906, 906YogaNoYoke

Just when I think I’m done…

Oh I really thought I had it this time.

I added 1/2″ to the waist with a simple slash and spread like this:

Apologies for not having the link. This was originally created and shared as an individuals class work.  She truly deserves acknowledgement. 


Then I decided I was tired of fussing from waistband, to yoke to leg.  I added the yoke to the top of the leg pieces. Pant now has following pattern pieces:  front, back w/side seam; back with inseam and waistband.

I chose a nice quality black ponte from the stash.  Not hard to find since all my recent purchases have been nice quality.  I cut my fabrics and started basting together pieces.  Just before adding the waistband, I decided it was time to get rid of the extra length I always felt in front.  When I wear my yogas, they always rest above the waist.  Real yogas should sit about below about an inch.

The first fitting felt great.  Shortening the depth between waist and hip was perfect!  Then I looked at the pics and found the same old fold of fabric in the crotch.

I thought, if I make no other improvements, I’ve got to get rid of that fold. So I carefully marked and trimmed 1/2″ depth from the back crotch

Red crosses denote the area I scooped, which does lengthen the crotch just a little too. Well at this point the back looked much improved.

I thought all it need was a bit of lowering.  I dropped the  the crotch 1/2″ lower than drafted:

I expected great results. Near perfection.  I was so excited, I even told a couple of people I was close to fitting my pattern. Then I took pics:


Well, look at the positive side:.

Ample ease everywhere including waist.

Elastic is the correct length.

Fold in back crotch is gone.

Looks ok in natural light if I move around:



906, Yoga Pant w/Yoke

Yogas in January

I am continuing on with the tweaking of my Yoga which was made by adapting my beloved Trudy Jansen 906 jean pattern. This time I’m using a fabulous Ponte purchased from who I know not because I have once again lost the tag. But it just feels of superior quality and I know I have been buying a better quality of Ponte. I had altered the pattern some after the last pair so that was my starting point.

Sad, despite the work previously done. Odd too. Odd because I know how my woven 906 jeans are much nicer. Maybe a knit fabric is not a good choice for this pattern?

I did  4 fittings. I offset the yoke and top of the back leg twice (total of 2″) until most of the bagginess was gone. Then I started working on the fabric snuggling between my cheeks. In the end I stitched the crotch 1/2″ deeper and wider. The result

I still see issues, but I’m much happier with this back view.  I do wonder if some of the issues are because my alterations were uneven. Like maybe I I offset the yoke 1/8″ here and 1/4″ on the other side.  Also wonder how much my posture has todo with those wrinkles because I have 2 other fittings in which the right back leg hung perfectly– and the left had only a few dimples.

I will shorten my back crotch pattern piece 2″ before making the next pair. Until then, I will be happily wearing these

906, Yoga Pant w/Yoke

A Pant Fitting Break-Through

I’ve worked off and on for months fitting Trudy Jansens 906. I’ve used a variety of fabric and innumerable fitting techniques.

Summer shorts on the left; fall jeans and Yogas on the right

I’ve had to struggle  not only due to the fabric but also to my changing body. Jun and July were really weird as my waist/abdomen could change drastically between morning and evening. Although I’ve been wearing less than perfect pants nearly all year, I consider the struggle successful because their fit slowly improved.

My latest pair of 906 Yoga’s constructed with a heavy Ponte De Roma.

I don’t think this fit is perfect but it is good. I stopped here and finished by serging all the seams because I realized I had made a series  of changes not all of which might be needed be in future pant sewing. Along with that idea came the thought that I couldn’t transfer my changes to the tissue.  I couldn’t trust they’d all be needed. What I need is start once again from the cut fabric, testings to see which changes are needed and which were not.

The big breakthrough?

I’ve been making changes based on the premises that I had a prominent seat which needed more ease along with  a longer and deeper back crotch.  My break-through happened when I saw a pin which showed that I needed the shorten the back crotch length and , trim some length at the inseam like this:

In my defense, I corrected a lot of wrinkles along the way. It wasn’t until I reach the point where the only remaining wrinkles were these commas that I decided to try the alteration above. It worked! Well it vastly improved the look of my latest Yogas (navy above).

I was so delighted that I tried it out on a pair of RTW pants:

Before alteration   /   After alteration

Look how different the backis!! My alteration is a 2″ wide dart, widest-end at the CB crotch.  I place it where you would normally expect a yoke seam. These could stand a little more work but they I have grown out of them~Thanks to Chemo and Steroids~  Fortunately they were not terribly expensive and at the time purchased I deemed them “wearable” not excellent fit.

Having finished the navy pants shown above and on the index page, I am a happy camper.  Ready to start sewing more pants using this new found information.

What the pants look like on me.




