Looking for your new favorite basic tee pattern? Tess & Tyler are the perfect ones to add to your collection! Even though there are lots of cute options included in the Tess patterns already, we have a few easy hacks for you to try out!
Color Blocking Hack
Color blocking can be really easy and add some fun details to any pattern. It’s also a great way to use up some smaller cuts of fabric. The Tess makes for a great base as it’s a relaxed tee and fairly easy to work with for color blocking. The first thing that I did after printing my pattern was to measure on my daughter from the top of her shoulder down to where I wanted the color blocking to hit. Once I determined this distance, I then added 1/2″ since I know that the seam allowance at the shoulder is 1/2″. I did this so that when I marked my pattern piece I would compensate for that extra length that’s on the pattern. If I didn’t do this then the color blocking would come up higher than I wanted it to. For my daughter (she’s a size 5 length), I measured 4.5″. After adding the 1/2″, I marked my pattern at the 5″ mark down from the top of the shoulder to determine where I needed to cut the pattern.
After marking my pattern piece, I then used my quilting ruler to cut a straight line across the pattern at the mark. I like to line the vertical lines of my ruler up onto the fold line to ensure that my line is straight and level when I cut. If you’re color blocking the back and the front, then you’ll need to repeat the process for both bodice pieces. After cutting the pattern, you’ll then need to add seam allowance to the pieces. Take an extra sheet of paper and tape it to the pattern pieces, then use your ruler to add your preferred seam allowance the the top and bottom of each piece (where you made the cut).
You should now have two or four (if you’re doing both front and back) bodice pieces. You can now cut out your fabrics.
Now that your fabric is all cut out, you’ll place your front top bodice piece onto the bottom front bodice piece with right sides together at the line you created and sew using the seam allowance that you added to your pieces, then repeat for the back.
You can now treat your front (and back) as one piece and continue to follow the Tess tutorial to finish your color blocked shirt. I hope you found this tutorial helpful, and I can’t wait to see your cute color blocked shirt! – Anna
Straight Side Seam Hack
I don’t have a girl in my household to sew for but love the options of Tess, so I changed to create a more unisex fit for my boys! All this hack entails is straightening out the side seams to be a more relaxed fit.
First, print out your pattern and assemble. In this case, I’m using a size 5 for chest, 6 for hips and 7 for height so have 3 sizes printed. Don’t cut it out yet, it’s easiest to modify with the extra paper still there.
Second, with your front pattern piece, grab a ruler and line it up at the armsyce on one end and the hip on the other. Since I’m grading, I’m using the size 5 armsyce up at the 7 height and the 6 hip. If you were not grading, you would just line up your ruler at the armsyce and hip.
Now, draw a straight line connecting the armsyce to the hip. This is your new cut line (shown in blue). Repeat for the back pattern piece.
Cut and assemble as instructed, no other modifications are needed. You can follow either the curved or straight bottom hem lines. Both will work. -Katie
Anyone else with a picky tween that loves crop tops?? My daughter is 10 and loves them, and Tess is the perfect base for a quick crop top.
This hack is so easy is does not even require a tutorial! All that you need to do is remove some length from the front and back pieces. I used the straight hem line as my guide, and for my daughter who is a size 7 for length, I removed a total of 3 inches. So, just measure up from the straight hem line your desired amount, and draw your line straight across. This will be your new hem line. Keep in mind that 3 inches is just a guide, and for the smaller sizes, you will want a little less and the upper sizes, you may want a little more. Ultimately, it is up to you and whoever you’re sewing for. We opted for high hip, which is wear the crop length hits on the Women’s Tess. This way, her top won’t show any of her belly so that she can wear it to school too. -Angela
Don’t forget to share your Tess makes with us over in our Facebook group! We’re excited to see what you sew up with our newest Lounge & Lace collection patterns.