Sewing Trousers

Burda 7017Did I know how to sew trousers? No. But two Sewists* shamelessly Twitter goaded me into buying Burda 7017 (currently available for £2.93 here!) and some stretch cotton jaquard from The Man Outside Sainsburys.

For all those people out there who think they don’t know how to sew trousers, let me tell you – this was one of the most enjoyable sewing experiences I’ve had for ages. During the process, I was deeply reminded of the twin factors that first propelled me into sewing. Love of learning and a perfectionist streak. These trousers are by no means perfect, but the touch paper has definitely been lit. I want to make more trousers and make them better.

Burda 7017 detailsIf you have a similair perfectionist streak, you may just have found your drug of choice. Look at all the details you can geek out over! Pleats, fly fronts, cuffs, waist bands and belt bands… So many details to get right. Heaven.

Trouser CollageI cut out true to my size and the fit was great, other than around the waist. But the back seam, one of the last steps, allowed me to adjust fit. I took out a huge 1.5 inch chunk from either back seam at the waist, grading back out to normal seam allowances to accommodate my toosh. I took an inch out of the leg length and lowered the waistline by an inch.

Seams were either overlocked or pinked with pinking scissors. I did quite a lot of pinking, because the construction was such new territory for me. With dresses and skirts, I can look ahead and judge when to overlock a raw seam before construction. Not with these! I was entering unknown territory – and enjoying every moment.

Burda trousers and Ella

I love my new trousers! Seriously, guys – go for it. Burda 7017 is a cracking pattern and I honestly didn’t find it that difficult. I do think these would look even better in a fabric with a tiny bit more drape. Thankfully, TMOS has already sold me the perfect wool/silk mix.

Are you tempted to make trousers? Or are you already a trouser expert? If so, any top tips? I’m bitten by the bug.

* Thank you to What Katie Sews and Scruffy Badger for encouraging me to overcome my fear of sewing trousers.

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41 Responses to Sewing Trousers

  1. Emily says:

    Being able to custom fit pants like that is one of my major goals in sewing. It’s always nice to hear that it’s fun!

  2. Jenny Lester says:

    Lovely trousers Karen – saw some stretchy thick cotton at TMOS only last week (3rd visit to him since May!) but couldn’t think what to make with it, and had really gone there for jersey (or anything else which tempted me) these trousers remind me of some autumn range ones which flew out of M&S and are now unavailable @ £39.99 which I assume was not what these cost!! I haven’t made trousers for years, but having just lost a stone I feel ready to try some slimmer styles – after I have posted this comment I am off to order the Burda pattern and give them a go!

  3. Those look great. Yes trousers are kind of fun to make and rather quick if you have a pattern that works. and the reward (i.e. not spending hours trying on many pairs in a store) is so worth the sewing time.

  4. My best success with trousers has been with a pattern I made from an old pair I had – I’ve made three variations and love them. I’ve avoided making from a pattern in case I put my back out from all the twisting to check the fit !!!!

  5. Jane says:

    Gosh they’re lovely Karen, and so flattering. I may just have to purchase that pattern. When you get the fit right, I think trouser making can be supremely satisfying. Give yourself a huge pat on the back! x

  6. Heather says:

    I tried a pair of trousers on in this same fabric this afternoon. They were in the sale at Whistles and cost £50, down from £120. I didn’t buy them cos they were a tad tight. Yours look great. I reckon you’ve had a bargain with the fabric

  7. Wow, such lovely trousers! I do think that people approach trousers with trepidation, but I have found them no more difficult than a skirt. After all, they have many details in common, a zip, a waistband. I’m currently sewing some corduroy trousers copied from an old pair of trousers, just like Chris. This has taken out all the fitting dilemmas since I know that the old pair fit well.

  8. Tilly Buttons says:

    I can haz your outfit pleaze?

  9. Chris says:

    Seriously – I think this is my most favorite of your outfits ever! Obviously the trousers turned out great, but I just adore the whole look. Just perfect.
    I use Burda trouser patterns a lot and by and large they are working really well for me too. And I agree with you: it is just so brilliant when everything comes together.

  10. These are super awesome and stylish. I thought at first you had made trousers specifically for sewing in, not that this was a post about sewing your first trousers! A triumph!

  11. I really like your trousers. Totally lovely fabric and the fit is great. Burda patterns are normally spot on. Saying that I have never used them for trousers for me but made Sprogzilla a few pairs using Burda when she was wee and they were fab. Feeling quite inspired in the trouser department now. Actually that sounds completely wrong! 🙂 xx

  12. They are fabulous, interesting to hear they are unkown territory for you when you have sewn complicated things like your fab coat. They look great, really inspiring.

  13. Linda Wilgus says:

    Wow those look brilliant! I’ve never tried my hand at sewing trousers as I’ve always thought it must be quite difficult. Very impressive!

