New York Hoodie

Hoodie1Proudest sewing moment ever: I not only finished a gift on time (which reminds me, a friend of mine is still waiting for the skirt I promised to sew for her birthday in May… 2013!) but I also drafted the pattern myself!

Hoodie2I had planned on simply tracing my boyfriend’s old hoodie (without taking it apart), but this proved to be such a hassle on a stretchy fabric that I quickly gave up on that idea and found myself drafting my own pattern. I just used the old hoodie and this pattern I own to check whether the length and width of my pattern were correct, then I drew everything myself with a certain amount of guesswork.

Hoodie3By the way, you read it right: I own a hoodie pattern, yet I found it more appealing to draft my own instead of using that one. I really must hate tracing patterns even more than I thought!

Anyway, the result not only looks like what I had in mind, but it also fits the recipient! Luck of the beginner I guess. There’s only one thing I would change in future occurrences of this pattern, and two more the recipient would have me change.Hoodie4What I would change is I would make the hood longer and deeper so that it fits more comfortably over his head. What he would have me change in addition to that is making the whole body and sleeves wider so that he could wear it over several layers (even more than what he’s wearing in the pictures apparently, which is a tank top, a long-sleeved tee and a sweater – and you can see the hoodie doesn’t even look tight over all those layers!) and above all widening the sleeve bands a bit: I swear they aren’t tight at all, you can sort of see it in the pictures, but feeling something touching his wrists is a pet peeve of his so he usually wears clothes that have much more ease than what I personally think he would need (that’s why such a thin – yet very tall – guy wears size XL clothing!). He also feels suffocated when something touches his neck, which is why he didn’t close the zipper all the way up – never will! Ah, Mr Picky, you’re lucky I love you! 😉

Hoodie5Despite his (constructive) criticism, he still said he was happy with the hoodie and he took it with him to New York and I know he’ll be wearing it a lot, so this is actually at least as rewarding a sewing project as those destined for myself.

Hoodie8As regards the technical details, I lined the hood and made the cuff and body bands with self fabric: I initially wanted to use some ribbing for the bands, but I didn’t want to bother with finding (or dyeing) the right colour, and mostly I knew Mr Picky would HATE the snug fit of ribbing! I was a little bit afraid the result wouldn’t look as professional as with ribbing, but I was pleasantly surprised!

I used an assorted purple separating metal zipper which I bought in a great local shop where they specialise in zippers of all colours, types and sizes. They even cut this one to the exact length I needed and it looks like it has always been this length: you can’t see where they cut it or moved a tooth even if you try! Unfortunately, this great shop that has been there for as long as I can remember is moving outside of Brussels in June. 😦

Hoodie7I realised on Sunday that I needed some metal eyelets for the hood lace before I could tackle the next step. Since I didn’t want to wait until the next day for the shop to be open, I delved into my stash in search for a replacement… and found out that I not only had an eyelet plier, but also two whole bags of eyelets in two colours: gold and silver. I had completely forgotten that my mother had bought me those some time ago!

Now that I (know that I) have all those eyelets, it shouldn’t be too long before I replace my own ratty hoodies! Though I don’t think I’ll bother drafting the pattern myself this time, seeing as one of them is so ratty I’ll have no qualms just taking it apart and using the pieces as a pattern!

Hoodie6

Sketchbook: Selfless Hoodie

HoodieNo, your eyes are not playing you tricks, I’m not the recipient of my latest sewing project!

My boyfriend, who hates shopping like you wouldn’t believe, had been making hints that he would appreciate it very much if I helped him avoid that chore by sewing him some of the clothes he needed to replace. I wasn’t overjoyed at that prospect because, you know, sewing for someone else, ugh. Plus he is very picky about the comfort of his clothes, and I didn’t want to waste some of my precious sewing time making something that wouldn’t get worn! I knit him a cardigan four years ago, and instead of falling at my feet in eternal gratitude as any normal person would do (a cardigan, for Pete’s sake! Size XL!!!), he pointed out that the sleeve ribbing was too tight for his taste.

But then again, after I fixed it with some astute blocking, he’s been wearing the cardigan all winter long every year. Just as he has been wearing that fleece headband that took me about five minutes to sew. And he was in desperate need of a new hoodie for an upcoming trip to New York. And I had bought an impressive amount of sweatshirt fabric that was taking an impressive amount of space in my stash. And Thread&Needles had just announced their “Un vêtement masculin” (men’s wear) sewing contest.

So I set to work and made him a (self-drafted!) hoodie. And I have to say I’m really proud with the outcome, which I should show you very soon since he accepted to pose for some pictures before he and the hoodie left for New York yesterday!