906, Yoga Pant w/Yoke

V2 Yoga Pant

I was pretty happy after wearing the previous pair for a day.  Wearing confirmed my impression that the front crotch was too long. Both front and sides finally settled in about 3/4” above my natural waist. I didn’t take pics , but the back relaxed and moved from its previous dipped position to rest exactly at the waist.   Back WB was still sitting lower than front or sides. As a whole  I think this is a fabric issue as my non stretch jeans front, sides and back like to sit at my natural waist.  This is for me an important  distinction as if I ever decide to make a non-stretch yoga pant, I  would want to start with my unaltered sloper. It also tells me what tissue tweaks I want to make next.

Knowing I have a goodly supply of pant weight Ponte’s that have been waiting for eons until I could find a suitable pattern, I decided to proceed making wearable-tests/muslins.   I wont like the back yoke being smaller than I made it for Ver 1. So I  copied and used my sloper yoke for 10% stretch as well as copying the back leg pieces. I trimed another 3/4″ from the top of the front leg Total 1.5″) and  trimmed 3/4″ from the top of both back leg pieces.  Then made a 3/4″ dart from side leg at the side seam, zeroing at the CB-leg seam.  (NET: inseam  leg lowered 3/4″; side leg 1.5″ at SS – 3/4″ at CB-leg). I trimmed 1″ length at the bottom of all legs.  Feeling a bit confused, I transferred all the seam allowance markings and  walked all the seams. Interestingly, the front leg was 1/8″ longer than the back legs which I promptly trimmed but otherwise I had made the correct changes evenly to all pieces..

I will want pants that adapt to me in all 3 of my basic colors (navy, black and chocolate). Since V1 Yogas were brown,  I found a black Ponte with 30% stretch (both on and cross grain) to use. Unfortunately it only 2 yards long. At my garment size 2.25 yards is needed.  It just takes a longer length to place all the pieces on grain because of their width.  Knowing that this was a wearable-test, I placed the back, inseam-leg piece in the opposite direction.  Normally I like to place the pattern on all stretch fabrics on-grain and going in the same direction i.e. all waist/neckline/sleeve caps pointing towards same cross cut edge. That’s a habit carried over from a terrible disaster (a real waste of money when I had no money to waste) and also an interesting experience in which all the pieces had to be not only cut the same direction, on grain but also sewn always from the same end i.e. always start at bottom or always start from top. Sounds weird but otherwise my top twisted. At the time other  people were recounting the same experience. While I have a little more disposable income now, the fabrics are also a little pricier and I still hate to stupidly waste my money. Hence, I continue this habit of on-grain, same direction pattern placement but buy slightly more length.

I cut and  fit the WB first. I stitched the top waist edge 1/4″ narrower and the hem edge 1/4″ wider than the pattern piece I  created.  It seemed a little snug at the bottom of the waistband. I let that go for now. I mean the WB does need to be snug to hold the pant up. Maybe the WB isn’t snug but just right?  At the first fitting with the legs basted, I found that the legs were still 1″ too long  and the pant was tight from hip to the waistband.

I saw crumpling over the back crotch and  back leg in the first fitting and the WB looked tight at its bottom edge once again suggesting that was too small.  I started a round of adjusting the ease at the side seam while removing length between WB and back crotch. Repeated once before I realized that I might not be making the right corrections.  I have this other issue everytime I fit Trudy Jansen’s 906. I create a  sharpe back-crotch angle between low hip and WB.  Not a drafting error at all. This happens as I trim seam allowances and adapt for the difference between waist and hip by adjusting waistband, yoke and seam depths. The end results in a poof of fabric in the center back of the torso. It’s very obvious when using non-stretch fabrics.  But these pontes and the like, just sort of droop all the way to the knee. Rip. Rip. Rip. Thank Heaven for water-soluble thread which removes so easily. I had added a gusset to the WB and side seam. Ripped that out and basted at 1/4″. I had off set the yoke and the WB from the legs to remove length. Rip that out and baste back at the drafted seam allowances. Then carefully stitch a seam which smooths the back angle.

I’m not sure I”m describing this phenom well enough so let me share a few pics.

This is what I sew if making the back crotch seam an even depth

Wasn’t sure the basting showed up clearly enough so I created a pink/purple line to following the stitching.  Se how it angles out sharply from the top to bottom  of the yoke and them seams to lean back-in as traveling on?

This is what happen when I try to make a nice smooth angle — no zig to right or left but excess fabric created in the seam allowance.

On the pant it self (sorry hard to see I know) On the left below the yoke especially folds together.

That is removed in the pic on the right but there is still some crumpling happening and some curved or diagonal lines across my seat. Which, thank fully, do not extend all the way down the leg.

They are mostly below the cusp of my seat and to the thigh (there are break lines at my knee but I don’t worry about them).


Finished Pant:

The white you are seeing is water soluble thread which I haven’t completed dissolved.

