Fashion

Easy Pull-On Cuffed Pants Part 2

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Line drawing from Burda Style for pattern 114A/B

I had enough soft gray fabric left from a different pair of pants to use for these.  I knew it draped well and was machine washable. The only thing I had to buy was wide black elastic (1 1/4″) for the waistband.

Part of the pockets show on the front, so they have to be in the main pants fabric.  But the inside doesn’t show, so I cut those pieces from a scrap of cute cotton voile from my leftovers pile.  Using a lightweight fabric decreases the pockets’ bulk and gives whoever does the laundry (me) a little surprise pop of color.

One of this design’s unusual features is a raw, uncased elastic waistband. I have seen the exact same elastic used in ready-to-wear cinch belts, so it makes sense that it would look good exposed.

I was really hoping I could figure out how to use the serger to apply the elastic and do the gathering in one step. Try as I might, I couldn’t figure out a way.  When I really thought about it, I realized that it would have to be done in multiple steps, if at all. I did make a nice test swatch attaching the elastic to the fabric with right sides together.  That would be a great treatment for a full, puffy skirt. Unfortunately, I was trying to apply the elastic on top, overlapping the fabric, not turned to the inside.  Trying to stretch the elastic the necessary 2×1 ratio was just too difficult for something that should have been simple.

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Closed side pocket
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Pop of pink in pocket lining

I ended up just sewing it on using a zig-zag stitch on my regular machine, stretching as I went.  Then I cleaned up the messy bulk on the inside with a three thread overlock.

I went back to my regular sewing machine to do the gathering on the cuffs.  Applying the cuffs was a fussy process, since the circumference was smaller than my free arm and the fabric had no stretch.  I sewed the cuff to itself no less than three times!  While it was many more steps than I had hoped, the results looked good.

Then I tried to put them on.

Aaaargh!

I couldn’t get my feet through the cuffs!

After a few deep breaths, I checked my work.  I did indeed follow the directions as written in the magazine.  The cuff pieces were the right size.  I don’t know if this is a known problem with the pattern, or whether I missed something.  Either way, the pants needed work if they were going to be wearable.

It looks like this is going to be a three part post.  Oh, well.  It happens to everyone, right?

See Part 1 Here.

 

Fashion · General

Easy Pull-On Cuffed Pants Part 1

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This could be me!

This is the last project for a while in a series of upgraded casual wear.  Over the past several weeks, I have made myself a sophisticated hoodie, a long-sleeved pullover and a versatile sleeveless knit top.  What I really needed most was a pair of pants to wear instead of my increasingly ratty jeans.  I came across a neat pants idea while leafing through some magazines.  They were a pair of jogger-style pants, but made with dressy woven fabric.  With pockets and an elastic waistband, they would be as easy to wear as sweatpants, but look much better.

The magazines I perused where back issues of Burda Style.  They were a neat magazine because each issue included a pull-out with something like 50 multi-size full-scale patterns.  The glossy pages showed all of the clothes styled different ways and the instructions for making them.  Even though I loved reading it, I never made any of the designs.  I had heard that Burda patterns were especially tricky, and I guess that might have kept me away.  These pants really called to me and they had an “Easy” rating, so I went ahead and dived in.

Side note – Burda no longer offers a US-only version of the Burda Style magazine.  They still produce an international English language version.  They also have an excellent website, where you can choose from a large selection of PDF patterns.  The pants pattern from my magazine is there, and can be downloaded for $5.99.

I have so much to say about the Burda Style magazine process that I am splitting this project into two posts.  Part 2 will feature the pants and my thoughts on construction.

There is quite a difference between Burda and what I am used to.  Here are the steps you go through to get from magazine to finished product.

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This might take a while.
  1. Determine your European pattern size by comparing your measurements to the table in the instructions section.
  2. Find your pattern in the instructions section.  Be careful: there are going to be several garments that share pattern pieces, so make sure you are looking at the right one.  The pant front and back pieces were used in at least 3 other sets of instructions.
  3. Read the instructions carefully.  Here you will find fabric layouts, fabric suggestions, and notion lists.  You will also find a list of pattern piece numbers and the letter (A,B,C,D) corresponding to their page in the pull-out.
  4. The pull-out consists of 2 large sheets printed front and back.  Like most multi-size patterns, each size has its own line style.  Unlike most patterns, groups of pieces that go together are printed in one color.  Other groupings are printed on the same page in their own color.  There is so much going on in the sheets, you may find it helpful to use a highlighter to trace just the lines you need.
  5. Once you located your pieces, trace them onto your own paper.  Transfer all of the grainline arrows, notches, etc.  Leave some extra room.
  6. Add your desired seam allowance around the edge of the traced pieces.
  7. If there are rectangular pieces in the garment, they will not have printed pattern outlines.  You will have to measure and cut them or make a pattern piece. Strangely, the measurements given for the rectangles include a 5/8 seam allowance.
  8. Cut out the pieces and start assembly. Again, read carefully.  There are no illustrations in the pattern instructions.

From here, it actually was easy to sew.

So, would I do another pattern like this?  Sure.  It was a good value and I really like the style. But this time I would be going in with my eyes open. A similar pattern with step by step illustrated instructions would obviously be easier and faster.  Still, Burda has a lot of styles that can’t be found anywhere else.  If I keep pushing myself out of my comfort zone, maybe one day I will be brave enough to try Marfy.

Continue to Part 2