven practice of tracing the pattern 2 sizes larger than the measurement chart indicated I should select and 3 sizes larger for the back inseam. IOW according to Burda’s sizing chart I’m a size 42. I traced a size 46 except I traced the back inseam from the size 48 line.

I have an interesting cotton/poly fabric I want to use for summer pants.  It’s a white and cream irregular stripe but I have enough for only 1 pair of pants.  I don’t want to waste this fabric, so thought to make a wearable muslin from another piece.  I thought of starting my fall 6 PAC by selecting a brown fabric. Didn’t do that either.  No I decided upon reducing the number of navy blue pant weight fabrics which I’ve over stocked thereby changing my Fall 6PAC color scheme from browns to Navy and Royal blues.  My navy blue fabric is a stretch twill of cotton/Lycra.  This fabric is excellent for  fall/early winter use.  It’s one of those really well-behaved fabrics, which cut, sew and press very easily. I gave an extra effort to making the front closure even, smooth, entirely professional.  I measured and chalk marked where the zipper stitching should begin. Stitched accurately, folded and pressed carefully. I’m still not there yet but this is improved.

This picture is from the first fitting. I was terribly terribly pleased. This is the 4th pattern using combined 46 & 48 sizing and it’s perfect. I took pictures, analyzed and made corrections but didn’t take new pics of the final piece. In these pics, I haven’t tightened the waistband elastic. The back therefore drops making for lots of back wrinkles and some poufy sides. The leg is also too long for wear with flats. Not a problem because during the fall and especially winter, I prefer to wear low (1.5-2″)  heeled boots.

Despite the inaccuracy of the pic, I’m sharing my triumph now. Yes I do feel it’s a triumph and I’m really pleased.


Spring 428…

…again and again and again.  Last week I discovered that my wardrobe has a few holes.  I need neutral colored pants in a light weight fabrics.  I could use a few more shorts, but it was the long pants I really desired.  I retrieved the tissue for the 2011 Spring issue  Burda Plus pattern #428.  (I’m calling these my 428’s).
I had not made this pattern in the length suggested by Burda. No I shortened the pattern made it once and then started adding interesting details.  I traced the pattern with my new personal-standard of size 46 for the body changing to 48 only for the back inseam.  But because I’ve made only shorts, I wasn’t sure how the leg would fit.  So I pulled out the pattern and lightly pressed to smooth old the folds and wrinkles.  Then I looked at the hems.  Hmmm.  Then I measured the hems.  Nah.  I ‘ve got pretty clear standards for pants.  Because I’m short, I don’t like the hem circumference to finish any wider than 20″.  My favorites are in the 17-18″ range.  These would finish at 24″.  I’m not only short, I’m wide.  The 24″ hem would make me look even shorter and wider.  BUT I also would like more shorts.  The 3 I made recently with Burda Nov 2000 # 140 are OK.  I was in a hurry and cut them too long.  When I corrected the length I didn’t have enough ease for the hem.  So my hems on those 3 pairs are OK, but not really nice.  They are good enough for sitting in front of the A/C but maybe I don’t want to go out in public.  I used the zipper and darts added in the last pair of 428″s and made a few adjustments to each new pair.

So I made 1 pair from cotton

I wanted this pair a bit dressy.  I added the large scoop front pockets and also pockets in back.  I used a programmed stitch from my Ruby  to top stitch the pockets but since I did want this a big dressy, I used matching thread everywhere.

Pair #2 is a remnant from a woven stretch trouser fabric.
I used a contrasting thread for the zipper application, and back pockets.  I skipped the front pocket application.

Pair #3, also a remnant but from jean fabric.
It too has a bit of stretch. No front pockets; back pockets and contrasting thread used in several places.

I love this pattern.  It would be extremely quick to sew if I wasn’t adding the details.  But I also love it because I can get it almost all the way sewn before making my first fitting check.  The linen pants were perfect with the drafted ease.  I planned to take the sides in a bit more with the stretch fabrics but at the fitting I decided I liked them this way.  Which I do.  I like close fitting shorts because they make me look slimmer.  But I prefer these loose legs for the air circulation factor.

