Before I start talking about fabric, shopping and what you’ll need for trouser making we need to get some things straight with Burda #127. Burda magazine patterns are a bit different from the Big 4 commercial patterns. I’ve decided to go through it step by step with you just in case you’ve never worked with one before.

First off let’s determine the size you’ll need. Burda mag’s size chart is located here on the Burda Style website. Please be aware that the pattern sizes correspond with your waist measurement and the measurement is taken in centimeters but on the size chart they show both measures, centimeters and inches. (Please see this post as the size chart that Burda Style points to is completely wrong) OK. HOLD EVERYTHING. Before you just go cutting this out, for this sewalong, we’re going by the your HIP measurement and not your waist. It will make the fitting process much easier. Ok? Ok. So, take your hip measurement, find the waist size that corresponds with your hip measurement (even if it’s not your actual waist size) and that is the size that you’ll cut. Whew… Close call folks.

One more thing you’re going to encounter. I was looking at the size chart and determining my size. I’m Burda hip size 40 1/4 centimeters. The waist measurement, in centimeters, for this size is 77. Looking at the pattern, my size is ummmm….not there. There is a 76 and an 80, but no 77. What to do? Go with the size that is closest to the measurement size. In this case I’ll be going with a 76. But wait, what if you are perfectly in the middle of these sizes. I mean, what if I was a 78. Oh NO! It’s ok. I’m going to tell you to go with the smaller size as these pants have a good amount of wearing ease. However, if you are going to work with pants that don’t have alot of wearing ease, like jeans, go with the bigger size. Sound good? Good.

Second, we need to get the pattern to a point of being able to cut right? Right. For those of you who have the magazine, there is a big piece of paper in the middle of the mag and it contains all the pattern pieces for every single pattern in your magazine. It’s kind of a jungle looking at it. However there should be a cheat sheet in the magazine that will help you decipher which pattern pieces you’ll need and where they are on the sheet. Then you’ll need to trace your size onto a separate piece of paper. I find that using sheets of tracing paper, my favorite brand is here, and using a japanese hera is the best way for me. You can also use a tracing wheel too. Trace your size onto a large sheet of paper – freezer paper or butcher paper are great for this. And just for your viewable enjoyment, I did a flickr search on tracing patterns. For those of you who have done this before please take a look at this and this while you are alone and can really laugh out loud.

For those of you using the downloadable version from Burda Style, you’ll need to print out all the pages, cut off the excess printless edges of the paper and begin taping the pieces of paper together. You should end up with a big sheet of taped together pages that form the pattern pieces. Yay!

Dressmaking Ruler image courtesy Sew Moni LOVE

BEFORE YOU CUT out your size we need to add seam allowances. Betcha didn’t know that we needed those because usually they just include them for you. Nope, not here. We have to add them. I think the easiest way to add seam allowances to get a red pencil and one of these handy dandy dressmaking rulers. The ruler is the best thing ever invented. Let’s decide on seam allowances shall we? We’re going to use 1 inch seam allowances everywhere but the crotch. We’ll keep 5/8 inch in the crotch. The hem and turn-up allowances have already been added, just for your info, so you won’t need to add allowances to the bottom of the trousers (Thanks Claire). Ok, how to use the ruler. See how it has measurements along the top and bottom short ends and then slits in the middle of the ruler? Your going to sidle up your ruler with those measurements lining up along the seam line (the printed line of your size pattern) and find the slit that corresponds to give you the seam allowance you want. Then you start marking in the slit with you pencil and sliding the ruler up and down along the seamline. Going around curves can be tricky, but just make small marks as you slide your ruler around the curve. Make sense? Have a regular school ruler beside you just to check your work and make sure you’re adding the right amount of seam allowance. OK? k. Now you can cut!

WOW! I didn’t realize this was going to be such a long post. Sorry….Let’s summarize.

  • Determine your size. Use your hip size, not your waist size.
  • Find the pattern size that most closely corresponds to your hip size.
  • Trace your pattern from the magazine or cut and tape your downloaded pieces together.
  • Add your seam allowances. Remember, 1 inch for everything but the crotch. Crotch will be 5/8 inch. No seam allowance for the hem or turn-up, it’s already been added.
  • Cut. Yay!

We won’t cut the muslin until January 3, so you’ve got time. I find its more fun to get the prep work out of the way, that way we just sew and cut and cut and sew. And fit, fit, fit of course. It’ll be fun, just you wait! Need help? You know where to find me.

  • lsaspacey - I’m confused, on your example the waist size IS 77. So what you’re saying is that Burda’s size chart does not always correspond with thier pattern sizes, right?
    ReplyCancel

  • The Cupcake Goddess - Hi Isaspacey,
    I should have clarified that the pattern doesn’t come in all the sizes. Isn’t that crazy? The pattern only comes in 5 sizes:
    Waist sizes (in centimeters) 72, 76, 80, 84, 88
    So you have to pick your closest size and fit from there.
    ReplyCancel

  • María - Great! Hands on everyone! I started sewing with Burda magazines so I´m perfectly OK with their patterns. I always mark my pieces with tailor marks, tedious, but very reliable because I always have the exact stitching line.
    Thanks Sunni.
    ReplyCancel

  • Claire (aka Seemane)seemane@ym - Thanks for this great post Sunni :)!
    I spent an hour searching for my 07/2010 July BurdaStyle Magazine last night & I have it with me today… so for those that have the magazine…
    The pattern pieces from the magazine are on:
    Sheet B
    Black Pattern Line
    Pattern Pieces 1,2,3,4 and 5
    P.S. The trouser turn-up and hem allowance are already included on the pattern pieces :)
    ReplyCancel

  • Claire (aka Seemane) - I believe the reason that this particular pattern doesn;t come in all the “regular” sizes, is because it’s from the “Burda Tall Sizes” (for Height 5ft 9 inches / 176cm) the regular size patterns are for height 5ft 6inches / 168cm.
    ReplyCancel

  • Pam - That is fantastic – thanks for going through this – luckily I’m a 42 (hips) – this is my first time with a Burda so it’s good to do a sew-a-along! I’m excited!
    ReplyCancel

  • Pam - P.S. Those pictures of the pattern cutout (especially Bertha Crowley) are hilarious!
    ReplyCancel

  • Katie - Are the pants lined? I can’t tell from what I’ve ready so far. If not, any chance you’ll do a post covering how to line them? Looking forward to making these! I haven’t made pants in ages!
    ReplyCancel

  • Liz - Lined pants would so so wonderful. I have one pair that are lined and they are the most comfortable thing since cashmere sweaters.
    I saw this pattern on google and immediatly fell in love. But when I saw that it was for tall ladies, I was so dissapointed. My fitting adventure should be interesting since I’m a whopping 4’11” and also pear shape. But I can’t wait to get a nice fitting pair of pants for once. :)
    ReplyCancel

  • The Cupcake Goddess - Thank you Claire! Actually I didn’t realize it was for tall folks as it doesn’t say anything on the website about it and I don’t have the mag version. Well, either way, I’ll have those pants. I WILL!
    ReplyCancel

  • The Cupcake Goddess - Thanks for the tip Maria! Like the old adage says, “The long way is the short way.”
    ReplyCancel

  • The Cupcake Goddess - Did not know that either! Thanks so much Claire! Fixing this post right now!
    ReplyCancel

  • The Cupcake Goddess - I know! I laughed so hard! SO HARD!
    ReplyCancel

  • The Cupcake Goddess - The pants, as far as I can tell are not lined, however I’m planning to line my pair, because I love lined pants. I’ll be doing a tutorial for this. Oh how luxurious! Haven’t had a lined pair of pants in years.
    ReplyCancel

