January 27, 2011


I think you might be surprised to see how quickly your pants will come together after all is said and done. I know I was. Today's post is stitching some basic seams for Burda #127. It will most likely resemble your pattern too if you've decided to go with a different pair. And this post looks very much like the post on stitching the trouser muslin and the construction steps are basically the same.  So let's dig in:

♥ Darts & Pleats ♥

Stitch darts on back trouser leg (piece 3). Press towards center back. Stitch pleats on front trouser leg (piece 1). Press pleats toward center front. Baste along top edge of trouser front to secure pleat to pant.

♥ Pockets ♥

The trouser leg front (piece 1) adjoins with the pocket lining (piece 2a).  With right sides together pin trouser leg front (1) along slanted pocket opening to the pocket lining (2a). Stitch. Understitch pocket lining. Press pocket lining to inside of garment.

Now its time to add the pocket. The pocket (piece 2) adjoins to the pocket lining (2a). Pin pocket (2) to the right side of pocket lining (2a) matching seamlines. Stitch along curved edge of pocket lining. Finish pocket edge with another line of stitching, with a zig-zag sitich or a serged edge. Baste pocket extension (2) to trouser leg front (1) along waistline and at outseam.

♥ Inseam, Outseam & Crotch Seam ♥

Pin right trouser leg front (1) to right trouser leg back (3), right sides together along the outseam (the seam that runs along the outside of the leg). Stitch. Press seam open. Do the same for the left leg, however leave the opening for the zipper unstitched. Pin right trouser leg front to right trouser leg back at inseam (the seam that runs along the inside of the leg). Stitch. Press seam open. Do the same for the left leg. To stitch crotch seam, turn one leg inside out and have one leg right side out. Put the right side out leg inside the inside out leg and pin crotch seam making sure fronts and backs are actually, front and back; that plaids and stripes are matched up correctly. Stitch crotch seam with 5/8" seam allowance. In the curve of the crotch, stitch another reinforcing seam 1/4" from original seam. Trim seam allowances, but do not clip curves. Press the crotch seam to one side.

I've tried to make these instructions as basic as possible. But I wanted to add a few notes here at the bottom that you can do to give life and beauty to the construction of your pants. We haven't added the waistband yet, or the zipper or the lining. Let's discuss pressing for a moment. I'm a big pressing fan. When pressing your darts and the seam allowances, use the wool side of a Tailor's Ham and Seam Roll, use a pressing cloth and the highest steam setting for your iron. The wool side of the ham or roll and the pressing cloth will help to avoid shine on the fabric. The steam really presses that wool into submission.

Keep in mind how you plan to care for your trousers and what, if any, seam finish you would like to use. For those of you who don't have a serger, consider zig zagging, or pinking your edges. Also consider a Hong Finish with silk organza or your lining fabric. I have many garments that don't have finished seams and sadly they are not as stable and lovely as those that do. Ultimately its up to you. It will take much longer, but is well worth the effort in my opinion. For the crotch seam, serge the seam finish or zig zag only.

Tomorrow we move onto the lining construction! Hip Hip Hooray!




  1. Hi Sunni,
    I have a few questions now that we're in the sewing phase of things. I've read that the best stitch to use on the crotch seam is a backstitch. What are your thoughts on that? I've never made pants before and I would hate the embarrassment of having a seam split, but also wasn't sure if it would be overkill.
    Secondly, it necessary to finish the seams on the wool if we're going to be lining them also?
    Thirdly, do we press open the crotch seam or do we leave it as is? I wasn't sure what to do there.
    And lastly, I cut out my shell fabric with only 5/8 seam allowances since I already worked on the fit with a muslin. Was this alright to do? And would the pants look better with trimming all of the seam allowances to 1/2? Not sure what your thoughts are on that subject.
    Thanks so much for all your posts. I can't wait to get started on the lining and getting these to really come together.

  2. Hi Liz!
    I don't know that I know exactly what you mean about a backstitch on the crotch seam. However, it's a very good idea to reinforce this seam which I think is what you're driving at. I would use a rather small stitch the for the entirety of the crotch and then stitch another line of stitching 1/4" away from that.
    I find that wool is one of the worst fabrics for unraveling. It is a very substantial fabric, but the unraveling is unreal. I would seam finish for sure if you are using wool. Even a zig zag stitch along the edge of the inseams and outseams would be better than nothing. It will reinforce if nothing else.
    For the crotch, you'll press the seam to one side rather than trying to press the seam open.
    No problem with the 5/8" seams. You've done the fitting and you should be fine. I did keep my full 1" because I also like to fiddle with the fit again after I get the garment ready to sew. Sometimes the fit is slightly thrown off by the thickness of the garment fabric. Still your 5/8" should be just fine. Trim the crotch seam, and just finish the inseam and outseam at this point.
    Great questions Liz! I'm very excited to see what your final trousers will look like! I'm sure they'll be just gorgeous!

  3. I have another question about the crotch seam...with the more "square" back crotch curves (HotPatterns has been the worst offender for me), I've had a horrid time with the seam allowances pulling where it turns the corner. It shows on the outside of the pants!
    I've tried trimming to very small seam allowances, and I've just clipped the corner, fraychecked, and prayed, but either way looks crummy from the inside. I've always hoped for a more elegant solution. Any ideas?
    Thanks for all the great stuff on trouser fitting!

  4. Thanks so much! You're such a great sew-along leader. :)

  5. Eeep! I started sewing together but I've already clipped the crotch seam. Is this still ok? Why do we not clip at crotch, will it rip?

  6. Hi Scooter,
    Hmmmm....I have never actually used a Hot Pattern, even though they have several designs that I've thought were rather darling. As far as having a square back crotch curve, I think I would redraft the back curve with a french curve until there was more curve than squareness. What a pain! Maybe even take a pattern piece from a different pattern company to trace. In any event, I think redrafting would be the best answer.

  7. Oh no Sandra! It won't necessarily be more likely to rip, but now the crotch might drape a little funny and it will stretch more that it already would (which it would anyway because all crotches are cut on the bias in one sense or another). Can you stitch a 1/4 inch seam next to the crotch seam? It may help the longevity of the pants. I think your pants will be fine. Give them a try on at this point and see what you think.

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