Oh it’s the day we’ve all been waiting for! Today, I’ll be showing you a few basic steps and info for cutting and marking your trouser muslin. Now, I will warn you that you might need to cut more than one muslin to get the right fit, I have. Being an animal in and of themselves, you might find that pants have odd fittings and two, possibly three muslins may be required before you get the perfect fit. However, I will say that when you find a good pant/trouser/jean pattern and such that you want to make again and again, you’ll be thankful that you fitted them correctly and perfected your flat pattern so that you can go and whip them up in no time flat. Let’s start snipping!

I’m using a basic cotton muslin. This you won’t need to prewash, but you will need to press. Please, pretty please, press your muslin before you cut. Sometimes there are folds and creases in the fabric that will affect the fit. Now onto cutting.  Layout your pattern pieces on your fabric.  Whether you choose to pin you pattern pattern to your fabric or trace or what have you, is ultimately up to you. Now go ahead and cut. With muslins, you are looking for the basic idea of the pattern. You don’t need to bother with lining or facing the waistband. Here’s a run down of how many of each piece to cut.

  • Piece 1 & 3 (trouser leg front and back) cut 2
  • Piece 2 & 2a (pocket & pocket lining) cut 2
  • Piece 4 cut 1
  • Piece 5 cut 2, unless you are sewing this piece without a seam in the back in which case you’ll cut 1

Once you’ve got everything cut, it’s a good idea to label everything with a magic marker or pencil or pen. I write directly on the fabric and mark all the darts and such with it too.

Next, thread mark your seam allowances. Why do this? It’s very helpful when you need to adjust a seam, you’ll know exactly how much to adjust because your seam allowance has already been marked. To threadmark, use a basting stitch with a contrasting thread and sew all around your pattern pieces, marking the seam allowance. Now, be careful that you mark the right seam allowances in the right places. Remember, 1″ along the outseam and the inseam, the waistband and the pockets. The crotch, the back of the waistband (if you’ve opted for a seamed back waistband) and that pocket extension flap will be 5/8″. Please refer to this post if you need a visual.

OK, that’s a wrap for today. Tomorrow, muslin construction.

  • Seemane (aka Claire) - Oopps! I’ve hit a snag… size wise it turns out I’m bigger than the largest size on pattern #127 (Burda Tall 88 = Regular 44), however I have a plan :) !
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  • The Cupcake Goddess - Oh Claire, I’m so sorry! I was shocked myself that I was only 2nd to the last in this size range. Ha. However, I will say that after my first muslin I had to cut down a size because they were quite large all around. Hopefully this is some consolation. You could always grade…..
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  • Lola - Thread marking the seam allowances. What a brilliant idea! But would you use this method for the actual fabric as well? I could imagine that the seams will get a little bulky then, with three rounds of thread coming together?
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  • The Cupcake Goddess - Hi Lola,
    The thread marking is just for the muslin. We won’t be thread marking the finished pant. It’s surprisingly really cool how much the thread marking helps. You get to see exactly where you are off from your paper pattern.
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  • oonaballoona - i am SO behind… my job is ending this week and i need to get on this!!! i’m going to play catch up in the next few days. i’ve been reading your posts to let the instructions seep into my brain :)
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  • The Cupcake Goddess - Oh the pants so up so easy. You really will have no problem catching up. It’s just that I have this tendency to ramble and try to fit in as much information as possible into one sentence that things can tend to get really long. Really long. Just the muslin this week. Next week, fittings. And I’m ecstatic about my posts. I do hope they are helpful.
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  • Sandra - Ok, I’m joining in from here! By freaky coincidence I had started my muslin for these very pants months ago and thought I’d have a finished pair by now. I must be a very lazy muslin maker, I only made them up to shorts length and didn’t include pockets! I’m glad to hear that you cut yours one size smaller for the next muslin because I cut mine one size smaller (due to bad previous experience with Burda sizing) and was a little stuck on whether I should make up a muslin in my actual size or go with the smaller size which seems to fit. Maybe I’ll wait to see your posts on fitting before progressing!!
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Oh my goodness! It’s already here! January 3, 2011. And that means its time for the official start of the Trouser Sewalong. I hope you all had a wonderfully relaxing and fabulous holiday! Unfortunately, I was sick nearly the entire time. Laid up in bed. And quite frankly, it was a drag. But I’m good now and ready to beat my January/winter blues. This week we’ll be cutting out our muslin and stitching it up. First, I thought it would be a good idea to go over the individual pattern pieces together with Burda #127. What with all the confusion and craziness with this pattern, I’m here to say that it does actually sew up and though my muslin was probably one size too big it did fit. OK, are we ready? Let’s go.

