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Minerva Blogging Network: Burda polka-dot trousers

January 7, 2014

This month’s Minerva project sprang from my wish to make a pair of trousers that involved no topstitching whatsoever. It was also inspired by the totally awesome pairs that Rosie from DIY Couture makes, and these overpriced Moschino polka dot trews.

Here’s the result:

polkadot trousers 1

You can see more about the project and the fit changes I made on the Minerva Blogging Network here.

These trousers have caused no small amount of controversy within my household. My husband thinks they look like pyjamas. I do own a pair of pyjamas made from extremely similar fabric, so I can see where he’s coming from, but hopefully the fabric is sturdy enough not to look like I’ve just woken up and strolled to the corner shop in my loungewear.

spottytrousers 3

The pattern is from Burda magazine 11/2013, available on the Burda site here, and it’s pretty good, with a shaped waistband and well-drafted pockets. I didn’t bother making a muslin, just compared them to my existing jeans pattern, and the fit isn’t bad, if a little bit tight.

If I’m totally honest, the main reason I chose this pattern is because there are four pieces to trace, and no welt pockets. Although this doesn’t help to support my ‘not pyjamas’ case.

They also have a turn-up cuff thing going on which I like although it’s not that noticeable in this fabric.

polkadot trousers 2

I’m not sure if I’ll be wearing these much, but I’m glad I made them. They might be more use in the spring.  I’m not convinced this is the most flattering style for the pear-shaped of us. Also, I think this pattern might work better in a slightly heavier wool fabric, as the knees tend to bag out a bit.

Still, I’m counting these as my first win for 2014. I made a wearable pair of non-jeans trousers! Hooray!

polkadot trousers 4

Read my Minerva post about these trousers here.

You can buy the polka dot stretch fabric here – I think it would make an amazing fitted dress.

Or buy the full kit with zip and fastening is available here.

Download the Burd pattern (11/2013 #110A) from the Burdastyle website here.

(sorry for the terrible photos. This is about as light as it gets in Britain at the moment.)

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27 Comments leave one →
  1. February 12, 2014 11:55 AM

    I think it’s excellent how you have styled these! You’ve made them look very casual but the tailored elements of these trousers maintains the smartness, and I love the addition of the trainers!

  2. January 10, 2014 8:08 PM

    These look fab! Love them :) I am in awe of your trouser making skills!

  3. January 8, 2014 6:13 PM

    These look cool! Think they’d look great with ankle boots and flats too. I don’t think they look pjyama-y but pyjama influenced womenswear was hot 2012/3 right? So you’d be rocking a finger on the pulse look, not accidental lounge-wear.
    You’re really beasting the trouser-making, I so don’t have the guts.

  4. January 8, 2014 1:44 PM

    I love these! I don’t think they look like PJs at all. I really want to try making some trousers this year – I’m terrified though!

  5. January 8, 2014 12:23 PM

    Ooh, these are SO COOL! And I love the styling you have with them here. Polka dots for the win!

  6. January 8, 2014 11:44 AM

    They’re cute – if you don’t get much wear out of them worrying about being PJ-esque you could always turn them into pedal pushers for spring and summer!

  7. January 7, 2014 10:52 PM

    Yay, trousers! I like these! They seem very wearable with the tighter fit and shorter length. Whenever I wear about 90% of the trousers I own, they inevitably end up dragging on the ground, due to varying heel heights.

  8. January 7, 2014 10:07 PM

    Don’t listen to your husband. Men know nothing! I LOVE these. I really love the whole patterned trouser trend, I think they look really cool, and yours look nothing like pyjamas (maybe if they were in a floaty, drapery fabric they might). They’d look lovely with a shirt and some flats, or ankle boots!

  9. January 7, 2014 9:53 PM

    Win! I don’t think they look like pyjamas! They’ll be so lovely in the spring. Polka dot trousers have always appealed to me but been completely vetoed by my other half…looks like the men don’t like the polka dots!

    • January 7, 2014 9:56 PM

      Ha ha, must be a male thing! Some of them are obviously immune to the charms of the polka dot.

  10. January 7, 2014 9:33 PM

    Love, love, love these on you :)!

  11. January 7, 2014 8:56 PM

    I say if they are as comfy as pyjamas without actually being pyjamas, ie you can officially wear them outside in the real world, then you have a win-win situation going on. Given that I still haven’t finished making, or finished starting actually, the “proper” dress pattern that I started cutting out back in August, I shouldn’t really be thinking about making trousers just yet, but I am liking your assessment of the ease of this pattern. One to put in my mental pattern draw. Mental, as in inside my head, not crazy. Although you could be forgiven for thinking it is both – I am so out of the sewing loop having had to go back to work (boo!) that am getting extraordinarily easily excited and adventurous in my choices again, having forgotten that I can’t actually sew garments for myself yet.

    • January 7, 2014 9:52 PM

      Definitely give them a try! I cut out a 34 (I think) which was a bit optimistic around the top, will give myself a bit more room next time, although the stretch fabric helps. Good luck with getting back to sewing. I think trousers are easier than a dress in a lot of ways, the only tricky bit is the fly, and just find a good online tutorial for that (definitely don’t use the Burda instructions…. they might as well be written in Chinese!).

  12. Teresa permalink
    January 7, 2014 8:20 PM

    I love those polka dots! They are great pants!

  13. January 7, 2014 6:02 PM

    These are so cute! I love the polka dots! They totally look like real pants! I think they would be cute paired with a buttondown in the springtime, but I like them with the sweater, too.

  14. January 7, 2014 5:06 PM

    I love those and those pants look amazing on you! I so wouldn’t call you pear-shaped, your shoulders and hips are matched in width just like mine do. I think there has been a sewing-world-wide misinterpretation of what constitutes pear-shaped. So many label themselves this way when they’re not.

  15. January 7, 2014 4:18 PM

    Ooh doll these are smashing! I’ve seen some people rocking something similar in leopard print around the mean streets of B-town. I’m gonna have to hop right on board. I’m also glad I’m not the only sewists going old skool in my Nike Air Max. I love yours :) xxx

    • January 7, 2014 4:21 PM

      Thanks lady! The Nikes are liberty ones, they were an Xmas present from Alex, I love them soooo much. Want to wear them every day! Leopard print trousers would be amazing…

  16. January 7, 2014 3:16 PM

    Yikes, you are a trouser-making goddess! You make it all seem so easy, yet I’m terrified of attempting to fit trousers! Anyway, I love your polka dot number, very cute and not pyjama-like at all!

    • January 7, 2014 3:20 PM

      I think these ones are a lot easier to fit than jeans, because they don’t have to be so tight! Although saying that these aren’t perfect, I need a bit more room in them, but the next version should be better.

  17. January 7, 2014 3:03 PM

    I like them! I guess I understand the controversy, but I’m on the side of real pants. Congrats on your first 2014 win!

    • January 7, 2014 3:19 PM

      Thank you! I have yet to wear them out of the house so I’ll see if people point and laugh and assess from there :)

  18. January 7, 2014 2:36 PM

    THESE ARE AMAZING. You are my Burda guru – I totally need to start on their patterns, all the lines scare me a little too much :-/

    • January 7, 2014 3:19 PM

      Stick to patterns with less than 4 big pieces, that’s my advice! (waistbands and facings are pretty easy to trace, it’s the massive pieces that make my head hurt). I can’t deny it’s a pain to do, but it’s a great way to get a pattern archive. I always know I can find a basic pattern for something in Burda!

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