  • The Cupcake Goddess - Totally agree about lined pants! They are lovely! I didn’t realize this pattern was for tall folks either! However, I remain undaunted. I will have those pants and will be covering the adjustments for us shorties.
    ReplyCancel

  • Katie - Thank you, that’s excellent! I prefer lined pants and I just think they look and feel much better.
    ReplyCancel

  • Katie - Ok sorry to be a pain but has anyone had problems downloading patterns from burda? I just purchased the pattern, clicked on the download pattern link and…..nothing. Same for the instructions link. Am I missing something? I’ve never bought a pattern from Burda before!
    ReplyCancel

  • Seemane (aka Claire) - Hi Katie,
    Did you purchase the pattern from the http://www.burdastyle.com/ site?
    If so, then you download the pattern from within your acount area…
    (1) Login into your http://www.burdastyle.com/ account.
    (2) Click on your Username (in red text at the top-right of the webpage) to go to your profile.
    (3) Within your profile, click the ‘My Account’ Tab.
    (4) Then select the ‘Purchase History’ link
    (A shortcut is this URL address:
    http://www.burdastyle.com/profiles/yourusername/settings/purchase_history
    – just replace the word ‘yourusername’ with your BurdaStyle.com Username (it should be an all lower-case word).
    (5) You will now see a list of all the patterns from the BurdaStyle.com site that you have purchased – they are displayed in a table format (NB: any of the FREE patterns on the site uploaded by other users that you selected from using the ‘Get It Now’ button are stored in the same list).
    (6) From the ‘Download’ column in the table click on the link you need to download – and you will then be prompted to Save / Open a PDF file.
    (7) You’re all done!!!
    :)
    ReplyCancel

  • lakaribane - Sunni, are pants lined all the way through? or to the knee because I have bought some RTW that had bermuda length lining. Also, Carolyn of Diary of a Sewing Fanatic underlined (I think) a recent pair of pants so that seems to be an option. I do wonder about the stress at the seat. My lined skirts are all grinning under the zipper and I wonder what to do about this. (I’m also fixating on my behind in this pants adventer, to be honest).
    ReplyCancel

  • Katie - Thank you Claire, I so appreciate the help! Katie
    ReplyCancel

  • The Cupcake Goddess - I’m planning to line my pants all the way through, however I’m sure you can adapt the lining to whatever way you like best. I will also be interlining a pair (I’m planning to make two). Many many tutorials, discussions and planning to come! Hip hip hooray!
    ReplyCancel

  • Threadsquare.wordpress.com - OMG! Those links re: burda mag patterns made my afternoon!
    ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - Yikes! So the smallest waist and hip measurements are 30 3/4 and 40 1/4, respectively?! Guess I’ll be learning how to grade down :)
    ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - Oops, sorry. I just saw Sunni’s first post in the comments saying the waist goes down to 72cm. Phew!
    ReplyCancel

  • Andrea - Hi Sunni,
    I just stopped by to tell you how much I like your blog and your style :-) And I linked to your blog a few days ago.
    But then I noticed your Sewalong for those trousers I fell in love the moment I saw them. Although I am right now convinced I am not the type (anymore) for pants …
    Anyway I also noticed a slight mistake: you took the sizing chart the burdastyle side offers. But the sizes for tall ones aren’t in there. That is why you confused the 72 with the 42, I guess.
    Theses trousers are made for tall ones as many others already said. And they start with size 72 which means:
    84 – 66 – 90 (a German size 36 for taller girls)
    and they go up to 88 which is 100 – 82 -106 (German size 44).
    You should also remember that Burda tends to have quite some ease in the waist – most of the girls I know will have to take some cm in.
    Hope I could help a little bit, cannot wait to see the results :-)
    ReplyCancel

  • jacq - tell me more about this japanese hera thingy – I have no idea what you do with it. and lined pants???? you guys obviously live in a cold climate – its 33degrees C here today so I cant even begin to imagine that!!!!
    ReplyCancel

  • jo - I was thinking of following along as well, but with a different pattern. Would that still work (especially for a beginner trouser-maker)?
    http://www.burdastyle.com/patterns/anita
    ReplyCancel

  • Pammie - Hi Sunni – I’m just getting ready to cut tomorrow – whew! This is my first Burda!! I’m not sure I totally understand the hem – in the magazine (I’ll do a post on this on my blog) – there seems to be arrows where the hem should be – so my solution is to draft an edge at the hem area – correct?
    And, what is the best way to trace a Burda (I’ll do a post on the next few days soliciting comments) but I originally outlined the pattern pieces in highlighter – realized I highlighted the wrong pattern pieces – and went back and outlined the correct pattern pieces in black marker. Whew! Makes me feel like a beginner again!
    Thanks for doing this sew-along – it’s forcing me into the world of Burda!
    ReplyCancel

I was reading in Design It Yourself Clothes the other night. Just before going to bed. I’ve been having a little fun coercing my patternmaking skills into submission. I was flipping through the book and just thinking about things I could draft, blah, blah, blah. And then I flipped to the section on pants. It’s the last section of drafting in the book with “extras” behind it which in and of itself I thought interesting and noteworthy for our adventure with trouser making this January. Ms. Patch gave a rather nice preface to the pants section and one which prompted a few questions I wanted to put to her. So I messaged the woman right up and you know what? She was so nice! She graciously answered my queries and was so quick in responding. I find it only appropriate that we now hear her input on those bottoms that seem to bewilder the most advanced seamstress.

A Fashionable Stitch ~ Tell me a little about yourself and how it is that sewing and designing came to be part of your life.

Cal Patch ~ Well, I would really have liked to major in art in college. But despite being creative, I am also very practical, and I knew even at a young age that an art major would leave me without many job prospects. So SOMEHOW I figured out that if I went into Fashion Design (even though i hate the “F” word!) i would be more likely to be gainfully employed. My main rationale was that “everyone wears clothes!”

I didn’t learn to sew properly until I was in college. I still lament the way we were taught to sew; it was very outdated and laborious. I think we should have made a garment per week, but it was more like a garment every three months. To this day I’m very slow at sewing (and everything else I do!) and wish I could go faster.

Basic Pant pattern from Cal’s book Design it Yourself Clothes

A Fashionable Stitch ~ Right into the burning question of today, what is it exactly about pants that makes them hard to draft and hard to fit?

Cal Patch ~ I think the main reason is that pants have to cover an area that is an intersection of 3 cylinders (your torso and two legs) AND it’s probably the section of the body with the most movement. Think about it: you’ve got your waist, hips and knees, and they can all bend and twist so many ways. So we expect our pants to give us a complete range of motion while fitting very closely, which really sounds pretty impossible for a woven fabric! Then there is also the fact that every person has a unique set of measurements, shape and proportion…

Annie Trousers from Cal’s Book

A Fashionable Stitch ~ Have you made a pair of pants for yourself and if so, what kinds of problems did you run into?

Cal Patch ~ Honestly, I’ve made very few pants! The only pants I really wear are jeans, and I kind of think that they are best left to manufacturers like Levi’s because we can’t do all of the hardware and heavy-duty stitching on home sewing machines. But I have made a pair of corduroys from one of the Built by You patterns; they came out great except they don’t fit well! I should have made a muslin but I didn’t. And then I made all of the pants for my book, which I made to my own measurements so they fit me (and didn’t fit the models very well)…

Carla Palazzo pants from Cal’s Book

A Fashionable Stitch ~ Any tips to keep in mind? Things to look for as we sew pants/trousers?

