Burda skinny jeans 115-03-2014

People talk a lot about finding TNT (tried and tested) patterns; ones that fit beautifully and get made again and again. I don’t have any TNTs and most of the time I don’t want any. But every so often I think it would be nice to have a standard skinny jeans pattern that I could cut out and make without too much thought about fitting.

A few years ago Burda did a pattern for what they call ‘five pocket trousers’ which is exactly the sort of thing I’m after. It’s available here as a PDF, or style 115 from March 2014 if you have the magazines.

For my first attempt I used left over fake leather from a previous project. It’s a heavy scuba jersey with a plastic coating so fairly forgiving fit wise, but tricky to sew. I left off the back pockets, the ticket pocket, and the belt loops. The only thing I top stitched was the fly front. I didn’t dare try to make a buttonhole but used a trouser hook to close the waist. Here’s the result:

Burda 115-03-2014

I think they’re pretty good for a first try. The shiny fabric shows every single wrinkle so the photos are not flattering the fit.

I made my usual Burda adjustments (trace a size smaller for the waist and add 5cm to the leg length) and also changed the waistband from straight to curved to try to avoid gapping. That wasn’t enough to accommodate the big difference between my waist and hips, and next time I might take the waist in a bit more. I’d also prefer a wider waistband.

Burda 115-03-2014 jeans

I had to use a walking foot to top stitch the fly front, and also when stitching in the ditch to secure the waistband. The hems were hand sewn because I wanted a good finish and even with the walking foot the fabric dragged a little; you can’t pin this stuff without leaving permanent marks and you certainly can’t unpick so I didn’t want to risk machining the hems. I still haven’t got my hands on a Teflon foot but I hear they are a good solution.

Installing the zip without pins was also tricky; wonder tape helped a lot there.

Burda 115-03-2014 jeans

If I was making these in a stretch woven as intended I think I’d try making a full calf adjustment as they are noticeably tighter there.

The pockets have come out surprisingly well. The pocket lining is a scrap of heavy polyester stretch satin I had left over from another project. Normally I’d use cotton poplin for lining jeans pockets but I thought the stretch factor of the satin would be more compatible with the scuba.

Burda 115-03-2014

So overall a success. Haven’t quite dared wear them to work yet but they are good for weekends. I’m going to make the pattern in stretch denim next.

And I’ve still got some of the scuba left. What possessed me to buy four metres I don’t know. I don’t think it has enough body for a jacket, I don’t wear skirts much, and how many pairs of fake leather trousers does one person need? I’m currently debating whether to have a go at copying those Gareth Pugh styles with appliqued leather patches that look a bit like armour, but I suspect the appliqué would be immensely time consuming to sew, and one thing I certainly don’t have is a lot of sewing time. Maybe in a year or two…

Style Arc Genevieve coming up next!

14 thoughts on “Burda skinny jeans 115-03-2014

  1. very brave of you to sew them in that fabric, it looks like a really tricky one to work with! but makes for a great pair of jeans 🙂
    i’ve actually made my first version of these jeans couple days ago, and i couldn’t love them more! mine are in woven cotton fabric, with 2% elastine and wacky purple leopard print, and my next pair will be proper denim too.. i actually did not have to change a singe thing about them, made them in size 38, even width of the waistband and length of the leg were spot on for me (that almost never happens, i usually have to blend between sizes, and shorten the leg significantly).. i agree, they are a bit tight in a calf though, i thought it’s because i have big calfs 😀 but will do that full calf ajustment that you mentioned for my next pair

    1. Oh cool, my second pair is in a 2% stretch denim – boring grey though, I need something plain. I didn’t think I had big calves but I noticed my other Burda skinny trousers are tight there too. Looking forward to seeing yours

  2. wow those look great, I’m very impressed with the fit you’ve achieved and that fabric is so hard to work with.

  3. Fantastic jeans and a very brave choice of fabric. I admire your perseverance. I made a pair of jeans with this pattern too a couple of months ago, though in a stretch black denim – very boring fabric choice, but a good wardrobe basic. Found the jeans were rather baggy around the knees and had to take them in there, but otherwise ok. I do agree that the calves were the tightest spot on the whole leg length though.

  4. You are very brave! I have never yet got a pair of trousers to fit the way I want them to so I am very impressed that you have not only nailed the fit, but done it in such a difficult fabric.

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