Sunday, September 2, 2012

Fleece Hoodie Sewing Project

   I recently signed up for this online course on the web site. It is called 'Sewing With Knits'. If you aren't already familiar with Craftsy, and you like to sew or quilt, you really should go check it out. The courses are very affordable and they never expire. You can watch them over and over. It's like having instructors living in your computer, at your beck and call, 24 hours a day.
   This particular course attracted me because I have a very laid back lifestyle and am almost always wearing some type of knitwear. However I have not been brave enough to attempt sewing my own knit clothing. Knit fabric has a reputation of being tricky to sew. Meg, the instructor of this course, removes any apprehensions.

 But first, a couple of photos from my garden.
My canna is blooming.

And I have another nearly ripe tomato.
There may yet be some homemade spaghetti sauce.

   Sewing knitwear is easy if you know a few simple tricks. You can whip up a hoodie or a t-shirt in nothing flat. Imagine an entire wardrobe of comfortable clothes! The most important thing to know about sewing knitwear? ZIG ZAG IS YOUR FRIEND. 

A walking foot and some clear elastic are also helpful.

  This course includes the patterns for making all 5 of the projects. That's a big bonus and well worth the price of the course. The drawback is....they are all PDF patterns. The hoodie pattern was printed on 23 sheets of paper. Then those pieces had to be taped together.

   Once you have the master pattern pieced together you need to trace your size out onto some Swedish tracing paper. The final step is cutting out the pieces from your fabric. Taping and tracing the pattern was the most time consuming part of the project. Once the pieces were cut out the sewing went really fast. Here is the hood.

   Now it's time to sew the shoulder seams. This is where the clear elastic comes in. It is used as a stabilizer to keep your shoulder seams from sagging. Ingenious! It is sewn in place using a tricot stitch (aka darning stitch). Yes, this tricot stitch is your seam. No, it does not gap. Amazing!

   I sewed this project on my vintage Kenmore sewing machine without using any of the special knit stitches. The stitches used can be found on most basic sewing machines. Anyone can sew knits successfully. There's no need to fear them. The only issue I ran into is my sewing machine was being cranky and refused to stay on a shallow zig zag setting. I had it set at "1" and every time I turned around it had moved to "2". I'm not sure why. Maybe due to the walking foot? I had never noticed this being an issue in the past. I was already too far into the project to switch machines so my zig zag is consistently inconsistent. The leopard pattern is so busy that I doubt anyone will notice. I will use a different sewing machine for sewing knits in the future. I should be able to find another around here somewhere. ;-)

My finished hoodie.

A close-up of the neck opening.

And the inside of the finished shoulder.

  Randine was over last night, while I was sewing, and she is begging for a hoodie now. This is a very comfortable and flattering style. Of course she does NOT want hers in leopard print. LOL!  Everyone has been giving me a hard time about this fabric. It was FREE, folks. It is also a very good quality, snuggly soft polyester fleece. Perfect for a first attempt at sewing this pattern. Now that I know it was successful I will use a more desirable fabric for the next one. And there will be many, many more. I am going to wear the heck out of my leopard hoodie, if for no other reason than to embarrass my family. I'm evil that way.
  I leave you with a photo of a recent thrift store find. Sock monkey slippers. Brand new, unworn, in my size, for just $1.50. They do clash with my sugar skull jammies but that's OK.


Dip-Dip and the Bridge said...

I'm in the class too (Lynne O), I'm still waiting for my walking foot to arrive in the mail and it's driving me crazy! I have just bought some lovely soft blue fleece for mine. I love the fleece you have chosen :)

crazihippichic said...

I can't wait to see your finished hoodie. :-)