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Adventures in amateur sewing


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The droid I was looking for: My BB8 hoodie

Pattern: Halifax Hoodie by Hey June Handmade

Skills Acquired:

  • Separating zipper

My year of learning is off to a bit of a slow start. However, the shorts that I am making are actually making great progress it’s starting to look like they will be a success. It is looking like I may extend my pants practice into March as well, as I didn’t really get a good start until the middle of February.

In the meantime, here is a project that I completed back in December. I’m quite proud of it, since it was one of my most successful pieces. I didn’t even have to make a test garment for this one either. I bought this BB8 fleece when Star Wars: The Force Awakens came out. I fell in love with that little droid and even though I had no idea what I was going to make with the fabric, I ended up getting a few yards. The inspiration to make a fleece hoodie actually came to me at work – my office is pretty cold in the winter months and I’m always longing for more layers no matter what I wear. I did an extensive search for just the right pattern and settled on this one by Hey June Handmade. I’m really glad I did since it was really easy to follow.

There are two versions in this pattern, and I actually sewed up the the one that is not featured on the cover. This required a separating zipper to be installed down the middle. The zipper itself wasn’t hard to install, however it did require a bit of hardware as I was supposed to remove some of the teeth at the top. I needed some clippers, so I used some of my pliers to get the teeth out. It was tough getting them to not fly across the room, but I think I found them all…sure.

Everything came together pretty easily. I used some black ribbed knit for the cuffs and the bottom waistband which I think worked pretty well for the look. Using the fleece for these cuffs might have made this a bit bulky. I also took the time to line the hood with some charcoal knit that I had. I think it really added to the look of it, being able to hide the seams in the hood. Something important to note is to make the button holes for the hood drawstring on the outside of the hood before everything is sewn up. Otherwise there is no way to make the holes properly and you have to redo the whole hood. Not that I know from experience or anything…

I’m extremely happy with the results. Not only did everything turn out as well as I hoped, but the hoodie is also quite warm. It’s been great for this winter, which has seemed to drag on a bit. The design of this pattern is excellent as well, making it look like a real hoodie you would buy in a store. And since I was able to get it right the first time, I would say highly recommended for semi-beginners as well.

As you can see, I made this one around Christmastime

And of course with the hood:

What a great winter project! It’s too bad there is a bit of a wait for the next Star Wars movie, but I guess I will be ready.

I’ll be back soon after I work through my Thurlow pants project. I decided to start small with that one – meaning shorts! Even though it’s not quite the season, I thought it might be a bit more manageable. Until then…beep beep to all!

hooded overshirt


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Southwestern Over-shirt: Joys in the hood

Pattern: McCalls stitch n’ save 6681M6681

Skills acquired:

  • Homemade bias tape
  • Hoods!

There comes a time in every sewist’s life when they realize they are still learning.  I’ve been killin’ it on so many projects lately (with some minor complications), I really thought I was heading up to the big leagues.  Then I had to make a hood.  I don’t know why this baffled me so much, but looking back on it, it all seems rather stupid.

First of all this pattern is labeled “easy” right on the front.  This should not have been as much of a challenge as it was.  I think some unclear writing and my own inexperience with making a hood contributed to this lesson.

Let me step back a minute on this one.  I chose this pattern because I wanted to make something else besides pajama pants with this cotton flannel I had bought when on vacation in New Mexico.  I specifically searched for patterns for flannel fabric and figured for this type of native-american-like print some sort of over-shirt would be nice.  I thought this pattern looked cute with the hood and everything so I decided to go for it.   Continue reading