I’m again going to stress the 1″ seam allowances everywhere but in the crotch. Here’s the thing with those allowances: the crotch is the major crux of the entire operation. The way it plays with the other areas of a pair of trousers is a big deal. This is the area that you are probably going to have the most trouble in, but it’s not necessarily the area you fix. You’ll actually be fixing the area that’s affecting the crotch. Make sense? Hopefully so. Let’s talk about the pattern pieces now. Alright? Alright.

As you can see on the original pattern, the pieces are labeled. So after you’ve traced off or taped together your pattern (PS, even after I had taped the pattern together, I noticed that there would not be enough room for the 1″ seam allowances I needed, so tracing I did, very disgruntled I might add) you should go about labeling them. It makes the whole experience less difficult. Pattern piece no. 1 is the leg front. You’ll cut two of these. Everywhere but the crotch area (and the hem) will have 1″ seam allowances. The crotch will have 5/8″ seam allowance and the hem does not need any seam allowance. Believe me, unless you are really tall, you definitely don’t need to add anything to the hem. Ahem…

Piece no. 3 is the leg back. Same thing as for no. 1.

Pattern piece no. 2 is the pocket. In fact it’s a pocket within a pocket. I separated this piece to show you what you’ll need to cut. The smaller piece is the pocket lining, which I’ve labeled 2A. You’ll cut two of these. 1″ seam allowance everywhere. The actual pocket is the entire piece. You’ll cut two of those. 1″ seam allowance everywhere but that extended tab part. That part connects to the crotch and so you’ll only need 5/8″ seam allowance there.

Piece no. 4 is the waistband front. 1″ seam allowance everywhere but along that edge that will be cut on the fold of the fabric (right edge here).

Piece no. 5 is the waistband back. 1″ seam allowance everywhere but at the actual waistband back. There you’ll only add 5/8″ because that is part of the crotch area. And that’s only if you want that seamline in the back waistband. Personally I don’t, so I decided to cut this area on the fold, in which case you don’t need to add a seam allowance there. Also, if you are into the plaids and stripes for your trousers, you’ll want to cut the waistband on the bias, because I can’t think of anything worse than trying to match plaids or stripes in this area. In fact, its not even possible. Especially if you consider there is a pleat and a dart in these trousers. So, I’ll show you how to transform your waistband in an upcoming post.

OK, does this help? I certainly hope so. I definitely want to hear your thoughts. Even for those of you who are tackling a different pattern. It is a good idea for you too, to do the same things you see here. The adjustments and fittings I’ll be showing will be easier with more room to work with. Have fun sweets! Next up, cutting your muslin!

