Wednesday, 15 June 2011

In Construction: Burda 7441 Casual Trousers

Sewing has been slow around here. In fact everything has been slow lately. I have been extra tired and lazy in the evenings and end up doing nothing. However I know that doing nothing for long leaves me frustrated so I hope to get out of this rut quick.
Last weekend I have started construction on my ambitious casual trousers, using Burda 7441. The pattern claims to be of average difficulty and rates it a 3 out of 4 in difficulty. The trousers also have a variety of features I have not sewn before, like a hip yoke (which I still have no clue how it works), lots of inner and outer pockets, fly zip, etc. I think I will take this one slowly.
I decided to do tissue fitting and follow Pants for Real People guidance to the letter. First you trim the pattern pieces on your size or a larger one, if you're unsure. It then advises that pattern pieces are pinned to a gridded cardboard cutting mat to help accurately mark changes equally in both sides. I confess I had never heard of such cutting mat, but eventually found one online and bought it.
Once pieces are pinned you proceed to doing any changes you know you'll have to make. I decreased leg length by 7cm and also created new line from size 10 waist to size 8 hip.
After these changes are made, Pants for Real People suggest you mark stitching lines. To do this you can use a measuring tape, as they are usually 5/8" wide. I actually found this very useful as sometimes my cutting can be a bit jagged. And I think it was the talented Sherry, from  Pattern Scissor Cloth that once said all you need are the stitching lines, the cutting lines don't matter as seam allowance size can vary. Sherry, correct me if I'm wrong.
In order to tissue fit you have to tape the crotch area, otherwise you run the risk of tearing the fabric. Scotch Magic Tape is the one to use.
After, you pin front to back piece on stitching lines and "dress" it on. I do not have photos of this, so I do apologise. I found it very odd and not entirely convinced I can identify fitting issues easily. After all, paper doesn't behave the same way as fabric. All I looked for was length and CF and CB. Maybe I am not doing it right?
I used the cardboard mat to cut the fabric and see if it would improve my cutting experience but apart from helping me match selvedges I didn't find many advantages. Maybe because I did it on the floor. If you look at all those photos you see me crouched down. My back didn't enjoy this at all and I was very tired when I finished. I don't think I'll use it like this again until I have a proper cutting table.

Do you do tissue fitting? Do you use a cardboard cutting mat? What are your experiences?


  1. Hi Suzy. I just finished my trouser project. Well, never tissue fitted because I draw my pattern base on my size.I would think the best way is to add extra in seams and the fit on fabric. The extra fabric should allow you to develop the shape on your size. It may change some features, like adding or revoming a dart but should be easy than trying to visualize on papper. I have this book, its awesome and I use a lot.

  2. I am in awe of your trouser making, and this finessing the pattern first seems like a great idea that will save you time in the end. I do love these photos - the overhead shot and you scratching your head at the end are so cute :) Look forward to seeing these trousers. xxx

  3. Wow, so much work! I haven't had much luck with trousers thus far, I hope to go back and try again one day. This post will surely come in handy for that. Can't wait to see your final project.

    Also, love the images for this post. You look super cute dressed up or dressed down! :)



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