So this pant could use some more tweaking. there is poofyness below my tummy and light diagonals between seat and knee.  I’ve already been working on it 3 days. I’ve already made 5 different fittings.  I’ve decided I am not going to make 15+ fittings as I have for other pants. It is frustrating and sometimes I seem to just get in a loop; make a change, need another change; need the first change adjusted and repeat.  So while I see there is still some work needed, I think this black will not show many wrinkles. Take a look at the final, unlightened pics:

It’s good and enough!!!



ETA Found a Pinterest that shows pretty close to the wrinkles I”m getting

Its from:

Pants Fitting Adjustments: Best Tips for Pants Fitting the Sasha Trousers

I wouldn’t have said I have a flat seat, but the pic fits!




  • Leg trimmed additional 2.5″ (total 4.5″ less than original pattern)
  • WB two  9×25″ with side seams angled so the fold at the waist will be 8″
  • Top of leg
    • front trimmed 1.5″
    • Side Back 1.5″ at SS .75″ at CB-leg
    • Inseam Leg .75″ even
  • Ease added
    • 1/4″ starting at top of waist band to 10″ down side seam.
  • Seam Allowance Adjustments
    • yoke/top of leg changed to 1/4″



906, Yoga Pant w/Yoke

906 Yoga Pants

I started with my size 20 tissue created for a 10% stretch fabric. Decided I wanted my Yoga waistband to be 3″ wide. The drafted, contour waistband finishes at 2.25″. I need .75″ more trimmed from the top of the pant. I considered removing the .75″ from the top of the two leg pieces but then decided to try cutting down the back yoke instead. One alteration instead of two, sounds good to me IOW I altered the front pant leg and the back  yoke and I was ready tocut fabric.

I hunted through my stash – why am I always doing that- finally settled upon a 20% twill polyester. It’s a great fabric. Almost put it back on the shelf then decided I’m wearing the 10% stretch version and it looks good enough. Should not be hard to make a 20% stretch version look nice too.

I pressed my fabric and laid out the pattern pieces before cutting out the Yoga waistband.  I think I learned from Peggy Sagers to fit the Yoga waistband first.  It tells you more than just the waistband fits or doesn’t fit. It tells you if the fabric has enough, too little or too much stretch which equates to finding out with an 8″ wide strip of fabric whether the next version will be too loose, too tight or just right. Well, I cut the strip wrong. I need 8″ wide ((3″ finished WB)*2 +two 1/2″ seam allowances) by 47″long.  Of course, I didn’t have enough fabric to cut the waistband again. Panic ensued while I figured out the fabric also had 20% stretch lengthwise  ( cut with grain). However I was still a little short lengthwise, so I cut two 8×25″ strips.  (Note:  I need to be sure the finished WB will slip up over my hips without a great deal of struggle, hence have a waistband as long as the circumference of my hips) WB was a little big right at my waist, so I stitched an angled seam reducing the actual waist circumference another 2″. I could have reduced it some more but decided instead to quickly solve the issue of fitting at the waist by basting 40″ of elastic into the waistband.

So then I proceeded to cut the 4 other pieces from the fabric; serge finish all the raw edges (I wasn’t sure of how much fitting I’d need to do), and finally basting all the leg seams and the waistband together.  I turned the hem up 1.25″ and basted it in place before taking the first fitting pics.

To my delight,Fit 01 didn’t look like it needed major changes.

Lightened 70%

Subsequently I made 3 changes  I shortened my elastic 3″;  increased the CB-leg seam depth 1/8″ between high hip and hem; and hemmed the legs 3.5.

Lightened 70%

Then I quit.

Fitting pants is really difficult for me.  I’ve already accepted  that a different fabric, fiber, stretch even sometimes just color could make a difference in how the fabric handles or drapes. So I know a pattern I have “fit” will  probably need minor adjustments from one garment to the next.  This last year I’ve come face to face with a few other issues.  I’ve found out that many people, me included, are not the same size in the morning as they are in the afternoon. Typically we are taller, slimmer in the morning. Which means what fit in the morning will probably feel tight in the afternoon. I definitely see different draglines between morning and afternoon fittings. My body is in flux due to the chemo therapies and surgery I’ve undergone this year.  I can be bigger today , smaller tomorrow and vice versa. I can gain weight (which I do almost weekly) but  my garments seem loose; or my weight stay the same but my clothes feel tighter.  Really throws a wrench in my fitting efforts because I fit over multiple days. My habit it to baste the basic and/or  make changes thereto; take pics and then run upstairs to view the pics and determine the next change.   I physically cannot make endless trips up and down the 15 stairs I must traverse to reach my sewing heaven.  Usually I can make 1 sometimes 2 fittings per day. I think a unique issue I’ve faced is the difficulty of fitting much loved elastic waist styles (like the yoga pant in today’s post).  I’ve decided, I  need to reduce my fitting standards. Besides 15 fittings never gets me to perfection. That many fittings is just frustrating because the fit will look different in 20 minutes.  So I hope you will understand why I called these “good and enough”:

Lightened so we can see the drag lines:

I want to wear this pair a time or two before making any more changes. right now it feels like my waistband is coming up too high on my torso.  The front tummy and both crotches look different every time I try on the pants even though I’ve made no changes to the crotch length or depth at this point. . For me the real story is, I like these. There is room for improvement but they feel comfortable and I am sure they look as nice as any Yoga Pants I’ve seen walking around in the stores.

