Summer pants in winter

Hey gang! After including my python pants in my hits of 2013 (and realizing that I have one pair of pants that works for cold weather), I decided to take a third* stab at at the same pattern (Burda 7250).

*Secret pants confession: I sewed up a pair in the summer, in the magenta twill. They were somewhat disastrous. I’d left a note to myself to take out a WHOPPING 1.75″ out of the back rise. I threw caution to the wind, made a new short-in-the-rump pattern piece, cut out the fabric, and lo and behold, the back rise was exactly 1.75″ too short. I did a tiny seam allowance in the back, shortened the tops of the side seams, and changed the waistband, but they’re kind of wedgie pants. In fact, the rear seam blew out when I first wore them to work and all that was separating me from showing my scrunds was my serged seam allowance. I’ve reinforced the seam and it’s relaxed a enough to be wearable but I’ve never been able to get that excited to take pictures in them.

Now that’s out of the way.

I added the 1.75″ back into the pattern and drafted new slanted pockets. I wanted to try my adjustments out with a wearable muslin, so I used my bountiful olive drab linen (ironically resulting in summer-weight pants). | Burda 7250

In addition to the slant pockets in the front, I tried out welt back pockets. I used Poppykettle’s excellent tutorial for most of it, but used one piece of fabric for the welt and pocket bag, per this video, since my fabric was thin enough.

For learning a new skill, it went remarkably well! Although (as you might have seen on Instagram) this happened:

Screen Shot 2014-01-04 at 2.12.50 PM

I chalk this one up to sewing when I was coming down with the flu before Christmas. I was so excited to try them on and didn’t notice the sad/funny asymmetry until I turned around in the mirror! I had to remake the entire leg after I was able to get out of bed. | Burda 7250

So the welts match now, although I think the pocket bags extend a little too far towards center back and create some awkward (is there any other kind?) excess crack fabric. They also gape a bit in spite of interfacing the opening, so I might sew them shut. For me, back pockets are all about breaking up an expanse of rump.

Another big improvement I made was re-adding 1/2″ of ease to the front pieces above the knee after reading Cation Designs’ post on pants construction. Wow. Now I don’t feel like I have to walk straight-legged up the stairs. I also removed the cuffs, added length and hand-sewed the hems. | Burda 7250

They’re too drafty for the winter, but I can see myself wearing them like crazy for spring, summer and early fall! I love the slouchy style. I finished them a few days before New Year’s and immediately cut out another pair in this beautiful, second-hand dark stretch denim I found at SCRAP in Portland. (5+ yards for $11!) They are thick enough for winter, and I’ll be sharing them soon!


60 thoughts on “Summer pants in winter

  1. They’re super, great job on the fitting. Thanks for the pocket tutorial links too, I’m about to tackle a similar pants pattern (Burda 7017) so I’m sure they’ll come in handy.

    1. I’d never noticed that pattern before! It’s probably the one I should have used, given that it comes with the slant pockets. Good luck, and I can’t wait to see how yours turn out. That tutorial will really help!

  2. Your pocket pic made me ROFL! These are excellent pants! I am jealous of your beautiful outdoorsy pictures in them as well – too cold for that here! I love the shape and slouch and color of these – they are pretty perfect!

    1. Thanks, Sally! I will say that we had an unusually warm day and I was still pretty cold. I try to race outside and document every time the sun shines!

  3. I’m so glad you fixed the welt pocket disaster, what a job, I would not have been happy. I love them in the olive linen it gives them a kind of boyfriend vibe. Can’t wait to see the other pair.

    1. Yah, I realized that I’d botched the pocket placement right when I realized I was sick, and it weighed disproportionately heavily on my feverish brain. The only thing to do was fix them!

  4. “Excess crack fabric” – muahahahaha! You know that’s gonna come up on some searches!

    These look so great! I think you’ve got yourself a TNT now!

    1. Oh no! After all of my planning around scrunds….

      I think you’re right! I’d consider a dressier black pair in addition to the denim in progress.

  5. Oh they’ve turned out so great! I’m glad to see the slant pockets work, because that a what I intend to do with my next pair. And your welts are fab, despite the initial wonky issues (I did have to laugh though, poor fluey brain!). I think the wearable muslins for this pattern are fraught with exposure issues – I’ve only worn my to work once, and the issue wasn’t my backside flashing, it was my zip – kept coming undone, and as you know there is no fly shield so it was scrund city! Lucky I wear a long uniform jacket over the top hahah! You’ve got me fired up to perfect my own version of this pattern – nice one!
    Ps to help with droopy welts you could sew a little button holding them up and shut – you often see this on men’s RTW welt pockets….

    1. Oh my goodness! Scrund city!! I added a fly shield (from my Moss skirt pattern) to every version I’ve made – sounds like it was a good call, geez. The buttons are a great idea, and they look nice too.

  6. Good job for sticking with this project and not letting seam slippage prevent you from making another pair! If my pants split, I would totally throw the pattern in the trash, regardless of whether the pattern mistake was my fault or not 🙂 Even when the welts weren’t symmetrical, you remade one!

    And thanks for the tidbit about adding 1/2″ above the knee. I love facts like that!

  7. I seriously gasped when I saw the welt pocket mistake! Haha, props for not giving up after that, I tried to tackle pants before, but in the process of altering the pattern, took out the ease in the front inseam, not knowing it was for knee-bend-ability!

    1. It takes your breath away, doesn’t it?

      I’m pretty sure the original pattern had ease for the knee, but in my ignorance, I thought it was an error and took it out. Live and learn!

