Last fall I stumbled on l’oiseau fabrics in my search for cute knit prints for use in children’s wear. I happily loaded my cart with adorable prints, and then checked myself… did I really need more fabric right then? Every couple of months since then I would look up new prints, question whether I needed more fabric, and then empty my cart.
A couple of weeks ago I was doing my regular pilgrimage through l’oiseau’s prints, convincing myself that yes, I did need fabric, and who cares what my husband says, when I saw on Facebook that I could have the opportunity for free fabric and get to write my first blog post! I quickly made the decision on whether I needed more fabric (YES!) and sent off an email to Michelle to ask about blogging. I chose something completely different for my project than what I had previously vetoed from my cart prior to finally making my first purchase. I wanted my blog project to be different than what I would normally sew.
I chose Monsters in Underwear sweatshirt material.
I have been sewing a lot of knits lately making monkey butt pants and upcycled t-shirt clothing for babies and toddlers, but have never used sweatshirt material. The fabric available at our local chain store (you know the one!) is overpriced and plain solid colours, I wanted to make something fun.
I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited to receive a package in the mail! I ordered on Tuesday and had my fabric washed and dried by Friday night. After a thorough Pinterest and google search I settled on a hooded sweatshirt in the style of the Lululemon Scuba hoodie. I found a free pattern through brindletwig, if I signed up for Melissa’s newsletter.
I altered the pattern by not cutting the front piece on the fold, instead cutting two front pieces and adding half an inch on each piece for the centre, and adding half an inch to either side of the hood pieces and pockets (which I cut in half). My idea was to make a hooded sweatshirt with a zipper similar to one that my rapidly growing 14 month old is currently wearing. I also sized up, because knowing my luck I would finally get it finished and it would no longer fit.
I have taken my time making this hoodie as I wanted it to turn out just right. Initially I did not plan to line the hood, but consultation with my husband (he’s more artistically inclined than I am) saw me cutting out a hood lining from a cheap poly-cotton knit I had bought on clearance in Vancouver (I knew I bought those 3 m for something!). But something didn’t look right, after much ironing, frustration and further consultation with hubby, it was determined that I’d somehow sewn the hood lining upside down! Ugh, and of course, wanting to be a perfectionist I had sewn, serged and further top-stitched my seams! A wonderful half hour of ripping it all out and finally I was able to sew my hood in. It looks quite nice, doesn’t it?
Sewing with sweatshirt material was much easier than a regular jersey knit, the fabric itself had a lot less stretch. Because of this I was a bit concerned the cuffs wouldn’t be wide enough, and were I to do this project again I would use a regular rib knit for the sleeve cuffs to be on the safe side. It was a little more frustrating to rip out stitching, especially on the fluffy white inside where the stitches were deceptively hidden, but overall it was really nice to work with.
I’m planning on using this pattern again to make a few more hoodies, maybe out of old sweatshirts, and will make some matching 80’s style sweatpants (think elastic cuffs!) to complete the outfit, and use up the rest of my meter of material. This project took me about 2 hours sewing, start to finish (not including the time I spent ripping out), all seams are stitched and serged (only because I broke my 2nd needle on my serger and have yet to replace it) and used less than half of the meter of fabric for a 18-24 month sized hoody.