With shoes, socks and coordinating top:


Canvas Jeans

Still needing black jeans, I pull from my stash this 100% cotton canvas.  It is not a stiff fabric. Oddly it is a firm bodied, soft fabric. It has absolutely NO stretch.

Having had size issues with the previous pair of jeans in a fabric that had 10% stretch, I opted to trace a size larger. I shortened the leg 3″ and shortened the side seam 1/2″ because both were needed on the previous jeans and had to be made during fitting. I used the same waistband. It fit so why reinvent the wheel?

Unfortunately, things did not work as I hoped. In fact I started these jeans 2 weeks ago. Worked on them for a solid week, then stopped and stitched both the POV Blouse and the Crepe Jinni’s while continuing to think about and try different fitting options.  Nothing worked

Other than the amount let out right at the waist, the jeans never looked any better. I mean I tried it all. I

Let out all the seams (in pairs, like side seams then inseams)

  • Took them all in
  • Shorten the side seam
  • Lengthen the side seam
  • Repositioned the waist lower
  • Repositioned the waist higher.
  • Scooped the crotch 1″
  • Lowered the crotch 3/4″

Except for the crotch changes I tried all the above repeatedly separately and in different combinations.

There’s not much more that can be done to jeans.

Not only did the back leg and front  crotch lines never diminish, they increased! As for the the side break it got deeper and deeper.

I reach the point of saying “I don’t know”.  The only things left are going up a size and getting a different fabric.  I left them alone for a few days then decided to just finish and wear.

They are comfortable if rumpled and being black the drag lines aren’t so noticeable.  Eventually, I will want to replace them with something better fitting but for now, they work.





906 Twill Jeans

Already loving these jeans. They feel so good.

Dont worry, I’ve adjust the exposure on the rest of the pics so we can see the drag lines. 

I have been diligently working with slacks patterns the last few months and haven’t touched 906 since the end of July. After trying on all my fall/winter pants, I knew I needed to increase their number starting with black. I chose to work with a cotton/lycra twill. This is a heavy fabric. Definitely winter worthy. It is also quite firm even after 3 coke washes. Not like a brand new tent but definitely not like the soft jeans I’ve been accustomed to wearing the last few years. The Lycra give it a 10% stretch which I like. I think 10% is just enough to be comfortable and for the fabric to “snap back” when I bend. Eliminates bagged out seats and knees.  Realistically it is too firm to be a trouser. The legs would absolutely stick out umbrella-like. Of the 2 patterns I have fit, 906 is the better choice for this firmer fabric. 906 is a jean pattern. I will leave off most jean details (pockets, belt loops, top stitching) so it is more of a casual-dress pant.

Armed with a plan (so to speak),  I pulled out the box with the pants patterns and was immediately stunned to a stop.  I should have 3 envelopes: (1) the original pattern (2) a fitted or nearly fitted jean adn (3) a shorts version. There must have been 2 dozen envelopes. I had rubber banded a large group together. A quick look revealed that they were all minor variations on the basic. I discarded them immediately as the pieces will all need to be revised for my new body. It is easier for me to trace of the newly fitting pieces then it is to add tissue and change the previously  fitting.  That left me with 7 envelopes. I looked and looked. I wondered if I’d lost my mind. I know my sewing angel has trained me to carefully label the tracings with dates, measurements just anything you can think of because our senior minds don’t remember these details after a while (sometimes a very short while).  I could find nothing that told me when these were traced or fit. I stopped and read my blog to see if there were any clues there. Not too much. Well not too much for fitting the pattern straight-out-of-the-envelope because I didn’t do much this last time around.  Apparently I had selected to start 2 sizes too large and restricted my initial changes to shortening the leg 2″. Other than going down 2 sizes, I hadn’t written much. So I go back to the patterns try sorting through them again. Got really frustrated. Threw the whole batch in the trash.  I’d wasted enough time to trace the pattern 3-4 times and if I really didn’t make many fitting changes…..  I pulled out the originals. Pressed to remove wrinkles and traced a size 18. I shortened the pattern leg 2″ and got started.

Fitting was not difficult but did have a few surprises.  I ended up shortening the leg 3″  (1″ above the knee 2″ below). I also shortened the crotch length 1/2″ and shortened the sides 1″.  The side shortening I do with a dart. It’s a depth change; changing only the length of the side without effecting the crotch uprights (length).  Had to make the waistband twice. I cut it and stitched it together; well sort of nailed it together. Then discovered this thing wasn’t going to work with this body.  I experimented a bit; pinching and pinning before decided I needed a new one.  New WB worked beautifully.

