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The J Stern Designs Newsletter

Hey Everyone,  I’m gearing up for an super exciting 2018.  One of the new things I’m going to be doing is a monthly newsletter.  I’ve put a lot of thought into it because I didn’t want to create something that ended up in your spam folder.  The J Stern Designs Newsletter is going to be your new favorite email!  In each newsletter I will share new things I’m working on as well as a mini tutorial featuring a fitting adjustment or construction tip.  I’m also going to spotlight a pattern and offer an exclusive coupon code.  Let me give you a little preview 🙂

Happy December

I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season.  This month I’m working on a new pattern – The JP Top.  This pattern is very special to me because it’s inspired by one of my pattern testers, Janet P.  While we were working on the Anna Dress, I made a typo in the pattern tester instructions…  In the fabric requirements, I had 2 yards of fabric… it should have been 2 1/2 yards.  One of the my pattern testers purchased 2 yards of fabric and then realized she didn’t have enough fabric.   What a character builder for me… I felt terrible.  Several of the other pattern testers offered suggestions to work around the fabric shortage…   I was watching the conversation and I was inspired to create a top out of the bodice of the Anna Dress.  I went back to the computer and worked on it.  Janet didn’t love the V neckline and 3/4 length sleeves on the Anna Dress, so I reshaped the neckline into shallow scoop neckline.  I also lengthened the hem and created a long sleeve to replace the 3/4 length sleeve.   After I finished, I uploaded the pattern pieces for Janet to try.

I was practically holding my breath while I waited to see what she thought about this pattern.  A few days later, she posted photos of her top… and good news, she love it!   In addition to commenting about the adjustments she made to the pattern before she cut it out she said…. “And there will be lots of ‘next times’. This will be my go-to top from now on! My next one will be lengthened a further 16” to make a shift dress.”  As I read her comments, I got a brilliant idea.  I decided to name the pattern after the woman who inspired it.   This speaks to the very  reason why I started j stern designs… I wanted to create patterns and help women make clothes that fit make them feel beautiful. 

I feel blessed that talented women like Janet (and all my pattern testers) offer their time and fabric to test patterns for me.   The JP Top will be the first in a new line of patterns that are inspired by my pattern tester group.  This pattern will be available next month to kick off the New Year!   If you are curious about becoming a j stern designs pattern tester, check out all the details here

When you’re working with Knits + Bust Darts one of the challenges is to get the dart to stay in the right place.  When you measure your pattern to find the position of the bust dart and then compare it to your body measurement, you can adjust the position of the dart to agree with you.   Measure the pattern from the shoulder to the tip of the dart (minus the 3/8″ seam allowance).  Then measure yourself from the middle of your shoulder to 1″below the apex.  Compare these two measurements and move the bust dart up or down to adjust the pattern to agree.  For example:  If the pattern measurement is 11″ and your measurement is 11 1/2″ you need to move the bust dart down 1/2″.  To do this, draw a rectangle around the bust dart as shown below.

Then cut the dart out and slide it down 1/2″.  This moves the fullness of the dart down, putting the dart in the correct place without changing the length of the side seam.  All you have to do is true up the side seams as shown.

This adjustment works great for knits that have NO vertical stretch.  But, if you’re working with a knit that has vertical stretch, you need to compensate for the stretch.   First determine the amount of vertical stretch.   Let’s use 10% stretch for this example.  Fabric with 10% stretch will stretch 1″ for every 10″ of fabric.  In the example above the dart was 11″ from the shoulder.  That means that the dart is going to stretch 1″ lower than the pattern measurement.  For the example above, you would have to slide the dart up 1/2″ NOT down.    Because of the vertical stretch, the dart will be 12″ from the shoulder because the body measurement was 11 1/2″. 

The inspiration for the JP Top came from testing my Newest Pattern, the Anna Dress.   If you haven’t had a chance to get your pattern… Happy Day!  This month’s coupon code is Anna5.   Use this coupon code at checkout for $5.00 off the Anna Dress Pattern. or the Anna Dress PDF Pattern   (Yee Ha.. that makes the pdf version 50% off and the print version 30% off) The coupon code expires on December 31.   Plus, if you missed it, I did a Video Tutorial showing how to stabilize the edges of the bodice and sew a bust dart with your serger on YouTube!

Thanks for reading to the end and I hope you’ll sign up… January’s Newsletter is going to be sew much fun!    Jennifer



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3 thoughts on “The J Stern Designs Newsletter

  1. I love this idea! I will be looking forward to it every month!

  2. I look forward to seeing your new patterns in 2018 Jennifer – love your women’s Tee pattern which has become one of my TNTs :). I also thoroughly enjoyed your courses on PatternReview and have subscribed to you on youtube as well. You’re a wonderful teacher – patient, thorough and generous.

    1. Thank You so much for the kind words… and thank you for following along with me. <3

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