Last week I made a hoodie for Mathilda. She wore it when we went out to the zoo with friends, and it was such a hit! So, I have made another one for my friend’s daughter, Hannah. I had a few problems with the placket on the first one, but this time it worked perfectly, so I’m going to show you step-by-step how I did it.
So here it is: Hannah’s Hoodie!
(no, this isn’t Hannah, its a child-sized mannequin)
This hoodie is two-tone, with a contrast colour used for the hood and sleeves, it has patch pockets at the front, a lined hood and front placket with snap fastening.
I used all materials that I already had, nothing new was bought for this project.
50cm purple knit fleece
1m pink knit fleece
small amount of grey ribbing
remnant of patterned knit jersey (for the hood lining)
KAM snaps, 3 sets
thread, lots and lots of pins
Pattern: Ottobre Design issue 4/2014, design number 26 in a size 122cm
Sewing machine used: Singer Futura CE350
Time: approx 2 hours from start to finish
The Cutting Layout
Ottobre Design doesn’t provide cutting layouts for their patterns. Which is okay, but sometimes it can be time consuming to find the best fit. I learnt to sew using my Mum’s old sewing patterns from the 1960s, they had cutting layouts for different sizes, different fabric widths etc, so I’m not starting from a blank position here, but I do want to make the most economical use of my fabric. Here is the layout that I used:
(This fabric is lolly pink, so pink that it almost hurt my eyes to look at it, I don’t think it comes across in the photos just how pink it is, but it will look good when made up!)
I folded the fabric off centre so that I could fit the bodice pieces either side, and the pocket and placket in the centre. This way I only used fabric up to the height of the dress. I left space below the bodice pieces to add an extra 5cm to the overall length of the dress, because, as per my previous post, I think it needed just that little bit extra.
Hannah and Mathilda are about the same height, although Hannah is a more petite, so I used the pattern pieces that I had already traced to make Mathilda’s hoodie. I trace my patterns onto greaseproof lunch wrap, because its so very cheap and convenient, if I need a piece that is wider than the width of the roll I just use sticky tape to attach two of them together.
I cut the sleeves and hood from separate fabric (the purple), which I didn’t get a photo of unfortunately. Here are the cut out pieces:
This picture shows all the pattern pieces, including the hood lining, and sleeve cuffs (which are cut from ribbing). Like most European patterns, Ottobre patterns don’t include seam allowances, see how I’ve added them around the pattern pieces. Note that for both of the bodice pieces I cut an extra long hem allowance. Also note, that I did not add seam allowances to the top of the pockets, one side of the plackets, and the front edge of the hood – these edges will be finished with rib binding.
These are a few scraps that I had left over, but I’m not going to throw them out – I have a project that I’m planning to use them for, so I’m going to put them to one side for later.
Here are the pockets ready to be stitched on. I had already done the binding on the top edge, and I stitched an easing stitch around them to make it easier to pin down that curve. I used lots of pins, and yes I stitched over the top of them, I know that I lot of sexists don’t like to do that, but that’s the way I did it in this case. The fleece fabric is quite easy to sew with, it doesn’t slip around too much, but it is quite thick through the many layers with the pockets, especially at the corners – bodice, pocket piece and double layer of binding where its folded over on each side of the pocket. I took my time sewing the pockets because last time I messed up one of the top edges (and ended up covering it with a bow and button), but this time they both worked neatly.
Refer to my previous post about the construction for the side darts that give the gathered skirt. I followed the exact same method here, and once again it was very easy.
Preparing The Placket
Ottobre Magazine provides worded descriptions for constructing the garments, but it doesn’t provide step-by-step pictures or diagrams for everything, only selected techniques. In the next few steps I will show you how I made the placket for this hoodie, if you have the Ottobre pattern you can follow along and you will see that I did follow their instructions, although sometimes its hard to work it out without a picture.
The neckline for the bodice front has a narrow “u” shape. The placket pieces are pinned to either side, with the outer pieces on the outside with right sides facing towards the right side of the bodice:
The inside placket pieces (or placket facings) are pinned at the same time with the right side of the placket facing to the wrong side of the bodice, the bodice neckline is sandwiched in between the two placket pieces on either side.
The placket pieces align with the neckline at the top, but go about 2cm lower than the bottom of the “u”. Stitch down each side, but leaving 1cm unstitched at the bottom.
The corners are carefully snipped diagonally from the corner of the “u” to the end of the stitching. This is important. Very important. You will need it to look like this to be able to finish the construction later. It is probably where I went wrong last time, so here is another picture of it, closer up (and with my threads trimmed this time).
Next, fold your outer and inner placket pieces out around the seam allowance and baste them together so that it looks like this:
First, stitch the hood pieces together, and the hood lining pieces together, like this:
I stitched the centre seams flat using one of the built-in fancy stitches on my sewing machine (number 20) that looks like a flat lock stitch.
I stitched both the hood, and the lining centre seams. I stitched one folded to the left, and one folded to the right. Because the hood is lined there is no need to overlock the seam allowances, but stitching them flat will make them sit a lot better when worn.
The front and back bodice are then stitched together at the shoulders. Then, the hood is sewn to the neckline, matching centre backs and shoulder seams/markings. The lining is then sewn inside matching all those same things. This is the same process as for the placket pieces. The hood and its lining are then folded out and together, sandwiching the neckline inbetween and are basted together at the front edge. Sorry, but I forgot to get a photo at this point, but I did get a photo of the next part, which is where I have applied the ribbed binding to the entire neck edge, in one long piece, from one placket, all the way around the hood and down the other placket. So that it now looks like this:
Stitching the Placket
The instructions that accompany this pattern state something about pinning the two plackets together, which I guess means to do something like this:
But, honestly, it doesn’t make any sense to me to do this. Because, if you turn the hoodie inside out, and fold it horizontally where the placket needs to be stitched, aligning the two placket pieces, it will look like this:
If I had pinned the placket from the front, as per the instructions, I would not have been able to do this. Maybe I didn’t quite understand the instructions. Anyway, here is where it is now:
And, just stitch, straight across the plackets, which includes that small bit at the bottom of the “u” at the back of this picture.
**this is why it was so important to finish the stitching before the end of the placket piece when attaching the plackets, so that the corners could be snipped. This allows everything to fold neatly and in alignment.
All that is needed now is to trim the seam allowances, no need to do anything else to them because they are knit fabric and will not fray. And then, unfold the fabric. It should look like this on the inside:
And on the outside, it should like this:
No creases, no puckers, no pinches. Perfectly flat. Neat corners. Just perfect!
Read Part Two: I will show how to sew set-in sleeves the easy way, finish the cuffs and there will be lots more pictures of the finished hoodie, with snaps and all!