One Year Later: Vogue or Burda trouser block?

Since I can’t actually sew while my house is upside down and backwards, I thought I’d finally blog some things I’ve finished but never talked about.  Thanks for all your commiserating with me and the good wishes, too.  I cannot believe the withdrawal I am suffering through not being able to actually SIT DOWN AND SEW A SEAM.  However, the basement is dry and sanitized, so now I just need to wait for installers so everything can be put back into order and we’ll never know anything happened!

It’s almost exactly one year to the month since my first go at the skinnies from Vogue 1039.   After the saga of capris this past spring and the trouble and hassle and “it’s-better-than-it-was-but-I’m-still-not-satisfied” fitting journey, I thought I’d try my hand at these Donna Karan skinnines again with a stretch denim.

V1039.jpgNo particular reason except that in a fit of pique I thrifted all my RTW jeans and capris this spring and really really needed a pair of something to wear that wasn’t dressy, but that would keep me warmer than capris would through the coolish spring weather we’ve had this year.  And since I really truly do like that pleaty-pleat top but lack a pair of skinnies in a complementary colour, I thought I’d try another go and see if I couldn’t tweak the fit a little.  Ok.  A lot. And this is how I cheated – I mean tweaked.Burda 04-2013-114I traced off Burda 4/2013 #114 in my size (well, actually one size smaller because it’s a stretch fabric and my experience dictates going down a size with stretch fabrics) and laid each piece over the corresponding Vogue ones.  I should have taken a picture, but didn’t, of course. *handforehead* Let me just say that the difference was s.i.g.n.i.f.c.a.n.t. and similar to what you see between pattern pieces in this comparison post.  This was a good place to begin for tweaking or perfecting the fit on trousers for me.  Here is the front view.  I forgot to stand up straight (being so darned uncomfortable with the truthfulness of proper mug shots that I unconsciously avoid head-on poses), so you’ll have to believe me when I say the horizontal lines are not there when I’m standing straight.Vogue 1039 I have no intention of ever wearing these with my shirt tucked in, but as this is a sewing blog I know you’ll all appreciate the photos. ha ha (shudder)  The length of these skinnies is the Vogue length, which I’m very much on the meh side of the fence about.  Whatever.  This is a wearable muslin until the next pair. My favourite details:  the pocketses!Vogue 1039 pocketsMy thoughts after making these up without any adjustments to the Burda block:  Burda wins.  I need to add about 1 inch in length to the centre back and scoop out the back through the crotch a bit, but I just want to say that this is a much better place to begin fitting than any casual Vogue pant or capri pattern I have ever sewn (barring classic trousers). There’s been a lot of griping about the Big 4’s pattern blocks in sewing webland lately, and although I generally disagree for an entire blog post of reasons*, I can really see the point when it comes to trousers.  I cannot wait to trace off other Burda trouser patterns and see what happens.  Dare I say I’m a bit excited about this?Vogue 1039 pantsAfter reading a lot of blog posts about making jeans, fitting jeans, and wanting a few pairs that I liked in Burda mags over the last couple of years, I’ve acquired a very small stash of stretch denim to try this myself.  This is the first almost-successful go at it.  BTW, these photos were taken at the end of the day, and I’m really pleased with how the fabric held its shape.  It’s another stretch woven from EmmaOneSock.  I love the quality of her fabrics.

Oh, and I did take pics of my backside, but I’ll spare y’all that information.  Let’s just say that I really do need to scoop out the back.  I promise I’ll post pictures after I find an invisible zipper that won’t separate on me every single time I put these on.  Or maybe I’ll put in a fly zip.  But that would “ruin” the look of these.  This is the second zipper that’s unhinged itself on these.  stupid zipperThe first invisible zip was replaced by a regular zipper, but the side seams pulled away from it whilst zipped, which I thought was incredibly messy and ugly.  So I went hunting for another invisible zip, and it split on the second wearing.  I still haven’t decided what to do with this PITA conundrum.   A metal zipper?  Any brilliant ideas?

*Which will remain unwritten.  Suffice it to say that the more I sew the more I think muslins are in order more often than not – even for a t-shirt – and I really don’t see the point of trying to imitate casual RTW quality clothes at home.  It’s entertaining and amusing, but one-of-a-kind frosting makes my sewing heart sing, not copies of a basic t-shirt.  Just sayin’.


10 thoughts on “One Year Later: Vogue or Burda trouser block?

  1. gosh, these pants look great on you! and thanks for the comparison, seems all the pants I ever made I altered so much it wouldn’t be fair to grade the patterns:) but good to know your points

  2. Oh I’ve used the one YKK inviz. zip for my four skinny muslins and they have been on and off dozens of times with no zip failures yet. So I second Anne W’s recommendation. YKK all the way.

    On the Burda blocks I do love the trou I made last time and once I learn how to better fit the skinnies I’m going to stick with Burda for a bit. You’re right that there are so many different styles to chose from.

  3. I love both, to be honest… but you gotta go with what FEELS right, amirite? I REALLLLLY need to nail down a pants block or find a TNT pattern – I can totally understand and feel your excitement about the Burda block, because as you say, once you know one works it’s like a magical silvery key just unlocked a whole wardrobe of shorts, trousers, and varying lengths of other bottom legged delights!! 🙂

  4. I must rate the Burda pants patterns, I have very few, sometimes none at all, adjustments to make to the fit on them. They’re usually just a little long for me! These are looking good on you! As for the zip, definitely get some YKK ones, they seem to be stronger, I’ve never had one go on me, & I’ve been using them for aaaages!

  5. The pants look great and I’m inspired to give it a try again myself. As for zippers, I’ve never had a YKK zipper split, and have been really pleased with the quality –more so that C&C e.g. I have noticed some YKKs for sale that seem like counterfeits (weird!) so I would suggest buying them through a reputable shop, whether online or b&m. (I usually get them through SIL in NYC, but I doubt they sell online). Otherwise, maybe a side lap zipper? I used to have some vintage shorts with a side metal lap zipper & kind of liked it…

  6. I am a Burda girl. My few failed attempts at pants, using the big 4 patterns, left me frustrated until I started using Burda magazine patterns. Now I can make a pair of pants/shorts with very little if any fit alterations. It’s a dream come true. I just finished a pair of shorts (#126) from the 3/2013 issue. Love them. Will make the pants next.

  7. I think these are beautiful on you! I love that they didn’t wrinkle too. You know I just picked up the April Burda (our current issue here) and I want to make the 113 capri and 114 leopard pants. I have avoided pants for awhile, but this gives me much hope and motivation!


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