3315, 906

Jeans: Comparing Trudy Jansen 906 with Kwik Sew 3315

originally posted 3/25/2010

I had a request to review Trudy Jansen 906 and a few others asking that I compare it to the Kwik Sew 3315 pattern.  I’m happy to do so, but decided it would be possible to do both in one post.  So here it is:


First both companies use a heavy, white, kraft type paper with dark black lines. Both are multiple sized patterns. Trudy Jansen uses even sizes from 6 to 22; Kwik Sew is sized XS,S,M,L,XL. Choose either by hip size.   In both the pieces are arranged so that you can either trace your size or cut the pattern from the paper.  I’ve been on the Weight-Loss/Gain Roller Coaster ride for years and years and years.  Although I’m currently down and dropping, I never know when that could change.  I much prefer to keep basic patterns intact so that I can retrace when needed.  One problem I did have with the TJ pattern, is that the size is only marked one time one each piece.  Fortunately there are not as many lines as on the Jalie patterns, but I still ended up having to count “lines” to be sure I was tracing the right size.  This might not be a problem for other people.  I have not only “mature eyes” but trifocals and they won’t sell me glass because of my strong  prescription, I must have plastic.  Obviously, I’m not typical.  So this lack of repeated sizing may not be a issue for anyone else.


The 906 is a more fashion forward pattern containing a contour waistband, unique pockets and closer more jean-like fitting.  The Kwik Sew is classically styled with a straight waistband and standard pockets and would be more easily adapted as fashions change. Kwik Sew 3315 of course, came with standard, easy to read and understand instructions.  That is one of the strengths of the entire Kwik Sew line.  TJ provides excellent instructions on 8.5×11 paper.  That said, I have my own method of doing things and didn’t follow most of her instructions.  Except for altering the waistband.  After reading her instructions and trying the waistband, I made 2 snips and reduced the top overall by 1/4″ .  I may need to do more, but I opted to be conservative and adjust by 1/4″ at a time.  Especially since her instructions made it so easy.  I overlapped, to enlarge you spread at the same two snips.  I really thought this was just brillant.  Hope I’m not violating any copyrights, here is a sample page from Trudy Jansen:



See lots of verbiage with appropriate, easy to understand diagrams.  Her instructions are equally as good and thorough as Kwik Sew. Even recommending interfacing at appropriate times. She stresses marking the knee notches, which does turn out to be important, and being careful with that zipper tab during construction.  If you’ve ever lost the zipper tab, you already know how important that is. 


Now onto some important differences.  Kwik Sew 3315 is a standard 2 piece leg (front + back), straight waistband,  front jean pockets and back pocket.  I immediately jetisonned TJ’s bellow pocket with flap.  My 153# butt does enough bellowing on it’s on and I hate pocket flaps.  Pocket flaps invariable curl up and require extra time at the ironing board to press flat.  In the past I’ve been so annoyed that I cut the flaps to remove them from my pants.  But these unique features are available if you like them.  On my muslin, I didn’t use a back pocket at all.  On the real pants I will be using the back pocket from the Kwik Sew pattern.  To tell the truth, I wouldn’t use back pockets at all except I see them as a place to indulge my lust for machine embroidery.  Generally I think back pockets call attention to the very spot I wish to conceal and minimize.  I do not use them to carry anything and become annoyed with DH who uses his back pockets until his butt is numb. Then he wants me to carry the contents of his back pockets in my purse (Which he is always denigrating.  “Women carry so much useless junk.”  Yeah, half of it from a man’s back pockets!).  I think I’m trying to say that you shouldn’t take my opinion of the back pockets too seriously.  I start with a prejudice against back pockets.  If you like back pockets, the 906 is such a fine pattern otherwise, I’m sure that these pieces of the pattern are equally good.  I know the markings on the back for placing the flap are excellent.


