Thursday, 6 January 2011

A (Small) Change of Pants-Plan

Okaaaay then, following on from my last post The Trouble With Trousers and my comment on Sunni's Snipping up your Trouser Muslin post in her sewalong, to which Sunni replied:

"Me: 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 :) !

Sunni: 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..... "
So, this (the bit in orange highlighting) got me thinking - has anyone else experienced the same thing (the trouser pattern coming up a bit big in the waist-fit)...? 'Cos if so, then this will save me a whole lotta of a) tracing out of my 2nd choice pattern (#406/407 from Burda Plus Magazine Autumn/Winter 2010), or b) grading the already traced out #127 pattern, and c) wasting my supply of cheapo Greaseproof paper (aka "Sewing Tracing Paper for Claire" - not be be touched by other persons on pain of death... or worse.).

And I found this post Hepburn/Hepburn: The Kate Trousers! by Sølvi (doesn't she look fab in her trousers? :) - it makes me want to make these trousers even more now - *yes I do :).

Sølvi in her fabulous trousers

What is VERY interesting is that Sølvi says this about the fit:
"The only adjustment I did was taking in the side seams with 2 cm in each side from the waist to the hips. Otherwise, they are exactly as the pattern."
And, you know what "they" say "Three times is a charm" when I found this review by michou68 on PatternReview saying:
"I chose size 76 although the sizing chart thinks I am a 80 around the hips. I also should have chosen the smaller 72 for the waist - there is always way to much ease at the waist in Burda patterns. I had to take in roundabout 5 cm."
So, I can now officially pretend that my waist is smaller (going via pattern size-charts reckoning at least) than it actually is. I shall be using the Size 88 in the #127 pattern for my hips, and I'll be adjusting the front and back waistband pieces up to a size 90, that coupled with making a **muslin using 1" (2.5cm) seam allowances on the vertical seams (verses the 5/8" / 1.5cm normally used for sewing up the fashion fabric) should leave me plently of ***wiggle-room for my big-butt when it comes to the fitting stage - yipee!

PARENTAL WARNING: Please play the video with the sound on mute - as there
is a naughty swear word or two spoken in the background.
*Sitting here nodding to self like one of those dogs on the back window-sill of retired old ladies cars LOL
**Also known as a Toile if your British like moi ;) 
***Pun (or should that be "buns") intended


  1. Why don't you flat measure the pattern pieces at waist and hip and see if the amount of ease at the size you cut is ok for you?

  2. Oooh - I am a silly-billy, I will try that tomorrow afternoon (it's a really good idea, thank you)... and I'm sooo behind on my trousers :( !. I'm making a bag & teddy bear for my friend who's visiting on Wednesday and they are gifts for her & her new baby. Hopefully I shall get up really early & get up to speed before mid-night Sunday.

  3. Hi! I just found your blog, and I've enjoyed reading through your posts. I HAD to comment on this post because I know exactly what you mean. I am in the process of making a dress from a McCalls pattern and I'm at the fitting stage...and it's flipping MASSIVE on me! I have had to take it in an inch on BOTH sides! I just don't undertsand why pattern companies make their patterns so much bigger than they should be!!???
    It's interesting reading through your throuser progression. I had planned to join in with the sew-along too, but I'm distracted by my too-big dress at the moment! Looking forward to seeing how your trousers turn out.

  4. Hi Suzie!
    Thank you for reading my posts :)
    I reckon there's a bit of vanity-sizing going on with pattern companies maybe? Silly really 'cos if you're sewing for yourself then you have to measure your own body therefore there's no way you can kid yourself you're a 26" waist when the tape measure shows 34" - it's probably why someone wants to sew in the first place - get stuff to fit & look good verses always compromising on the fit of high street clothing! (It's not quite the same as cheerfully going into M&S to buy a size 12 in a baggy t-shirt, only to then walk into Top-Shop to find you can barely get your forearm down the arm of a size 16 jumper 'cos then you can tell yourself you're "really a 12 & Top Shop must just make things on the small side".)

    Oh dear - can you tell stuff never fits me right? Hehe - I kinda got carried away (sorry!!)


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