Cal Patch ~ I think the best tip I can give is that pants definitely require a muslin first, so the fit can be checked and adjusted before many hours are wasted. Unlike a top or dress, a lot of pant issues won’t be fixed by adjusting side seams. If the crotch is too low, it can’t be raised because the fabric has already been cut away! The rise seam is often the trickiest bit to get right. Good luck everyone! I’ll check in on your progress and remember, I’m here if you need me ;n)

Thanks Cal! This little question and answer prompted a few questions I would like to put to you now. Have you tried sewing pants? If it ended badly, what was the main problem? Where did the pants pull, bunch or not fit at all well in general?

Don’t forget to check out Cal’s sweet little book on patternmaking! It’s really great for beginners just learning the ropes of how to draft patterns for yourself! Drop by her blog too and Etsy shop!

Next up: shopping list for our trouser sewalong. Oh what fun!

  • banclothing - I find all the photo’s of Cal’s book the clothes look very home made. Really not selling the book to me.
    ReplyCancel

  • Maria - I have the book and, as a beginner pattern drafter, I find it excellent. Cal Patch helped me understand that the biggest challenge of constructing a garment is to turn a 2D piece of fabric into a 3D object, unique to our body shape. I agree with her on how challenging sewing pants is, but It´s not impossible.
    Thanks for the interview girls!!
    ReplyCancel

  • patty - I’ve sewn a couple of pairs of trousers (and a bajillion muslins) and things that were an issue included… [#1] the crotch curve – this is a hard seam to fit and doesn’t really make sense to me! And it’ll be very different for everyone, even people with different measurements! [#2] on my best fitting version, I dropped the center front by nearly an inch – so the center back and sides went along the pattern lines, but I cut away pattern from the top of the front pattern piece – this was essentially part of a big-booty adjustment – I needed more length in the back to get over everything! The waistline on the trousers LOOKS straight when I’m wearing, weird when I’m not! [#3] the front crotch… is there anything more unnatractive than extra fabric in the crotch? Luckily, I was using one of the Simplicity perfect fit patterns (I recommend them if you don’t know what you’re doing – VERY specific fitting advice, and 1 inch seams as part of the pattern!) and it recommended resewing the inseams a little smaller (i.e. go back and resew your 5/8″ seam at 3/4″) – worked well!
    Yay pants! But… double yay for dresses! Have fun trouser sewalongers!
    ReplyCancel

  • Suzie - Oh damn, my last comment didn’t seem to save!
    Thanks for the interesting interview – I am excited to get stared on making my first pair of trousers – so glad its as past of a sew-along!
    By the way – LOVE the new blog look :)
    ReplyCancel

  • TanitIsis - I’ve sewn a couple of Burda trousers and the infamous Jalie Jeans pattern (about a jillion times now). I don’t have too much trouble fitting—hooray for being a rectangle ;)—though I do have to make a small gaposis adjustment, and occasionally straighten the hip curve. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if I never buy another pair of RTW jeans again—I may not be able to do some of the fancier finishes and embroidery, but I can do all the basic topstitching and riveting at home, and get exactly the fit and style I want, usually for under $20 (instead of the $80+ I usually pay for storebought jeans).
    ReplyCancel

  • The Cupcake Goddess - Which is actually not what I was trying to do. I don’t know that Cal’s styles in her book are for everyone, however the focus of the book is not on the patterns themselves but on patterndrafting. The patterns that she came up with are merely a representation of the many things you can do yourself if you try your hand at pattern drafting. The book itself has very clear and concise instructions on how to start patterndrafting, especially for the home seamstress.
    Here, I was just trying to highlight Cal’s approach to pants as the preface to that section in her book really caught my eye as relating to the trouser sewalong. I think she brings up some pretty good points here.
    Just a little precursor excitement to the event in January!
    xoxo,
    Sunni
    ReplyCancel

  • The Cupcake Goddess - Totally agree Maria! I find her book invaluable for the home seamstress stumbling her way through pattern drafting for the first time. And no, sewing and fitting pants isn’t impossible!
    ReplyCancel

  • The Cupcake Goddess - Oh the crotch! Isn’t that just the crux of it all! I’ve made a few pairs that have little bunches and poofs right in the front and right where it counts.
    I do highly recommend the 1 inch seams, which we’ll be doing for the Burda pants. Hip hip hooray!
    ReplyCancel

  • The Cupcake Goddess - Why thank you! I’m very excited too! About trousers and making my very own that will fit me like a glove.
    ReplyCancel

  • The Cupcake Goddess - I also agree with you! My Bella slacks, made from denim, are some of the most versatile pants I own and I would also like to second that though I can’t do everything that they do to jeans these days, denim is surprisingly not so very hard to sew with, topstitch and rivet. And making them for me, is a whole bunch easier than trying to find some that fit….in my price range.
    ReplyCancel

  • Catherine - I’m following these posts with great interest – while this is a tricky time of year for me to embark on making pants, it IS something that is a huge priority for me in the new year. So I’m grateful you are doing these – thanks for the interview, it was helpful, and fun, and a good encouragement!
    ReplyCancel

  • SueMarie - I make all my pants. My hips are relatively large and my waist is relatively small (with a difference of about 13″ between the two). I have a pattern that I use as a sloper, where I’ve worked out crotch length and crotch curve. I lay it on top of other patterns before I cut them out. I find that I tend to like low-waisted pants and most of the Big 4 pants patterns have super long front center seams, so I tend to hack off 5-6″ from the top of the pattern. I find it works better (for me) to take the excess length right off the top.
    My biggest issue is that I haven’t figured out how to predict how fabric will behave once it’s a finished pair of pants, eg, a nice fabric that seems super stable will bag out at the knees (and everywhere) else within an hour of first putting the pants on. I tend to sew my pants on the tight side to counteract this, but that’s not always flattering.
    ReplyCancel

  • lizajane - Ok, I’m on board for the pants-along/trouser-along. I’ve only attempted one true pair of pants and they are still hanging in my closet unfinished. I’m excited about the prospect of making a decent pair!
    ReplyCancel

  • Katherine - I have been reading the pants fitting section of my fitting book before getting out of bed this morning. I think my fitting book is excellent, so I am going to recommend it to you all (though from memory it was a bit ex-y)
    “Fitting and Pattern Alteration: A multi-method approach to the Art of Style Selection, Fitting and Alteration” by Elizabeth Liechty, Judith Rasband, Della Pottberg-Steineckert. The topics covered for pants include longer /shorter legs, longer / shorter lower torso, inward/outward rotation of knee, hyperextended knees, prominent calves, high /low buttocks contour, sway back / front, smaller / larger waist, prominent hip bones, high / low hip curve, wider / narrower hips, cylindrical lower torso, oval shaped lower torso, prominent/flat abdomen, high /low abdominal contour, prominent /flat buttocks, prominant / receded pubic area, larger thighs at front / side / inside, thin / larger legs.
    When you consider all thoses potential fitting areas, no wonder it is hard to get pants to fit. For me, I have less fitting problems with pants than I do a blouse. I can also buy pants with only minor alterations required. (I can’t ever buy blouses or dresses, so don’t curse me!)
    I have struggled with fitting pants from some of the pattern companies, then I found that Marfy patterns fit me really well. Lots of people recommend Burda pants, though I have never tried them. Some love Jalie, some don’t. I guess if you don’t want to draft your own, it is worth making muslins from a few different companies to find the best starting point (yay for pattern sales). It is also worth looking through sewing magazines and pattern review to see how the pants make up on other people and how much fitting trouble they had.
    I have made plenty of pants, so I won’t be sewing-along, but good luck everybody!
    ReplyCancel