  • lap - Wow, the sew-along is already off to a fantastic bang! I love how you’ve spelled out the pattern pieces here, especially against the orange background. The best part is that even though I’m not able to use the Burda, that this is equally helpful to anyone using a fairly standard pant pattern as well.
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  • Jen - Hey Sunni! This info helps a lot! :) My pattern (Vogue 1051) has a slightly different structure than the Burda you guys are using (extra welts, fly and loop pieces, and facings). I am assuming that I will be cutting all of these our per your instructions here, with only a few minor changes. Looking forward to getting started!
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  • Lola - Wow, I am really curious about the fixing issues now – because the last time I made trousers, the problems seemed to be indeed with the crotch. Well, my muslin is cut and waiting for me to have some more time!
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  • The Cupcake Goddess - I’m so glad you think so! I think it will be helpful to everyone, at least I hope so!
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  • The Cupcake Goddess - Hi Jen! I would keep the fly, but don’t insert the zipper. No facings, welts or loops though! I’m thinking about a showing a fly front for those of you who’ve picked a pattern with that. We’ll see. That would be a lot of pants for me, but I’m quite convinced you can’t have too many pants.
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  • The Cupcake Goddess - Awesome! I think you might be pleasantly surprised at the fitting adjustments. I find fitting pants to be rather interesting myself.
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  • Steff - Dear Sunni,
    this is a tall pattern. I was interested in seeing how you would shorten your pattern pieces. However, this post shows that you skip that step altogether. Are you planning to fit by pinching and taking in seams instead?
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  • The Cupcake Goddess - Hi Steff,
    Yes, I do realize this is a tall pattern. I will be doing all of the alteration posts next week and because there are various things to consider with shortening and lengthening pants patterns I decided to keep that for next week too. I have many alterations to go over next week. Many, many. But don’t worry, one of the first will be the hem and lenghthening and shortening the legs.
    I will say that my legs are quite short and boy there is a good chunk that can come off.
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  • Lizzet - Hi!
    I am joining the sew along but not making the burda pattern… maybe I am being a bit too optimistic but I want to make the Nouveau Dressy Jeans by Hot Patterns using one of my corduroys. Wish me luck!
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  • The Cupcake Goddess - No problem! I do believe there are many who aren’t using Burda 127. For good reason. Ha. Very excited to see your Hot Pattern Pants though. I’m quite sure they will turn out just peachy.
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  • Alessa - I’ll start the sewalong a month late, but I’m looking forward to reading your posts on fitting and sewing, so I’ll know what to expect when I can finally begin!
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  • The Cupcake Goddess - No problem! Hopefully trousers/pants will be something that everyone can make for a long time to come. They definitely are not as hard as one might think. Putting together this sewalong has really furthered my understanding of pants and how they fit. It’s very exciting indeed!
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If you follow me on Facebook, you’ll know that I decided to make Mr. S a pajama set for Christmas. I had a few bumps along the way, but in the end they turned out rather perfect for him. They are made up from Simplicity 4007, a vintage pattern from the 60’s, I’d say. He ravenously opened them up on Christmas Eve, though he knew what they looked like and had tried them on every so often for fitting and such. He threw them right on and demanded pictures be taken.

The top is made from cotton voile that I interlined with cotton/bamboo muslin all etched in cotton velveteen which I scrapped from my boyfriend’s jacket. The bottoms are a knit, which shockingly worked out. I haven’t worked with knit in a very long time and usually don’t touch it considering I’ve had such bad luck with it. I treated the knit just like a woven and found that it stitched up pretty well. Flat felled seams and all. And yes, nearly every seam in these pj’s are flat felled.

Mr. S said that all these PJ’s lacked were a tobacco filled pipe, a brandy and a bunny. Then he said, “Just call me Heff.”

Aside from sewing, I really hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! Family, Santa, hot buttered rum, Red Rider Air Rifle and all! I’m looking forward to ringing in the New Year and am excited for the adventure that 2011 promises. A very Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year to you!

  • SPECinMnYerTRUM - “…Message ‘TheCupcakeGoddess’ from ‘Mr. S’… ” There will be blood spilt this night, after my brandy and pipe of course.” EEWWW….
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  • A Sewn Wardrobe - What awesome PJ’s! So creative – nice job!
    Fabulous pics of Mr. Cupcake as well.
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  • SabrinaClementine - I agree with Mr. S….it’s most definitely very “Heff”, lol. Great job!
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  • Peter - Wow — so groovy, and underlined to boot. Love them!
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  • Ashley - Great job, what an awesome gift!
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  • Ban Clothing - At first glance I though the top was going to be silk. I really like that you used a pattern on top and a solid on the bottom. Way more versatile. I can never keep a secret if I am sewing someone for someone… I just would rather it fit perfectly than have it a surprise.
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  • Cara - OMG! These are awesome.
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  • Kristin P - Wow! Best pajamas…EVER!
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  • Lorena - hahaha these pictures are great. I got a good giggle. Glad he liked them :)
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  • Tasia - What a fabulous gift!! These are fantastic pajamas. Velvet cuffs and knit bottoms? You’ve combined comfort and style so well. Beautiful work and I love the photos, too :)
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  • Abby - I love the jammies! They look so cozy and yes, very vintage. Nice job!
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Ready to give a little zing to your below-the-belt wardrobe? Me too. I’m in serious need of trousers. Truth be told, I really love wearing pants. I love them! Surprisingly, I NEVER make them. I’m always drawn to skirts and dresses way before I’m drawn to trousers. But times are changing. I mean, we no longer live in the 50’s where it was dresses and crinolines all the time. We’re thoroughly modern women and its time we started wearing the pants around here. Am I right? Right.



