Burda 2015-11-107 high-waisted flare trousers

It seems like pants / trousers-making is on my secret 2016 SWAP / New Year Resolution list. Maybe I’ll even get around to making a pair of Ginger jean and/or Birkin jean this year WooHoo! But let’s not talk too much of plans lest the rebel in me finds out.

The Pattern

Actually, Burda 2015-11-116 wasn’t the trousers I wanted to make. The one my heart lusted was Burda 2015-11-106, which seems like its knit cousin & features a different closure treatment. But as this is only my second attempt at trouser-making in recent memories, I thought I give tissue-fitting another go. And of course tissues can’t stretch, so there’s no way I’d be able to tissue-fit a pattern designed for stretch woven. (I’m assuming there is slight difference in sizing since the instruction sheets called for different patterns to be traced.) So my logic goes: figure out what standard deviations I have in pants/trousers in general with this pattern for regular woven fabrics, then apply the same to the pattern for stretch wovens. So here goes…

Style Shots & Mug Shots

WORN WITH: 1-2 Refashioned halter top;

WORN WITH: 3 Burda 2015-10-109 sweater; 4 Burda 2012-05-109 top, Zara jacket; 5 Self-drafted raglan T-shirt;

WORN WITH: 6-7 Self-drafted bolero jacket, Burda 2012-05-109 top;

And now a fuller set of mug shots…just to illustrate how difficult it is to know what a good fitting fitted trousers look like. Which wrinkle in what position is acceptable / to be expected and which really shouldn’t be there?

Size Used

36, as recommended by the sizing chart.

Changes Made

I did say I was going to tissue-fit this pair didn’t I? Sorry but I didn’t take any research photos this time. Which is just as well since it didn’t really work that well. Fitting trousers by oneself is just PITA. Fitting fitted trousers with tissue paper is even worse: With only one side of the trouser it’s hard to tell if there’s just enough or it’s a bit anemic or just too much.

I think this first set of fitting photos were taken after the tissue paper tweaks that included:

  • full tummy: increased Front crotch length (at CF to nothing at side seam), & resulting increase in Front dart
  • narrow hip: decreased width at side seam from waist downward
  • torso that’s deeper front-back than side-side: increased Front & Back crotch lengths & scooped Front & Back crotch curves deeper at crotch level
  • wrinkles that points to inner thighs: shifted widths from side seams to inseams.

The result as you can see isn’t great. But by this point the fabric was cut, and even with 1″ seam allowances further tweaks were limited – especially any that involves tilting & removing/adding wedges. So my subsequent attempt trying out bendy-ruler crotch-curve tweak per instruction in Fitting & Pattern Alteration book was limited in scope. Which was just as well since I was too timid to try out the weird protrusion at CF from waist to hip that this method would have me do to accommodate my protruding tummy!

I have to say though, having multiple fitting books confusing distracting me with different miracle cures didn’t really help the fitting process! I tried & untried so many different tweaks along the way that I can’t remember what changes were made at what stage & advised by which books. So as this particular experiment in pants-fitting was rather inconclusive, I’ll spare you most of the gruesome details & skip to my final changes on this wearable muslin…

Final Fitting Changes


  1. Full Tumy: as above.
  2. Narrow Hip: as above.
  3. Torso deeper Front-Back than Side-Side: added slightly less at inseam than before, also shifted some Front amount to Back so
    that neither angle at the Crotch-Inseam point would be too extreme.
  4. Wrinkles pointing to Inner Thighs: increased amount shifted from side seams to inseams & also increased width added at inseams.
  5. Flat Droopy Bum: decreased Back Crotch Height tapering to nothing at side seam (ie remove horizontal wedge at hip level). Also reshaped
    Crotch & Princess Seam curves above hip to match the hollow in my lower back / high hip so the bum area won’t droop so much & cause more
    wrinkles below the bum. Front darts were also reshaped for the same reason, but I might have over done it a bit – the high waist now feels too tight to breath freely. Oops.
  6. Short legs: shortened at knees instead of at hem for more flattering shaping.
  7. Big Calfs: increased widths below knees at Back Princess Seams. Not sure this has done the trick. Judging from the final mug shots I wonder if perhaps I needed a combination of Prominent Thigh + Hyperextended Knee/Prominent Calf alterations (as shown in Fitting & Pattern Alteration) instead.
  8. Moved Front darts more towards the sides to make the pin-tuck appear straighter. Not sure what body shape deviation caused the problem…

Fabric & Notions Used

Construction Notes


  • For fly front instruction, I’d recommend look elsewhere. Burda’s instruction was a bit useless because of the number of steps & all the similarly named pieces involved. I ended up referring to my Singer Sewing Pants That Fit book which has clear step-by-step photo instruction. But I complicated things by adding a lining, so some steps could not be performed before the lining was in place. Didn’t realize this at the time, so out with the seam ripper again. Oops. Maybe next time I’ll document the fly front construction as reference for anyone wanting a fly front with french fly shield for lined pants/trousers.
  • Burda instruction on front pleat tuck stitch doesn’t make clear if it should continue to the waistline. I continued mine because it looked better, but this may have contributed to too tight a fit from waist up. Oops.
  • Another oops happened with the hem. You know how they say to try it on with shoe height you’re going to wear with the pants to determine best length? Well I decided I wanted high heel & no break in the front, which meant uneven hem allowance & not enough in my lining. I had to patch on bias facing to the lining hem to hide this booboo.

The Verdict

Overall I have to say this pair is a Fail. While the final result doesn’t look disastrous, there’s definitely room for improvements. But it’s not the wrinkles that bother me the most. It’s not being able to breath in this thing! That and the fact that the pair of shoes I hemmed this for is impossible to walk in.

So I’m considering shortening this pair from both ends – chop off the high waist & shortening the legs…Possibly like these Alexander McQueen creations?5-fix-inspire

4 comments on “Burda 2015-11-107 high-waisted flare trousers

  1. You are totally correct (imho) in saying that fitting pants is royal PITA. Especially fitting oneself. And that trying to solve all the wrinkles is more confusing that enlightening. I think these look great with all the fitting adjustments you’ve done. But it is totally annoying that you can’t breathe in them! Every time I make dress trousers, I always end up with more wearing ease than I’m accustomed to, yet they look fabulous in photos. Haven’t found the balance yet…

  2. I agree they look amazing but I think your suggested solution is a really good one – cutting them off Alexander McQueen style. That means you can walk but not breathe!

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