  • Ellen - I have this book and haven’t looked at it in awhile. I’ll have to dig it out before the sew along. I haven’t really tried pants for me (I don’t think it counts if I’ve made pants for a 2 year old, lol), so I’m looking forward to this adventure!
    ReplyCancel

  • Ashley - Thanks for the interview and book recommendation! One of my goals for next year is to learn to draft patterns. This book seems like a great place to start. Looking forward to the sew-along in January. :)
    ReplyCancel

  • Amy - I’ve sewn quite a few pairs of pants. Fitting is always a major pain in the backside, lol :) My waist is narrow and my hips are wide, so there’s always some adjusting to be done in those areas. I also often end up deepening the crotch curve for more body space, widening the area around the top part of the thighs, so the pants don’t cling there and lengthening them. Muslins are very useful in figuring all this stuff out.
    Now that I have a couple of go-to pants patterns, I’m really happy. Store-bought pants usually seem uncomfortable after I’ve been wearing my custom-altered pants.
    I don’t agree with Cal Patch about jeans. I make all my own jeans, using a Jalie pattern, and add all the hardware, etc. It’s a time-consuming process, but they turn out pretty nice–at least in my humble opinion, LOL :)
    ReplyCancel

  • Angela - Hi there. Great interview! I just borrowed this book fro the library. I do find it useful and will be using a lot of the ideas and tips on my future sewing projects. As for the trouser sewalong, I am not really sure I want to use the Burda pattern. Do you think you could recommend something similar from one of the big 4 companies?
    Thanks,
    Angela
    ReplyCancel

  • The Cupcake Goddess - Hey Catherine,
    We won’t start stitching until January 3. Just giving everyone a prep.
    ReplyCancel

  • The Cupcake Goddess - I know, those big long zippers in the front. I too like a lower zipper line and tend to like lower waisted things as well, but have been rather surprised at loving a pair of pants I made that are super high waisted.
    The sloper idea is fabulous too! Need to do that!
    ReplyCancel

  • The Cupcake Goddess - So excited that you are excited! I’m ready for thousands of decent pairs myself.
    ReplyCancel

  • The Cupcake Goddess - I know! All the adjustments! No wonder many of us don’t sew them much. I definitely need to try my hand at a Marfy pattern. Thanks for the suggestion.
    ReplyCancel

  • The Cupcake Goddess - This is my idea as well! Having a great pants go to pattern. One that I just make several pairs from. Great idea! I just have too much trouble trying to find pants that fit me. Too many fitting problems.
    ReplyCancel

  • The Cupcake Goddess - I do love the book myself. You are welcome to use any other pattern you like really. I’ve been eyeing some of those Claire Shaeffer pattern over at Vogue. They look classic and seem to hang just beautifully. These from Decades of Style look rather dashing too:
    http://www.decadesofstyle.com/vintage-patterns-1940s/4004-1940s-empire-waist-trousers
    Hopefully this gives you some ideas.
    ReplyCancel

  • Threadsquare.wordpress.com - I sewed a pair of knickers a few years ago, but never wear them. My fabric choice was just not right for the garment, and I didn’t know about adjusting the crotch curve at the time, so was never happy with how low it came. I then took a jeans class, which was so informative. But then I moved right after the class ended and never sewed on the waistband & hemmed…tsk, tsk. I should just know that off my list so I can say I made jeans :)
    ReplyCancel

Here it is, in all it’s glory! I feel very studious wearing it too, if I do say so myself. Quite smart, like I could give you a dissertation on why the sky is blue or something.

The jacket itself is practically perfect. I could get technical about what’s not perfect, but that would take away from the total enjoyment you’ll have lusting after this beauty. It was quite the construction project. I kept thinking that I wouldn’t do this or that because it would take too long and then I felt myself being sucked into getting it just right and such. Mr. S gave me huge scare the other night when he said that one of the shoulder puffs was “puffier” than the other. Then he said to go look in the mirror and figure out which one it was. Can you believe the nerve? I ran to the mirror and couldn’t see it and drove myself half crazy trying to figure out which one it was. Then Mr. S said, “How’s that for your OCD?” After that comment it was time to finish the jacket. Even if it didn’t end perfectly. Sigh…

Needless to say, it is and will be a fantastic staple to my wardrobe. I do love the way it turned out. The color looks so much more luscious in the velveteen. It’s soft. The pockets turned out just right. I added that little belt in the back as it looked like it needed it. The lapels are big and generous. And the buttons. They’re those leather ones you know. My dad had several jackets that had these and as a kid I was always so fascinated with them. The jacket just wouldn’t be complete without them.

The jacket inside was inspired by some high end RTW jackets I’ve seen around. I lined the body in polka dot silk twill, the same as the undercollar and for the sleeves I used a fuschia bemberg lining. Just for fun.

The jacket is just screaming for some wide leg plaid trousers or an A-line skirt. I tried putting it with some of my other things and surprisingly they looked just too “girly” up against it even though this boyfriend’s jacket has a decidedly feminine twist. So, I’ve got some plaid wool that’s going to be made into some pants real soon. We’ll get that whole 70s jive going, an era that’s fast becoming a favorite and I didn’t really think it would.

I think I’m finally ready for some easy projects that only take say a week to complete. Which leads me to my next point about how long it takes to finish sewing projects. Is it normal for you to take a long time on your sewing projects? I’ve never been one that could finish things in a week. I have to get the fit just right and use luscious fabric and always put the most time consuming twists on everything that it always takes me quite a while to get things finished. I just won’t wear it otherwise. I just won’t. How about you? What kind of a seamstress are you? A time taker or a time breaker?

So there you have it. My boyfriend’s jacket.

  • SewSister - I love this jacket, what pattern did you use??
    ReplyCancel

  • Suzie - Flippin’ gorgeous! You did an amazing job on this jacket. I love the different linings – a really fun extar pop of colour. Love it!
    ReplyCancel

  • Jill/laughbutnotloudly - Gorgeous! And I love the blouse, gloves and pin-striped pants with the jacket. Very chic.
    As for your question, it usually takes me a LONG time to finish a sewing project. I’m a beginner and slow to begin with, but I’ve found that I tend to get sloppy, tired and/or frustrated after more than 1-2 hours. I need to take a break, refresh, and come back the next day with renewed focus!
    ReplyCancel

  • Peter - In a word, gorgeous! I love it and I love the way you’ve styled it. Congratulations!
    ReplyCancel

  • TanitIsis - It looks great! I am kinda obsessed with coats and jackets right now (something to do with the season, I guess).
    It depends on the project, and my level of obsession. I banged out my daughter’s winter coat (which involved no less than three muslins and a massive amount of hand-stitching… well, for a kids coat, anyway) in about three weeks—as I said, obsession. However, I’m not overly OCD in my sewing; I made my last pair of jeans over a weekend and while they’re not perfect, they’re perfectly wearable. :)
    ReplyCancel

  • Suzy - It is a gorgeous jacket. The fabric and colours so lush. Absolutely love it! Depending on what I’m sewing I might take a few days or a few weeks to finish a project. Mind you, I am merely a beginner, having started sewing last June. I have done the mistake of not fitting properly because I wanted to finish. I’m still learning how to fit so hopefully once I learn it I’ll take longer to ensure it’s the best I can do.
    ReplyCancel

