My First MakeNine Make: CoEmi Jessi

Up first on my #MakeNine2019 list was the CoEmi Jessi. I shocked myself by picking a sweatshirt pattern. I honestly don't wear a ton of them but keep buying these type of patterns. The reason I put this on my list was that I wanted to challenge myself with trying an international pattern. This is a German pattern that's fortunately been translated into English. I'll go through my steps from purchasing to completion on my Jessi and any tips I learned along the way below. 

Purchasing the Pattern

Starting out, purchasing an international pattern wasn't quite so easy. The Jessi can be purchased on which is the German or original form of Makerist. There is a version now but I wasn't able to find this specific pattern for purchase there. Therefore, in order to buy the pattern, I used the google browser and had each page on converted from German to English using google translate. translated from German to English using Google Translate

Before buying, keep in mind there are three different sizes of the Jessi. The mini Jessi is for US sizes 12 months- kids14, Jessi is US4-18 and Big Jessi is US18-28. I followed the size I measured on the size chart and found it was a slim fit. If you are looking for a relaxed or looser fit, definitely size up. I made my measured size US12 when I normally sew a size 6 bust to a 10 waist and hips. From reading about others experiences, if you are close to the upper size of the regular Jessi, going to the Big Jessi is always recommended. 

Another thing to note about purchasing the Jessi patterns, is to make sure you use a card or purchasing way that minimizes any conversion fees. You will be purchasing this pattern in Euros so your bank or credit card may charge a conversion or flat foreign transaction fee. I used PayPal and didn't see any additional fees. At the time of purchasing, I bought both the Mini Jessi and Jessi patterns on sale for €2 each. After the PayPal conversion rate the €4 ended up being $4.73 deducted from my account. The patterns normally cost €7,90 or $9US each. 

In order to download the patterns, I had to sign into the account I created when purchasing the patterns. 


The next challenge I came across was actually printing the pattern. The pattern is made to be printed on A4 paper not the letter size we are used to in the US. The work around I found for this was to use Legal paper and change the settings on my printer. It doesn't print on the full piece of Legal paper but I was able to trim it down and get it to fit together. If you were to just use US Letter paper, there is a portion of the pattern that wouldn't print and your fit would be off. 

Assembling & Grading your Pattern

Once you've printed the pattern, tape or glue it together as you would normally. You will want to draw lines to grade if needed. One thing to note at this point is that the seam allowance is NOT included. This is common in international patterns. It does not work to just size up to accommodate for this. I chose to use a 1/4" seam allowance since that is the easiest when using my serger. There are two options on how you can add in seam allowance. You can cut your measured size without seam allowance or add seam allowance before cutting out the pattern.

The first way is to just cut out the pattern in your size without any seam allowance. You would then add the seam allowance when you are actually cutting the fabric. My only hesitation with this method was that if I was used to always having a seam allowance already included, I may forget to add it in on future makes. 

The other option is to add the seam allowance before cutting out paper pattern. This is the route I took. I added 1/4" seam allowance to all of my pieces (except along the folds) by drawing it physically on the paper around the pattern. It was a bit confusing to see all of the lines and did take a significant amount of time. I wanted to ensure I didn't forget the seam allowance on future makes though.

Cutting out the Fabric

Identifying the pattern pieces was my next struggle but Google Translate came to the rescue once again. Here's what I identified as each piece.

Rückteil= Back (cut on fold)
mitt.Vorderteil= Front center (cut on fold)
swirl.Vorderteil= Front sides (cut 2 mirror)
Taschenbeutel= Pocket bag (cut 2 mirror)
Armel= Sleeves (cut 2 mirror)
Kapuze= Hood (cut 2 sets mirror, one for main and one lining)
Kapuze Streifen= hood stripes (cut 2)
Kragen= Cowl (cut 2 on fold)
Bündchen Saum vo= waistband front
Bündchen Saum hi= waistband back 
Bundchen arm= arm cuffs (cut 2 with added 1/2" width)

This pattern has the option of a cowl or hoodie, pockets, two waistband heights and nursing zippers. I chose the cowl, pockets and my own adjusted waistband. I also adjusted the width of the arm cuffs as I read comments that they were quite tight.

For the fabric, I used Dry-Fit French Terry from Surge Fabric Shop. I purchased this medium weight royal blue color way when it was marked down as flawed with faint lines across it. I actually really liked this "flaw." The splatter for the side panels and inside of the cowl is cotton lycra from TKB Prints. They will be opening a pre-order for new color ways of the splatter print in a couple weeks. This is premium digitally printed heavy weight cotton lycra that I would highly recommend. For the white and black accents and bands I used cotton lycra from Surge Fabric Shop as well. 

Adjustments I made were to increase the width of the arm cuffs by 0.5 inch. I had read that they were very tight and after that adjustment I find they are still fitted but not too tight. For the waistband I decided I didn't want it tunic length and completely changed it. I ended up cutting 2 pieces 6" tall by the width of the waistband pieces. If you cut the waistband according to the pieces provided, you will have front and back waistband pieces that you sew together on each short side. The waistband will end up being very tall and a "tunic" style length. 


I'll be honest, I didn't actually read or look at the directions. I knew that Alex over at Backstitch Backroom last year did a Sew-Along for the Jessi so I watched her videos and followed that way. It was a HUGE help. 

It wasn't in the pattern but I chose to add the optional decorative trim accent that Alex did around the main front pattern piece. I like how it gave a nice accent. I cut each piece 1.5" wide and roughly measured the length of the front panel piece where the side panel would attach. Here's the video of how she did it. 

I also added an optional decorative patch with grommets to the cowl front. I added a faux drawstring rather than a functional one as I didn't think there was any need for a functioning one with a cowl.

Final Assessment

I surprised myself with how much I love this sweatshirt. I wear it at least weekly and find it fits so many needs in my wardrobe. I wear it with workout leggings or jeans for such different looks. The fit is extremely flattering, pockets are very functional with easily holding my large iPhone and/or keys and it doesn't get too warm or cold to wear. The cowl is large providing warmth in addition to an additional fun aesthetic element. 

The hardest part of this pattern was the purchasing, printing and assembly with seam allowance. Once the prep work was done, it was a breeze to make. I have every intent on making a couple more for myself as well as sewing some up for my boys and niece. 

One resource I found helpful was the International Knit Sew-a-longs group on Facebook. You can search for other Jessi's people have made or post questions. The videos found in the Backstitch Backroom walked me through the entire sewing process too. 

#MakeNine2019 Update

So since this is my first make, I'm now 1/9 of the way done! Up next I think will be either the Hyacinth bra or the Willamette shirt but I'm making as I feel the desire. I have a couple pattern tests upcoming too so keep an eye for those!

My posts may feature affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase from these links, I receive a small percentage in compensation at no cost to you. I may have received patterns or products to test or review but the opinions I voice are my own. 


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