Finally, my hoodie project comes to a close!
What I thought would be a few-week project instead turned into a multi-month project. I took a few breaks in the middle, but still it turned out to be a bigger project than I thought.
I made two hoodies simultaneously to close the project.
(Click/tap on the photos to see larger versions)
The Purple/Black Hoodie
For the purple-black hoodie, I used a purple sweatshirt fleece remnant from Fabric Outlet. I really love both the feel and the hue. It has a little bit of heathering, and there’s also a waffle texture in the knit that really gives it character. I knew it would make a dynamite hoodie.
This purple fleece is lighter in texture and has much more drape than the grey and black fleeces I had on hand. So I also bought some black fleece that better suits the drape of the black fabric.
The cuffs and waistband came from black rib knit in my stash. The purple zippers, already in my stash, came from WAWAK Sewing Supplies. And the drawcord is a from pair of sneaker laces I spotted in Sports Basement, a local athletic gear store.
This hoodie is a gift to Jim, because he likes purple and the purple hoodie he has now is covered with tacky tech company logos.
The Gray/Black/White Hoodie
The other hoodie I made was the gray/black/white color block design I came up with at the start of the project.
My original concept was for a black hood, but I had used up most of the stiffer black sweatshirt fabric on the Black/Red hoodie. So I went for a gray hood instead. I had enough of the stiff black sweatshirt fabric (a good match for the gray, they were both purchased from Joann’s and are identical in weight and feel) for a front yoke and pockets.
A coworker offered some constructive criticism: he says the design would have been better with a black hood, as well as a black yoke in back. This would have balanced the back and front features better, as well as cut down some of the visual transitions, which can be a little jarring. I think I agree with the criticism – but I’m pleased with the design as-is.
While making the black/red hoodie, I noticed the front panels didn’t fit nicely and I had to do some easing with the serger to get the pieces to match. It worked, but there’s some rippling from the easing. It’s not too noticeable with the black fabric, but I wondered if there was a problem with my pattern pieces.
Before making this round of hoodies, I double-checked the new front pattern piece I had created by tracing together original pieces 4 and 5. Sure enough, there was an error. I had eliminated only one side of the seam allowance when I merged the two pattern pieces, so my merged front pattern piece was 5/8 inch too wide compared to the yoke piece.
I fixed the problem by overlapping the two front pattern pieces so that the seam allowance from each piece extended past the join line, just as if I were actually sewing them together. This new pattern piece matched up perfectly with the yoke front.
I made both hoodies assembly-line style as much as I could, overlapping cutting and assembly steps. It was a little inconvenient since I had to do thread switches with all three sewing machines (conventional, serger and coverstitch). But overall it was a good approach.
Some techniques that worked well with the heavier black/gray fabric didn’t work so well with the lighter, drapier purple fabric. As on the black/red hoodie, I used a twin needle to topstitch down the serging on cuffs and waistband. This worked well with the gray fabric, but some waviness on the cuffs and hems appeared with the purple fabric.
Finally, I could have paid better attention to the serger settings. The gray hoodie came out okay, but some of the serged seams on the purple hoodie also turned out wavy. I suspect I should have done some test stitches and tweaked the differential feed setting before serging the lighter, stretchier purple fabric to get a more even seam.
But, both projects turned out well and it’s time to move on to new things.
Something fun and colorful. Come back next time!