Back to the legs.  Both the 906 and 3315 are a one piece front leg. But after that the differences are vast.  Take a look at this picture:



TJ 906 is on top.  Yes it should be shorter.  The contour waistband crops down lower on the body than the straight waistband would.  So that’s not a surprise.  But look at the difference in the width at the hip and the crotch.  For those of you familiar with my fitting issues, I did not alter the front crotch extension of KS3315.  This is cut straight from the pattern.  To tell the truth, that narrow front crotch worried me.  The hook is only about 2″ total.  I just wasn’t sure it would work.  On the plus side, I removed only 1/2″ from the front crotch length as opposed to 1″ from the KS3315.  I have a tilted waistline.  If I don’t remove from the front crotch length, I have a big bubble in the front.  I look like I’m trying to be a man ( a man wearing socks in the front of his underwear).  This is NOT the image I’d like to project. You can’t see it in this picture, but there is a front dot on the pattern denoting where you should make the clip.  I do find that handy.  I did not sew the front pockets on the muslin.  I’m using them on my “real” pair.  I however prefer the tummy panel and am converting to it from the standard jeans pocket front provided with the 906 which is very similar to the Kwik Sew pattern.  Except that this jeans pocket front looks smaller and not as deep as I’ve seen most.  That may be a result of using a contour waistband.  I won’t know for sure if the front pocket is a good equivalent until I finish my real jeans.  Oh and I also coverted the KS to a front tummy panel.  The front tummy panel just does wonderful things for my figure, I hate to wear pants without one.  Overall the front of 906 is smaller than the 3315.  Which had me wondering, how are these going to go around me.


Well the back of the 906.  It’s 3 pieces are larger than the 1 piece back of the 3315.



Again the 906 is ontop.  It may be hard to tell, but I can assure you that the 906 is wider than the 3315, solving one of my most consistent pant pattern problems.  Most pant patterns I buy have 2 much in the front and not enough in the back.  I can always see that in the side seams.  The side seams will bisect my leg below the knee, start drifting towards the back of my leg above the knee and at the waistline the outseam is clearly on the back half of my leg.  Not so with Trudy Jansen’s 906.  The outseam bisects my leg from ankle to waist.  Before I move from this picture though, I do want to bring your attention to what will effectively be a dart in the middle of back pant leg.  Those 2 pieces don’t line up right straight to each other. There is a big double fish eye dart, removed to make the 2 pieces.  Also I have extended the back crotch 1/2″.  I may cut that back to 1/4″.  But this time, knowing my history, I decided to start with a full 1/2″.  Which is considerably less that what I normally do.  I normally have to increase the back extension, as is done on the Kwik Sew below the 906, by 2″.  A full 2″ added to most back crotch extensions and 1″ added to most fronts.  Only the Jalie 2908 stretch jean needed less alteration.


Warning:  Do be sure to mark the center back seam on both back pieces (as well as the knee marks).  Once you take the pattern pieces off, it hard to tell which side is the outseam.  The inseam is easily identified (it’s the one by the crotch).  So you can safely assume the other side of the same piece is the center back seam.  But the other piece, can fool you.  Well it fooled me.  Not until I was struggling stitching the center back seams together, ripping out twice, did I realize I had goofed.  When the pieces are correctly aligned at the knee, center back seam to center back seam, right sides together, the seams just zip together. On my real jeans, I marked the center back, just another chalk scratch in the SA.  Had no problems.


Now take a look at the back yoke:

Narrow and l-o-n-g are good adjectives for the 906 pattern piece on top.  Absolutely no problems easing the back leg to the back yoke.  And that long yoke reaches all the way to my side, placing the side seam exactly where it needs to be.  I’m sure it’s narrower, because of the contour waistband


The straight waistband of KS 3315 is, well straight and I didn’t photo it.  The contour waistband:


I looked at that and thought “Am I really shapped like that?”  Well I’m more curved instead of less.  After the muslin I decided to remove another 1/4″ from the top, but leave the width at the bottom. I had to remove the waistband from the muslin during fitting and belive me, when Ms Jansen warns to carefully handle the waistband, she means it.  I do think that I stretched it a little.  So I’m being even more careful on my real jeans.  I usually avoid patterns with contour waistbands.  Generally they are harder to fit.  Tissue fitting is never accurate.  Ripping/unsewing tends to distort.  You can have the whole garment close to done and ruin it just before the final touches.  But because the 906 is so well drafted and thought out, the waistband was very close to fitting at the muslin stage.  Had I not stretched it….. Also, I’d like to once again complement the designer on her excellent instructions for altering the contour waistband.  And of course, I’m being very, very particular with the waistband on my real jeans.


