The Black and Red Hoodie Completed (McCall’s 5252, part 7)

Hola everyone,

Time marches on, and I’m (finally) pleased to report the completion of the Red and Black hoodie.

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The Welt Pockets

The welt pockets turned out very well.  I ended up using a piece of black fabric to square away the welt, as well as a basting stitche to secure the welt before attaching the zipper.

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Basting stitches stabilize the welt opening, prior to zipper insertion.


Zipper inserted, with Wash-Away Wonder Tape holding zipper in place while sewing.


I used black thread for the seams, and red thread in the loopers on both serger and coverstitch machine.  I wanted to make the serged seams part of the overall design. Plus, I didn’t have enough cones of black thread to cover both machines.


Black in the needles, red in the loopers


Serged and coverstitched seams. Up to the right is a serged neckline seam that didn’t quite get caught up in the coverstitch.

Cuffs and Hems

To make the cuffs and hems, I took the red rib-knit fabric, folded it, then serged the open end to the body of the garment.  Both pieces of rib knit were cut shorter than the body, somewhere around 90% of the garment’s cuff/hem length.

For the cuffs, I first joined them with the conventional sewing machine to make them into a tube, before quarter-marking and serging. I made samples with two different lengths of rib knit. I also measured the size of the cuffs on a commercially-made hoodie to get a goal to shoot for in terms of finished cuff size.


Rib knit is too long. Doesn’t look like a cuff.


Rib knit is too short. Wavy and puckery. (I reused the previous sample, so the cuff is not as wide).

Next, I topstitched the serged seams.  The cover stitch machine was not able to feed such a bulky seam, so I used a twin-needle stitch on the conventional machine to topstitch the seams on cuffs and hems.


The results are mixed; there’s some waviness at the top of the cuffs and hems visible in the finished garment, as the rib knit is stretched at the point where it joins the body.

Front Zipper

In retrospect, I rushed a bit through the front zipper. I taped it down with Wonder Tape before laying down the stitching, but it still turned out a bit wavy. The stitching was mostly straight, but did go off-course a bit around the pockets, where the machine had to stitch through a zipper plus several layers of bulk.


Running the zipper foot directly against the zipper teeth was a good way to get an even stitching line.

The real tragedy of the front zipper though, had nothing to do with the way the zipper was stitched. I had carefully aligned the zipper against the bottom hem on both sides, but the zipper length came out lopsided on top.  The right front side is about 3/4 inch taller than the left front side.



I honestly don’t know how this happened.  I think an error crept in while serging the front shoulders and yoke of the garment, possibly uneven seam allowances.  This is the biggest flaw in what was otherwise a fairly successful project.

One thing I will do differently on the next go-around is to assemble the front and yoke pieces as a separate step.  This will give me a chance to compare their sizes, make sure they line up, and correct them before serging them as a unit to the back piece.

I also want to look at the altered pattern piece I made that joins the two front pieces; I think it’s too wide with respect to the yoke piece, forcing me to do some easing with the serger that looked forced when completed.

At this point, I’ve deviated so far from the original pattern instructions I don’t refer to them any more.

Next Time

The Gray and White Hoodie.  And maybe the purple one too.

7 thoughts on “The Black and Red Hoodie Completed (McCall’s 5252, part 7)

  1. Josie

    Hey, Michael

    Oh! Your handy work looks so great. You out done yourself. (Not sure if this is correct way to write) Anyway, this is the first thing I say when I look at your work. I am so jealous. Why can I do something like that? I have so many excuses….

    Happy early cinco de Mayo. Gringos do celebrate this, Mexicans? Not so much.

    1. mportuesisf


      Thank you so much for the compliments! This project has been fun with the design as well as the construction.

      Happy Cinco de Mayo!

  2. Wil

    Beautiful work. I like how you experimented with different cuff lengths. Perfect fit! Doing a full muslin is a lot of work, but it sure makes for a great finished project

    1. mportuesisf

      Wil, thank you!! Yes, the muslin was truly worthwhile. I have two more hoodies to go after this one, making the muslin even more worth the time spent.

  3. Renee

    I love the details in this. I’ll have to take it into consideration. I really love the pockets.

  4. Joe

    Hi Michael – Been really busy lately but I just wanted to stop and say what a “Crazy Good Job” you did on this hoodie! All the different details you put in are excellent.

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