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!
Thank you to all who’ve been emailing and commenting here, and on the Facebook group. We are already about halfway through our hoodie!
Let’s get started!
Step 3 is pretty simple stuff: putting together the waistband and cuffs. I’ve also added a bit more: making a thumbhole cuff. I’ve shown this variation in a black fabric, so if you aren’t interested, it will be easy to skip!
Here is the entirety of Step 3 (without my thumbhole cuff addition):
So first, you can see we are sewing the waistband side seams together (figure 24). This is an interesting method: sewing two long strips together, then cutting down the middle of one of the waistbands to allow for the center zipper insertion.
I mentioned in Step 1 that I skip some notches, because I know which ones I can skip. That said, I am forever marking the centers of pieces – the center front of the waistband, and the center back of the waistband. The center back of the back piece. The center of the cuff, and the sleeve. Et cetera! I have found these center notches help me later to line everything up. in this case, marking the center front of the waistband will help you cut that center front right down the middle (figure 25).
Now, before I affix the waistband to the garment, I have a little bit of preparation. First – as I mentioned in Step one and the first step’s companion audio – I add a strip of interfacing to every raw edge that affixes to the zipper: the outer collar – we interfaced that in our last step – as well as the front raw edges, and the short edges of the waistband (that is, the edges we just cut in figure 25). Adding interfacing creates a gorgeous-looking zipper installation free of ripples, puckers, lumps and bumps. I also serge-finished the front edges of the waistband (this will make for a good-looking inside). Here you can see my finished waistband in a little stack:
How thick an interfacing strip? You want it to be wide enough that both the first zipper sewing line, and the topstitching line, will catch interfaced fabric. I used 1″ – just wide enough to meet this criteria, but also be hidden after the zipper installation.
Now, I skipped figure 26 – sewing the raw long edges of the waistband together. If you have every faith that you can keep the raw edges of the waistband lined up as you affix them to the body, you don’t need to stitch them together. If you think they might slip, go ahead and complete this step.
Now: the front edge, waistband on top, of the seam sewn in figure 27:
At this point, I serge-finish that waistband edge, and lightly press the seams up:
From the inside. Remember, you are looking at my cotton lining at the lower right:
OK – how it’s time for a little fun! A thumbhole cuff! Again, I am showcasing this technique in a black fabric, so if it’s not for you – just move on ahead until you see my striped cuffs for the sage green hoodie.
Remember how in Step 1, we cut a wider seam allowance (1/2″), and added two inches to the full cuff length? This is to accommodate the thumbhole cuff, which tends to run a little longer. If you have longer arms or are in any way unsure that these two inches are enough, you can pin the cuff and pin it to the sleeve, then try it on your model to make sure the cuff will be long enough. The two inches should be more than enough extra, but it’s always a good idea to check.
Now, there are other thumbhole cuff tutorials out there. Many of them have you topstitching the thumbhole. I find that to be less attractive, and less comfortable. My method has a bit of tricksy-ness at the seam allowances that makes for a very sturdy thumbhole and a very gorgeous finish!
So proceeding. Let’s first talk about the anatomy of a thumbhole cuff:
The cuff is like the waistband – a double-fold. The long line bisecting this piece above marks that folded edge at the very end of the sleeve. You can also see I have marked my 1/2″ seam allowance at both side seams. Finally, I’ve added my thumbholes on both the outside and inside of the cuff – that would be the sections marked with hashmarks. While sewing, I will be leaving a gap in the side-seams, corresponding to these marked sections. My thumbholes are 1 1/2″ long, and they are 1″ away from the sleeve terminus/fold – and 1 1/2″ away from the raw edge that will affix to the sleeve.
And yes, it makes sense to mark the whole business up as above. I have sewn these up without marking, and they don’t turn out nearly as nice.
One crucial thing before we sew: more important than getting these next stitches perfect, is sewing very secure seams. Go ahead and carefully backstitch while starting and finishing each section of side-seams, and when sewing the thumbhole seam allowances together. You will not want insecure seams here. Use stabilizer under the seam if the fabric seems to be stretching or distorting. By now you should know the behavior of your fabric.
So first fold length-wise, right-sides together, and pin at each intersection at the seam allowance.
Sew the side seams, stopping at the hashed areas, and carefully backstitching. Ignore the bisecting-chalk line marking the cuff foldline while you sew these seams.
Now – here’s the tricky bit. Leaving the cuff inside-out, fold it in half width-wise. You will essentially have an inside-out cuff, that is folded along that long bisecting line we marked above:
Pin the two touching seam allowances together in the gap – that is, pin in the hashed-out portion of the seam.
Now, we’re going to sew along this gap, making sure to catch only these seam allowances. Here’s the good news: it isn’t important to sew right at the seam allowance, at that 1/2″. It is more important to start the stitch about 1/4″ before the gap, and extend it 1/4″ after – and make sure the seam is secure (you can see an example of the resultant stitch three photos down). I’ve found that using my zipper foot (shown immediately below) and my zig-zag construction seam works well. If you do this, make sure your zig zag isn’t too wide for your zipper foot, or you will break the needle and scare the Jeebus out of yourself!
You might feel all cocky and tempted to cut threads then sew the other seam allowance. Well, don’t – you will end up sewing it inside out. Instead, flip the cuff all the way right-side out, pulling it into shape. Below, you can see the top part of the thumbhole where we affixed those seam allowances – doesn’t it look LAID?:
Now: reach into the cuff from the raw edge, carefully grip the two loose seam allowances (in the photo above, these are the lower two seam allowances), and pull the cuff inside-out again. Now, carefully arrange the cuff so the seam allowances are free, and sew these last two seam allowances together – again, making secure stitches, and making sure this bit of stitchwork extends about 1/4″ past the side seam stitches:
Finished! Now, turn the cuff out, carefully match those raw edges (if you cut and marked and sewed correctly, everything will line up beautifully), and try the cuff on:
Now is the time to mark where to line up that thumbhole. In this photo, you can see the thumbhole corresponds to about 1/3 of the way toward the inner arm, from the side seam of my sleeve. Mark this position on your hoodie sleeves, so that you’re sewing a cuff that is slightly rotated (rather than lining up the cuff side seam with the sleeve side seam).
Now, let’s look at that cuff again:
Isn’t it beeeyooootiful? You can certainly topstitch if you like, but all those carefully secured seams mean you don’t have to!
Moving on, it’s time to finish out this step. If you are not forming a thumbhole cuff, then refer to figures 28 and 29 for cuff construction:
Ignore the little flecks of velour lint on my stripe! As you can see, I have lined up the cuff stripes above. As is my knit-prerogative, I have used stabilizer to start and finish my seams (you can see a bit peaking out from that left-hand cuff).
Now: attach these cuffs to the sleeve and finish your seams as per your preference.
Once again – good job! If you had any trouble whatsoever, post in the comments here, email (kelly at hogaboom dot org), or flag me at @kellyhogaboom on Twitter. Feel free to send me your mp3s if you’d like to be featured in my next bit of companion audio!
And as always – thank you for sharing the journey!
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I cut the cuffs wrong. So no thumb holes for this hoodie. Lesson learned. On to the zipper!
Oh no! I hope my directions did not lead you astry.
I’m going to try the thumb hole cuff for my daughter’s hoodie and a arm pocket as you mentioned as she is a runner. I think I better practice first. The thumb hole is a bit confusing to me but I have lots of scraps!
BTW, these posts are very nice Kelly. Thank you for the SAL!!