The week of the Wadder Wannabes (or no new trousers this week)...

This was the week of the wadder wannabes.  I wanted to make a pair of slim fitting casual pants and coat from Burda pattern 7162, already sized for petite.

Burda 7162.

I wanted to make the cropped version, and wear them under the coat.  I have slim legs so thought I could get away with it.  The pattern stipulated stretch fabric for the trousers.

I decided (wisely, in hindsight) to make a muslin out of some stretch cotton that I do not like - I think I bought it when it was cheap, and then regretted it.

 This was the result:

Lovely hip pouches and tight tummy area (both of which could be easily remedied), but look at the wrinkly legs, and knobbly knees!  This is not the chic, slightly sophisticated look I was fantasizing about!

And that's before looking at the back:

 A seriously non sophisticated look.  I know they are designed to go under a coat, but still!! 

So, I decided to bin that project before my angst grew too troublesome.

Next, still fixating on the slim pant idea, I decided to try McCalls M6405.

McCalls M 6405
These trousers were described as slim fitting pants, and were designed for stretch fabrics only.

I decided to do a muslin but end it at the knee, given my luck with the Burda pants.  I thought I might have had more luck with McCalls 6405.  No such thing:

Wonderful baggy bombay bloomers (and these were size 8 legs, and 10 waist).   The pattern must be designed for a very pear shaped figure.

Here is the rear view:

The rear view is not so bad - in fact I quite like the way the back sits, and I like the way the front waist area sits.  It's just the amazingly baggy legs that aren't quite the look I wanted.  I could take them in, but I suspect the amount would then start distorting the rest of the garment.  I might have to find something slim, and then adapt the top.

Still determined, I move on the try Kwik Sew 3540.  Also claimed to be slim pants, and sized for stretch only.  This had to be third time lucky.

KS 3540

So, what happened?  (I'll give you three guesses...)

Yes, that's right, another wadder wannabe:

Saggy, baggy and sad looking.  I know the band would hold them up, but I'm trying to move on from the Pollyanna paperbag look and show the world the sophisticated woman I have become (sounds good in theory...)

I suspect even Pollyanna would say no to wearing these!  As did I.  So, this week, three muslins for 3 wadder wannabes.  Now safely resident in the rubbish bin.

So, I haven't got much to show for my sewing week.   I guess at least I wasn't silly enough to proceed and be working through something I was going to hate for the next couple of weeks.

Do you have weeks like this?  Do you proceed with bad looking muslins and then come out with something wonderful?  Or do you gracefully decline the experience?

Thank goodness there is always another sewing week  :)

Sarah Liz


  1. Not a complete waste of a week, out of the three the second looks best. Could you not put some vertical folds, and tweak your muslin until you get the desired fit, you have come this far its would be such a shame to dismiss all 3.

    In answer to your last question YES I do have weeks like your. I have very little left to do to finish DH trousers. I think I am being too fussy. sew,unpick, sew unpick, break sewing machine needle, sewing box falls on floor now ran out of cotton. I will be so pleased when then are finished.

    1. Hi Louise, I agree the second looks best and I will return to this one in due course with a new tactic. Putting vertical folds in per se I tried and it didn't look too good, so I will try again working from a bottom that works and think about adapting the top of the pants, because that sits well.

      I am sorry to hear you too have off weeks - I'm familiar with the not good enough syndrome in sewing - a perfectly acceptable seam unpicked, only to find the next is no better! Usually on those sorts of days where cotton runs out etc, the dinner also usually burns! I know the I can't wait for this garment to be finished feeling quite well!

  2. Oh you poor thing. I feel your pain. At least it wasn't great fabric and YES - as you have read on my blog - I do have weeks like this.

    Maybe - and this is only my thoughts (and by the looks of it Louise's thoughts too) - it might be an idea to keep working on one pattern to try to get it a good fit for you - at least you know what you have to fix.. That second pattern looks like a contender.

    1. Hi BeaJay, thanks for your commiserations - I know you have had similar trials.

      I agree number 2 is a contender (I like the top especially) and I am going to work on one pattern - but then transfer the ideas - I'm going to keep working on this inbetween a TNT. I'll post any progress.

  3. I also feel your pain - quite personally. I worked up a new muslin last weekend from a Burda pattern that I've been itching to try out. Needless to say I was so disappointed. Gone are the days when I can simply pull a pattern out of the envelope and make pants that need very little to no tweeking at all. To make it so I didn't get sick to my stomach because of yet another pant pattern fail, I'm telling myself that the problem is not that my body has changed so much from back in the day; but rather the way that patterns are drafted now a days is what is causing all the problems. I really believe the latter.

    You, like me, have made successful pants in the past. I have a basic vintage TNT pattern that yields a pretty good looking pair of pants for me. But every now and again, I get a hankering to make up a new pattern/style pant. So because I'm in a sort of desperate need of pants right now, I had to resort back to my TNT pattern. At least I know I'll be able to come up with pants that are somewhat decent.
    I have got to set aside some time to concentrate on fitting other patterns to my body - I'm usually in a rush for pants so that never happens. I'd like to think that my fitting skills have advanced enough for me to be able to fit almost any new pattern - I've just got to make time to do just that.

    1. Hello Faye, Thank you for your kind words. I am sorry to hear you had trouble with a Burda pattern and the muslin was not a success. As you say, always disappointing, and does not do ones mojo much good. I too have a changing midsection, but I agree, the older pants used to fit so much better - I don't know why this is. Trouble is, when we get older, if we use vintage patterns, we don't look as though we have a hip-retro look, we look as though we got stuck back in the vintage era. So somehow Faye, we have to solve this problem. I'm going to keep working on it and will post the eventual success so we can all learn.

  4. I am so happy to have read are an amazing sewer and I guess I fantasized that everything worked for you. I see that you have weeks like mine sometimes. I am so sorry but not all the time was wasted as every failure leads us in a new and more profitable direction.

    Or so I tell myself.

    As I rip out the sleeve yet again.


    1. Thanks Mary, no, not everything works for me, not at all! And I have plenty of those weeks - and as you have pointed out, failure is a step on the road to success.

      Or are we deluding ourselves :-)

  5. The McCalls look pretty good from the back - how strange that the front is so wrong!

    I feel your pain with pants patterns though. Maybe pants are very difficult to draft for various bodies, but I've had a lot of failed patterns too. I probably should post more of my wadders, because posts like yours are very helpful :-)

    1. Hi Kat - I think the problem with the front is that it is designed to accomodate much larger thighs than mine - some people are quite large on the side and front of their thighs - and these pants would accomodate that. The Burda pattern was quite the opposite. Glad my wadder post was useful :-)


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