Burda Plus Test

Loving the ease of fitting pants using Peggy Sagers procedure, I’ve decided to tackle fitting Burda pants to my figure.  There was a time I could easily fit Burda pants. That’s long passed and I haven’t been able to fit them even with much effort. I’m hoping that my recent success with the Eleanor and Otto #11 5/2016 are not flukes but a repeatable formula. To that end, I took new measurements and selected my size based on the Burda chart. Not surprisingly (because they both use European sizing and ease) , I use the same size in Burda as in Otto but with Burda I must use their Plus Size magazine patterns while Otto publishes all sizes in one book. I reviewed my Burda Plus magazines for pant patterns but looking specifically for non-stretch fabrics, classic slack styling (waistband at the waist, skim-the-curves ease) and  leg hem-circumference less than 18.   I was hoping for a 14-16″ hem circumference. E047 #418 boasts an 11″ circumference but otherwise filled all my other requirements. I noted that Burda doesn’t really publish many plus sized pants patterns and most of them are very similar. At least, in the magazines that I have. Style 418 was really an anomaly.  Most non-stretch, plus-sized Burda pants stated a hem circumference of 20″ or more.  A plump, 5’3″ senior, I’m not flattered by the extremes.  My best choices, the pants I like the best skim all the curves without revealing underwear and terminate with a 14-18″ hem. (I do have some 20″ hems that are acceptable but I never feel my best in them.)

I traced my size, added a fly front because that’s easier to fit that a side zipper and ignored the zippers at the leg hems. ( I don’t plan to wear this pair and pretty sure, I’m not going to let them finish at the very narrow 11″). Then I added seam allowances

  1. Waist 3/8″
  2. Crotch 3/8
  3. Inseam 1/4″
  4. Side seams
    1. Front 3/4″
    2. Back 1″

I used a different front and back side seam allowance because I’m constantly adding 1/4″ to the back of my patterns. I need extra ease for a prominent seat. The 1/4″ solves the issue. It’s built into my bodice blocks and now I’m adding it to pants. Also,I use a 3/8″ SA at the waist and crotch because typically  I sew those seams at the sewing machine.  That’s the easiest SA to accomplish on the SM. That and the 1/2″ I’ll trim the side seams once I’m sure of fit. I use 1/4″ along the inseams because I serge those. I seldom tamper with inseams, and certainly not at the beginning of fitting pants,  because that seems to be a receipe for disaster. The pattern calls for a straight waistband and gives dimensions. I pulled out my straight waistband from Pamela’s Patterns 113 Pant. It should fit or be really close after all, I am wearing pants made of the same pattern with the same waistband (PP113). It’s great to be able to start with something, anything that works. I walked the seams and made a minor adjustment in length on the side-seam, back piece. Even though I try to keep things from shifting, it’s possible I made a mistake while tracing the pattern. Equally possible to change things slightly when adding seam allowances, which is what I suspect happened because the difference was a mere 1/8″. Not much, but why start with a known error?

From my stack of muslin fabrics, I chose a cotton twill that has acquired fade lines and stains. This was a Walmart $1 fabric from eons ago (OK 25 years). When new it was lovely for pants. I know because I made several. However, time has had a negative effect and the remaining fabric is best used for test-and-dispose projects.

I used white thread in the needle,   water soluble thread in the bobbin through-out the stitching process. I want ripping to be super easy. Also, I want to recover the zipper when the fitting is done. I mean, this is a test. I don’t want to throw away a perfectly good zipper.

Once I stitched the pieces altogether, I made the first try on. This is almost wearable


No this is not a beautiful fit. I’m not ready to hem the legs and walk down to the post office. But the crotch feels the right length both front and back. The butt has sufficient room-I’m not seeing underwear; and the back leg wrinkles are minimal. I did note that I’m experiencing a little gaposis at the back waistband, the front is too large by far and I’m experiencing drooping under the waistband at the side (it makes those odd , short diagonal lines between waist and high hip. The legs are too long by far, but who knows what length they will become once I start making changes.  So it’s not a beautiful fit, but it’s a good place to begin.


… and so the fitting journey starts.



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