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!
Hey there stitchers! Wow! Have I had a spike in interest for this sew-along. I want to thank every person who has written, messaged, or emailed me with questions.
You can share pictures of your progress here – or at the Facebook group (a closed group; you have to ask to join) moderated by my friend and sew-along compatriot, Judy! If you finish this hoodie by October 31st and enter it into the group, you are entered in a random drawing for an amazing prize pack: a Sew Chic pdf pattern, a Thread Theory pdf pattern, a Megan Nielsen pdf pattern, a $30 gift certificate to Nature’s Fabrics – and a shrinky-DON’T, made by moi! There really is no catch – it’s just for fun!
Do the the number of questions I’ve received I have put together some companion audio to go with each sew-along post. You can listen here to my first installment, which covers a little about supplies, making a muslin, and a few common questions before we get started. This recording also walks us through this very post!
Please note: if you are still feeling nervous about fabric selection, or if you are not proficient in layout and cutting, you will probably benefit from listening to the companion audio.
So – let’s get started!
First, pattern pieces:
I know it might look like there are a lot of pieces. Trust me, they all come together simply – and the pattern makes for great colorblocking opportunities. I have no special instructions for cutting except these two caveats:
If you are planning on making a lined hood, from your lining fabric cut out 2 J pieces, and one I piece on the fold – just like you do for the fashion fabric. Make sure to mark all pieces along the notches – the markings on piece D, which is the raglan shoulder and top part of the sleeve, are especially important.
Secondly, if you plan on making a sleeve with a thumbhole, we will cut out a larger cuff. Give yourself an extra 1/4″ on the long-side of piece M when you cut it on the fold, and add two inches to the total length. You are essentially making a longer cuff with a more generous seam allowance to accommodate adding a thumbhole. If you find this confusing, just set aside your cuff as we’ll get to that in Step 3 of construction.
One more cutting note: make sure to cut piece A as accurately as possible – both along the grain, and the notched part where the pocket will be added. The pattern sheet pieces can be confusing, so carefully refer to the block illustration above to trace the correct shape.
Next, Step 1 in the instructions:
Essentially with Step 1 we are making the front and back of a raglan sweater, including pockets. The only bit that is tricky is that front pocket – and to be honest, this is probably the trickiest part of the hoodie unless you’re not friends with zipper installation.
So, before proceding, grab some scraps and practice topstitching. Make sure your tensions are evenly balanced, and you like your topstitching color and thickness of thread. As I discussed in my previous post, velour’s pile makes for ugly topstitching. I elected to eschew it for the most part, and use a zig-zag for the necessary bits of topstitching along the zipper:
Next – to finish the seams, or not? In almost every case, knits do not need to be finished on the inside. My favorite finish is sewing seams with a narrow zig zag (using stabilizer strips under the seams), then carefully trimming the seam. I use this finish on sheers and the result is is impossible to tell which side the seams are on! But in this case, I decided to finish the seams with a serge-stitch, just for fun. Below: testing with a green serge thread on the left, and a black on the right:
Don’t you wish I’d found a true sage-green serge thread? Yeah, me too. Life’s tough though!
To mess with the welt, first, we will be interfacing the entitreity of the welt pieces. You can use a knit or weft interfacing as this welt does not need to stretch. In case you’re wondering, we will be interfacing more pieces. I used to be obsessed with doing all my interfacing at the same time, but over time I’ve learned to interface as I go – quite simply because I might change my mind. For those who are anticipating what’s head, I will also be interfacing 1″ along all pattern piece edges that take the zipper installation: the edges of the collar [L], front [A], and waistband [N] pieces.
After interfacing, fold the welt piece in half and serge or stitch together. I like to hide all my serge tails for a very clean finish:
Welts, pressed! Here you can see the nap of one piece acting up. You can also see, on the left, how much the grain shows in velour. Not really a beginner fabric, unless you’re not anal retentive about how it looks! (And – I am!)
Next, we get to staystitch along that pocket cutout of the front pieces. This is a foolhardy endeavor without stabilizer, as most knits will ripple or pull a little. I use stabilizer like a MADWOMAN though, but it’s how I get good results! Practice with yours, on scraps. You will be delighted, I promise!
Getting ready to sew:
Clip as per instructions:
Now – clip right to that corner. This is going to be where you turn and stitch the short ends of the welt. Those of you who’ve sewn a tote with a base, or anything similar, are going to recognize the process.
But first: sew the welt to the front, right-sides together, right at that 1/4″. Stop 1/4″ from the edge of the welt. Either backstitch (the stablizer, again, helps with this), or pull the threads through to one side, knot, and hide the thread tails in the welt.
Next, prepare the pocket lining piece (G). By “prepare” you may literally have nothing to do, if you are not finishing your edges. But you can see I did quite a bit. First, I wanted the pockets to have a secret bit of polka dot. Because I am a huge nerd. But – the pocket lining will peek out a bit, a tiny bit, so I made some overlays with the velour. I finished all the edges, hid my serge tails, and affixed the overlay to the pocket lining:
Here you can see how lovely this assembly is going to look, put together. Fellow seam-finish phreaks (everyone else, don’t read this paragraph) will notice the top edge of the front, in the photo below, is not yet overcast. For finishing, I serged the side edges of this front piece before I stitched together the pocket assembly. I also serge-finished the side front edge before joining. You could also leave that outside edge of the pocket bag, side panel, and fronts unfinished, then serge-finish the whole thing after you’ve joined the pocket bag.
Here is my pocket – it’s looking gooooood.
Go ahead and topstitch, if that’s your thing. (It’s not my thing. Not this time!)
So to summarize, here is what we completed today:
Our next post will include the sleeves! They are super-duper easy!
And just so you know – if you email me an mp3 or recording from your phone, I can put you in my next companion audio installment! C’mon that would be super-fun!
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![column-group] [column]