Bread and butter sewing - epic fail - Burdastyle Cropped Trousers

Autumn has well and truly hit Melbourne. Literally overnight we went from a 36 degree day, down to about 15, and the cold weather has hit me like a freight train. The change in season has made me reassess my sewing priorities and needs. Needs?! Since when did selfish sewing take into account needs? But it is true - I need more work clothes, and more warm clothes for the cooler weather. A couple of years ago I lost a little weight - not heaps, about 4kg, and I could not believe how much more I felt the cold with that little layer of chub missing. So as soon as the temperature drops below about 20 I become Queen of the Layers, both at home and at work.

Work. The work wardrobe. How I wish my job allowed me to wear cute skirts, tights and leggings. Not a chance - I need trousers, sturdy fabrics, short or 3/4 sleeves in fabrics that are washable and flexible. I've read about the description 'cake vs frosting', with 'cake' being every day office-friendly wear I suppose. I wouldn't even call my work wardrobe cake - more like 'bread and butter'! I never used to search out 'nice' things for work, but now I am aiming for the bulk of my wardrobe to be self made this is going to change (if I have to do Bread-and-Butter sewing at least it will be organic sourdough with french-salted Lescure butter). I have already been wearing a lot of the summer tops I have made to work, but am yet to perfect the essential item of my work wardrobe - the stylish yet sturdy trouser......

Late last year I had a go at Burda Style Cropped Trousers 02/2010 #111 B. I don't have any photos of the WIP but unsurprisingly I did have some fitting issues which I diagnosed as too much fabric in the torso creating excessive 'crotch folds' according to the Colette Patterns Pants Diagnosis cheat sheet. I made the inseam a little bigger, and managed to get a very wearable muslin - in fact I have been wearing them to work on a weekly basis since and have been very happy with them. I made them out of a sort of stretch denim in a purply-brown-grey that I found at Savers.

Exhibit A:

Not perfect, but not bad either, especially with a longer uniform top on. I thought it would be a snap to make the adjustment recommended - I removed about an inch from the torso length, and cut out my next fabric to try. This one was a khaki brown stretch twill - slightly lighter weight than the purple denim, but with a lot more stretch. I've lost a little weight since making the purple ones, but I cut out the same size (with the alterations) and just did the side seams at 6/8 inch rather than 5/8 inch.

Exhibit B:

Awful. Just awful. Not even able to get away with a longer top. The weird thing is that despite still having those excess folds at the crotch they were giving me a nasty front-bum wedge - inexplicably too big yet creating a camel toe (or mumble pants as my friends from uni used to call them). And I didn't find this out until I had finished EVERYTHING EXCEPT THE HEMS. I'd even gone to the effort of making belt loops. Crap.

 Even the cat was disgusted. So cute, but still disgusted.

So I need a better pattern. This one has exhausted my beginner fitting skills. Its actually quite similar I think to the Colette Clover pattern, and I am thinking it should be my next pattern to try. I do want to try something with a fly front, but that might be a goal for later in the year. I was so happy with the fit of my Iris shorts - they required no adjustments at all, and just for a look I compared the pattern pieces of the Burda Atrocities to the Iris ones:

Back pieces - Iris on top

Front Pieces - Iris on the right

Iris shorts
Clearly the Iris shorts are a lot looser around the seat, but its the shape of the rise I'm most interested in - the back rise of the Iris shorts is a lot shorter than the Burda trousers, but the front rise seems a little shorter! I'm wondering if the designer, Sarai, based the Clover and Iris rise shapes on similar blocks. I've found one sewing blogger who has made both so I think I need to put the call out on the Flickr Colette Patterns Group to see if anyone else can help me. I suppose I can always email them at Colette, but I'd be a bit shy to!

I'm super keen to get a trousers pattern that fits well - not just for work, but also for play - I have some awesome fabrics set aside for some great 60's style cropped trousers:

Grey marle, awesome check with turquoise and pink, and digital floral

 And I see that the call out has been made for Me-Made-May - I'd love to have a crack at this, so until I do some more research on the Clovers, I shall continue my Bread and Butter sewing, focussing on tops!

BTW - did you notice my utterly awesome new slippers in the top pics? So damn warm and comfortable, and deliciously cute! LOVE!