RSS Feed

Burda + #404 Again and Again and Again

Posted on

Burda Plus Fall/Winter 2008, #404, to properly cite the pattern’s source.

I like perfecting a pattern so I can use it over and over without having to reinvent the wheel. I want faster results, maybe because I make all my clothes. I mean, I love finding clothes ready made that fit and delight but I prefer to create them myself, as taxing as that can be at times, I still find it much more satisfying in the long run and I’ve already paid for the cloth, right? But I have to be rested and feel up to production to get into high gear every day. Know what I mean?

You’ve seen this pattern before if you’ve been reading along. Prior version posts: Brown wool with lycra, glen plaid woolen (non-stretch).

And here’s the last post about this pattern 3 pair bundled for quick production 100_0580

I have been dragging my feet on finishing my bundled versions. Doing these 3 pants has taken about 7 hours of sewing time. But OCD has set in on this last pair. For instance: this slight blip in the center back seam. I need to redo that.

This kind of thing has been going on for the past 3 days. I decided to just get the photo shoot over with and do this post. I may be revising these pin striped pants forever.


I planned for these pants to have the ankle length cuffed version of the glen plaid pants but now I don’t like it in this fabric. I quickly pressed up the hemming tests and yes, I need to redo that.

Hem Obsession

I think the fabric says “Keep me uncluttered and let me shine!” don’t you?

I’m sorry I’m not showing you a beautifully modeled and finished pant but heck, that might be weeks away at my “redo” rate….

I don’t like the look of the close taper down the side seam in this fabric either. I want the pinstripes to gently merge going on the sides. Next time I do pants in pin stripes I’ll use a wider leg and more of a trouser fit like the HP Razor Sharp Pant shape.

(I am sure that’s the OCD talking….) I need to let go of this project and move on!

I finished up the wool tweed version first since we had major cold weather hit and this tweed is nice, thick and comfy with it’s lycra stretch. I’ve worn them 3 days already


These tencel twills are much more close fitted without the lycra and will be saved for the 70 degree (Fahrenheit) weather coming in a few days. The contrast of the photo has been reduced or they’d look like a big blob of black on the screen:

Dark Green Twill

See the vest I’ve thrown back? That’s the “hunting tartan” for the Roberson clan. I bought the fabric in Scotland 27 years ago. It is called an ancient tartan because the colors are those that would have made by natural dye materials like berries and roots.

My Mom made the vest. I didn’t have a sewing machine at the time so it only took a few years of prodding for her to get it done 🙂 She was busy doing stained glass at that period of time. The buttonhole stitching, done on her own mother’s Singer Featherweight with the buttonhole attachment, needs to be restitched today but that is all the repairs necessary. Mom and I had worn out her own Featherweight, years before. We used to spend evenings cutting and stitching, sharing the machine and watching TV.

Lucile Hardy Dearborn, my Mom and original sewing mentor.

Mom was a fabulous “dressmaker”, as she called herself. She had earned her degree in fashion design from Traphagen School in New York City (now closed) in 1935 or 1936. I don’t remember seeing her certificate of graduation in her records so I’m guessing. She and two other girlfriends shared an apartment and opened a dress shop in the garment district where they made garments for clients. I don’t know what the name of their shop, it was only open for a few years before the team split up to marry boys and move on with their lives. The most I know about this school I had to find out online.

I read here that this was the first school of design in NYC.

And the following is a blurb from the Ohio State University’s The Historic Costume & Textiles Collection website
Traphagen Collection

In 1995, the Historic Costume and Textiles Collection purchased five 19th century garments from the estate of Ethel Traphagen, and received 69 others as a donation from her heirs. Ethel Traphagen, a fashion designer who is credited with introducing shorts and slacks into American women’s fashion, founded the Traphagen School of Fashion in New York City in the 1920s. The school was known for its technical orientation of fashion design, with courses in pattern making and draping. The school closed its doors in the early 1990s. (The only records from the school that remain are held by the New York State Department of Education. These are the academic records (transcripts) of the students who attended Traphagen. If students need that information they would need to write directly to the NY State Department of Education providing the pertinent details including the years that they attended Traphagen.)

Some of the better known names in the fashion industry attended the Traphagen School of Fashion. Alumni members include: Geoffrey Beene, James Galanos, Mary McFadden, John Kloss, Christos Yiannakou, and African-American designer Franklin Rowe.

The Traphagen collection at the Historic Costume and Textiles Collection consists of 74 garments and 33 assorted hats. The costumes range in date from the 1830s to the 1910s, with particular strength in the 1890s. The hats date from the 1820s up to the early 1950s. The Traphagen collection includes garments exemplifying the silhouettes of the 19th century, others are remarkable for their fabrics and opulence, and a few have French labels.

Upon inspecting the interior of Mom’s last project, a jacket and pants, white polyester with edges bound in gold trim (see the gold trim at the faux wrap front here?


That’s from her sewing basket) I found perfection in every stitch and seam. She must have been over 75 when she made it. She was so pleased to hear me say, “You do such a fabulous job!” as I flipped over the jump line of her jacket hem. She just sparkled and demurely said,

“Thank you.”

Gee, no,

“Thank you, Mom”


About Mary Beth

I am fascinated by changing patterns and colored threads. I sew garments and am teaching myself to machine knit. Since selling the building that housed my workrooms, The Stitchery, I'm searching for a place to set up the knitting machines again. There must be room here somewhere!

4 responses »

  1. I like your production line idea of a tried and true pattern–great time management. And, IMHO the striped pants look really good with no cuff.

  2. Agreed – hem those pinstripes with a plain hem and move on! There are many more fun things to work on. Thank you for sharing about your mother and her wonderful talent. You are very lucky to have such a great mother whose work is so meticulous and lovely.

  3. You are so lucky to have inherited your mother’s talent! As for the pants, sometimes we just “overthink” things.

  4. Pingback: Trip to Canada « The Stitchery

So, What Do You Think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: