I don’t often see a lot of sewing failures posted online. Perhaps we’re more inclined to share successes, or maybe others don’t create quite as many wadders as I do. I certainly make my share of sucky garments, and this post is about one of them: Burda 6798 boyfriend jeans.
I jumped on the jeans-sewing bandwagon a while back with my Style Arc Misty and Georgie jeans (both fails), and the Closet Case Gingers. At the time I was making my Style Arc jeans, I snagged some denim on sale at Spotlight for a future pair. At 7.5oz, it’s a bit lightweight for jeans, though at the time I thought it was extremely heavy (though I consider 1L cartons of milk extremely heavy, so I might not be the best judge here).
I was really won over by that gorgeous light blue wash, which would be perfect for a pair of boyfriend jeans. Burda patterns were on sale too, and Burda 6798 seemed to fit the bill. As I have a really, really long waist, I added 3cm to the low rise so as not to flash anyone (I don’t buy low rise pants for a reason!), and eliminated that odd pocket dart which would only serve to add bulk and make truing the pockets that much harder.
In eliminating the dart, I redrew the side seam and pocket back to their original dimensions. Creating a smooth curve meant adding a scant 5mm to the side seam above the pocket opening, and the same to the waistband, but I figured my full stomach could use the extra room. HOW WRONG I WAS.
You guys, these pants were huge. I trust Burda’s sizing, and am 10000% sure I’m a straight 44 in their pants. But when I tried the jeans on, sans waistband, they fell straight to the floor – if I’d added a pair of suspenders I may as well have been wearing clown pants. A quick try-on of the waistband indicated I needed to remove 6cm of width! So I slimmed down the side seams and centre back by 12mm each (about 1/2″), and took the 6cm from the waistband before basting on for fit.
And that’s where I stopped. Do you ever get to a point in a project where you just know it’s not going to work, and that going on will only upset you? That’s where I was at with these jeans. They were not looking good (see case evidence above) and were still too big and falling down at the waist.
I’d also already had way too much drama in construction, including but not limited to: the zip pull coming off and having to remove the stop with pliers, unpick my bar tacks and replace the pull; and trying three different types of topstitching thread (Gutermann polytwist, Sulky cotton and 2 threads regular polyester thread) without success before reverting to regular polyester thread.
I’m chalking this fail up to the pattern, as there was no way those jeans were going to look anything like the model on the envelope. The only other person I could find online who made the pattern, Katie, also noted that she had to slim her pants down significantly to get them to fit. Unlike me, she actually got a great fit – in 7.5oz denim at that! So clearly, it’s not impossible to get these jeans looking good.
But on the whole, I’d rather start with a pattern whose fit is standard and accurate to the pattern envelope images. It’s so much easier to adjust from a solid base, rather than trying to make a wrong pattern right. My experience with the Ginger Jeans makes me think the Closet Case Morgan Boyfriend Jeans pattern would be a more reliable boyfriend jean, though at this point I’m unsure whether the silhouette suits me at all.
I’ll just chalk this up to a learning experience and leave these jeans where they belong – perhaps on a bonfire.
Pattern: Burda 6798
Pattern details: Dare to sew a pair of jeans yourself for once! All you need is some sewing experience and a little patience. The typical stitching with contrast yarn is imperative. Variant A with zipper, B with riveted buttons. (Isn’t that a fantastic description? I just had to include it.) Available as a paper pattern, sizes 34-46.
Fabric: 2m x 144cm 100% cotton denim 7.5oz light, from Spotlight.
Other materials: Sheerweft interfacing for waistband and fly shield. Stash watermelon spots and stripes cotton for pockets.
Mods: Size 44.
– Lengthened rise 3cm
– Made some alterations to sew more like Ginger Jeans: added fly extensions to front piece, copied fly shield, extended both pocket pieces all the way to fly extension edge for pocket stay, added coin pocket
– Rotated out the pocket dart, in doing so, added about 5mm width to the front from pocket area to waistband. Added same to waistband to match.
– Ended up removing 12mm from side seams and CB in fitting, 6cm from waistband total.
– Shortened hem 1cm
– Scooped back crotch out a little