Pattern Review – J. Stern Designs Tee Shirt

Hey hey hey, how about them Patriots, eh? You know, I think I’m actually enjoying this season more than last. Last season we were the bad guys. Heck, even I was tired of seeing Brady’s lovely mug by SuperBowl. This season we have another no-name QB and a bunch of rookies and old timers who are keeping the team together with baling wire and chewing gum. And coaching. Great, great coaching. It’s not pretty, but they seem to be doing the job. Go Pats!!!

Now on to the matters at hand…

Pattern Description: From the envelope back: The Tee: Fitted tee with unique seam detail above the bust. Short Sleeve, 3/4 length sleeve or sleeveless option and shirt tail hem.

Sizing: XS to XXXL. I made a Medium

Did it look like the photo or drawing when you got through? Yes

How were the instructions? For the most part, excellent. There is one problem I have with the instructions for the neckline treatment. You can see more about that below.

Fabric Used: You Two Timin… Italian Double Faced Jersey from Gorgeous Fabrics.

Any changes? None. I wanted to sew this up straight out of the envelope to check the fit and sizing.

Likes/Dislikes: I Love the seaming detail! This is one great looking tee. I also love the fit. I’m feeling a bit, um, puffy today, so I figured the medium might not work for me. But this top is designed with some ease built in. My measurements put me squarely between a medium and a large. If I am having a fat day I will go for the large. If I want something more closely fitted, I will make a medium. On me, the medium has slight negative ease, but it looks great. I really like the hemline on this, as well as the shaping. It’s very flattering. I also loved the fact that I didn’t need to do a FBA!

What I didn’t really like were the instructions for the neckline binding application. the pattern tells you to cut a strip of fabric 1 inch wide by 20 inches long. This is shorter than the neckline opening. You then stretch the strip of fabric as you sew, to ease the neckline onto it. The problem, and the pattern even mentions this can happen, is that you may over- or under-ease the piece, and you may end up with a too-thinly stretched neckline strip. This was exacerbated by my fabric. I think I would prefer to see a pattern piece for the neckline strip added to the pattern, with notches at the shoulders and CF/CB to minimize mistakes. That would be especially helpful for beginners.

Otherwise, this is a fantastic pattern, and I wouldn’t let that problem deter you from making it. Just be aware of it when you start on the neckline. The pattern is also drafted beautifully and pretty much falls together.

Edit on 11/10 Martha asked a good question:

Hi, Ann. The new shirt looks great. How did you finish the sleeve and hem? I wasn’t crazy about the way that was done when I watched Jennifer’s video and was wondering if you had some other ideas.


I didn’t use her recommendation for the hemlines. Because I was working with doublecloth, I used a narrow overlock on my serger. I used gray thread in the lower looper and white thread in the upper looper so I could match the colors of the shirt. Thanks for the question Martha!

Would you do it again? Would you recommend it? Heck yah, and heck yah! I think I may make this for my niece for a Christmas present. It’s a great shirt. I’ll definitely make more for myself.

Conclusion: This is the first pattern from Jennifer Stern. It’s a real winner! Here are some detail shots:

Closeup of the upper bodice seam

Extreme closeup of the upper bodice side piece


Yes, this is definitely a keeper. I’ll start posting about Taitana’s competition dress at some point soon. It’s in the just-about-out-of-the-design-phase-onto-the-real-fabric stage. It is literally causing me to lose sleep.

Happy sewing!

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