They can’t all be winners – Burda 6798

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.

A woman wears baggy, unflattering jeans and a grey t-shirt.
These photos are only shared for services to sewing.

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).

Back view of jeans yoke with unusual curved pockets.

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.

Inside of a pair of partly-sewn jeans.
Pattern criticism: that fly area is super wide. I had to add 1cm to either side of the Ginger fly shield so it would cover it all.

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.

A woman wears baggy, unflattering jeans and a grey t-shirt.
And this isn’t even the worst photo. Believe me, there are more unflattering views that will never see the light of day.

Radioactive Man from The Simpsons in a pool of toxic liquid. He wears goggles. Text: my eyes! The goggles do nothing!

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.

See caption.
Topstitching samples. Top to bottom: 2 threads Gutermann polyester thread (good weight but had uneven stitches and was CLEARLY two threads sewn cruddily together), Guterman polytwist topstitching thread (way too heavy and looked pretty awful in real life), Sulky cotton size 12 (what I chose for the finished garment, but unfortunately was too heavy for jeans and actually weighed them down, plus a lot of skipped stitches), and Sulky cotton 12 with sandpaper distressing (denim too lightweight, distressing stretched fabric and wore through too quickly).

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.

Burda 6798 sewing pattern envelope. Features two women posing, wearing boyfriend jeans.

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.

A woman wears baggy, unflattering jeans and a grey t-shirt.


The deets:
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

Author: Siobhan S

20 something, living in country Australia. Spoonie profile: ME/CFS, dysautonomia, anxiety. All about sewing, knitting and food. Unapologetic feminist and disability advocate.

23 thoughts on “They can’t all be winners – Burda 6798”

  1. Damm I hate it when a pattern doesn’t work. Such a waste of fabric, time and off cause cash!!! When I struggle to find the time to sew the compacts the loss. When I have a failure it turns me off sewing for a while.


  2. I’m sorry these didn’t work out 😞 On the upside: you might just have saved me a sewing fail. I was eyeing the pattern the other day at the store, but now I think I’ll stick to fitting the Morgan jeans I bought but haven’t touched yet. To luckier sews 🍻


    1. Oh, I’m not fussed by sizing! After horrible experiences with weight loss due to illness, weight gain is a good thing for me. I was thinking that maybe I sewed the wrong size, but the other day I wore a pair of pants in a Burda size 44 which fit perfectly. Must have just been a pattern oddity!


  3. Thanks for posting this. I’ve had a string of fails recently, and seeing nothing but aspirational sewing online has been making me consider throwing my sewing machine out the window.


    1. I know that feeling! Especially with my Ginger Jeans when I struggled so hard with notions that other people made look easy. You start to wonder what’s wrong with you!!


  4. ROFL! You are very entertaining! I always post my fails as well as my successes, go seek them out if you don’t believe me… WIth these, my first thought was ‘nice pocket shape’. Then I looked again. I’m very fussy about jeans back pockets, as they can ruin you rear view, and these are the wrong way round unless you want the appearance of a saggy arse. Switching left for right would make for a smiley pert bum, much nicer.
    I think you’re dead right though, these aren’t for you- and I think that’s because of the low-rise, and wide waistband apart from anything else. The ‘boyfriend’ jeans look [and I bloody HATE that twee description] are pretty much an 80s hangover to my eye, and need to be higher waisted, and belted. I don’t see how you could make a flattering look out of those beasts.
    Personally, I’m a huge fan of ‘Misty’, I just made my latest [Shrek trousers] from it, but I have no bum or hips, which works well for the shape. I think Ginger may well be your best bet.
    Keep it coming missus, you make me laugh!


    1. I sort of hate the term ‘boyfriend jeans’ too – more because have you ever seen men’s jeans that look like that? Low rise with a loose fit and tight calf? Nope. I’ve made the Misty before, but the denim was dodge and they were a wadder. It was a real shame as the pattern itself was great. Yours look fantastic! Damn that waistband, I did something similar but just encased the single elastic in the denim fabric. Maybe that would fight your machines less? There will definitely be more Gingers to come!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve done several versions of the waistband, and thought the double channel encased version would cover my gut best…that particular jersey scrap turned out to be my nemesis. I will fix it when I’ve stopped sulking and staring at it…

        Liked by 1 person

  5. What a shame! Thank you for posting about it, though – talking about failures and patterns that don’t work is invaluable for the community and I’m always grateful when someone does. I’m trying to work up the courage to blog a recent wadder of mine, but it just looks SO BAD!


  6. I try and share my fails too – just because it’s nice to keep it real. Bummer these didn’t work. The other pattern (that I have also considered buying) is the Named Wyome Boyfriend Jeans. Have you tried any of their bottom halves?


  7. your blog is so awesome. I love your view on things, and your comments on your own work are hilarious! You are right, I never blog about fails….bloggin is really hard work with 4 kids crawling all over me, and when I have an epic sewing fail, I can not be bothered to put in all the work to BLOOOOOG about it…. I just throw the project into the pit of my disaster area of my basement and it is never seen or heard from again…. So I guess what I am saying is I am so proud of you for blogging on anyway, even those these pants did not work.

    Liked by 1 person

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