The Hoodie

Whilst the ‘grand froid’* continues I decided it was time to sew something that I could get some instant gratification from, both in terms of a quick sew up and making something that I could wear straight away (I mean I enjoyed making the Meringue but it doesn’t do much for my motivation knowing that I am making something that is then going to sit in the cupboard for a few months before it can be worn).

A couple of months ago I bought a metre and a half of grey sweatshirt fabric on line. I hadn’t really got a plan for the fabric but it was cheap so I bought it anyway thinking that it would always come in for a sweatshirt or some tracksuit bottoms for the children.

When the fabric came I have to admit that I was a little disappointed. The colour was slightly darker than I had imagined it would be and slightly bluer. The fabric also had very little stretch. Nevermind, I thought. It will come in for something. And I promptly stashed it away in the back of the cupboard which is where I found it when I was looking for inspiration for my instant gratification project.

Thick, fleecy sweatshirt fabric + quick project for ‘le grand froid’ = perfect match.

Still unsure of what to make I grabbed my Sew U Home Stretch book and flicked through for inspiration. A few days earlier I had seen this hooded sweatshirt which I still have my eye on so when I saw the pattern modifications set out in the Sew U book to make a zipped hoodie I thought I would have a go.

A couple of hours later I was snuggled up on the sofa with a cup of tea wearing my new hoodie. I followed the modifications set out in the book to the raglan sleeve top and it went together easily and quickly. I lined the hood (instructions for which are also set out in the book) and mainly used my overlocker – except for attaching the ‘very useful’ pockets(!!)  for which I used a twin needle on my regular machine. As I didn’t have any jersey ribbing to use for the cuffs on the sleeves and around the waist I used the same fleecy sweatshirt fabric and made a pleat on each sleeve so that the sleeve fitted into the cuff (if you use ribbing you can just stretch the ribbing to fit the sleeve).

the very useful pockets!

The picture above shows the colour more accurately than the other photos and also shows the metal zipper that I used. As I was reliant on what I already had in the cupboard I made do with a zipper that was slightly shorter than the jacket (as you can see in the second photo above). Overall it doesn’t really matter for this top as despite it being lovely and warm given the colour of the fabric (which if I am honest I don’t love) it is a top that will get lots of wear at home and for yoga but is unlikely to be worn out and about very much. I am however pleased that I made it – firstly because it has already had lots of wear at home and it is lovely and warm – and secondly because I will make this pattern again – in a better colour – because hoodies are one of those items of clothing that I find useful – they can be thrown on – they are nice and warm – and great for hiding in!!

Right, I’m off to snuggle up in my hoodie with a hot chocolate!!

Happy Sunday!


Late Fall Challenge – Item 4

So with three items already done and a skirt on it’s way to completion I decided to add a quick and easy project – a jersey top.

You may remember the red marinière I posted about here. Well I still had some of the red and white stripe fabric left and decided to make it into a slightly different kind of top. At first I thought I would go with a simple fitted top with gathered sleeves made from the bodice section of the dress pattern in Sew U Stretch but then I remembered this Vogue pattern I had bought a while a go to make a dress and decided to see if I could adapt it to make a top.The amount of fabric I had left meant that I had to go with the three quarter sleeved version but that suits me fine as you may have noticed from the other two tops that I sewn for this challenge that despite it being winter I still have a preference for short sleeved tops. It is not that it is not cold here it’s just that our heating works well (!) and often when I am busy , especially if cooking, I feel as though I am going to overheat. I therefore like to layer up rather than have one thick item of clothing on.

I separated the bodice from the skirt on the pattern and cut out the bodice front and back and the three quarter sleeves. The pattern sleeve states that the dress should be made in moderate stretch knits only and has a zip closure on the centre back seam. As the red and white jersey that I was using is relatively stretchy, even for a jersey, I decided that I could skip the zipper as I was confident that I would be able to get the top on without any form of closure.

I followed the instructions for the pleats on the front but in addition top stitched the pleats in place. For the top stitching on the pleats and around the neckline and the sleeves hems I used a contrasting navy thread.

And I added a grosgrain ribbon on the inside of the back neck seam to prevent the neckline stretching out too much (along with the regulation label of course!)I also added a pleat tuck on each sleeve mainly because they were too wide but I think that the added pleat goes well with the overall design.And, finally I added a double band waistband which I find works well to stop jersey tops growing width-wise at the bottom and giving that gaping look which is never a good look!Put all that together and this is what you get:Basically a three quarter sleeve length t-shirt with a difference. I like the pleats on this top and am looking forward to making the dress when I find some suitable fabric (I’m thinking a block colour to really show off the pleats with maybe an exposed metal zipper down the back…). In the meantime I can see myself adapting this pattern again to make more tops.