The original pattern does not include the zipper, darts or any pockets.  I almost wonder if this is now a sdBev pattern instead of a Burda Style pattweb.  My last addition to the pattern is a tab on the front behind the zipper.   I can add either a button or snap for a little more security at the closure.  With these 3 shorts, I concentrated on where to add the tab, what size it should be and at what time during the construction process it should be added.  When I use this (or a similar pattern) in the future I want to concentrate on making the front finish evenly and neatly at the top.
I don’t quite have that down.  I mean I can see that the front needs just a bit of finessing.  It’s not that noticeable during wear because I typically wear my tops over my pants.  But I’m interested in doing really good sewing and would like to perfect this technique.


2011Spring Burda 428


Every year, along about mid-August, we have 1 week of triple-diget temperatures.  Definitely reminds me of Utah but fortunately of much shorter duration.  For that week I really, really, really need shorts and tank tops.  I’m wondering how hot this year is going to be, because Mid-August temperatures arrived in Mid-June and that’s when I discovered I didn’t have enough hot weather clothes.  Before the temperatures broke, I was scrambling to do laundry while wearing  long legged pants. I realized I could probably have a new pair of shorts before the laundry was done and I started on this pattern

Burda Spring 2011

The first pair, the wearable muslin, is not photoed.  It was made from a cotton/poly double-knit.  It was a hefty fabric, lots of body.  I traced a size 48 (though my measurements place me in the size 44, the fit of Burda pants 2 sizes larger seem more to my liking).  I did trace the back inseam one size larger (48).  I wanted a pull on pant with the waistband included.  The pattern gives directions for a separate waistband.  I matched the waistband along the waist seam lines and trimmed it even  with the center and side.  I traced the pant completely, located the knee markings and folded the leg up on a line 5″ above the knee.  I made one mistake with the first pair. I made my waist elastic too long.  They kept wanting to drop in front during wear.

The other thing I noticed was, these have a lot of ease.  Now, the pant is designed for wovens and I did make it 2 sizes too large. But still this firm double-knit sort of stuck out at the sides.  I think, had this been a soft knit, I would have been uncritical.  But knowing there was so much excess easy I trimmed 5/8″ off the side seams only for the next version; the version pictured here.


Please excuse the excessive wrinkling. These shorts were worn for several hours before being photoed.

I  added a front zipper and 6 darts, 2 in front and 4 in the back a la Loes Hines European pants pattern. This is a wonderful addition. The pants fit smoothly and nicely at the waist. What appears to be a waistband, is the top 1-3/4″ folded down to the back and top stitched. It forms a casing through which I’ve run the elastic (now 2 inches shorter than the first version).
Oddly the front seems to be trying to rise. I see it on the side view at both the hem and the drag line just above my hip. I often, but not always, see that particular drag line and I’m not sure what it indicates. I don’t worry about it too much because as normally attired, my tops totally cover the issue.
The back has not been scooped yet. I need to scoop just 1/4″ for comfort if not to correct these radiating lines. I’ve been collecting pocket patterns and borrowed this one since the pattern didn’t include a pocket.

I did try to close the front neatly.  In fact I added a inside button and tab, to give a little extra support to the front zipper.
I’m thinking that maybe 2″ less was too much less.

The fabric is a piece from one of the Fabricmart bundles. Itsa a woven with stretch so I think cotton/lycra. I wish I knew what it was because I like to have a one yard cut in various colors for nothing but shorts. I think it’s too firm a fabric to make a nice trouser. While it has stretch, it is minimal stretch, maybe 1% and is a bit stiff. The fabric would have been great in a wind-breaker. Surprisingly, it made very comfortable shorts.


Yes I had shorts to wear before the laundry was done.  But the brightest news is that my fitting method work yet again.  This is Burda pant pattern #5 in which I’ve trace the pant 2 sizes larger than the charts indicate and 3 sizes larger on the back inseam.  Although the pant had a little too much ease, that was easily detectable and could have been corrected at the first try on.