The Perfect T-Shirt Pattern

Jalie 2805 and Kitschy Koo’s Trifecta Top: A Comparison

Is it just me, or are there NO KNIT TOP PATTERNS WITH NEGATIVE EASE on the market??

And I’m not talking  classy “fitted” T-shirt patterns, I’m talkin’ skin-tight, baby.

I understand how the majority of home sewers could probably prefer a shirt which doesn’t cling to the belly like cling wrap.  They may be stoked to know that a pattern “falls from the bust”,  has “gentle side shaping” and that it “skims the hips”.  Not me.

Aside from style choice, I have another reason for wanting to sew tight-fitting T-shirts.  My day to day wardrobe almost all year round on our temperate Tasmanian property is a merino thermal  top with stretch cotton cargo pants.  Thermal tops need to sit against the skin to do their job.  I love merino because it is warm but breathable, so it’s still comfortable if the weather suddenly warms up.   It also doesn’t smell; in our household, tank water is precious, and being able to wear clothes for more than one day means less water used for washing.

The only problem with merino tops is the price.  One top sets me back AU$120.00.  Not cheap.  So I decided to experiment with sewing thermal tops.  And the search for a suitable pattern began.

I spent a lot of late-night googling sessions trying different search-terms to find the sewing pattern I wanted.  Long story short, I didn’t find it, so I resigned myself to having to modify an existing pattern.

Kitschy Koo’s Trifecta Top VS Jalie 2805

I really wanted a top with raglan sleeves (mmmm, comfy!) which led me to try Kitschy Koo’s Trifecta Top.  I also had Jalie 2805 in my stash, so I decided to make them both and do a comparison.

What do you think?

Trifecta Top

Trifecta Top

Jalie 2805

Jalie 2805











I sewed them both from the same green merino fabric because it is all I had to give the best comparison of the two patterns.

Here are the basic differences: Trifecta Top has a lower scoop neck (even though I used the highest scoop of their three necklines) and it has raglan sleeves.  I used the “jewel” neck of the Jalie pattern, and it has set-in sleeves.

Trifecta Raglan sleeves

Trifecta Raglan sleeves

Augst 2014_5747

Jalie 2805 set-in sleeves

Check out the modifications I needed to make to the side seams to get the tight fit I wanted:

Side seam modification

Side seam modification

That is roughly 2″ each side at the waist on the paper pattern!!  That’s a LOT of pinching in to get a fitted waist.  I had to do this for both the Trifecta and for Jalie 2805.

The Verdict

  • Instructions- Both have excellent instructions.
  • Pattern-  I think both patterns are very well drafted.
  • Style- I needed to make the same side seam modifications for both patterns to get the close fit I wanted.  I think the Trifecta is very flattering, with its lower neckline.  But this is meant to be a thermal top, and I felt like I needed to put on another top or wear a scarf in cooler weather.  The Jalie’s jewel neckline is perfect for a thermal top.
  • Fabric Used-  Here is the REAL clincher.  Because of the raglan sleeves, I needed 1.4 metres of fabric for the Trifecta Top.  With Jalie 2805, I only needed 0.8 metres.

0.8 METRES???  That’s amazing!!!

And with merino wool fabric being roughly $25.00/metre plus postage, this is an absolute no-brainer.  It cost me less about $25 to make the top (dividing postage up with other fabric I ordered from the same place): $25 compared with $120 for a store-bought one.

Congratulations, Jalie 2805, you are the WINNER!

Don’t get me wrong.  I think the Trifecta is great, and it has lots of cute styling options with the armbands, hembands, and little pockets.  I look forward to trying them when I come across some good-priced knit fabric.  I am actually happy I own both patterns.  They both have different neckline and sleeves to each other, so they are different enough that I can justify both in my stash.

But for merino thermal tops, Jalie 2805 is it.


4 thoughts on “The Perfect T-Shirt Pattern

  1. Alyssa

    Yes, I think the Jalie looks more like a Sensible Thermal Top from a Damart catalogue. But I actually think it’s very flattering. Colour is great! What a crazy saving too! I love merino thermal tops, they are great for rollerblading in winter (or cycling for that matter)…who am I kidding, not just winter but spring and autumn too…you know how unforgiving the weather in Brisbane is in the cooler months.


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