Although the muslin looks good on me, I believe these are designed for the long legged woman.  I removed a total of 4 inches (1 above the knee, 3 below) from the leg and I still have a 2″ hem. 


If you match the legs at the knee marks, the legs will sew together perfectly.  I believe she recommends to start at the tops and sew towards the hem.  It may be the other way around, be sure to check the pattern directions. But I matched to pieces together, started sewing an inch, matched up the knee marks and zoomed to the end of the seam.  Even after removing 4″ from the leg length, I had no problem with any piece matching.  I often have to sew yokes twice or even 3 times.  First time every time I stitched the yokes to the back legs, the seam was perfect.  I’m really impressed with the drafting of this pattern.  The pieces fit together, practically sewing themselves, all the critical match points are clearly marked.  It’s just an excellently drafted work of art.



I want to take time to look carefully at the crotch. 




This was hard to photo.  I put 2 photos together trying to show all 3 pattern pieces of the 906.  I have placed the pieces so the front and back crotch points touch.  Look at the shape of the crotch.  I belive that Ms Jensen study physeology. (Sorry spelling is wrong) Look at this pic a cut away view of a typical female body


(Thanks to Elona for finding and sharing)


Can you see how the 906 crotch would fit, but the usual pants crotches do not?


I’d also like to share my experience with the layout.  The 906 pattern calls for 1.8 yards of 60″ wide denim.  Do not skimp on width, especially in the larger sizes.  I could hardly fit the pieces on the muslin fabric.  On my real jeans, which I’ve added 1/2″ to the crotch extension, I had to stagger the pieces to fit.  I am using more the 1.8 yards for my real jeans. 


This gave me a long pause.  I realized during the muslin cutting phase that this could be a real drawback for me.  Many of my fabrics are 45″ wide and 2-2.5 yards long.  Will I use this pattern?  Even as well as it fit me, I think I will be by-passing this pattern due to yardage requirements. It was very hard to arrange the pattern pieces on the the fabric and keep the grainline straight.  I’m more particular about grainlines with my pants because pants are usually harder to get fitting and looking good on me. Most of the time, pants go around my body, look good in front and in back they look good above the bum and below the knees.  But from the bum to the knees there are masses of wrinkles.  I don’t want to be adding to those wrinkles by being off grain.  TJ906 however does not have fitting problems.  It looks good front and back. 


(My real jeans aren’t done yet.  Until then here’s the back muslin only)




I belive that I will use Trudy Jansen’s 906 as often as yardages permit.  I’ve already ordered her classic pants pattern 902 and her book “Have A Fit”.  These jeans fit so fabulously, she must know something the others don’t.  I’m hoping that the fit of the 906 is transferred to/from the 902 and I’ll be bragging about it in a few weeks. 


Did I leave anything out?


Kwik Sew 3315 Jeans

originally published 3/22/2010

I think I have a good answer for avoiding starting with a pattern that is too large.  During todays sewing  I have ripped and twiddled nearly every seam.  I say nearly because I left the pockets (front and back), the back yoke and the front zipper alone.  I’m at fitting number 5.  I’ve been logcially progressing through the fitting and need to stop and think a bit.  Writing helps me think. 

Once again, I wanted another stab at fitting Kwik Sew 3315.  Kwik Sew blouses, dresses, jackets all fit me with a few standard adjustments.  Because I know the needed alterations, a Kwik Sew pattern is quick for me to trace, alter and produce a wearable garment  except for the pants patterns. I tried fitting this pattern in September 2009, but quit because I could never resolve the points and lines on the pant back.  After my experience with JSM trousers and Jalie 2908 stretch jeans,I thought that the problems with kwik Sew 3315 might have resulted from the pattern alterations.  I decided to start again, but start with the large size and alter it down to my measurements.  I traced the pattern, with only 1 alteration, shortening the leg above the knee by 1″.

