Tuxedo Pants, Burda Magazine, 11-2010-129

I’m just going to come out and say it. I think these pants make me look skinny. And, I’m going to say it because I haven’t said that about pants in at least five years.  And, I’ve NEVER said that about pants I’ve made. These pants are *magic*. I had an idea about making a tuxedo after I made the bow ties. I was wearing one out as a necklace and had several men (none keepers, but whatevs) complimented me. I figured a tuxedo might be a nice way to work more into my wardrobe. Especially since Liz and I were launching Baltimore Bespoke Bows this summer. I’m wearing them with my BWOF 1-2008-105 blouse from two / three years ago.

Except, I forgot I HATE making pants. I love them in theory, but, they do not love me back. As noted earlier,  I made half a dozen muslins of a straight legged pair and gave up becore moving to these. I bought the fabric from Guss Woolens in downtown Baltimore when Trena visited a few weeks ago. Mike, the owner, suggested the wool / poly hopsack weave at $8 a yard. It nicely resists wrinkling and presses wonderfully. It’s a little thinner than I would have thought a tuxedo material should be. But, it breathes so nicely! The satin accents are from A Fabric Place in Mt. Washington, Baltimore. I think it was $10 a yard.

The original pattern from November 2010, #129 does not call for a waistband and has no side seams. But, I wanted a satin waistband and pockets — like traditional tuxedo pants. So, I used the top twp inches of the pants to make a waistband.  The lack of side seams made it tough for me to add a satin stripe down the side of the pants. But, I think it’s ok. I did not do additional pockets on the back. But, I would next time.


The only alterations I made were a swayback adjustment and adding 1/2 inch at center front. But, the waistband still dips a bit and I’d like to adjust that in the future. I used twill tape along the upper waistband seam allowance to prevent stretching.

This was my first time using Kathleen Fasanella’s tutorial on making single welt pockets. And, I was so thrilled with the results that I made a donation. She puts out impressive, industrial method tutorials. I know we all think the internet is free, but people’s time and knowledge is valuable and making a small donation is a tangible way of saying ‘thank you’.

I still love wide length pants. They are snug around my smaller hips and waist and gloss over my full thighs. Plus, wide leg pants don’t get caught on my chub rub and give me  as angry wrinkles in the back.

I’m a third a way through a matching tuxedo jacket. I didn’t make a muslin so I have that same feeling of trepidation when I started sewing my wool trench coat.  I may slow down as I really really want a matching puple Bemberg rayon to line the jacket with and have none on hand or locally available. We’ll see!



  1. What great pants! You did a fantastic job. They fit you beautifully.

  2. Very very nice! All the fitting work was well worth it! And now that you’ve cracked your trouser-fitting issues, you can just reuse the leg pieces on these for your next pairs. Seriously, I find most trousers as quick to sew as skirts these days!

    Now jackets, THOSE are a big time commitment! I can’t wait to see yours. 🙂

  3. Those pants look SO great on you, Cidell! Love, love, love them! So flattering!

    Congrats on your new biz venture. Men who wear bow ties are delicious! Your necklace/bowtie combo should be a big seller, too. If you’ve got Dailycandy.com in Baltimore, make sure they know about you! Fun!

  4. OMG these are soooooo cute! I love love love the fit. I pray that i can make pants to fit me this perfect!

  5. They are seriously good-looking pants and I am going to agree with you – extremely flattering. I love the pockets and waistband. What a great idea.

  6. Those pants look amazing on you! Very well done. I don’t see the satin down the pant leg, though & I’m glad for that. Those make me think too much of band uniforms! These looks spectacular, though!

  7. Those are great pants…love all the details! And can I say that I love your hair black…it really compliments your face and makes you look even prettier.

  8. They do look fantastic on you! You achieved a great fit. Perseverance pays off! I wonder if you could use the pattern now that you have perfected the fit for different sorts of trousers. They look so amazing that it seems a shame not to have a pair for everyday.

  9. I totally agree, those pants are amazing and make you look long and lean! Long live those pants!

  10. Usually, when I see pants that someone has sewn I have to bite my tongue. But these look so great on you. Congrats on finding the right pattern and the skill to create the right fit!

  11. Your tuxedo pants turned out beautifully. The style compliments your figure. I love them with the blouse you are wearing and the purple lining is brilliant! Hope the jacket goes smoothly for you.

  12. Those look wonderful! The fit around your waist and hips is just superb, and yes, they do make you look skinny!

    Definitely trace this one off onto sturdier paper and use it to fit other patterns, they are SO very flattering!

  13. What a smashing job! I don’t know about “skinny” or “not-skinny”, but you have a great shape, and these pants make the most of it. The long, wide leg is really, really nice on you.

  14. You look SO GOOD in these! You should wear pants all the time:)

    Also, that’s really exciting about the bow ties…a great idea!

  15. I agree with everyone else that these are fantastic pants that fit you beautifully and show your figure so nicely! I LOVE the satin waistband and pocket welts, so chic! Now I want a pair – I always seem to want one of my own of something you’ve made. I’m sure the same will be true with your tuxedo jacket as well, lol.

    My only suggestion would be to lower the hem so that they are just above floor length. They seem just a little short with the shoes you’re wearing. Do you plan to wear these pants primarily with heels (I hope so!)? If so, you’ve got room to let them down about an inch (give or take). This would add that little extra bit of lengthening to the look of the leg and add to the slimming effect.