  • Farah - I love your jacket! You have inspired me to make a 70s style jacket too – it’s just so lovely!
    ReplyCancel

  • www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawlCEKeyreXrGhckXfMKcKRNVwx3Dgtgazc - I admire your delicious details of the pink lined sleeves and especially the leather buttons on velvet. Not something I would have even thought of, but absolutely wonderful! Beautiful jacket!
    When I sew for someone else I take my time to make everything perfect. (Which is most of my sewing) But when I sew for myself I do it quickly…mostly simple styles. They are still better than RTW in construction and fit. But I now have a dress form and need to make a cover of myself so that I can fit properly, and do my own designs, something I love/can’t live without. My dress form is the foam form that has to be squeeshed into the cover. OMG the boobs are lethal weapons!
    ReplyCancel

  • Karin van D. - Absolutely fabulous. You look amazing in this jacket, how beautiful! My compliments, great job.
    ReplyCancel

  • Ashley - Beautiful, esp. in that fabric!
    ReplyCancel

  • A Sewn Wardrobe - This turned out so well. The fabric is simply wonderful, and I love the contrasting polka-dot lining. I like how you styled it! I think it would look great with jeans and heels, too, for a date-night look. I bet you will get a ton of wear out of this one. Bravo on a tough project well done! Now go make a knit top! 😉
    ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer - LOVE LOVE LOVE! I want one! I must have one! That is a great jacket and I adore it!
    I also thought of you this past weekend. I have really been wanting to see Penelope ever since you mentioned it on here. I watched it because it was on Encore and I loved it! It was a fun movie and the clothes were so inspiring! It looked like Anthropologie did Penelope’s entire look! I am still swooning over it and thinking of watching it again! Thanks for blogging about it!
    ReplyCancel

  • Uta - Fabulous! This was worth taking your time over. Regarding your question: It depends. It’s no use cranking out a jacket or coat in the shortest time. It will look homemade and not get worn. I will however make myself a simple summer skirt, or children’s garments that get done fast, maybe not perfectly, but good enough for their intended use.
    ReplyCancel

  • Tasia - It looks fantastic!! You’ve definitely captured the 70’s vibe in a pretty, modern way. Love the buttons, love the two different lining fabrics, love the big wide lapels. It really turned out beautifully!
    Regarding projects: I totally admire that you tackle every detail with care! It is the difference between a beautiful piece of clothing and a slapped-together home sewing project. I like to do the same, but I also know there’s a point where I start to lose interest if it’s taking too long and it gets banished to UFO-land. It all depends on the project! This jacket is extra-special because of all the hard work you put into it.
    ReplyCancel

  • Katherine - This is so stinkin’ cool. And you look GORGEOUS.
    ReplyCancel

  • Liz - This looks so amazing. You did a great job!!!
    ReplyCancel

  • Cherri Porter - It does look beautiful.
    ReplyCancel

  • Casey - Bravo! I just love how impeccable the fit is–and the lining is so cute! I have recently started doing more and more “contrast” linings just for the heck of it. 😉 Gorgeous work–you can definitely tell you took your time to make everything “just so” on this!
    Sewing time… it totally varies for me. Sometimes I’m caught up in other things (read: life) and something that would normally take a week or less (like a simple dress) take forever. Then there are the “big” projects that do take me awhile… Like the Lady Grey jacket I’m still making. :p lol. Hopefully that’ll be done by January though… 😉
    ♥ Casey | blog
    ReplyCancel

  • lap - I love the amazing twilightly color of velvet! I agree, it’s dying for plaid pants, which I think will create a whole amazing Ralph Lauren crossed with Marc Jacobs vibe. I’d love to see your Summer in Italy pencil skirt paired with this, and maybe pink or orange tights to winter it up!
    I’m seriously addicted to clothes that were in fashion when I was 4 right now. At least to the patterns for them. I have plaid plans myself. (Rainbow)
    ReplyCancel

  • Blair Yuen - Sunni! Such a rich, beautiful color on you! What a lovely jacket! I told Shawn I’d buy it in a heartbeat! Remember, I’m an admirer now, and hopefully a customer someday. You do beautiful work. Excellent job :)
    ReplyCancel

  • val - I have definitely been waiting to see the finished product. I really like velvet and velveteen but have never used it to make an entire jacket. Usually I use it as trim and such. Navy was an excellent choice and I am impressed with the overall look.
    ReplyCancel

  • Emily - Perfection! I love the little details you’ve included.
    I’m just starting off sewing and I’ve only picked easy projects that can be finished in a week or so. I also haven’t attempted using fancy expensive fabrics (aside from minky which hated my machine). I hope to learn some tailoring and make more interesting things.
    ReplyCancel

  • Alana - Gorgeous – that colour in the velveteen is so saturated and luxurious!
    As to your question – I wish I was detail focused and had the patience to spend so much time on the finer things but instead I’m all about the instant gratification. If something takes longer than a week I get bored and it starts to feel like a chore (see this trench coat). I’m a bit of a hedonist when it comes to sewing, I’ll only do it as long as I’m enjoying it so quick and dirty projects seem to match my attention plan ;)That said I’m in total admiration of those who do tailor and finish things beautifully and slowly but surely I’m taking on those tips.
    ~Alana
    ReplyCancel

  • Laurel - Jacket looks fab, can’t wait to see the 70’s pants with it.
    I have both kinds of projects, I guess. I have some things I turned in in less than 24 hrs that I absolutely love wearing, and other things that I took one step at a time, doing all the right details, ripping out the imperfect and starting over, etc. I generally love what I’ve made either way, once I finish it. But I do confess a love of a quick project over something that takes forever.
    ReplyCancel

  • adelaide b - This is amazing and beautiful!
    ReplyCancel

  • SueMarie - Beautiful! I love the jacket.
    I am still slogging away on my Gertie-sewalong Lady Grey. The tailoring techniques brought out the perfectionist in me and I did and redid way too many steps. I have the hem and the belt and the buttons left – then I too want to sew a whole bunch of quick items just for the fun of it.
    ReplyCancel

  • oonaballoona - AAAAAAAAGH i LOOoooooVE it!
    may i steal it to wear with this… http://tinyurl.com/24jokpd
    …pretty please? i would pair it with cappuccino boots, a vanilla silk scarf, and be your very best friend. ‘kthxbye!
    ReplyCancel

  • kiraph - As always, a great job! It looks fabulous. I have to admit to not making anything for myself that has taken that long. I would love to take on the challenge though!
    ReplyCancel

  • Big in Japan - I think I’ve dreamt of this jacket! Beautiful fabric and execution!
    My projects always take longer than I think they should, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are terribly involved. I’ve become fussier with details as my skills improve, but I’m also pragmatic. In terms of how picky I’ll be over tiny details, it really depends on the item and its final destination.
    ReplyCancel

  • Becky - I love it! I want one! And all of the time-consuming details were obviously worth it.
    To answer your question–I feel like I’m beginning to go more towards the time-consuming sewista. The longer I’ve been doing this, the more concerned I get with fit and finishing details. And it’s definitely slowing me down. I Hong Kong seamed the entire inside of the last jacket I made, and it literally made it take about five times longer than it would have otherwise. (And then I whipped out four pillows in a day for my next project. Go fig. I definitely need the quick project after the time-sucking ones!)
    ReplyCancel

  • Kristin - stunning! You’re inspiring me to take more time with my sewing. I’m a “get it DONE” kind of girl, but I’m slowly starting to realize that taking time is often worth it. Too bad I’m so lazy!
    ReplyCancel

