Every now and then, in between sewing for the kids, I manage to find some time to sew something for myself. Most recently I made myself a new hoodie.

The Pattern

I used design number 15 from the Autumn/Winter 5/2015 issue of Ottobre Woman. This pattern is for a pullover hoodie with long, cuffed sleeves, a drawstring hood, and front pockets.

The Overall Fit

I cut out the size that I would normally use, based on my hip measurement, however, this hoodie ended up being quite a bit more roomy than it appears on the model in the magazine. That’s okay, I do like it the way that it is, but to achieve the intended look I would need to go down at least 2 sizes, maybe even 3, depending on the fabric.

As it is, the sleeves are extra long and the body length is almost tunic length on me, but I’m a bit of a shorty.

The Neckline and Shoulder Seams

This hoodie has saddle sleeves, a bit like raglan sleeves, but much more tricky to sew. I’m not overly impressed with this design feature, I think I prefer regular raglan sleeves.

The neckline is simple – there is no binding required for this pattern. The unlined hood is attached with a small cross over at the front. I prefer a lined hood, I think it looks better when not worn on the head, and its warmer when it is worn.

The Hood

A special note on the hood, the method of construction described in the magazine was not easy.

There was meant to be two grommets for the cord to feed through – I even went and bought one of those special plier-tools for the grommets, but this fabric was just not cooperating, even with strong interfacing ironed onto the back (fortunately I tested this on some scraps before attempting it on the prepared hood). So I ended up making short button holes instead.

The method of construction was to thread the cord out through one grommet, through a toggle, back in through the other grommet, and then to fold the self-casing over the cord and stitch. Stitching that seam closed was almost impossible to do as described, I ended up using my regular zipper foot to do this, which was tricky with the slippery knit fabric, I think next time I would stitch the casing and then thread the cord through.

It was also made even harder because the cord length, as specified in the pattern, is shorter than the length of the casing, it needed to be longer.

If I were to make this again, I think I would omit the cord and toggle completely, and add a lining to the hood.

The Sleeve Cuffs

The cuffs look fine, but I would use ribbing if I were to make them again, then the extra length probably wouldn’t bother me at all. As they are, they reach past my fingertips!

A note on the Stitches used

I don’t own a coverstitch machine, I made this garment on my regular Brother My Star 3 sewing machine. Stitches used:

  • The built in stretch straight stitch (number 15 on my machine) with the stitch length set to 3 (out of a possible 4)
  • A regular zig zag with the length set to 2 and the stitch width set as wide as it would go.

I used my Lumina overlocker to do most of the straight stitching (the side seams) and also to finish all the internal seams – except around the pockets…

The Pockets

One part of this hoodie that I am particularly pleased with, is the pockets.

They looked pretty intimidating to me, but I thought I would give them a go, and they were easy. Definitely worth doing again. The instructions provided were clear and easy to follow. The pockets are also the perfect size – big enough to put my hands in to keep them out of the cold wind, or just to keep my phone in without fear of it falling out.

I actually used iron-on hemming tape to stabilise the pocket openings. It worked really well for this job, and I didn’t need to apply any other finish to the raw edges because the hemming tape holds onto this fabric really well, and even though it is a knit and won’t fray, it will still want to roll and bunch up, the hemming tape prevents this.

The Fabric

I used a plain black knit for the back, hood and sleeves, and just in case you were wondering if you had seen this fabric that I used for the front before:

Well, yes you have:

I used the same tartan-printed knit for this t-shirt I made for Jonathan last year for Kids Clothing Week.

Speaking of which…there is a new Kids Clothing Week Challenge starting on 22 Feb – I’ll be sewing along, so remember to check back to see what I make!

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