Edit November 2015: the sew-along is finished! Below you can reach the different parts of the sew-along by clicking on an image. The tagset “jalie hoodie sew-along” contains any and all posts relating to the sew-along. Enjoy!
Four our Jalie hoodie, the supply list is short and sweet. We need the following: your Jalie pattern, hoodie fabric, separating zipper, thread, and appropriate needle. Read on:
As I’ve previously mentioned, Jalie is moving their catalog to .pdf option, which is fabulous. More and more pattern companies are offering .pdf versions in large-scale – for printing on a plotter. Jalie isn’t yet doing this size, so my partner takes the pdf pages and “pastes” them, then we send it to the copy shop. This can be done for most electronic patterns, although some are easier than others – and some sites, like sewingpatterns.com, have such stringent copyright protection it is too troublesome to try.
First, if you aren’t familiar with sewing with knits, or if you have had bad experiences, I recommend taking a deep breath, getting a cup of tea, and taking a couple minutes to read through my new-to-knits post, as well as – if you like – my other knit tutorials. Sewing with knit fabrics is not rocket science. But there are a few things to keep in mind – and trust me, the more experienced you get, the more you’ll love these fabrics!
The pattern recommends fabrics with 25% four-way stretch. This means the knit has to stretch at least 25% in both the lengthwise and crosswise grain. This is simple to determine: grip two points on the crossgrain of the fabric four inches apart, and stretch. The fabric will need to stretch to at least five inches comfortably.
The pattern also recommends lengthwise stretch at 25%. In my case, my fabric barely qualifies. But since the lengthwise stretch is far less important to comfort than crosswise for this garment (fitted tights and swimsuits, for instance, really do need to take lengthwise grain into consideration), I figure I’m good to go.
For fabric yardage, I highly recommend looking at the pattern back. Measure your intended client at the bust, waist, and hip. Determine their size. If they are between sizes, use the largest size measurement for yardage. For instance, my daughter is a size S at bust and waist and T at hip, so I elected to make a size T, and grade up to a size U at hip.
On the back of the pattern, you will find the yardage of 59″ wide knit fabric you need to purchase for your size.
The back of the pattern also lists the size of separating zipper you need at the lower right in a table. You can buy a separating zipper at your craft or fabric shop, but keep in mind separating zipper selection is usually pretty small. I purchased mine from zipperstop (more in a moment about that).
I use a cotton-wrapped poly for most my apparel. I tend to favor Mettler, but I also buy whatever is available to me when I’m in a pinch. Bargain-basement or old thread is a no-no, but Coats & Clark is fine. I will be serge-finishing my seams (so I need thread for my serger); but zig-zag finishing or leaving them unfinished is probably fine, too. Test samples on your fabric and see what you think!
The correct needle depends on the fabric you are using. In general, a jersey or ballpoint needle is best for natural-based stretch fabrics (wool, cotton, linen, etc), while a stretch needle will work well for synthetic stretch fabrics.
You will need a few other supplies: a tracing medium, interfacing and stabilizer.
You can trace with almost anything, and we could debate the merits for quite some time. You can use Swedish Tracing Medium, tissue paper, project paper from the copy supply store, newsprint, or – my personal favorite – sew-in interfacing.
I will be interfacing the pocket welts (piece H) as well as 1″ along all pattern piece edges we install the zipper to (so: the collar [L], front [A], and waistband [N] pieces). This is a small amount of interfacing – purchase 1/4″ in case you mess up. As for types of interfacing, select either knit or lightweight weft varieties (for all my interfacings, I use Pat Erny’s fabulous products at Fashion Sewing Supply). You don’t need a stretch knit for these interfacings because the bits we are interfacing, don’t need to stretch.
I never sew knits without several kinds of washaway stabilizer. Washaway stabilizers are simply non-woven, non-knit products that stabilize either under or on top of the work, while we stitch, then are washed out with water and gentle agitation (or laundering). They make for better results on knits, and even the oldest, most antiquated zig zag sewing machine can sew knits easily using these methods. When it comes to washaway stabilizers, I always have a sticky and non-stick version on hand. I use Solvy’s Fabri Sticky Solvy (in a roll as well as printable sheets), and (for non-stick) Vilene plus. Bonus: the non-stick version can even be dissolved and painted on knit seam allowances to make for stable sewing – far cheaper than buying a stabilizing spray.
And now – OH MY GOSH. Let me tell you about a little sumthin’-sumthin’ I treated myself to: the YKK sample book, containing ALL the zipper fabric shades they make. It can be hard to perfectly-match a zipper, but it’s something I need to do! And now, I have that power IN MY VERY HANDS! muah-ha-ha-HA!
Our sew-along starts October 1st. In the meantime, if you have any questions you can email, @kellyhogaboom on Twitter, or comment here. If you like, add a badge to your blog, or subscribe to the sew-a-long updates via RSS!