  • Kara - Your jacket looks great! That color is just luscious! I love the little belt you added in the back.
    I’m working on a jacket right now, too. I’m almost done, but it’s taking a lot longer than I thought it would! Just like you, I get sucked in to all the little details. I wanted to pad stitch the collar, but the pattern piece didn’t have a roll line, so I had to pin it on, find the roll line, and mark it myself. And then there was all that pad stitching. Took forever! But I’m so proud of it already, even though I’m not done. I just know I’ll wear it all the time!
    Glad to see there’s another seamstress out there who doesn’t finish 3 projects a week, like so many bloggers out there seem to!
    ReplyCancel

  • Eike Armbrust - I so love that Jacket and was all the time waiting to see the finished one. Absolutely gorgeous!
    ReplyCancel

  • lauren - what a gorgeous jacket!! i love all the little details, and the color+fabric+pattern is a perfect match!
    i tend to sew through things fast (picking up the “I HAVE TO WEAR THIS ON THE WEEKEND OH GOD OH GOD”), but it makes me sloppy and careless so i force myself to slow down and enjoy the process to finish a garment. normally about a week for a simple-ish garment, but the dang lady grey i just finished took me months. and i’m fairly monogamous when it comes to my sewing projects, so that was agonizing haha
    ReplyCancel

  • DeniseAngela - Gorgeous! saw you Burdastyle and came by to visit!
    ReplyCancel

  • Abby - Beautiful job. I think it is perfect in every way. The details have really paid off.
    ReplyCancel

  • Marie-Christine - How totally fabulous! You just want to stroke that velvet..
    I don’t know what you mean by a project in a week. A t-shirt, from a pattern I already have adjusted? An hour. Pants, from my usual pattern? A day or two. A shirt, with cuffs and buttonholes and everything? A week could work, -if- I sewed every day (fat chance). Basically, it depends what kind of sewing you do. And what kind of time you have, how long the sessions, how much in between. I can easily drag something through a month, and I’m not even talking jackets. So don’t flog yourself, when you’re doing stuff like this beauty you need to focus on process and not consider time too much.
    ReplyCancel

  • Amy L - All your hard work shows in the beautiful finished product!
    ReplyCancel

  • tiffany - that jacket is really amazing! your pictures perfectly capture the joy i feel when i make something beautiful with my own two hands. btw, where did you get those pretty gloves?
    ReplyCancel

  • Anna | Mormor hade stil - Your jacket looks so stylish!
    I’m a slow sewer. Taking care of my baby girl leaves little time for me to sew, so any projects I undertake (on precious spare hours) seem to take forever. But I’m having loads of fun sewing baby clothing. :-)
    ReplyCancel

  • denise calhoun - Really gorgeous. You’ve motivated me for the Crepe sew-along.
    ReplyCancel

  • Angela - What a beautiful jacket!! You did a fabulous job! Hehe… I take forever on my projects sometimes and then sometimes I can knock it out in one day. It just depends on the project and my mood… I am a girl, you know? :)
    ReplyCancel

  • Meghan Dodrill - Oh, my – this is amazing! I love the jacket, the careful attention to details, and most of all, the styling. It’s all absolutely to die for. :-)
    ReplyCancel

  • Alessa - Wow, that looks soooo gorgeous! Beautiful!
    I have to admit I’m more of a quick and easy person… I’ve done mostly easy, basic projects up to now, though… I’d like to try some more difficult projects sometime soon, and learn some couture sewing techniques.
    ReplyCancel

Trousers, pants, bottoms, cigarette pants, bell bottoms…..It is now very official. I have finally decided on a date to begin the trouser sew-a-long (I’m calling them trousers because it’s a little more exciting to say trousers than pants, well, at least to me). Fresh out of the holiday bustle we’re going to start Monday, January 3. It will be more slow-paced than the pencil skirt sew-a-long but fast enough to hold your interest. We’ll start with a fitting, talk about some different trouser styles and then move onto the construction.

For my trouser selection, I’ll be using this Burda pattern here (click here for the German website). This is Burda pattern #127 in the July 2010 issue for those of you with the magazine. I think it would be great if we all used the same pattern, but hey, if you aren’t into this pattern feel free to substitute your own. The fitting issues I’ll be going over can translate into any pattern. Oh and don’t worry, I will look like that model above with mile long legs in my pants, don’t know about you. The fact that she’s surrounded by younger than teenage boys does not help, I’ll definitely round some up when its time for picture taking. I’ve got connections like that you know.

Soon I’ll post a little list for the items you’ll need and then we’ll get started with some fun and fabulous-ness after the holidays. Sound like a plan?

Oh and here’s a button just cause buttons are cute and fun:


And no, pants ain’t just for gents. Right? That’s what I thought. Look whose wearing the pants now! Ready? Set? Let’s sew some pants y’all!

xoxo,

Sunni

**Update** I had completely forgotten about the Burda “divide.” Claire (Seemane) has very graciously given the links in the comments section of this post to the german website where you can download the pattern in German, English and French. If you are still unable to download the pattern, please contact me at sunni@thecupcakegoddess.com and I will see if someone at Burda Style can give us a hand here. Also for you shorties or petites, don’t sweat it, my legs are quite short in comparison to the rest of my body. I’ll be showing this adjustment too. Oh I’m very glad indeed that so many of you are excited to participate! Oh what fun we’ll have!

  • Seemane (aka Claire) - Hi Sunni,
    I hope to be able join in this sewalong (I’ll be doing Tasia’s Pendrell top http://sewaholic.net/pendrell-blouse-sew-along-schedule/ in January too – they should make a nice outfit together :)!).
    P.S. I cannot see the 1st image ( all I can see are the words BM1007_burdasty_127_large).
    ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - Very neat! What a perfect way to deal with the cold January blues. This would be my 3rd sew-along in addition to Gertie’s and Tasia’s, but I’m up for the challenge! Thanks for hosting.
    ReplyCancel

  • Suzie - WHOOP!!!! Count me in! I can’t see the image either, nor on the link, but based on your description of all the teenage boys surrounding the model I think I know which trousers (and yes, being from the UK, I have to agree that I like the sound of ‘trousers’ over ‘pants’..as pants mean a whole other thing to us!) and they are ones I have had my eyes on to sew for AGES!
    Oh and by the way, are we going to get to see your finished Boyfriend jacket??! Or did I (shock horror) MISS a post??!!!!!
    ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - P.S. The Burda website isn’t working for me, I just went to order the pattern. For some reason that website never works for me, even on a different computer. I’ve tried a bunch of things. Is there another place I can order that pattern?
    ReplyCancel

  • Amber - I have never done a Burda pattern so I am confused by the sizing. When it says 72-88, is that the waist measurement in CM? If so, I should be able to get it to work. I’m excited.
    ReplyCancel

  • María - Thanks Sunni I´m in!! I´m in love with this pattern but I´m a petite size and this comes in tall sizes. Should I try or should I look for a different model? Is it possible to fit a pattern by that much? I´d really appreciate your expert comments on this, cupcake readers…
    ReplyCancel

  • SabrinaClementine - Awww, I was set on calling it the Pants-along! I suppose I’ll get over it. I’ve been meaning to make myself some jeans, and since the pattern I’ve picked out isn’t for “jeans” per se, I think I’ll wait and be a part of the sew along! (Besides, I’d been debating if I should wait to lose a few more pounds before I tackle that….and December will already be busy with my coat and dress I’m making.) I’ll be looking forward to it!
    ReplyCancel

