|Avocado hoodie from Seamster Sewing Patterns, plus the face my mum likes to refer to as my fake smile. Faces are hard.|
I just discovered I had posts in draft that were never published. That was unintentional. Let's play catch-up!
|I wore compression tights for this photo session to make me seem more sporty. Did it work?|
|Excuse the bra hardware apparently trying to get in on the action. I swear, that's just how I'm standing, it fits!|
I finished this hoodie back in April, and I looooove it. Seriously. The pattern is the Avocado hoodie from Seamster Sewing Patterns (previously Disparate Disciplines), made up in the plus-size pattern, 4XL. I used version B with the non-overlapping hood, and included the back pockets (which Jay likes to refer to as cuddling pockets). I made it up in a charcoal ponte de roma knit from fabric.comhttps://www.fabric.com, and a watermelon premium double knit from Spotlight. I live in Australia, and despite the fact that right now it's freezing cold, I don't really need a hoody made up in a heavy fleece, so this was a perfect weight for most of the year.
The grey was perfect for this pattern, and really nice to work with too, with a lovely soft hand. The watermelon, not so much. It doesn't have as much stretch as the grey, which means it doesn't work as well for the cuffs and hem band as I'd like, and doesn't work perfectly with the grey, either. Next time, I'll be using knits in a similar weight to the charcoal.
|I don't even know.|
|If I make up the version with back pockets again (probably won't), I'll add snaps to the tabs. The back pockets gape a little when I move, although they sit perfectly if I stand up straight.|
|Thumb holes! Woo!|
Some features of this hoodie that you probably won't see on many other patterns - flattering princess seams which lend themselves brilliantly to colour blocking. Mmmm... colour blocking. My favourite. Why use one fabric when you can use two (or ten)? Two different hood options, along with those clever back pockets, designed so your partner can slip their hand in to keep warm while walking arm in arm. Don't forget the extended cuffs and thumb notches, for those amongst us with a habit of pulling our jumpers down over our hands (my dad would have LOVED this feature in my jumpers as a kid, I was forever being told off for stretching out the arms of my jumpers).
Because of the lack of stretch in the cuffs, I've found the cuffs get grubby very easily, as it's difficult to get them to scrunch up my wrists far enough when I wash or do anything that involves my hands. I'd like to make this up again with either shorter cuffs (omitting the thumb holes), or knit ribbing with a better stretch.
Changes I made: not many. The obvious one is cutting the front panel with a seam allowance and adding an open-end zipper. I kind of hate hoodies that pullover hoodies, I like being able to keep the top of the zip open, otherwise the high necks tend to make me feel a little choked. Adding the zipper led me to a bit of a conundrum around how to finish the neckline, adding the facing while keeping everything neat. I think I did... ok. I stitched the facing on (and didn't quite cover up the basting in a couple of places, as you can see in the photo 2 above... I should unpick that basting), then finished it by hand stitching it down to the zipper tape, with the end of the zipper folded over within the facing (as it was a little long, but I was nervous of just cutting it off without something to stop the zipper from sliding off the end).
In retrospect, I could do with grading out a size at the arm hole & sleeve, as there's a little bunching around the sleeve cap. A little more seam trimming and grading could also help with that. I could also go out a little at the hips, but a stretchier fabric would also help with that. Having just googled the pattern to see other sewists' versions, I see I made mine up a little more fitted than many others, but I like that. I can't be dealing with baggy jumpers.
I worked really hard to get the seams matching as well as I could. I was working with a very old Bernina with no speed control, so it took a few goes in some cases- particularly matching the seams across the zipper. I stitched the whole thing up using on a regular sewing machine, using a walking foot (even the zip, I think? I can't remember, but I know the zip was giving me the shits, so I think I may have switched back to the walking foot to try to get the layers to feed through evenly). The benefit of this fabric is it doesn't fray. At all. So we all know what that means: I didn't bother finishing the raw edges. Call it lazy if you like, I call it efficient. The hood was topstitched using a twin needle.
Verdict? This pattern is a winner. It works well made up in a variety of fabrics (check out Winnie's numerous Avocados in a variety of fabrics, and Oanh's in French terry). Putting the pattern pieces together is a bit of a jigsaw puzzle, but once I worked out where everything went, it went together pretty well, helped along by Mari's instructions. It's probably not a pattern for absolute beginners, but if you're confident with seam matching, you'll be absolutely fine. I would like 3 more in different colours, please.