Look away now – a first attempt at trousers

Burda 103b 07 2010

Here’s my first ever attempt at sewing full-length trousers. I don’t wear trousers much. I have one pair of black RTW skinny jeans that comes out of the wardrobe every week or two for hardware-wrangling at work, but otherwise I’m normally to be found in dresses. This pair are Burda 103B-07-2010 made up in black stretch denim. Any resemblance to my RTW jeans is entirely intentional. I found a hole in them last month but couldn’t bring myself to start trying on replacements in the shops, so this is a straight replacement. And as is traditional in the sewing blogosphere, I now post pictures of myself in them and discuss the wrinkles around interesting bits of my anatomy.

The fit’s OK but not perfect. I added a bit too much width to the hips and didn’t notice the problem until after I’d top-stitched all the seams, when it too late to fix properly. Hence the slight bagginess around the crotch area. I’ll know not to do that another time.

Burda 103b 07 2010

This style has the side-seams placed a long way forward and an extra seam down the back of the leg. That ought to give more fitting opportunities but I think it worked against me because I added a bit of width to all three seams round the hips. With just two seams to adjust I’d probably not have ended up with quite so much extra room. They’re probably a bit long too, but I like my trousers longer rather than shorter. I’m paranoid about trousers looking too short.

Burda 103b 07 2010

And finally the obligatory photo of my backside, with wrinkles from excess fabric. Blogging has much to answer for. Although I should say I’m really perfectly happy with these. They’re a lot more wearable than the first dress I ever made.

Burda 103b 07 2010

20 thoughts on “Look away now – a first attempt at trousers

  1. Wow, if this was my first attempt at pants, I would be jumping up and down with joy. They are more than just wearable. Congratulations!!!

    1. I agree! They look great, and now you know how to improve the next version!

      “And as is traditional in the sewing blogosphere, I now post pictures of myself in them and discuss the wrinkles around interesting bits of my anatomy.” LOL – SO true. We’ve ALL been there!

  2. I agree with Elizabeth.

    And at least you know what can cause a baggy crotch area. I couldn’t work it out on my trousers muslin! So, thanks for that.

    I really think you’ve done a mighty good job on those. And armed with the knowledge of where you personally feel you could have improved…the next pair will be your dream jean!

  3. They look great for a first attempt. I cannot begin to know all the pinning and tweaking fitting trousers would require. I bet I would make one leg longer than the other. I bet your second pair will be spot-on.

  4. Nice. Wrt the wrinkles: I have ‘fixed’ those on RTW jeans by washing them hot (60 degrees) and tumble drying on high. This shrinks everthing though; the length will decrease too (have a quick check on what 5% shrinkage will do to their measurements width and length wise) to see if you want to try that. At your own risk though. Fabric with more cotton content will shrink more than that with more poly content. Also, I’m assuming here that you prewashed the fabric warm/ cold. If you pre-washed it hot this probably wont help much.. They are pretty good for a first pair though so congratulations!

  5. By the way, I meant to quiz you on your Vogue 2091. I’ve cut out a size larger than what I normally need and have realised there are no seam allowance amounts in the instructions. Also the pattern itself doesn’t have any circles (with pluses inside) denoting finished garment bust, waist, and hip measurements. I went to the relevant post on the topic but commenting’s closed there so I’m crashing this thread with it. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi!

      I’m pretty sure I sewed mine with 15mm seam allowances. I cut a 10 on the bust and waist and 12 on the hips which normally works for me in Vogue. But it turned out to desperately need a full bust adjustment (which I always ought to do but sometimes get away without) and there was a huge amount of gapping at the back neckline. I’d normally take in the CB seam to fix ghat but there isn’t one.

      I think with a fba and a narrow back adjustment it might have been wearable for me. Thicker fabric would have helped too.

      Have you seen Alice’s versions of this one at The Knitting Princess and the Pea? Sorry about the (lack of) link formatting, I’m typing this on my mobile.


      Hers all worked out really well, although sadly I can’t find a picture of the all white one she did.

      Think you’re right to cut larger, I suspect this has some serious negative ease. Good luck with it, and do show the results!


      1. Cool thanks for that! I made it while waiting for your response (stuck at home with the flu and so bored + tired) and yea I had narrow back issues too. I think it just needs a super stretchy thick jersey.. Yup I’ll post pics (I have so many things made that I just need to photograph)..

  6. I think they look great. Trousers are tricky . . . each time I make a pair I always have changes to make for the next. I think yours look great. Congratulations!

  7. Congratulations on a great pair of trousers that fit! They look terrific, Catherine, and now that you’ve done your first pair, I’m sure you’ll be sewing more!

  8. Oh wow these trousers are an amazing first make. I’m dead impressed, again! Are you going to do another pair now that you have something to replace your occasionally required jeans?

    Sorry about the obligatory “show us your wrinkles” bloggy thing and thanks for show and tell too :o)!

  9. Wow – awesome job!!!! I agree with other commenters – what a great ‘first’!!!! Now, if I can be as lucky! Thank you for the astute commentary – it’s very helpful!!

  10. Wow these are amazing, esp for a ‘first go’! I am still wrestling with my Burda trousers, mostly due to illness and lack of mojo.

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