  8. I’m really glad it’s not just me these strange things happen to. I made a skirt the other day (not yet blogged), which I basted together and tried on. The waistband was too small so I redrafted it and happily made up the skirt (including zip etc), put it on, miles too big. Had to remake it, guess what with the original waistband piece. I just do not understand how this could be as there were a good couple of inches difference. We must have been visited by the same bad sewing fairy. Anyway, forgive the moan! Your new trousers turned out beautifully in the end. Super-impressed with new pocket style and totally agree with purpose of rear pockets, I have never seen them used!

    1. What a mystery! And taking out zips are just the pits, so I’m impressed that you fixed it.

      I think most pants for women are too fitted to make much use of the back pockets. Who wants to sit directly on their wallet or phone?

  9. These look FANTASTIC! I love the fit and the style! But man, pants fitting just sounds so terrible and scary– I don’t know how you pants-stitchers handle it!

    1. Thanks, Sonja! In retrospect, I think pants might be a really good project to self-draft (now that you’ve got some expertise!) They’re really just three main pieces (legs and waistband), and you could combine them with pockets, closures, etc from other patterns. I think that would get you closer to a good fit more quickly than starting with a pattern and making tons of changes, which is what I did.

  10. These look great Morgan! You must have amazing patience to get thee right fit on trousers! I’d love to have a go at trousers this year but we’ll see how it goes!

    1. It was definitely an uneven process, fitting this pattern. I compared my updated pieces to the original pattern and they’re pretty different. Still, I think it’s really worth it, especially since finding RTW pants isn’t easy either!

  11. These look wonderful! The fit is just perfect, and I love the style. Thanks for the tutorial links too; they’ll be very much appreciated when I attempt to master (or at least get vaguely competent at!) pants this year :).

  12. Your pants look really great! I love that they are relaxed but not at all sloppy. Conquering the welt pocket was my proudest sewing moment. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Jessica! I found the welt pockets to be process-intensive but not as intimidating once I found Poppykettle’s tutorial. I felt supremely pleased with myself too!

  13. i absolutely love these pants! i never thought i’d think pleated pants were cute, but i’ve been wanting some myself lately. oh man, the welt mis-hap… i would have cried!

    1. I know, I was thoroughly traumatized by the pleated pants of my youth! Didn’t expect that I’d be a sewing up a pair for myself. Is it just my imagination or did pleated pants used to have straighter legs? I like the tapered ones I’m seeing now.

  14. These look so good! you did a terrific job and the fit is awesome on you. My favourite pants pattern is a Burda one too; I reckon they are the best 🙂

  15. I’m totally impressed. These are adorable and they fit you so well. And I totally agree with you about the function of back pockets!

  16. These are great! I’m in love with this style, and the fit is spot on! It must be nice to know that you have a go-to pants pattern now, and you can just whip ’em out!

    1. Oh! Also, those welts! I couldn’t decide if I wanted to laugh, or cry for you! Good for you for actually cutting out a whole new leg – I probably would have wadded them up into a ball and shoved them in a corner… let them think about what they did…

      1. It is a really nice feeling. I think my desire for a pants pattern that worked was greater than my desire to shame the droopy welt! And having a ton of extra fabric didn’t hurt.

  17. You look so effortlessly cool, they’re great! Thanks for the welt tutorial, I’m about to do my first welt pockets today on a pair of pants, so it’s super timely 🙂 I’m so sorry about your first pockets, that’s the sort of thing that’s just too sad to be funny…

  18. I had to lol at those welt pockets. It was like a crazy anime character expression. Good for you seeing it through. As for the excess crack fabric, maybe you could curve the pocket seams closest to the center back?
    And they look fabulous! I want to make a similar pair from a French company. The pattern is called Gilbert I believe.

    1. Yes! The wonk pockets are totally an anime face. And I’m going to take a look and see if I can’t remove some of the pocket bag width. The Gilbert pattern looks really nice – seems like the welt pockets are part of the pattern. The Burda pattern is totally bare bones and doesn’t even have a fly shield included!

  19. I think these have the perfect slouchy vibe to them. I agree with your thoughts on welt pockets, they are great for breaking up the rump. I also sew mine shut because that way there is less work to do when ironing the pants after a wash. Is it a linen blend? They look remarkably wrinkle free.

    1. I should do a burn test! I’m pretty sure they’re completely natural fiber, but maybe they’re mixed with some cotton. They do balloon out over time like linen but they don’t get the intense horizontal wrinkles (so far).

  20. Yikes! I’m pretty sure I would’ve cried myself back to sleep after seeing the mismatched welts…way to persevere (breaking up the rump expanse is a pretty good motivation, isn’t it?)! I never thought I would consider pleated pants but these look great on you!

    1. Thanks, Cindy! Luckily I was too delirious to do anything but go to bed and having a few days to feverishly stew over the situation provided me with some additional motivation. Thanks again for your helpful pants post, too.

  21. Gorgeous, gorgeous gorgeous! Love the soft drape of your linen – perfect for this style of pegged leg (hehe) pants. I’m with you – pants need something to break up the backside expanse! I guffawed outloud when I saw your asymmetrical welts…. these things happen to the best of us at times 😉
    If these don’t get worn sh*tloads and appear in your 2014 top 5, well – I’ll be damned.

  22. Ooo, that´s a lovely pair! I love all the detail work you out into this project, and I am looking forward to see the denim pair! Well sewn. 🙂

  23. These are practically my dream trousers. The colour, the fabric, the way it fits you…that feeling you get when you wear semi-fitted, woven trousers like this and attempt to lift your legs has prevented me from ever giving it a go, but maybe with your solution I can finally copy them! 😉

    1. Cation Design’s trick really helped with mobility! I would highly recommend it if you haven’t already tried it. A looser silhouette sewn in fabric with more drape helped a lot, too. Good luck making your dream trousers!

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