  • Seemane (aka Claire) - Hi Amber,
    Re: Sizes for this pattern
    The pattern was originally published in the Burda Style magazine (and then later-on made available as a PDF download on the BurdaStyle.com website).
    So…., I had a look at the German website http://www.burdastyle.de and I found this chart (“Burda Measurement Charts for the magazine patterns” you can download the PDF file in German, English & French here: http://www.burdastyle.de/chameleon/outbox/public/6506295f-c2c9-ec4a-f434-c3af2f2c134d/Tab_DamenHerren-2.pdf)
    From the chart these are the measurements for szies 72-88 (the “Tall” sizes, aimed at ladies 5’9″/176cm tall):
    SIZE…..BUST……..WAIST……..HIPS
    72 = 33″(84cm), 26″(66cm), 35.5″(90cm)
    76 = 34.75″ (88cm), 27.75″(70cm), 37″(94cm)
    80 = 36.25″ (92cm), 29.25″(74cm), 38.75″(98cm)
    84 = 37.75 (96cm), 30.75″(78cm), 40.25″(102cm)
    88 = 39.5″ (100cm), 32.5″(82cm), 41.75″(106cm)
    ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie - I am so excited for the sew-along. And even better is that I have this issue of the magazine. Now to just sit down and get it traced. I do have the same question as Maria. I am also on the short side. I am guessing that there must be a lengthen/shorten lines within the pattern that could be adjusted from there??? Or is there more that would be needed???
    ReplyCancel

  • lap - You’ve picked trousers that should be universally flattering! I too will have an elongated inseam and be surrounded by teenage boys.
    ReplyCancel

  • Amber - Perfect. Thank you. I do fit the Tall category so I am excited about that. But I will have to either alter the pattern for my hips or lose 2-1/2 inches before January. hmmm. I think I can manage the alterations.
    ReplyCancel

  • Zoe - excellent news. I’m in, especially if it will mean I will look tall and leggy!
    ReplyCancel

  • Christine - Yes! I haven’t made pants yet so I’m looking forward to this.
    ReplyCancel

  • Istanbulonstilettos - Woo! This will be my first sew along. I am about to give birth (within this week) and I think this will be a great way to go back to my old routine with the timing of the sew along schedule. I can’t wait! I already have the color in mind. Firey red! Take that baby pounds! 😉
    ReplyCancel

  • Tilly - Ooh yes please! I abandoned my first attempt at trousers because the fitting was too much effort, so a sewalong will be perfect! I have a large derriere for my frame so it’d be good to cover those kinds of adjustments – someone advised me to measure my “back crotch curve”, which seems a bit daunting…
    ReplyCancel

  • Angela - I’m not good a following sewalongs, but they’re so fun to readalong with. I’m also a little intimidated by pants…. hmmm.. but this looks like so much fun. At the very least I’ll be watching for your posts. :)
    ReplyCancel

  • Alison - I’m very excited for this! Thanks for doing it! :)
    ReplyCancel

  • Amy L - I am in – pants are needed to expand my winter clothing options. I’m also excited about a slow pace since life gets in the way of my sewing plans often. I’ve bought my pattern and will start contemplating fabric. I’m excited!!
    ReplyCancel

  • Elle - In all my sewing, I don’t think I’ve actually made a proper pair of trousers, at least for an adult. I’m intrigued, and tentatively in.
    ReplyCancel

  • Suzy - Very tempted as my attempts at making trousers have been less than successful but I’m also quite petite. Need to think about it!
    ReplyCancel

  • Kim - I haven’t tried pants of any kind for at least 5 years because I can never get the fit right, so a sewalong sounds perfect. I just hope I can keep up with this and with Tasia’s Pendrell sewalong too! I think I’ll make Simplicity 2562 instead of the Burda since I already have it in my stash, but the patterns look fairly similar.
    ReplyCancel

  • oonaballoona - ooooooooooh cupcake goddess i’m so psyched! i may have to play catch up but i am so in. i’ve only tried one pair of pants before, a failure…
    ReplyCancel

  • Sandra - Hi Sunni, would love to join in a pants sewalong! It seems you can read my mind, first the Jenny skirt and now these pants. I’ve actually already cut a muslin for these and still confused about sizing. I fit the tall category so no problems there. But when I cut to my size in Burda for pants it’s often waaaay to big! But I wonder if I should be cutting smaller or cutting to my size and taking in. I’m actually hoping to finish these pants before your start date but will definitely join in with another pair.
    ReplyCancel

  • lakaribane - I’m in. Trousers (c’est tellement chic comme mot!) are on my 2011 Sewing Resolutions, mostly a derrière issue to work out.
    But I might do a different pattern…
    ReplyCancel

  • Tasia - I look forward to your photo shoot with the teenage boys and your mile-long legs! :)
    Great idea, a lot of people are intimidated by pants…so a sew-along is brilliant! and Claire aka Seemane is so right, these trousers would be awesome with the Pendrell Blouse!
    ReplyCancel

  • Sue - I would like to sew along too! Please count me in.
    ReplyCancel

  • Amy - I’ll be sewing along! I’ll have to take a closer look at that pattern to see if it will work for my figure, but if not, I’m sure I can find a good sub. Looks like fun & I bet we’ll all learn a lot!
    ReplyCancel

  • Alessa - Oh awesome, I have a couple of trousers in my to-sew pile and a sew-along sounds fantastic! Sadly I will be without my sewing machine until February (while tramping around the world, which is a good consolation for not being able to sew) so I’ll have to start when you’re probably already finished… Still, looking forward to your tips and tutorials!
    ReplyCancel

  • Melissa - Hi Sunni, You can count me in as well. I’ve tried to make trousers in the past but failed in the fitting. Going to go dig up this magazine from the collection :)
    ps: Stop listing fabulous patterns on etsy. I just bought another one!
    Thanks,
    Melissa
    ReplyCancel

  • Kathleen - Awesome! I have the magazine laying here and I was always drawn to those pants, but they intimidate me. I might join the sew-a-long depending on how busy the first month of the new year will be.
    ReplyCancel

  • Suzy - Well, I decided to join the sew along, yay!! I will be using a different pattern which I already have in my (growing) collection 😉 Looking forward to sewlong :)
    http://www.suzysewing.blogspot.com
    ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth - I would love to partipate myself! I’m taking a fitting class the first week of Feb, but my partner for the class and I will be working before then.
    ReplyCancel

  • Abby - Perfect timing. One of my ’11 sewing resolutions is to perfect a TNT pants pattern. Looking forward to the sew along!
    ReplyCancel

  • Pam - I’m in as well!! I haven’t done trousers in a while – normally I have no waist and straight hips – so I don’t do muslins – but I’d like to see how everyone does it right!!
    ReplyCancel

  • sharon - I would love to sew along as well. Please count me in. I’m 5’2″ so definately don’t fit into the tall catergory, is it okay to use a different pattern?
    ReplyCancel

  • Claire - im freakishly tall!! Im guessing im going to have to lengthen the trousers if i join in. I need to consult some books!
    ReplyCancel

I simply could not resist doing an interview with Tasia Pona from Sewaholic Patterns. Her debut pattern, the Pendrell Blouse, is on the brink of being shipped to those of us lucky enough to snag one. She’s got serious sewing on the brain and her unrelenting enthusiam for the craft is unbelievably contagious. I simply had to pick her brain about pattern drafting. Had. To. Readers, meet the newest patternmaker on the block:

A Fashionable Stitch ~Just to get started, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background in clothing/pattern design?