  14. Carolyn says:

    How exciting, Karen! Congrats on tackling such a challenging project! Although maybe you’re right – perhaps it’s not as daunting as we think it might be? The details on your pair look beautiful – well done! 🙂

  15. Wow the fit looks really flattering and they look great on you. Nice choice of fabric too. I have my eye on a burda mag pattern with a side zip for my trouser project but haven’t been brave enough to dive in. But your lovely trousers have convinced me to give it a go!

  16. These look fab on you 🙂 I’ve never attempted trousers, but they’re on my list of sewing fears to conquer. Thanks for the inspiration.

  17. What amazing trousers! They look sooo professional. Styled to perfection with the stripes and red accessories. I have been thinking about tackling the Sew Over It Ultimate Trousers. Yours might just spur me on.

  18. Paola says:

    The quest for pants that fit me propelled me into sewing in the first place. One of the first, and best, things I did was take an online pants fitting class on Pattern Review. After getting the fit right, everything else fell into place, as pants aren’t that difficult a sew.

  19. Meg says:

    Wow! They’re amazing – well done! Once I get my xmas dress out of the way I may have to make myself some trousers!

  20. Colesworth says:

    I love the fabric you used. I’ve only made one pair, but have plans and fabric for a few more – must get to it!

  21. Oooh Karen, these look ace!!! I loved them on Katie and I love them on you…question is…can I pull them off? May well just have to try and see!

  22. Fadanista says:

    I’m a bit of a trouser maker of all types, so was pleased to hear you venturing into this territory. I foresee a whole new aspect of wardrobe building for you!

  23. Hooray for you! And welcome to the trouser-sewing world! People are always SO impressed if you’ve made your own trousers. I tell them the sewing is not hard, but the fitting can be tricky … it’s great that these worked for you with minimal adjustment. Even if you have to spend weeks on fitting (I did), it’s totally worth it in the end. I can’t buy trousers that fit me anywhere I know of, and wearing a pair that do fit, that I look great in, that I MADE, is just the best feeling.

  24. Amanda says:

    I had the same thoughts when I made my only pair of trousers too. It was back to the “I have not got a clue what will happen next and then TA DA! “Mine were called perfect fit and they really were! They look great on you! 💝

  25. scruffybadger says:

    Omy they look awesome!!! I’m jumping up and down with glee as they were as satisfying to sew as they look being worn..😄👌 I still haven’t bought this pattern, but am sooooo tempted everytime I see it ….the fabric is pretty lovely too.

  26. Tracy H says:

    These look great it’s hard to believe they are your first pair. I have never tried Burda patterns but with a sale on right now I’m very tempted

  27. bimbleandpimble says:

    Check you and your fabulous self out! Awesome work making all the trousers (the Aussie in me wants to say pants but I think that means undies in Britain?) These look tops with your stripes and, of course, Ella!

  28. I’m surprised that you have never made trousers before! I would love to (and jeans), but I am scared. I am very particular about which trousers I like, and I always feel that I am likely to spend a long time making trousers, and then just not like them! Having said that, I have added the Ultimate Trousers onto my Christmas list, so maybe…

  29. katie says:

    They look so great! Lush fabric. Did I warn you that trouser-making is addictive? You’ll want to make more and more to nail the fit and finish details… sorry about that.

  30. They look really stylish. I made trousers last month in preparation for making jeans. You are sooo right – sewing geeky techy stuff. I really enjoyed myself. Jo xx

  31. Ooh, those are lovely and all those little details! Really like the outfit, too. I’m definitely no trousers pro but I’m not scared of them, although the fitting can sometimes be trying. I did several muslins for the Butterick B5895 ones I’ve sewn up a few times, and once I stop being a bit exhausted by all the muslins, I expect I’ll try and perfect the fit even more. It’s addictive!

  32. Philippa says:

    Oh so impressed! I share the trouser fear. Interesting to know they are not ‘as bad’ as feared!!

  33. clemensnp says:

    Wowzers trousers! And thanks for the pattern link – I’m on the case! Catherine x

  34. helen says:

    These look fab! I recently bought a straight leg trouser pattern but haven’t got around to it yet. Simplicity 1696 ‘amazing fit’. I’m going to dedicate the first makes of 2015 to trousers. I need to get over the fear of the fly front zipper!

  35. These are really lovely! I’ve made Katy & Laney’s tap shorts, but that’s about it. I bought a jeans kit for the new Closet Case File Ginger Jeans, and I can’t wait to try them, although I admit I’m pretty scared!

  36. yeahh, you joined us on trouser revolution. looks fab!

  37. These are wonderful! They look so comfy yet stylish. Well done!

  38. Geo P says:

    I’ve made trousers before, for me and my husband, all from Burda magazine. I don’t know how similar they are, but the magazine patterns fit me great. I’ve bought this pattern now and hope to find some of this fabric this Saturday – fingers crossed! I’ve had an H&M dress in a similar fabric that I loved, it’s too worn out now, but I’ve kept it hoping to copy it.
    Congrats for your fist pair! They look great!

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