Click here to download the PDF for this pattern back to Burda #127 (made by me)

I’ve put together a rather sweet downloadable shopping list/pattern back for you here, that way you can print and go. Before we get going too far and so that you know what you are in for, let me give you a run down of everything we’ll be doing. Here’s a general (tenative) schedule of the events come January 3:

  • January 3 – 8 ~ cutting and constructing your muslin
  • January 9 -15 ~ muslin fitting and pattern adjustments
  • January 16 – 22 ~ preparing and cutting your fabric, lining and interling
  • January 23 – 31 ~ trouser construction

I don’t want to go too fast and I don’t want to go too slow. Like Goldilocks, I want to go just the right pace. So I’ll be relying on you guys to let me know where you are at and how the pace is going.

Continue reading “The Trouser Sewalong – Going Shopping” »

  • Suzy - Yay!! I have chosen my fabric and my pattern (working with a different one). Will take some photos later and post to the flickr group!
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  • Ashley - Thank you for the PDF and all the info in this post. Also, thanks in advance for all the time you’re about to spend leading us through a sew-along. I’ve admired quite a few Burda Magazine patterns, but after all the discrepancies we’ve already encountered between the trousers and the other Burda patterns I’m SO GLAD I won’t be doing this alone!
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  • oonaballoona - i’m so excited about this… i’m doing my shopping right after christmas!
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  • Linda - Count me in. I’ll be using a Vogue pattern I’ve had tucked away for a few years, V8156. It’s one of the custom couture patterns with 122 steps to the instructions, which is exactly why it’s been tucked away! Looking forward to undertaking this with some guidance, fingers crossed.
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  • Sazzle - Oooh hooray, my new years resolution is to make and fit some pants for my big bottomed, long legged frame. (I tried last year but unfortunately had a serious back crotch seam malfunction whilst teaching grade one! – luckily a cardigan was available for a diginity saving trip to the loos where I stapled the seam back up for the rest of the teaching day!)
    Many many thanks, I’ll be following along as soon as Ive finished my pencil skirt….
    Thanks for the top fitting tips, it’s great :)
    Sazzle
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You’re going to want to beat me. Andrea left me a comment today and noticed something that I did not. As this pattern is for taller ladies, that means that the size chart is actually completely different and that Burda Style (the American site) has linked to the wrong size chart for Burda #127. CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS? I’m almost about to scrap this pattern. Huge sigh……

In point of fact, this size chart is sort of like a regular commercial pattern size chart with random numbers assigned to a group of measurements, which means that my original thought of the size being the waist size in centimeters is way off. OK. I’ve deciphered the bust, waist and hip measurements, so without further adieu, here you go.

  • Size         72           76        80        84        88
  • Bust        84 cm      88        92        96        100
  • Waist      66cm       70        74        78         82
  • Hip         90 cm      94        98        102      106

According to my hip measurement (that’s the measurement we’ll go by to cut and fit the trousers), this means that I’m actually a size 84 rather than the size 76 which I was going to cut. Please note also that other than the size chart being completely off, everything else you need to do with the pattern still applies. You will need to add the seam allowances, but not the hem allowance. Eeekkk! I’m so so sorry about this Ladies. Huge thanks to Andrea for pointing this out. Big apologies everyone! Thanks for everyone’s help on this, this pattern has seriously been a trip!

