I was looking for a basic dropped-sleeve sweatshirt pattern that I could use for Ryan and myself, and I found Helen’s Closet Jackson Tee and Pullover pattern. The pattern is intended to be gender-inclusive, so I wanted to put it to the test.
Sizing and Versions
If I were going to make this as a regular t-shirt, Ryan and I would choose a size 14-16. My measurements are currently: 39″ chest, 32″ waist, and 43.5″ hip. I am 5’11” tall. Ryan’s measurements are at present: 40″ chest, 34″ waist, and 42″ hip. Ryan is 6’5″ tall. However, I wanted to make a sweatshirt from this pattern, so we went up to size 18 and selected View D, the longer pullover.
Since I was making matching joggers, I optimized my fabric purchase. I needed 3 yards of bamboo stretch fleece and ½ yard of bamboo rib knit.
TL;DR the pattern is drafted for someone with really short shoulder length, meaning the distance from the mid-shoulder point to the bust point.
Straight away, I knew this pattern was going to need adjustments. Let’s start with the front pattern piece. I made zero changes to my front pattern piece. For Ryan, there was a lot that needed to change.
First, I needed to add length to the shoulder. So I cut along the shoulder line and added 1/2″ of height.
Next, I moved the outer shoulder point forward 1/8″ for a forward shoulder alteration. This was probably not necessary.
Third, I cut out the View B hem instead of the View D hem to lengthen the pullover.
Finally, after making a toile, I raised the center front neckline 1 inch.
I added 3/4″ to the back outer shoulder point. That was the only adjustment I needed.
Again, I cut along the shoulder line for Ryan’s pattern and added 1-1/8″ of height.
Next, I moved the outer shoulder point forward 1/8″ for a forward shoulder alteration.
Finally, I used the hem from View B instead of View D to lengthen the pullover.
For the sleeves, I lengthened my sleeve by 2-1/2″ and Ryan’s sleeve by a whopping 6 extra inches!
Because I added 3/4″ to my overall shoulder length, I need to distribute that evenly on the right and left sides of the sleeve cap. To do this, I lengthened the cap by half of the value added to the sleeve. In other words, half of 3/4″, or 3/8″. What happens is that 3/8″ is added to the left side of the sleeve cap and 3/8″ is added to the right side of the sleeve cap for a total of 3/4″. To make this alteration, I drew a line randomly, cut the sleeve cap off, raised it by 3/8″, and redrew the curvature of the sleeve cap.
Ryan’s sleeve cap needs to be raised 13/16″. Remember that 1/2″ was added to the front and 1-1/8″ was added to the back. The 1/8″ forward alteration doesn’t count because the length that was added to the back piece was balanced and taken off the front piece. So if we add everything up, we get 13/8 inches.
Half of 13/8 inches is 13/16 inches:
Like I did with my pattern, I drew a line randomly, cut the sleeve cap off, raised it by 13/16 inches, and redrew the curvature of the sleeve cap.
Neck, Sleeve, and Hem Bands
Ryan’s neckline changed when I raised the center front by 1″, so I shortened his neckband to 8-1/2″.
For the rest of the bands, nothing changed on the front, back, or sleeve pattern pieces, so nothing needed to change for those pieces either.
The first thing to check on this pattern is the shoulder slope. If you want an in-depth review of how to make a shoulder slope template, go check out The Crooked Hem. She has an excellent post. The slope of our shoulders is different, and you can tell based upon the adjustments I had to make to the pattern.
I don’t typically have to adjust the shoulder length for Ryan, so it was odd that I had to for this pattern. That’s the second thing to watch out for on this pattern.
Otherwise, the pattern is excellent. I love the pullover because of the dropped sleeve.