After cutting and sewing together a light weight blue twill I took these pictures;

I must say I was surprised.  I thought that the pattern would be too large all over.  I stitched all seam allowances at 5/8″.  My first impression was that it is too tight across the front hip, the side view shows the outseam bisecting my leg to the knee but then slowly drifting to the back half of the leg by the waist band.  The back has a bubble in the center of the yoke.  I asked myself if the crotch was too long in back (a rare happening for me) or if the yoke was trying to move to give more room to the front half of the pants. 

I opted to fix the side seam first. I did so by ripping from knee to waist and offsetting the the back from the front so that the back used a 1/4″ seam allowance and the front uses a 3/8″ seam allowance.  I did stop and take pictures, but the problem was still not solved.  Not having anymore at the back sides to give, I opened the back crotched below the pockets to the waist and restitched the seam at 1/4″.  The side is very close to fitting.

The front crotch is hanging.  Perhaps not visible in this picture but I can feel it when walking and see it when sitting.  The back legs seem to be hanging up on my calves.  I’m not particularly athletic, but I do have a tendance to lock my knees.  That would explain the diagonal wrinkles beginning at the knees, but what about higher. The back yoke really does seem too long.  So the next fix was taking off about 1/2″ from the yoke at the top and letting out the inseam.  Since the front looked relatively well, I offset the back from the front so that I again stitched the back with 1/4″ seams and the front with 3/8″ seams. 

And now we get:

Whoa!  Remember this:

I do believe that I am at the same stage as when I altered the size medium.  Points and all. 

I’m now convinced that there is something very different between my body and the Kwik Sew pant draft.  I’ve only spent 4 hours on this new pair.  Which is not nearly as much effort as the pair in September.  In a way it is a disappointment.  Having just had wonderful luck with Jalie 2908 and the JSM trouser pattern, I was hoping for better. I don’t plan to do anything further with this pattern, except discard it. I do realize that fitting non-stretch fabric pants is not going to be quick and easy for me.  I may very well be limited to trouser type pants when wearing woven non-stretch fabrics.

ETA:  I noticed again, that Myrna’s observation of her figure, maybe true for my own.  Myrna finds that she needs one size larger for the back.  I do seem to be ripping and allowing more on the backside, regardless of the pattern I’m working with.


Jeans: The Next Round

originally published  3/21/2010

OK I made a detour.  I intended to follow through on Jalie 968, when I resumed sewing.  Thing is, since I retired I have christened Saturday as “Sewing TV Day”.  In my area I have access to TWO (2) PBS channels which broadcast craft programs and fill the air waves with sewing topics on Saturdays.  Never in my entire life have I  had access to so many sewing videos.  I’m in 7th heaven.  So much so, that it is generally presummed that DH can do whatever he wants with whomever he wants on Saturdays.  (Same applies to all guests.) Providing, no one disrupts my TV viewing.  I and I alone am allowed to posses the TV, Satellite and player controllers.  Everyone else is welcome to entertain themselves however they desire as long as it is not between me and the big TV.

Disgusting?  Maybe, except that I not only have viewing time; but DH, friends, family or visitors have complete (excepting previously mentioned physical positioning between me and TV) freedom to pursue desired activities.  Shucks, I’d PAY if they would do something elsewhere.  Not said in any of this and probably not noticed, thought about or even sensed, is that I am wallowing in down-time.  Now down-time can be boring.  It may even be hindering if some task needs to be urgently completed.  But for me, the down-time I experiece, is time to think.  Yes THINK but with the other side of my brain.  The logical side of my brain is occupied – with TV – and the creative side of my brain has a chance to “put things together” in unexpected and wonderful ways. 

