January’s Version of Burda 2011-02 #136

The wonderful thing about TNT’s or even patterns that you’ve worked with before but haven’t completely fit, is that they take so little time to sew again.  I’ve constructed two pairs of pants in the last two days.  Each pair took less than 3 hours from start to finish. Why?  Because the tracing and major fitting had already been accomplished. Now I’m either creating a duplicate pair for my wardrobe or tweaking the fit.

Burda Style 136 in the 02/2011 issue is very very close to the  famous and beloved Euro’s drafted by Loes Hinse.  Here’s the Burda Schematic:

And the schematic for Loes Hinse European Pants Pattern #5001

I’m pretty sure you’re going to say “That’s not the same.” BUT LH 5001 includes instruction on creating a fly flap, adding several pocket designs, waistband variations, and several other design details that I don’t recall.  I purchased the LH pattern, unfortunately at the beginning of my pants fitting adventure.  The muslin was ghastly and I had no idea how to fix it.  I kept the pattern and consider the dollars for it well spent, VERY WELL SPENT. There is so much information to be had in the construction pages.  Truly, it  is an intensive sewing workshop.

I’ve learned with the Burda magazine, I can’t just look at the glossy pictures and say “I want that” or conversely consider the design a scratch.  I know, from experience that I must look at the schematics on the center pages and then read the sewing instructions. I skip the glossy “runway” shots or pay very little attention to them.   Burda patterns include many wonderful details that are invisible to the casual eye. When reading the sewing instructions,  I realized Burda had incorporated many of the style and sewing designs from Loes Hinse 5001 into this pants style.

Some 4 years after my original purchase of 5001, I traced and easily fit Burda 2011-02 #136.  I say easily because I’d already copied a number of of LH’s sewing techniques to other pants and even other garments. IMO, she is truly a master of simplistic, elegant design. For the first pair of 136’s, I taped the pockets to the front and concentrated on fit.  In subsequent iterations, I added various pockets, tweaked for both woven and stretch fabrics and finally I’ve converted for use with a straight waistband.

Why a straight waistband?  I’m fine with the attached facing  if no pockets or zippers are added/needed. But when I start adding these much-desired-by-me details, I the waist area becomes bulky.  My waist area is naturally bulky.  I’m inclined to reduce the waistline bulk.  I’ve already made #136 with a straight waistband— and liked it. But during wear the front crotch seemed a bit long.  My assumption, since the attached facing is fabulously comfortable, is that I did not remove enough of the attached facing on the front piece.  So for this version, I slashed and overlapped a mere 1/4″ on the front pattern-piece,  just below the zipper.

My chosen fabric falls into the “old” category thereby fulfilling my self-promise to use a knit fabric, an old fabric and a woven fabric. I don’t know how old.  I have two 2.5 yard cuts of the same fabric. I don’t know why I have two cuts.  It’s only been in the last 5 years that I’ve started purchasing 2.5 yards specifically for pants.   The fabric is also a  woven cotton with a Lycra content, I’m not sure how much Lycra.  By pulling hard, I can stretch 4″ to the 5″ mark.  Looks like a 20% stretch and 2-3% Lycra but I”m sure that’s open to other interpretation.  Personally, I like this blend/combination.  Usually there is sufficient Lycra to discourage wrinkling and add comfort during wear while still being able to treat the fabric as a woven (i.e. needle type, stitch length, pattern ease). Too bad I didn’t remember the last fact. But I’ll get back to that.

This was my first try-on and they immediately felt comfortable. (Hey that’s the same blouse I used for yesterday’s pants!)  This dark grey is even closer to black than the moleskin of yesterday.  Today’s fabric definitely does not have a blue undertone. It is a very neutral black with white pin-stripe.  Unfortunately, neither pin stripe or pattern detail is visible. So I lightened the pictures considerably and also lifted my shirt so we can see the fit all the way to the waistline.

There dark patches are due to the pocket area being wet.  During construction I baste the pockets closed with water-soluble thread (WST).  I spritz the WST with water just before try-on.

Yes I see some issues.  First keep in mind that the pants are hemmed at the street-shoe level. For me that’s a heel between 1 and 1.5″.  Worn with these flat house-slippers, the legs are too long and tend to puddle just above the floor and break even further up the leg.  I could use a bit more tummy room.  I used the pattern version tweaked for stretch fabrics. I really should have used the woven version. It probably won’t be an issue because, as seen in the first pic, I usually wear long blouses and even longer vests which cover many ills.    With time and body heat, the torso area is likely to expand and conform to my own.  Overall I’m most concerned about the horizontal wrinkles at the knees. I really thought there was enough ease to disguise my knock-knee condition.  Once again, I’m blaming the fact that I used the stretch version instead of the woven version of the pattern.

I’m really pleased.  I”m counting these as complete and updating the Slate Grey 6PAC


Pants #1 DONE 

Pants #2 DONE

Top1 (Matching)  NEEDED

Top 2 (Print or contrasting) NEEDED

Top 3 Vest NEEDED



Two done, Four to go