Monthly Archives: April 2016

Sewing With Knits – Fleece Hoodie

The thought of sewing with stretchy fabric terrified me – I’d heard all sorts of horror stories about how the fabric stretched out of shape while sewing, or all the stitches snapped when the person tried on the finished item. However, I couldn’t find a hooded sweatshirt in the shops that suited me, so I wanted to try making my own.

Craftsy had a sale, so I decided to take the plunge and enrol on the Sewing With Knits course. It includes 5 patterns for different items of clothing, including a fleece hoodie. I printed off the pattern in a smaller scale to start with, and stitched a teddy bear sized hoodie as a test run.

Pockets are always useful, so I added a free-style kangaroo pocket to the front.

Mini Fleece Hoodie

Spurred on by my success, I went searching for sweatshirt fleece. This was surprisingly hard to find, but I eventually came across a really nice red fleece, which has slightly lighter red stars printed on it. Not wanting the fleecy side to be against my hair on the hood, I also picked 50cm of jersey fabric to use as the hood lining.

The pattern doesn’t include a hood lining, so I used my usual method of trial-and-error to get it to line up. Admittedly some of the top stitching down the sides of the seam aren’t entirely level on the lining, but that’s not overly noticeable unless you look really closely. To get the lining attached to the hood, I left a small gap on back neck edge to turn it the right way out – as that’s underneath the hood, it’s not too obvious that there’s an extra line of top stitching there just to hold that seam closed.

Fleece Hoodie

All the seams were sewn on my regular sewing machine, using a zigzag stitch. I do have a stretch stitch option, but the craftsy course used zigzags, so that’s what I stuck with. I haven’t decide yet if I should attempt a double zigzag hem, or if a twin needle hem would work better – it’s mainly down to the bulk of the fleece, which one would look the neatest.

Gryffindor Sock Owl

I was browsing the Primark website the other day, when I came across a pack of 4 pairs of Harry Potter themed socks. “Nothing special about that”, I hear you say, but I had plans for these socks….

Sock Owls

Wouldn’t it be a neat idea to make these into sock owls? I’d already made one out of a grey sock, but while it looks cute, it’s not really all that startling. My first challenge was the orientation of the sock – the pattern uses the toe part of the sock as the head, but then the writing and crest would be upside-down. Gathering the heel part of the sock, I realised I would need to add something to the head in order to cover the stitches and make it look more finished.

Sock Owls

Cue the Witch Hat free pattern from BeeZee Art on Craftsy – what better way to shout “Harry Potter” than an owl wearing a wizarding hat?

I stitched the hat by hand, but I think it would look better on the machine, as then the brim could be totally flat on the edges. However, for a first Gryffindor Owl, I think it looks pretty cute, and I’m already planning the next 7 owls from the remaining socks! 🙂


New Look 6178

I’ve been struggling to get the sizing worked out for fitted clothing like tops and dresses – no matter how closely I follow the instructions, there’s still a weird bit of excess fabric on the neck, or it’s too snug on the waist. So I thought I’d try using some jersey offcuts I’d bought as a bargain buy from my local fabric shop, and make myself a vest top or two.

New Look 6178 is relatively easy to make, with no darts or equally awkward points to mark and sew. The straps were the most fiddly part, as the stretchy nature of the fabric didn’t lend itself to being pinned…. I think clips might have worked better, but eventually I got them to behave.

New Look 6178

I’m only 5′ tall, so I did shorten the pattern to ensure the waist was at the right point. Unfortunately this means the first one (the black & reddy pink vest on the left) is a little shorter than I’d like, but it’s still wearable. I added several inches onto the length for the purple one, so I can find the ideal length before hemming it.

Stitching on my regular machine, I used a zigzag for the main stitching, but I’ll use a double needle and a straight stitch for the hem, just to give a more professional finish.