Trouser Talk

Having canvassed your advice on which pattern to use for my first pair of trousers I went for this one which around half of you went for with the others coming down quite firmly on the side of Sewaholic’s Thurlow trousers which I will do next time and already have the fabric.  Why did I go for the Burda one in the end?  The clue is on the top left hand corner of the pattern envelope.  Never mind that the ‘sehr leicht‘ and ‘très facile‘ versions are the only ones in the packet – the ‘very easy‘ and ‘muy facil‘ versions probably having been jettisoned long ago –  I don’t speak German but I do mangle the French language quite efficiently.

Vintage Burda PatternOf course, I didn’t dare proceed without a muslin so used a sort of thin, polyester, vaguely stretchy sort of fabric that somebody once gave me a whole roll of.  The town I live near in France used to have a thriving textile industry and most people around here either worked within it or have family that did so there are often various remnants of fabric bolts being offered around.  Although the largest factory made (might still make, actually) the fabric for car seats which might not lend itself to many garments.

Bryonys TrousersMuslin Front ViewThis is the unironed, clipped up, clipped in front view modeled by reluctant daughter and, apart from the slight excess fabric on the front, which I think will pull up once the waistband is attached and the length taken up, I don’t think the fit is too bad. I did look at ways of adjusting the fit to get rid of the excess but it was all such a faff and I am hoping that, in the thicker, better quality fabric and with the zip put in and the waistband on, they will be fine.


The back actually looks O.K. to me.

BryonysTrousersMuslin Side Viewand, if you ignore the unironed fabric, I don’t think the side view is too bad either.  I haven’t actually made any alterations to the pattern so now I’m wondering why I thought she was not a standard size!

Maybe I shouldn’t get too confident until I get to the same stage with the actual fabric.

In the meantime, I ran up a pair of pull ons or pyjama pants out of yet more free fabric for casual use around the house for said daughter who, as you can see from the purple, starry top, is happiest on a Sunday when she can stay in her pyjamas all day if she wants (and she usually does want).  I did use Tilly and the Buttons pattern from her book which I bought for my other daughter a while back but, instead of putting a tape or ribbon through the waist, I used elastic and then sewed the white cord on for decoration and to carry on the marine theme that seems to be going on in the fabric.

BryonysPullOnsI was very proud of my stripe matching on these and can assure you that my model is standing on the wonk and it’s not the pants. Honest!


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  1. #1 by Jan Marriott on May 19, 2015 - 19:23

    Good for you, trousers are the most difficult. In fact, I remember the very last pair I made,,,,round about 1976…..beige pinstripe, most likely poly, with a matching waistcoat. From then on I wanted to wear better than I could make.

    • #2 by tialys on May 20, 2015 - 09:20

      I get like that every now and again Jan. I’m quite an ‘easy’ shape for RTW but I thought it would be easier to make trousers for my daughter because for one thing she hates shopping for clothes and, for another, she doesn’t seem to be a ‘standard’ size from the hips down. I have actually reined in my dressmaking habit -I have far too many clothes and spend most of my time in jeans in any case.

  2. #3 by sew2pro on May 19, 2015 - 19:50

    Looks good! Muslin trousers are not an easy look to pull off. ‘Were they comfortable’ and ‘could Mademoiselle sit down’ are the other concerns.

    I’m not sure the waistband will pull up all the excess at the front; the picture on the envelope suggests it’s a feature of the design.

    • #4 by tialys on May 20, 2015 - 09:24

      Well, now that I’ve made them out of the ‘real’ fabric, she tells me they are not and she cannot :/ I don’t know whether that’s a feature of the design or a crease on the pattern envelope but, in any case, I might go all ‘maverick’ and lower the waistline so it sits under her navel as it seems to be the waist that is uncomfortable and take the centre seam in slightly to pull in the excess as suggested by Kate. I will try these alterations on the muslin first and see how we go. I haven’t attached the waistband or inserted the zip on the real thing yet so all is not lost.

  3. #5 by on May 19, 2015 - 20:27

    I am green with envy at daughter’s figure, and at being allowed to slob out in pyjamas all day!

    • #6 by tialys on May 20, 2015 - 09:28

      I will pass on your compliment as she is badly lacking in self confidence so it will give her a boost. I sometimes stay in my p.j.s on Sunday mornings for a while but, because my husband is usually slaving away on chores he hasn’t been able to do all week because he’s off working elsewhere, I feel guilty if I look too relaxed.

  4. #8 by katechiconi on May 19, 2015 - 22:54

    You could try very slightly flattening the curve of the front seam, mostly at the bottom. The seam is standing away from her body, and if you flatten the curve it will sit a bit closer. Take apart that front seam and resew with less seam allowance and a flatter line, and then see if you can persuade Mlle. Tialys back into them for a check. The back is indeed fine!

    • #9 by tialys on May 20, 2015 - 09:31

      Thanks Kate, I am goiong to try this and another couple of alterations as outlined in my answer to sew2pro. However, I’m off to the U.K. for a few days tomorrow with same daughter so it will probably have to wait until I come back. She won’t need to wear them while we’re there as she (and my other Madamoiselle) are going to attend Comic-Con and so will be got up in some outlandish costumes to mingle with all the other obsessives. A bit like me when I go to a Knitting and Stitching Exhibition – the obsessive bit, not the outlandish costume bit.

      • #10 by katechiconi on May 20, 2015 - 10:46

        Oho! Photos, please! Actually, the idea of Knitting & Stitching fancy dress is rather interesting; what would you go as?

      • #11 by tialys on May 20, 2015 - 10:53

        A Work in Progress. Or, mixing it with the Comic Book theme, I could wear lots of different, clashing fabrics and colours and go as ‘The Stash Buster’.

      • #12 by katechiconi on May 20, 2015 - 11:03

        I like The Stash Buster – would you wear a cloak made of black bin liner, and a scrappy patchwork skirt…? I feel a costume design competition coming on!

  5. #13 by lovelucie1 on May 20, 2015 - 10:05

    Something I’ve yet to try. It seems such a mine field. Love the PJ bottoms. So snuggly looking. My daughter would wear hers all day but it makes me feel as though I’m convalescing from something, not to get dressed in the morning.

  6. #14 by Emmely on May 20, 2015 - 21:12

    I really wish my trouser muslins fit this well on the first attempt… Sigh…

    • #15 by tialys on May 20, 2015 - 23:18

      If it’s any consolation, she can hardly sit down in them. I didn’t think to check that 😦

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