I want to share a few additional details on the WB. Fitting the waistband has been a real challenge especially on this 906 jean. Partly, it is my own error as I kept fitting at the top of the leg when I needed to adjust the contour waistband itself.   This time I made two 3/8″ darts in the pattern which removed 1.5″ length along the top edge i.e. the waist edge. Curiously that made the WB too short, so I had to add 2.5″ to the under/overlap edge. I know, crazy. But without the darts the waistband would not snug to my waist. Without the extra 2.5″, I didn’t have an over/underlap. To preserve the WB fit through wear, I  borrowed a trick from the RTW industry. I used 1/2″ elastic  triple-zigzag  stitched inside the waistband band, on the facing, at the top (waist) edge.  I’m not satisfied with the procedure I used on the elastic.  I stitched the WB and facing together then added the elastic. The elastic was cut 4″ shorter than the area I planned to attach. (I didn’t attach it from underlap to overlap edge). Thinking this was as good as understitching to the facing, I completed the WB attachment. Oh what a pain. I expected the facing would be a little challenge as the elastic would change the way it handles.  Did not expect the facing to refuse to stay on the inside and since I didn’t stitch the seam allowance to the facing, the seam allowance wanted to  curl and fold and make a mess. I needed to top stitch the WB edge carefully smoothing out the SA on the inside while rolling the facing to the back side. Then the elastic effectively gathers the facing and didn’t want to lay flat as I stitched in the ditch from the front to secure the bottom edge of the facing. PITA. I said a few bad words too. Definitely want to revise this procedure next time started with how short I cut the elastic. It does not need to be 4″ shorter.

The jean looked nicer during fitting then it does in the final pics taken after the WB was finished. I mean I fit the entire pant. Removed basting and then nailed in the waistband with the elastic tweak. The pant always looked better; felt great but I admit jean-snug. So I’m not sure, if it is the fabric, the new size I traced or the final WB, but the finished jean is not fitting as nicely as the previous or as it did during the 3 fittings.

My waistline has settled down. For months after surgery it could change inches daily. Not doing that any more. Pretty obvious here that the tummy is a a bit tight which may be causing those wrinkles in the joint.

Have to confess that during fitting I let out the sides seams and added a waist gusset.

I stitched strips of elastic together and  basted them in place. When I was happy with the fit, I trimmed the “gusset”. Even at this point I was asking myself is it the size or the fabric. Absolutely a different fabric can change the fit. I really thought with 10% stretch this fabric would have needed the side seam-allowances increased not decreased as I did. Still a stiff very firm fabric needs extra ease…

The diagonals here surprised me. Again question as to size or fabric being the cause. Next time I go up a size. It is easier to stitch the SA’s deeper than it is to add a gusset.

But Dang! These feel good.  I’m wearing them despite these wrinkles.


Final fitting changes:

Leg length -3″

Crotch length -1/2″

Side depth -1″

Suggested changes

Tummy adj:  1/2″dart CF

Start with size 20



906 Shorts with DG2 Waistband

I am continuing to work with the Trudy Jansen Designer Jean #906.  Up to now, I have used this pattern exclusively for denim and twill — two fabrics which either shouldn’t stretch or have little stretch.  However, current figure issues have me scratching my head and deciding if I need to use knits/stretch fabrics then so be it. I selected a very nice and Ponte Roma purchased this year from Stylish Fabrics. I made the purchase from  them because they gave more detail on the fabrics allowing me to make better choices.   For this fabric is was the GSM (grams square meter) that convinced me it would make a nice pant.  Color I am using is the Denim Blue.  Of course, it didn’t hurt that that prices were reasonable. Which I took with a grain of salt. Price can often be an indicator of quality. IOW I might really be working with a muslin-type fabric. But it feels good in my hand. Recovers well and hangs nicely on the hanger. On my body– well fit is the issue. Especially since I am using a pattern drafted for no stretch and this Ponte easily stretch 60%.

To make it more interesting, I decided to adapt the pattern for the DG2 Waistband. Well, that’s what I call it.  I noticed with my fav RTW jeans, DG2, that there wasn’t a real yoke or waistband on some styles. No the “waistband” had been divided at the side seams and attached to the top of the yoke and  front leg.  A full WB is used as a facing. When the facing is topstitched into place, it really looks like  a separate waistband.  I immediately adopted the idea and used it frequently. Well when I was making jeans all the time.  I so loved the DG2 jean that I seldom made jeans. Which accounts for why I have forgotten so many things about this pattern and so many small changes I made to it would be perfect for me.

For the DG2 waistband,  this sewing session was started with a little tissue work.  I noted I would be using the back lower leg pieces and one copy of the waistband as the facing. I would need a new yoke extended and a new front both extended to include the waistband.

New Pieces:

Using existing pieces.


