The Trouser Sewalong – Going Shopping

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.

Just a few things about the downloadable shopping list/pattern back: I’ve included the right size chart (again, so sorry about that!) and the lining fabric requirements are not included on the website. Since, lining usually comes in 45 inch widths, I suggest that you get double the shell fabric requirement. The thing you’ll need it for is the length here and not the width. Also, the Burda Style site gave the wrong yardage for the first 2 sizes, so I’ve corrected that on my PDF. And if you notice anything else amiss, don’t hesitate to let me know!

OK, let’s get to the shopping part. I’m going to give you a run down of the general things you’ll need to construct these pants. I’m assuming that you have the basics like a sewing machine, pressing tools, cutting tools and the like. This is going to be like the back of a pattern envelope! Yay! Let’s get started.

First, you’ll need muslin. Get enough muslin to make the full trousers. I realize this pattern is for tall ladies, but for those of us who aren’t tall and still want to make these, we’ll be doing some adjustments and we need to know exactly how much to adjust because this trouser also has a cuff. So get as much muslin as you would for your final fabric selection.

Next, you will need to come up with some fabric for your trousers. I suggest using a nice quality wool crepe, gabardine or suiting weight fabric. Pants for Real People highly recommends using wool crepe as its easy to work with, has great drape and presses well. I’ve decided to make two pairs of pants and will be using a wool gabardine in pinstripes for one and a loose weave wool suiting in plaid for the other. I found mine here at Fashion Fabrics Club, but I also highly recommend Trim Fabrics and Gorgeous Fabrics for their beautiful wool selections. Let me also recommend a few tips for those who are tall or short. I’ve got some pretty short legs. To give the illusion of length I’m going for pinstripes on one pair, but I also recommend a herringbone weave for this same reason. For those of you who are tall with extra long legs and definitely don’t need this illusion go with a weave that will break up the lines like plaid or houndstooth. Solids are great too and good for both longies and shorties, so if you find a particular solid you love, go for it.

Now if you live in an area that’s cold and well…cold, you might want to interline your pants. A nice quality muslin (like the cotton/bamboo blend which I think has the best drape), cotton batiste or cotton voile or even cotton flannel (I mean, if it’s real cold) will do the trick. I live in a seriously cold place during the winter. Sometimes the wool is just not enough, so you’ll want to interline. Also, I’ll be going over how to fully line your pants. I’ll be using a bemberg rayon lining for both, but silk or acetate will work just fine too.

A few last things you’ll need: 12″ zipper (I’ll be doing an invisible zipper on one pair and a hand picked lapped zipper on the other), interfacing for the waistband (I prefer silk organza or muslin) and matching thread.

One more thing. I can’t recommend enough the book Pants for Real People. It really is the only fitting book of its kind, meaning that it covers pants and pants only. I’ve never found a resource quite so invaluable. I’ll be covering a lot of adjustments, but this book is definitely worth adding to your library.

OK, that’s a wrap. Be sure to download the shopping list, it’s rather cute all done up like the back of a regular pattern. Be sure to have fun. And don’t forget to show us all your ideas, fabric and such in the flickr pool. Also, if you just weren’t into this pattern (not that I blame you since it’s proven to be rather a beast of sorts) please don’t hesitate to show us what you’ll be working with and the fabrics you’ve picked. I’ve had a few people ask for suggestions for using a different pattern, so this is a great time to give us some other ideas.

Ready set… fabric!!!! And the other stuff too.


5 thoughts on “The Trouser Sewalong – Going Shopping

  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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 🙂

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