    These pants are fantastic for you butt, btw! :oD

    • Yes… I think you’re right. I was just reading that pants should be 1/4 to 1/2 inch from the ground. My last few pairs were too long and dragging. So I think I erred on the side of caution on these. Plus, I asked a co-worker to mark them for me and were were guesstimating the right length.

  16. As 25 people have already told you, those pants are beautiful. What a great and flattering fit!

  17. Those pants look mahvelous on you. Congratulations on the perfect pair of pants.

    I have gained a lot of weight in my old age and have been thinking about not wearing pants any more, mostly because when I ride public transportation I look at the other fat ladies and despair that I might look like them from the back (you know the look, pants all bunched up the thighs). Is that what you mean by “angry wrinkles”? And is the solution wide leg pants?

    • Well, my inner thighs rub together (similar look to knock knees). So, my pants ride up at the inner thigh. I find (and Sandra Betzina says) that this is why I tend to like wide leg pants. More material / give so they don’t get as hung up. I’m also not super tall, just 5 ft 6 so I think they lengthen too.

  18. Pretty! I wish I could do something like those (or find someone to do them for me). Alas, being overly plus-size at the moment, they would NOT look good. Something to look forward to!

    • I forgot to tell you how AWESOME you look in them! My brains is not working on all cylinders today. ; )

  19. Gorgeous! I love them. I want to make this pattern, too. I may get around to it this winter now that I’ve seen yours. The fit is perfect and you look hot!

  20. OK, Now I want to make these trousers….a quick question – can you tell me how tall you are approx? I am not a petite so I was thinking that I would have to modify this pattern, but then I read on pattern review that you had to shorten then quite a bit. I am 5’7″ and would love to not have to alter this pattern.

    BTW, I am hoping that they have the same “skinny” effect on me as you feel they did – they look incredible in your pics!

    • I am barely 5 ft 6. I think Burda has you add 2 cm at the crotch and at the knee. I added the 4 cm. And, when my friend marked the hem for me, they were at least three inches longer than I needed. That being said, I also had to cut off the hems to make them even. Either the front or back was another inch longer. So, I might just lengthen at the knee if I were you.

      Check the other pants length in the magazine. For some reason, this one is petite but the length is almost the same. I suspect European wear higher heels more often than me!

  21. Very nice pants and great website as well. I’m so glad to have surfed in. I bookmarked your site. 🙂

  22. My first thought was that they looked slimming! Great job. I love wide leg pants still, too. Seems like you can get away with any pant silhouette these days – except everyone seems to be hating on bootcut right now 🙂

  23. This seems gratuitous, what with everyone else saying the same thing, but I too think they are fantastic. Make a pair in every fabric! (ooh, and a purple velvet smoking jacket out of the jacket pattern when its done. I have an image in my head that I’ve decided you should bring into being 😛 )

  24. Be cautious in letting the length of the pants get away from you. Sure, longer pant legs *can* make your legs look longer. They can also make you look like your pants are too darned long.

    Wide legs that are too long look sloppy.

    Also (my age is showing here) floor length pants with heels is not a classy enough look for you or for the tuxedo.

  25. THese look fantastic on you! They definitely make you look like skinny minnie, not that you need that since you’re PYT.


  26. These pants look like they fit you perfectly, no wonder you feel so good in them. Great job!

  27. These pants are fabulous! My first thought was that you’d lost weight. You look very svelte in these. All that fitting was worth it. Now you have a TNT pants pattern.

  28. First of all your figure is fine! Second, those are the nicest trousers I’ve ever seen!!!! Just wait until my skills are equal to the challenge. I’ll have a pair of my own. thank you for sharing.

  29. I officially sweat you. (Can i say it like the Docker’s commercial?) “Nice Pants”. I’m doing a happy dance because that issue is one of the two Burdas that I own 🙂

  30. Cidell they look MAGNIFICENT. Please don’t ever think you don’t look good in pants again. You do. All of the above comments should convince you of that. Brilliant job – I look forward to seeing the jacket.

  31. I know it has been forever since I’ve commented but I am keeping up with everyone of your posts. I love the fact that you are making a tuxedo for yourself. You are definitely the coolest girl in Baltimore 🙂 And, way to go the with to bowtie biz!

  32. Those are fabulous! They fit you so well and the whole outfit is going to look fantastic. Can’t wait to see the jacket!

  33. Love these! The fit is wonderful and very flattering. I must now trace these and try and make a pair that fits as nicely for myself.

  34. I just love the look of the pants and blouse (AWESOME) combined. Love the double cuff on the blouse and the treatment on the buttonholes. Can’t wait to see the jacket finished.

  35. What everyone else has said! Plus, the make me smile because they look wonderful on you and make me want to sew today instead of cleaning my house.

  36. Amazing fit — great job on the tuxedo pants! I love the satin accents and those welt pockets look beautiful. Can’t wait to see the jacket!

  37. What a beautiful pants! You did an amazing job with the corrections and the result is really cool.

  38. You did a beautiful job on these – they look fabulous and fit you so well. I’d say this should be a TNT pattern for you. 🙂

  39. Wow, those came out great! And yes, they really do make you look skinny! You look great. Love the pants!

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