Saturday, March 20, 2010

FO: BurdaStyle Bella Trousers

I finished my Bella trousers last Sunday, except for the buttonholes and bottom hem. I decided I needed daylight for both. They turned out to be the fiddliest part, so I am glad I waited!

There was a moment when I thought the corset-shaped waist panel was going to come up too high and cause a "boobs on the balcony" situation, but all is well. I did not make any adjustments to the sizing of the pattern, other than to shorten the legs.

The only things I changed were the front pleats, which I removed by pleating the paper pattern flat before I cut the fabric, and I also stitched down the sides of the front pockets. The front pockets are very strange. The actual "pouch" is only about 2 inches deep, and until I stitched it down, the side-on view gave the illusion of a baggy dungaree-front, which wasn't very flattering. However, I can see this non-pocket will be useful to clip my work ID card to.
I wasn't sure what style of button to choose. I want to wear these trousers for work, so they need to be more smart than casual, and the Bedford cord was already conspiring against me. The colour of the fabric is more grey-green than gold-green, so if I went for a metal button it would have to be silver / pewter rather than gold / brass. I tried a grey vintage plastic but it looked a bit fussy. "Bone" might work... but I went for self-fabric-covered buttons so that I could wear them with my Tara Starlet jacket.


Bella trouser from Burda Style, a pattern you download and print at home. Sticking the various pages together in the right order was surprisingly complicated. (Maybe that was just me.) The English instructions were pretty good with only two strange turns of phrase which confused me momentarily. The diagrams required a magnifying glass, but then were clear.

Size 38 fits me well - I usually think of myself as a "modern size 10".

The fabric is 100% cotton Bedford Cord from Croft Mill fabrics, described as "light olive" on the site: "rather splendid cotton trousering from Germany, an overspill from a trouser maker of immense repute". It was only £4.50 a metre and these took exactly two metres. It is a really high quality fabric - firm and yet soft. I would absolutely recommend it. They have it in burgundy too - I am tempted.
A very sharp style, which would be easily adjusted for a perfect fit, due to the large number of seams around the yoke. I really like the unusually-shaped back pockets which my photographer couldn't seem to capture without blur. You could add fake "corset-lacing" at the back to funk them up a bit for evening wear. Or braces for a vintage menswear twist.
They have super-wide legs, which appear to go on forever due to all those diagonal seams. The pleats on the original scared me - too much detail on the upper thigh for my taste / shape. Other sewers have left them in, but stitched them flat.

All in all, a wearable, flattering cut.

Yes, I like them a lot! And I plan to make another pair in blue.


zombiecazz said...

nice looking troos. Well done you, I'm always amazed at how fast you get these things done.

CCK said...

Totally impressed! Great fit and obviously exceptional skill. You look great in them!

Gabrielle said...

A great pair of work trousers, good job!

RooKnits said...


bagqueen said...

They great on you, really flattering and the finish is very professional, definitely as good as Tara Starlet versions!!

feresaknit said...

I can only think that there was a large amount of selvage at the wasitband otherwise boobs that used that as a balcony would be more in need of structural support. Like the trousers but love the buttons they are one of those little details that just sets them off. Excellent choice. I didn't know you could download sewing patterns from the internet! I'm so naive.

mooncalf said...

Wow - I am super-impressed. Very stylish and extremely professional!

The Long & Winding Bobbin said...

Oooh Fabulous!
*Heading over to burda as we speak*
These are great, and the colour too! Lovely.
Loving your blog too, reading through old posts :-)