Let me know if you are completely confused! Can I also just say, I’m so glad I’m not making these by myself. How bad would this have all been if you guys hadn’t given me feedback, tips and tricks. Big thanks everyone! You all make extra fabulous sewing sisters!

  • Cassandra - I must confess that I was surprised that you choose a Tall pattern for your Trousers sew-a-long… but then again if I’m always shortening my patterns to turn them into Petites it’s quite possible that you’re always lengthening your pattern to suit.
    It does sound like there’s a bit of a disconnect between the BurdaStyle website and the mag patterns. I know you mentioned that the hem is included in the pattern piece, but I’m quite sure the magazine usually instructs you to add 4cm hems when you’re adding 1.5cm seam allowance. Perhaps this is another variation from the magazine pattern to the website?
    Then again, I haven’t made any trousers from a 2010 issue of Burda so maybe they’ve just started including hems.
    I might not be making these pants (even I’m not game to shorten from tall down to regular and again down to petite) but your sew a long has inspired me to make a different pair of Burda pants from 2008!
    So far I’m 3 alterations in and have a new appreciation for well fitting jeans!
    ps. Maybe you should just scan in the Burda Mag instructions (at least the layout/seam allowance bit) for the pants directly from the magazine?
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  • Cassandra - Oops also meant to mention there is a method to the madness of the sizing convention: for Regular sizes you divide in half to get your Petite/Short size and for Tall sizes you double you regular size.
    Eg With a waist of 75cm: I’m a Regular size 40, I’m a Petite size 20 and a Tall size 80.
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  • The Cupcake Goddess - I wish I had the magazine to actually do this with. This was the problem to begin with I think. The American Burda Style site doesn’t mention the Tall thing nor give you the correct size chart and even the directions are scant and don’t include this information. Gosh, for those who just downloaded it off the American site this would never have worked. It’s doomed to failure from the beginning. Hopefully now though, armed with more info, those of us wanting to make this pattern will be successful. I am a little frustrated with the hiccups with this pattern and would definitely have not picked it if I had known. You live and learn though, right? Thanks for your input Cassandra.
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  • Cassandra - Ah! I didn’t realise you didn’t have a copy of the magazine. Unfortunately I don’t have a scanner but I’ll take a photo of the pattern instructions (they have a Tall size chart right next to the instructions in the magazine) and email it to you. Hopefully the quality will be good enough to read.
    To go from Regular to Tall before sticking it in the magazine I can only imagine they have lengthened the pattern pieces between the waist and hip area and also under the knees. Since this pattern is pretty straight from the hip down you probably wouldn’t need to alter the pattern in the bottom half of the legs (you’d just hem them up a lot) but you might need to do an alteration to take a few centimeters out between the waist and the crotch.
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  • Andrea - Hi, me again :-)
    The seam allowance for the hem is usually given if there is a turnup. So yes: the hem is ready to go whereas you will need to add every SA every where else. I do have the magazine and if there are any more questions I will be ready to help out :-) (It is of course the German version but this might be helpful because Burda descriptions seem to be even stranger in translation …)
    All the best!
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  • lakaribane - I share Cassandra’s reservations about doing two length alterations on the pattern. That’s why I’ve picked the November wide legged Petite pattern for my project. If only the internet wanted to cooperate and let me blog properly.
    I just checked my July issue, in French. They do say, as Andrea pointed out, that the hem allowance is included because of the cuff. FYI, the hemline is 10cm/4in from the bottom. And the top of the trousers are 3cm/1.25in above the natural waist.
    I’m going to go fight off this procrastination that’s threatened to send me back to bed and trace the two patterns I want. I’m planning a narrow and a wide leg. Probably will finish only the wide for the sewalong.
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  • SabrinaClementine - It’s ok if we’re using a different pattern, right? I planned on using a Vogue one I have in my stash. I figure some things might not apply, but the general idea will still be the same, right?
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  • Angela - found out a couple of weeks ago that the tall sizes are double the regular Burda sizes and the petite sizes are half the regular Burda sizes. For example, if you are normally a size 36, the corresponding tall size is 72 and petite size is 18. I believe the bust, waist, and hip measurements are the same, but adjusted for different heights. :)
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