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.
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.
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.