Finished Object: (Burda) Virgin Pants

Finished!  I love them.  I apologize for any previous remarks disparaging Burda.  I based that solely on somewhat intermediate students bringing me a Burda pattern and all the work I had to put into their finished garments.  To be fair, I should also hate Vogue for the same reason, but since I knew Vogue from my teenage years it never got under my skin as much.   I don’t know that Burda is appropriate for beginner/intermediate sewists, but if you have some experience under your belt, I say go for it.

From the April issue, model 119.  I call them the Virgin Pants, because they are my first ever Burda not made by proxy.  Please notice the cuffs, and my lack of cuffs in the photo.

The instructions say “stretch gabardine or trouser fabrics with or without elasticine.” Yes, ok, thanks.  I used some of my beloved organic cotton canvas, thrice washed for shrinkage.  It feels stiff now, but I know it will soon soften to an almost velour-like texture.

The instructions also indicate it is cut to hang a little below the waist and to make a tighter fit for high-waists.  I like high-waists.  They smack of Katherine Hepburn.  I made a straight 38, though my hips say 40, with plenty of trepidation because I never used their size system and I didn’t intend to muslin.

Pretty scraps of quilting weight cotton from an old skirt, used for raw-edge bound edges (I’m not sure if a raw edge qualifies as Hong Kong finish), applied with my binder foot.  The crotch edges must be bound before sewing.  I trimmed down the inside waistband lower seam allowance and bound it, too.  I used a “catch stitch” to secure the inside bottom edge of the waistband.  I’ve been doing so much pad-stitching lately that it came out like a lateral pad-stitch, visible in the photos.

Pocket.  It took great restraint for me not to top stitch every seam, but I did under stitch where appropriate.  I basted the pockets shut during construction.  In the next pair, I will also tape the pocket edges (thanks K.King).  I’m sure I screwed up the hip yoke pockets, they didn’t come together as nicely as I wanted, but in the end they work and they look good.  That’s all I care about.

Invisible zip applied to the front rather than a fly.  I read in a vintage sewing source that flies for women were superfluous.  Women do not need flies or use them in the same way men do and furthermore flies on women’s trousers are ugly and vulgar.  I don’t exactly agree, but I can’t seem to get it out of my head.

Button detail.  I would have used three if I could find the other ones, but two suffices.

I had a brain blank on the cuffs, I saw all the excess fabric and trimmed it down.  Immediately I realized I trimmed off my cuffs.  Oh well.  No use crying over cut fabric.  They’re nice anyway.

Interesting, I never noticed my little belly shape.  I’m cool with it, reminds me of the boxer’s girlfriend in Pulp Fiction who talks about how she wishes she had a “sexy pot.”

I was watching Persephone, our pet duck.  She seemed rather disturbed by the proceedings.

Parting shot.  I should cut my hair or start pinning it up.

I want to make them again, right now.  I have a piece of lilac linen, I think these (with cuffs) in the linen would be just delicious.  They feel great to wear, I guess I’m used to high-waisted and I like something that hugs me this way.  I have a few curves I didn’t realize I have, but somehow it just makes me feel lovely.


  1. lovely! and congrats on the camera!! I can tell how much happier you are to be taking photos outside!That's an interesting note about the fly – come to think of it, all my vintage women's pants patterns have zippers on the side or back (and nothing like a fly). I wonder when that got started?

  2. I don't know how flies came about. The Sexual Revolution? Industrial laziness? A little of column A, a little of column B?The camera makes me very, very happy. A gift from my MIL. They bought a new one on vacation and gave us their old one. Sometimes good deeds pay off.

  3. Maybe it's from jeans? It does strike me as very 70s for some reason. That is so nice of your in-laws. My in-laws never gave me anything but a migraine. And you've got it in time for your wardrobe contest pics!! yahoo!

  4. I never thought about the whole fly thing, but I think I agree. I've actually made a pair of high waisted pants with a back zip and I like them so much better. I can do without the extra bulge at the front. My favourite pants ever had a side zip like Sarah mentioned (they were vintage, too). I may never make a fly front again. Your pants look great and I think the fit is excellent. You look fantastic in them.

  5. Yeah! Glad to see the success from Burda. I'm going to try my first pair from them and you give me confidence. Now, if I could only get the "vulgar fly" out of my head…

  6. These look lovely on you – cuff or no cuff! I like your front closure and invisible zip – especially for this style of trouser. I think Sarah is right when she suggests a fly front is from the 70's – clothes became more casual and 'unisex' then!

  7. Love your pants. I have been sewing my first pair of Burda pants too. Fitting is a real issue for me but I am quite happy with them in the end. I love the work you have done on the inside, something I want to try to get a more luxurious feel.

  8. Pingback: Finished Object (Finally!): Cherry Blossom "Blues" « 3 Hours Past the Edge of the World

Is it kind, useful or interesting? Great!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s