Fitting Knits: How to Determine the Negative Ease on the Jenny Tee


This month I've turned the focus to fitting knits. I have covered the topic to some extent previously so if you want more information on this topic, just click on the "fitting knits" category in the sidebar of the tutorial section of my website If you're already on my website, just look to the right and you'll see the topic category there.

As you likely already know, I believe that understanding the balance of a garment on your body is the key to achieving good fit. I've shared this rather extensively in The Perfect Fit Guide as well as in all of my online courses and workshops. While I usually talk about this in relation to woven garments, it is a useful tool in assessing fit in knits as well, so last week I showed you how to find the balance lines on the In-House Patterns Jenny tee in the hope of helping you understand how to assess the fit of the pattern.

Since we've already determined the position of the balance lines on the pattern, I thought we could take an even closer look at the Jenny t-shirt pattern and talk about negative ease. Today I'm going to show you how to determine the ease in this particular pattern and share the reasoning behind the positive and negative ease that we find. I hope you'll follow along with your own Jenny t-shirt pattern.

First let's define negative and positive ease.

Positive ease the measurement of the pattern or garment over the body measurement it is designed to fit. Negative ease is the opposite and is the measurement of the pattern or garment under the body measurement. Since knits have the ability to stretch, positive ease isn't necessary to allow for movement and can help you eliminate the darts and seams that are required in woven fabrics.

Determining pattern ease is very simple. You just need to find the difference between the pattern measurement and the body measurement to obtain the resulting ease. This ease can be positive or negative depending on the amount of stretch in the fabric, the style of the garment and the fit you want to achieve.

Watch the video now to see how to determine the ease in the Jenny tee.

As long as you know where to measure the bust waist and hip position on the pattern you can easily determine the amount of negative or positive ease in the pattern based on the body measurements used to develop the pattern. Once you've determined this "optimal ease" you can then assign it to each area based on your personal measurements and create the same fit and silhouette as the designer intended. Once you know and understand the negative and positive ease you can change it to create the fit you want.

If you'd like to learn about stretch fabric pattern making and negative ease, I invite you to look into my online course The Custom Stretch Knit Bodice. You'll learn how to draft a basic T-shirt using your own body measurements and the stretch ratio of any knit fabric.

If you're following along with the Jenny tee, I encourage you to do your own math and determine the negative and positive ease allowances on your chosen size.

Have a great week! I'll chat with you soon, bye for now.