I don’t think I spent a lot of time on creating the new tissues. Although I did take it one step further and make a 1″ tuck in the lower leg. The previous shorts have all finished with 10″ inseams. I prefer my shorts a little shorter.  The 1″ tuck means the finished short will have an inseam of 8″.  Much better for triple digit SD summers and I think looks better proportioned with the top-lengths I usually wear.

I gave the fabric a quick press (it presses easily), laid out the pattern and started cutting and constructing.   Even though the Ponte could have been used for pull on pants, I wanted to keep much the same procedure and used the  front zipper closure. Because it was Ponte, I interfaced the zipper pieces.  All of them. Thoroughly. Even then, I watched carefully during the 5-minute application. Instead of installing the walking foot, I lifted the foot several times  to keep the fabric layers from shifting! Specialty feet work, but if you know what you are doing, the regular presser foot does it all!  With water-soluble thread, and after  interfacing the WB facing,  I basted the rest of the pieces together.  Within an hour, I was ready for the first fitting.  Sewing pants is fast.  It is fitting that takes the time.

“And how was the first fitting?” you ask?

Well kind of as expected and kind of not.  I had stitched the seams the designated amounts but I expected the 60%-stretch Ponte would need deeper seam. It did. The waistband was falling off. Impossible to tell how the rest of the pant fit until the waistband was fixed. Eventually I stitched the side seams 1.75″ deep.  The 1.75″ SA made the pant look nicer on my body.Oddly, this wasn’t tight enough to hold the pant waist to the body but make the SA any deeper and the pant was too form fitting.  Since making the SA deeper gave an appearance I didn’t like, my solution was  planning to later make an elastic application.

That 1.75″ was on the side seams only  The yoke-to-leg, CB and waistband-to-facing remained at my personal default 3/8″.

Viewing the camel toe and the mess on the back leg prompted me to I let out the inseams; and scoop the crotch. Also, lowered the crotch. All changes I normally need and which helped the previous TJ906s. Well, the back actually got worse.

The front  camel toe  required some reshaping itself. But the worst was the unstable WB.  Or maybe it was my waist. One fitting the waist would fit. Next times it was too large. The time after that, larger still. I made the first WB facing from the Ponte.  A ripped it off and made a second with a non-stretch fabric.  Really appreciated how thin that made the WB but didn’t help with the changing waist length. Also I was still playing with the  crotch length.  Eventually, I stitched the back crotch at the default SA but the front I added 1″.

After 8 fittings I called it wearable but not perfect.  I installed what I call a floating elastic waistband:

I didn’t invent this, but I have found it to be an easy acceptable “fix” for RTW–especially back gaposis issues. I cut the elastic shorter than needed had I made a pull-on WB (31″). Placed it inside the pant and neatly top-stitched.

I did not make belt loops.  Unfortunately, my top stitching seems to disappear into the fabric so we don’t see the great effect the DG2 WB can have.

Final fitting

This is still far too large at the waist and hangs even though the elastic is hugging my body. I am flummoxed not knowing how I could have taken the WB in any further without making the lower portion too tight.  I tried gathering to the facing.  Nice puffy waist.  I finally eased over 4″ of the pant waist to the facing.  It is still that large. Which allows the pant to hang other than designed and adds weird even misleading drag lines.

I worked a lot with this Ponte pant.  8 fittings is a lot to do especially with a pattern that should already be fitting.   Don’t think this is cast in concrete, but I am unlikely to use Ponte Roma again with TJ906.  I think there are a few reasons for this failure. First, the pattern selection. Ponte would work  far better with a different waistband say a Yoga.  The zipper was not needed. Later on when I considered changing the WB to a pull-on, I ran into the issue of ripping the out the zipper.  I avoid ripping.  If there’s anyway that I don’t have to rip, I wont.  The massive seams needed were difficult to work with and  particularly uncomfortable in the crotch. It was relief when I serged them suckers to 1/4″ for the finish.

At this point,  I think I’d need to develop separate non-stretch and stretch patterns. I do think the SA depth required for both 40 and 60% stretch is consistent and at least would be a better/closer place to start the fitting.  Could save me a few fitting sessions and trips up those torturous stairs. However, I do need the wider inseam SA.  I am not entirely sure about the recent addition I have been making to the front crotch. It works, but I’ve always been told not to touch that. I’ve seen Indy pattern developers/drafters/sellers react with  horror when someone mentions tweaking the crotch curve. I mean, their reaction shut-down the conversation and people drifted away. (I used to go to sewing conferences). But when the other solutions don’t work, what’s a body to do?

Anyway,when I am half gussied, these are wearable:

The probably won’t be in the closet next year. But I do take away some hard-won knowledge from the experience.



