Sewing Jade: let’s talk about fit

Knit garments can be pretty forgiving when it comes to fit, because the fabric stretches when worn, but it’s always helpful to have some idea of how a garment will fit before you start cutting out your fabric. Jade is a fitted tee; I designed it to pair well with Cleo and Luna, both of which have a more voluminous designs, and since those two patterns tend to add volume to my lower half, I’ve found that I like to wear them both with more fitted tops, as it creates a nice balance that I find appealing. But how “fitted” will Jade be on you? That reeeally depends on the size and fabric you choose. In this post, I’ll show you four different tees in two different sizes and three different fabrics so you can see how much these factors affect fit!

SEWING JADE / how size and fabric affect fit

How size affects fit: an experiment

I thought it would be interesting to sew Jade in two different sizes in the same fabric so that you can see how it fits me differently. First, I made a size medium in yellow bamboo spandex jersey, with the boat neckline (View A) and 3/4 length sleeve. My bust is 37″ and my upper bust is 35,” so according to the size charts (see the shop listing or the Jade page) and the instructions in the “choose your size” section of the pattern, I would choose a size medium (note that my waist is 34″ and my hip is 42″ which would put me in a size large based on those measurements).

jade tee pattern PDF

The fit through the shoulders and bust is pretty good, but you can definitely see that the tee is much more fitted on me through the waist and hip. It tends to ride up and wrinkle at the waist if I don’t tuck it in.

jade tee pattern PDF

Remember, a quick check of at the finished measurement chart can help you figure out roughly how much ease you’re likely to have at the bust, waist and hip (subtract the your body measurements from the garment’s finished measurements). For Jade, the bust is designed with negative ease, the waist with positive ease, the hip with negative ease. Also bear in mind that depending on the length of your torso (ie if you’re tall, petite, etc), or whether you lengthen or shorten the pattern, that that the hem of the garment may land in a slightly different place on you than it does on me, affecting the amount of ease at the hip somewhat.

See also: how to take body measurements (don’t measure the hip in the wrong spot!)

jade tee pattern PDF

Now let’s see how this fit compares to the next size up! I sewed this orange version in a size large, with the same fabric as the yellow tee — a stretchy bamboo spandex jersey — but of course a different color.

Jade tee by made by rae

This one has the ballet neckline (so View B, which is scooped in both front and back) with a short sleeve, but the bodice is exactly the same for both views, so that’s what we’re looking at here. I’m not sure if you can see this, but there is definitely more width through the shoulders, and the waist and hip don’t hug my body as closely.

Jade tee sewing pattern PDF

Jade tee sewing pattern PDF

When you use super stretchy knits (these two tees are both stretch bamboo spandex jerseys with 4-way stretch, see) they tend to hug the body more closely than when you use knits that are spandex free. This can be great if you want more of a “bodysuit” look, but due to the silky sheen of the bamboo, you can literally see every single wrinkle, bump or undergarment underneath them. Which is not so fantastic if you don’t want it to “hug your fluffy bits quite so lovingly” (as Nancy of @milkpillowblog so eloquently put it, LOL). So let’s try another fabric, shall we?

How fabric affects fit

I also thought it would be helpful to make Jade in the same size, but different fabrics, so you can see the change in fit you get just by choosing a different type of fabric. Here’s a size medium tee again (so: same size as the yellow tee above), with a boatneck and long sleeve.

Navy striped Jade Tee

To me, this striped Jade really helps underscore how much of a difference fabric can make. This is a 100% cotton baby rib knit, so, no spandex (see: where to find knit fabrics for sources). In addition, it’s a medium weight knit, so quite a bit thicker than the other fabrics in this post.

Navy striped Jade Tee Navy striped Jade Tee Navy striped Jade Tee

Remember how tight the yellow one was on me? Can you see the difference in fit? Even though it’s a size medium and my waist and hips are a size large, this striped rib knit has plenty of stretch and weight to hold its own against my midsection.

I find that medium weight fabrics like baby rib and interlock are really great for an untucked Jade that works on its own over shorts or pants (bonus: you see the beautifully subtle curved hem!), but I prefer the stretchier lighter fabrics for Jades that I will tuck into my Cleo skirts or high waisted jeans.

Navy striped Jade Tee

And just to add another data point, here’s one last Jade, this time in a size large (so: same size as the orange tee). I made this one out of Dana cotton jersey by Robert Kaufman (see: where to find knit fabrics for sources), which is a cotton modal blend that is lighter but doesn’t have nearly as much stretch as spandex jersey used in the first two tees shown in this post. You can see I get a small bit of pulling across the bust; the finished bust measurement for a size large is 35,” and my bust is 37,” so the negative ease through the bust combined with a solid fabric that doesn’t have any spandex means that I might want to add a little width at the bust if I make this tee in the same fabric again.

jade tee pattern PDF

Just like the orange tee, there’s plenty of room through the waist and hip.

jade tee pattern PDF

This is also the boat neckline (View A), this time with the elbow length sleeve. I really love how it looks tucked into high waisted jeans with a belt! Bonus: it perfectly matches my green watch!!! I just love this emerald color. This is the tee we ended up using for the “cover shot” of this pattern.

jade tee pattern PDF

So there you go! Was this helpful to see the differences in tees from size to size, fabric to fabric? Let me know if you have any questions in comments, and please share this post with others if you think they will find it helpful!

The Jade sewing pattern is available now in my shop!
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11 thoughts on “Sewing Jade: let’s talk about fit

  1. What a great post. So helpful! Even after all the sewing with knits I have done, I will be referencing this when I sew more Jades. I bought some bamboo knit so this is really great info to have. Thank you!

  2. This is super helpful and wonderful. I know it’s about Jade, but your jeans are great! Would you mind sharing the brand (or pattern, though I haven’t jumped onto the sew your jeans bandwagon yet). Thanks!

    • Hi Kristen,
      I’m not into sewing my own jeans either. These are Madewell; I get the 9” high rise skinnies, which usually come in a number of different washes each season. I have to buy tall, so I usually try them on in store and have them ship the tall versions to my house. Another Madewell bonus is that I take my old jeans in for $10 off and they recycle them. I love Madewell’s jeans!!! I feel like I finally have jeans that look good on me.

  3. Hi Rae,
    thanks for this helpfuld fabric post. I’ve sewn a Jade in a stable jersey and around the bust it’s quite tight. When you described your green Jade you said you would add width to the bust next time. Could you explain to me how you would do this???
    I’m really in love with your newest pattern. Such a pleasure to sew such garments. Thanks again and a lot!

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