This weekend, the wonderful creative side of my brain traveled back in time to last September; September 2009.   Last September when I cut, made a muslin and fit Kwik Sew 3315:

Now I admit a fondness for Kwik Sew patterns beginning in 2000.  At that time I begin determinedly tackling my ever increasing weight.  I switched to a whole-health point of view, which I admit has been very successful.  But like most successful weight controll programs, the participant, ME,  found myself in the position of needing clothing that would fit me now and fit me 10 pounds lighter.  If you’ve not had this experience, please allow me to explain the problem.  Most clothing sizes fit within a range of about 10 pounds.  I.E. 5 pounds heavier or 5 pounds lighter and you can still wear the same pair of pants.  However, at 10 pounds lighter, pants or skirts start dropping off the waist.  At 15 pounds lighter, pants and skirts fall off; and one piece garments like a dress, look more like your bathrobe — your bathrobe when you feel sick and yucky.  I was losing at the rate of 1.5-2 pounds per week.  My doctor favored this rate of weight loss; and to tell the truth I felt good about myself and felt better physically.  But my clothing needed to be replaced frequently.  I had planned to sew basics through out the weight loss and quickly decided I didn’t want to purchase the same patterns in different sizes and go through the fitting process every month-and-a-half to two months.  The Kwik Sew patterns became a life saver.  OK they became a time saver. It’s amazing, but if I needed to reduce the back waist length 1″ on a size XXL, I needed the same adjustment on an XL and a L. Because  the pattern was already on hand; I simply traced the next smaller size; and then made the same fitting adjustments on every size.It was just fabulous.  I fell in love with KS patterns and they are my first choice even now.  It’s really not surprising that the first jean pattern I tried to fit was KS3315.

I chose KS 3315 and traced the Medium size.  My first muslin revealed that although there was enough fabric to go around my b-ah Hips, it seemed as though the front outseam had to reach back an inch or more to meet the back outseam.  I really didn’t care for that look and altered my pattern pieces so that the outseam would bisect my leg.  However then I discovered “points” at the outseam by my bum and diagonal folds beneath the bum traversing from knee to crotch.  Perhaps the picture would show this better:

BTW, the front fit fairly nicely;

And This was following a 12 hour day.  So I asked for help, here and at Stitchers Guild.  I received many suggestions and tried them all.  None corrected the wrinkles.  Most made the wrinkles even worse.  The most frequent suggestion was to try another pattern, with the suggestor’s personal favorite mentioned as perfect for everybody.  I have been trying several.  AND I’ve found a wonderful trouser pattern; and last week a FABULOUS stretch skinny-jean pattern.  But so far, I have not found the elusive jean pattern for non-stretch fabrics that fits nicely for-a-nearly-60-woman. You must understand that age is definitely a factor.  I am not competing with 20-somethings.  I want to give the appearance of being a nice-looking mature-woman. I want jeans that fit smoothly over the lumps and bumbs, do not reveal butt dimples nor are pub!c hair countable.  I neither favor or abhor the uni-bu!!  

After a 7 month experimentation with other patterns and other fabrics, my mind, my wonderful creative mind returned to KS 3315. About 3PM on Saturday it said, “hey the whole problem with KS3315 were the wrinkles and points. Could that have been caused by the alterations for crotch depth and outseam placement?” The logical side of my mind sat up (metaphorically that is) and said “We need to test that theory.”

So Saturday evening I pulled out KS 3315 and looked at the tracings and the original pattern sheets.  I found that I had not altered the crotch.  Whoa, another company, a major company at that, which recognizes that women have depth to their bodies.  Next I realized that all the pattern alterations added or subtracted width at the hips and subtracted length below the knees.  My left brain spoke up again and said “The majority always say start with the smaller size and enlarge to fit.  But that’s not working.  How about starting with the larger size and downsizing it to fit where needed?” 

So even though that’s contrary to nearly all reliable suggestions, that’s what I am doing.  I traced the large size with the narrow legs.  I compared inseam lengths and outseam lengths and correct them.  I shortened the length of the pants 1″ above the knee; and because I love the front tummy panel , I drafted my own from KS3315 pant front. I’ve cut this version from a medium blue cotton twill and started sewing.  Perhaps tomorrow I’ll have some pictures.  I know this is too large from the get-go.  I’m just eager to see if (1) I can make it work and (2) can I transfer my changes to the pattern and duplicate on future versions.  

Got my fingers crossed!!!