Seam allowances depths (not changes but what the SA depth measured) made to the defaults of the traced pattern

Side Seam 1″ 1.5″
Crotch 3/8″ 3/8″
CB Back Leg 5/8″ NA
Inseam 1.5″ 1/2″
Yoke 3/8″ NA
Waist 3/8″ 3/8″
Back Crotch Scoop 1/2″
Lowered Back Crotch 1/2″



Summer Shorts

.High summer has arrived in SD. Complete with thunder storms, hail and high temperatures. Like triple digit temperatures. This is the type weather where I keep an unlined rain jacket handy to slip over my daily wear of either dresses or tops with shorts. Definitely not long pant weather.Not surprisingly, none of last year’s shorts were wearable. So flush with my success using Trudy Jansens Designer Jean (#906), I decided to use it making shorts. AND since I did want to be able to use the non-stretch fabrics languishing in my stash, I selected a corded cotton for the first pair.

After fitting the 906 jeans, I cut my pattern down 2 sizes along the side seams.  Despite the final back picture, that crotch was pretty good. Beyond trimming to a 3/8″ seam allowance  I didn’t touch the crotch.  As there had been like 6″ of left over waistband, I trimmed the waistband 3″ which still made a 1.5″ over/underlap.  To snug the WB to my body,  I also darted the upper edge of the WB 3/8.  Ready to go…

Or rather crash and burn (First Try-on)

It’s a good thing fat squishes and compresses because,I could barely pull these up. I let the side and inseams out the max and finally added a 2″ strip (net 3″circumference added) to the side seams. I was able to breath once again, but there were still obvious crotch issues and no more seam allowance

Honestly, I was kind of stunned. I didn’t think the 10% stretch of the denim would make quite this much difference.My mind was a whirl of “What happened?” “Was a stretch fabric going to be necessary or me to fit pants?” I opted to leave these as UFO’s and try another fabric, a 10% stretch sateen.  First fitting stunned me.

If the fabric’s tested the same amount of stretch, why were these so tight. I let out side side seams and eventually inseams to the max. Final change was a nice big back-crotch scoop.

BTW, I’ve lightened the pics enormously. The Sateen is a dark, rich Hershey’s brown color. Walking about, the drag lines aren’t noticeable. I know because I’ve already worn these in public.

Still I wasn’t satisfied with this pair and was especially perplexed about the tissue. I kept considering the question “If both fabrics (denim and brown sateen) had the same amount of stretch, why did the garments need such vastly different fitting adjustments?   Does the inherent stretch of the denim make that much difference?  Or did I not really fit the denim jeans?

My eyes alighted upon a Bengaline fabric that I’ve been avoiding for 3 or so years.  I’ve had 4 cuts of Bengaline. 3 purchased in SD USA, the other sorced all the way from Australia. I hate this fabric. Try to steam press and it bubbles. It feels like a nasty polyester. (Note I generally don’t have an aversion to poly. Bengaline is the exception. ) I grabbed it now thinking it’s 40% stretch  would at least be a good sacrificial fabric.

To my tissue I added back the previously trimmed-away 2 sizes plus an extra 1/2″ on both side and inseams. The waistband still would not snug to my waist.  Oh it would start out right, but by the end of the fitting, the WB was settling lower. So I made another 1/4” dart at the top of the WB before laying out and cutting the Bengaline.

So loose, it barely stayed on my body. Hmm, just like the denim jeans. Several fittings later ….

I made the side seams  1-3/4″ deep but let out the inseam 1/2″.  Also made a big scoop in the back crotch.  The WB required major surgery.  I didn’t have enough to cut another WB, in fact I hadn’t had enough fabric to cut WB and facing from the Bengaline.  I used a poly sheeting-like fabric for the facing and interfaced both with weft–I want to stop that stretching along the upper WB edge. To my shock the WB was way too short.  I had to piece both WB and facing. I had to stitch the back crotch along yoke and upper leg 3 times to tame the poofiness. What happened to the change I made to the pattern after the denim jeans?  I swear, I pinned yoke to leg and carefully cut a straight line.

I talked it over with my Sewing Angel. Decided that for now, I goal should be decent fitting garments appropriate for the season and occasion. The goal of  perfect fit as I have achieved in the past is just not practical with a body that changed rapidly due to cancer and is still changing (I hope) due to diet and exercise.

So I have 2 new pairs of shorts in the closet that aren’t too tight and don’t need a hair elastic at the waist holding them up. I am happy about that. That first shared nonstretch pair are still hanging in the closet as a UFO. Quite likely I will rip out the zipper and discard them.  I think 25%-PLUS stretch fabrics and the much too large pattern is the way to go for now. It means big changes at fitting, at least until I can work with various stretch fabrics and settle into a routine. Oh and a new goal of appropriate to season and event with decent-not-perfect fitting.  Hope that makes my pant sewing more bearable and successful more often.