Sewaholic ~ I’ve always loved sewing, for as long as I can remember. When I graduated from high school, fashion school seemed like the natural next step! I completed a four-year degree in Fashion Design, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Pattern drafting, sewing, costing, sketching, studying the history of clothing – the whole process was fascinating! It was wonderful and inspiring to spend my days surrounded by people who also loved sewing and creating.
A month before I graduated from college, I applied to a real fashion industry position advertised on the school bulletin board, a local company looking for a ‘Design Coordinator’ – and I got the job! So I finished my last month of school while working in the industry a couple of days a week, spending weekends at my part-time job, and evenings sewing up my graduation fashion show pieces. It was hectic but fun!
I worked at that very same job in the fashion industry for eight years, starting at the very bottom and working my way up. It was great hands-on experience learning about the apparel business, working in almost every department, and watching a company grow. When I left, I was managing purchasing and production – dealing with factories, writing orders, negotiating, costing. Exciting and fast-paced work, although not very creative. Yes, I had to be ‘creative’ in solving problems, but not in the way where I was able to create things. That’s when I started my blog Sewaholic, as a creative outlet and a way to stay inspired.
So my background comes from my fashion degree as well as eight years working in the apparel industry. Also, my mother is a talented seamstress, so you could say it’s in my genes!

A Fashionable Stitch~ Are you a drafter, draper or both?

Sewaholic ~ Drafter – that’s the way I learned to make patterns, so that’s where I always start. Though, once the pattern is translated in fabric, there’s often little tweaks to make that involve a little draping.

A Fashionable Stitch ~ I for one am very interested in the process from concept to published pattern. Can you walk us through the design process?

Sewaholic ~ Absolutely!
First, the design is finalized. I draw a sketch and work out the measurements of each part. For example, if there is a ruffle, I figure out how long it should be, and where it should start and stop. This might change, but at least I have a starting point. The first pattern is made, based on the sketch and the measurements.
Then, the fun part! I sew up a muslin version of the first pattern. It’s almost never perfect, so there’s a lot of tweaking, adjusting, and revising that happens at this stage. The pattern is adjusted, and another muslin is made. This goes back and forth until the design is perfect, which can take a while! While I’m making the muslins, I make very rough notes on how it’s constructed, so I have a starting point for the instructions.
Once the design is perfected, a couple of things start happening. One, I start making a real version of the design. I’ll take photos wearing the item, and I’ll also wear-test it for comfort and fit. (If I don’t like wearing it all day, you probably won’t either!) Two, I start writing up the instructions. This takes a long time! I draw up the little pictures for each sewing step, and work out the wording to use.
Then, the pattern is graded into different sizes. I figure out the fabric requirements for each size, view, and fabric width, and work out the fabric cutting layouts.
After all of the information is finalized, the envelope and instruction sheet artwork is created. I have the help of my lovely and talented sister, who is a graphic designer! She’s the talent behind the envelope design, and I couldn’t be happier with how it looks.
Once the art files are ready, they are sent off to print! The printer receives the files, and prints me a test sheet (called a proof) to approve before they proceed. I receive the proof, give them the go-ahead, and printing begins!
I think that’s it – it’s a long process! I’ve learned that everything takes twice as long as you think, but it’s been an eye-opening experience and the next run will go much smoother, I’m sure!

A Fashionable Stitch ~ We are all loving the Pendrell Blouse! What was the inspiration for the Pendrell and was there any reason you chose to debut a blouse pattern instead of say, a dress or skirt?

Sewaholic ~ I’m glad you love the blouse! The inspiration was simple – I was looking for a blouse pattern that I wanted to make over and over with subtle variations, and couldn’t find one that I absolutely loved. I wanted to eliminate the details that make it harder to sew – hemming slippery blouse fabrics, hard-to-sew necklines, and zippers or buttonholes. I figured if I didn’t like hemming sheer or lightweight fabrics, then maybe there were others that felt the same way!
Back when I dreamed up the idea of my own pattern line, my plan was to start with something different. In fact, the first design was originally going to be a dress pattern! However, I was playing with a couple of ideas at once, and the one that immediately came together and fell into place was the blouse. It just felt like the right place to start – a simple pattern with unique design details, that would be easy to sew and fit – so I went for it!

A Fashionable Stitch ~ Where do you see your pattern company in say 5 years? What are your hopes and dreams for Sewaholic Patterns?

Sewaholic ~ My hopes are to run a profitable company, and support myself doing something I love. I hope to never compromise my beliefs and values, and continue to stay approachable even if the business grows. Most importantly, I hope to inspire more people around the world to sew!
I’d like sewing to be cool again. I’d like women to realize that they can feel beautiful in clothing they create, that so-called “figure problems” can be easily tamed when you learn to sew for yourself and fit your body, and that there is no right way to dress. If fashion magazines are saying pastels are in, and all you want is a bright red dress, then make yourself one! I’d love for people to think of sewing not as a cheaper alternative to shopping, or an artsy-craftsy thing, but a way for real, modern women to dress themselves.
Five years from now? Everything is so new that it’s hard to imagine where I will be in five years, I’ll have to re-read this post in a year and see if I’m on track or not! In five years I’d like to have a full line of patterns in the collection – maybe fifteen or twenty styles that make up a complete wardrobe. I’d like to have retailers carry my pattern line in stores. I’d like people who sew to know about Sewaholic Patterns. I’d like to find new and fun ways to share my love of sewing, maybe look into teaching, or designing fabric, or creating new pattern collections. Who knows where the future will take me? I’m just excited to see what happens next.

A Fashionable Stitch ~ Any hints for your next pattern release?

Sewaholic ~ Here’s a hint – you can wear it with your Pendrell Blouse!

Cheers Tasia! Here’s to you and your pattern company! A big thank you for a peek into your design process.

  • Sarah - What a great interview – so interesting! I can’t wait to get my Pendrell – I got a ‘shipped’ email this morning! Wooo!!
    Thanks Sunni & Tasia!!
    ReplyCancel

  • Jill/laughbutnotloudly - That’s for the interview! I love the sewaholic blog; it’s one of my favorite go-to sites when I have a sewing question — which happens frequently. I can’t wait to try the Pendrell blouse and I’m always interested to read about people’s entrepreneurial business ventures.
    ReplyCancel

  • Liz - Thanks for the interview. I just bought the pattern last week and hope participate in the sewalong, too.
    ReplyCancel

  • funnygrrl - Tasia is so helpful. I’ve sent her messages asking for help twice and she’s responded right away. She really supports the online sewing community and it’s nice to see the community supporting her.
    Great interview! Thanks!
    ReplyCancel

  • Tasia - Thanks so much, Sunni, for interviewing me! It was a lot of fun answering your questions, especially sharing my hopes and dreams.
    The sewing community has been wonderfully supportive so far! I’m constantly amazed and impressed how we help, encourage and inspire each other. You guys are awesome!!
    ReplyCancel

  • Darci - Yay! Tasia! What a great interview! So many things I always wanted to ask her and you beat me to it, Sunni!
    ReplyCancel

  • Sarah Says - She is so talented! I would love to be able to create my own patterns for clothes like she does. Great interview.
    ReplyCancel

  • Jessica - Oh, Tasia is such a sweetheart and that really comes across here. Thanks so much for the interview!
    ReplyCancel

  • iphone screen replacement - sewing community have been wonderfully positive so far! I am constantly surprised and impressed by how we help, encourage and inspire each other. You guys are very awesome!
    ReplyCancel