Analyzing Burda 12/2012 Style 148

Since I’m struggling with fit, yet again, I’ve decided to reevaluate this amazing style.  I made the first pair shortly after the magazine landed in my hands.  I have been hunting for a slim legged pant in Burda plus sizes.  Once I discovered the solution to fitting Burda pants to my figure, I’ve been totally enamoured and avoiding other brands.  Unfortunately it seems the Burda philosophy is that plus sized ladies, whom they note as “Women’s Sizes” should only wear trousers with wide legs. Granted, trousers and wide legs are easier to fit but they are not really attractive.  Me, the pear-shaped women, look like a short, wide bell. My weight visually increases by a few hundred pounds. Wide legs are not the plus womans friend. (Neither are jeggings but that’s another story.)  So I set about fitting for me this style:

In retrospect, I do see many leg wrinkles on this lady, whom I’m sure is not wearing a women’s size. (Also pretty sure she is taller than 5’3″)> But Burda, being Burda, has put her in black with an eye-catching tan vest covering her from shoulder to nearly the knee. Also, a back view is never shown.

Even so my first pair of stretch, wide-wale corduroy, didn’t turn out all that badly.

Version 1

Not really horrible, but I do know that I can fit pants better.  The worst on the back is the excess fabric between butt and knee.  There is some pulling at the knee. The side indicates the excess on the back thigh, buckling (like the knee problem is too long a leg), and a few horizontal pull lines at the top below the waistline.  The front view has me thinking, once again, that these are simply too long. I’m seeing horizontal folds beneath the waistband but the pants feel like they are too long in the crotch (as well as the leg). Overall, my pants have less wrinkles than do Burda’s model.   Still I don’t like publicly wearing pants with those drag lines on the back of the leg.  I decided these could be for house wear and, as it was winter, worn outside under a car coat.

A short time later, I completed pair #2

Optimistically, I converted the pattern to pull on pants by removing the front zipper flap and ignoring the darts.  I shortened the leg another inch, scooped out the crotch again and added just a wee bit of ease to the side seams at the waist.  I felt the pair above bordered on excellent.  Most of the back wrinkles were gone. There is some pulling at the knee still; and something still going on just below the waistband. It could be resulting from using my standard waistband which finishes at 1.5″ instead of the recommended 1″.  Unfortunately I did not add enough ease at the waist for a pull on pant. Also my elastic was terrible. It would not recover properly.  I wore these several times before cutting the the 3rd pair:

I shortened the leg another inch and took 1/2″ out of both back and front crotch length.  These look good although I think I’m beginning to see a need for ease around the tummy. I think all the back wrinkling is originating at my knock knees.  The torso still looks too long, but I can’t shorten the crotch again or it will be too short. So something is going on between hip and waist but I don’t know what it is or how to fix it. I made this pair from an expensive  satin-backed moleskin. I added the zipper and belt loops.  I’d felt that Ver2 was really good and Ver3 would be near perfect. However, when I sat down the moleskin didn’t stretch enough and the leg would rise to mid calve -not a look or feel I like.  I could not wear them a second time. I blamed the fabric and looked for something in my stash with substantial stretch.

My 4th version is constructed from a cotton/lycra twill.  I think it’s lycra.  The fabric has been in my stash for some time.  If it were the old rubber stuff, it would have hardened, cracked and flaked by now. It stretches from 4″ to 5.5″ which is 20+%.  Burda says only to be sure to use a pant weight fabric with horizontal stretch.  I do wish they’d be more specific.

When I stitched this fabric together, my machines complained.  I could hear the serger pounding away.  I changed the needles to a size 14 Elx705.  No help. I decided to serge the edges, single layer and complete the remaining construction at the SM (Designer Ruby).  Ruby complained. I had frequent “motor overload” messages.  I changed from a size 12 to 14, to jeans 14, to 16.  Basting the waistband was nearly impossible. Belt loop plus interfaced-waistband plus dart was simply too much.  I didn’t think this fabric was particularly heavy or thick. Not like fleece, fur or wool blanketing. But it’s construction is so tight I will not be finishing the fitting.  I’m also not sure the following issues are pattern or body fitting problems. I think the fabric has a tremendous effect on:

Version 4

While reviewing the 3 previous versions and also all the Otto 5/2007 #16 versions, I noted that the side seams were not bisecting my side. There appeared to be more front fabric than back fabric.  The seams didn’t lean. They were straight up and down, it was more like I was not correctly positioned in front of the camera– in every side view. OK I may miss once or twice, but I’ve got both the floor where I stand and the camera position marked so I can set up the photo shoot the same every time. I decided that it’s entirely possible I need the back side to be one size larger.  I’m already tracing the inseam one size larger,  what happens if I make the entire back piece one size larger? That’s what is seen in Version 4.  I also added 3/4″ ease to the front pattern side between hip and waist.  Looking at those pics of Otto 5/2007#16 I was pretty sure I’m needing more ease at the front waist.  It’s only been 2 weeks between the construction of Ver 3 and Ver4.  I’ve not gained a full pound during that time. So why does this pair look like it has so much less ease?  Has to be the fabric. Ver4 has the worst combination of too tight rear, excess back thigh ease, knee wrinkles and pull lines beneath the waistband. I’m more than tempted to lay it all on the fabric. Considering the issues at the serger and sewing machine, who could blame me?  But I also realize I need a better way of evaluating patterns. I used 4 different fabrics, all with measures of stretch, and I have had 4 different results. I’m not ready to quit on this pattern. I just need to get smarter.