Changes for fitting:

  • Brown Sateen 10% stretch
    • side and inseam SA 1/4″
    • shorten side seams 3/8″ more
    • straighten CB seam.
    • Big crotch scoop
  • Bengaline 40% stretch
    • Side SA 1.75″
    • Inseam SA 1″
    • Big crotch scoop



Pants Fitting the Chemo Body

I can still wear some of my jeans if I make a buttonhole extension using a hair elastic which lets the waist spread to a comfortable circumference. But the jeans and pants I can wear (with that little cheat) are winter or at best 3 season wear.  The season they can’t be worn in is now, Summer.  I am jean-less for hot weather. I purposely shopped for lighter weight denim purchasing 2 cuts of 8.5 and 9 oz denim several weeks ago.  After sewing angel started talking , I had to have summer weight jeans now.

I haven’t made jeans since I discovered Diane Gilman at HSN. None of my DG2 jeans are wearable during this heat wave. Much too hot. Somy  Trudy Jansen Designer jean pattern comes out of the box.

I’ve loved this jean pattern  from the very first pair I made. Over the years I have made many variations. I think the secret is a unique crotch shape combined with a center back leg seam. That CB seam lets me really fit under and over my seat. This jean has always been easy for me to fit.

I started the current pair by checking my hip and waist measurement.  My hip puts me in a 20 (yes I have gain that much) but my waist is not on the chart! My solution was to measure the waist band which led me to believe that the largest size  would work for my  waist.  I traced the largest size then  pressed the wrinkles out of the 9oz cotton/lycra denim (10% stretch) and laid both fabric and pattern out on the cutting board.  For now the pockets are traced but set aside.  I probably won’t add the front pockets to this pair.  I can lie to myself about fit when using front pockets–so no pockets at least during fitting. While I’ve gotten much bigger around, I am not any taller.  I knew without a doubt the 35″ inseam was a mistake. So the only change I made was to reduce leg length 2″.

After stitching the zipper in the front, I installed water-soluble thread in the bobbin; contrasting thread in the needle and started basting the rest of the pieces together.  So glad I was using WST because I forgot to stitch the yoke to the back leg. Duh!  I’d say a blonde moment but right now I have very little fuzz on top and it is all a brilliant white. Anyway, ripped out seams as needed;  added the yoke, waistband and WB facing.  Held my breath and went for the first fitting.

Son of a gun, they nearly fell to the floor!

I had to hold them up for pics. — BTW the pics are much lightened so we can see the wrinkles. My fabric is a medium-dark blue.  Doesn’t photo well for sharing purposes but looks good IRL.– You can’t imagine my joy at needing a smaller size. In fact, TWO sizes smaller.

For the second fitting,I pinched at the WB side seam and then in the leg just to see how much excess circumference I might be looking at. Removed the WB past the side seams and stitched the side seams another 1/2″ deeper before replacing WB and taking 3rd set of pics.

I’m not having to hold them up but they did feel a little loose at the waist. Nearly every time I refit this pattern, I need to scoop the seat just a bit (takes care of most of the crotch issue) and stitch  the center-back leg seam just a little deeper below the seat. At this fitting the leg is  too long and when I look at the sides….

… I think the sides are too long as well which is another one of my common issues. Still that butt looks nice. I always say I don’t have a flat seat, think this proves it.

For  third fitting, for which I am not sharing pics, I shortened the side length  1.5″.  There is a trick to doing this when dealing with a yoke.  The yoke has to be unstitched and offset to the upper leg.  Since the crotch doesn’t need to be adjusted the offset only goes half way across the side-leg piece. A little tricky but does the job nicely. At the same time I restitched the side seams I wanted to snug the waist. So I made the side seams  1/4″ deeper at the top of the leg . Replaced the WB but angled across the front and front SA to line up the top of the back SA. It’s an alteration that is easier to do than to describe. . When I took pics of the last fitting I pinned up the hems to determine how much still needed to be removed from leg length.

To finish, I  serged along all the basting lines trimming away all the excess. OK, I did have to open the seams where seams crossed such as the yoke and side seam. To tweak the waistband, I added elastic between WB and its facing.  I skipped the pockets and the belt loops. I’m not really a belt wearer. The finished jean:

That’s the worst the back looked through all the fittings.  Looking at it now I realize I was taking in the side seams at the top of the leg to adjust the waist fit. With this waistband, little darts have to be placed in the WB to adjust the fit at the waist. The places to make the darts are even indicated on the pattern. Taking in the side seam at the top of the leg, adjusted 2″ below the waist. Hence, the waist is still a little too big and the back droops a little.  The side seams may still be too long and there may still be too much circumference. Because I used a stretch fabric, I could have achieved a closer fit i.e. removed more circumference. However, I have several jean-type fabrics that are non-stretch.  I want my TJ906 jean pattern usable with them.


The very BEST thing about this pattern: instead of working for days and weeks before giving up, in only TWO DAYS I have a pair of jeans I am happy to wear. Love this pattern.

Love it. Love it. Love it.



Summary of Changes

  • Shorten leg 3″
  • Shorten side seam length 1.5″
  • Trim 1/2″ from side (reduces circumference 2″)

Needed change

Add 1/4″ darts on WB