Sunday, March 26, 2017

A Border Print and The Easy Fit and Sew Twin Tee Set by J Stern Designs

I didn't know I needed a great Twin Tee Set in my life until I was a pattern tester for the newly released "Easy Fit and Sew Twin Tee Set" by Jennifer Stern.This is one of the best fitting (right out of the envelope) items I've sewn in a long time!

When Jennifer put a call out on her blog for pattern testers, I filled out the application, and didn't give it much more thought. Until she sent a note thanking me for volunteering to test and inviting me to join a group of about 15 other sewers on a private Facebook group as we tested the pattern.

Eeek!  Now I had to actually carve out some sewing time AND go to the fabric store for some knit fabric. 

Okay, going to the fabric store wasn't really a hardship.  I'm always up for a trip to SR Harris Fabric Outlet.

Oops! Looks like a few other bolts of fabric jumped into my cart as I was shopping for fabric for the Easy Fit and Sew Twin Tee Set! 
For the Twin Tee Set I settled on a lightweight sweater knit that is grey on both ends and taupe in the middle. It was on the remnant shelf at $4/yard.  I was able to find two remnants giving me almost enough fabric. 
The pattern I tested was a PDF.  Sigh. I really don't have the patience for PDF patterns.  Printing, trimming, lining up, taping, ripping off the tape because I taped it together wrong, re-taping.  Then after all that tracing the pattern. Personally I'd rather pay a bit more and have a printed pattern arrive in my mailbox.   And if you're like me, you're in luck as this one is also available in a print version.
The PDF pattern has layers so you can turn off the sizes you don't need (yay!) and only have lines for the sizes you want.

You're instructed to choose the pattern size by your full bust measurement.  I questioned whether I should really do that or choose using my high bust measurement and do a FBA (like I do for everything else).  Jennifer assured me she drafts with enough room in the bust that no FBA (full bust adjustment) would be needed. 

I'm going to be honest...I was VERY skeptical about no need to do a full bust adjustment. Even after Jennifer assured me it would not be needed.  I admitted my skepticism to Jennifer and went ahead and cut and sewed without any alterations.

Guess what? I should not have questioned the designer, LOL. It fits with no FBA.  I now have a new TNT Tee pattern!

The Tee can be sewn sleeveless, with short sleeves or with long sleeves. The cardi also has a shaped back hem option (the hemline curves up from the side seams to the center back, something I've seen recently in RTW). 

Because I had a limited amount of fabric, I had to add a center seam to the back of my Tee. The pattern is  not designed that way.  
 Fortunately the pattern in the fabric is busy enough that it's not too noticeable that it's not matched exactly.
Clear elastic was used to stabilize the shoulder seams.  The instructions suggest stay tape.
The neckline is finished with a narrow band, which is cut 2" shorter than the length of the neckline.  I used the gray from the border of the fabric for the neck band. 
I placed the taupe along the front edge of the cardi and the grey border along the side fronts.
The grey border was also used on the cardi sleeves. I placed the center of the sleeve along the edge where the grey and taupe met. 
The tee and cardi set was simple to sew, although I did have a bit of a challenge with the faux mitered corner on the front of the cardi.

The front edges of the cardi are finished with a 1-1/2"  strip of fabric. I used the grey portion of my fabric for the facings. Here's the view of the corner edge from the right side.

Here's the view of the same corner from the wrong side.  I had to add tiny hand stitches along the bottom to keep the faux mitered corner in place.  I'm not sure if it was my error or instructions error.  To be fair, I learn easier with video and photos than I do text and illustrations, so I'll try it again and see if it goes more smoothly next time around.
If you're not familiar with J Stern Designs, I encourage you to check out this Twin Tee pattern  on her website where she also includes many of the photos from the pattern testers so you'll be able to see a wide variety of fabric samples and body types.

I'm really pleased with the fit of the tee and cardi, and thrilled that Jennifer let me be a pattern tester. I'm now sold on her patterns and plan on trying the Easy Fit and Sew Raglan Sleeve Top next. 

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  1. Nice top in a beautiful fabric.

  2. This is great on you and I LOL at the no FBA conversation!

  3. It looks so good! That fabric really makes the design pop. And I'm always up for patterns that don't require an FBA!! :)

  4. You got me at no FBA. Great new pattern preview and wonderful twin set on you.

  5. Hello you have done some amazing work. What you have shared is really creative. Thank you for posting and I'm looking forward to more amazing posts.



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