December 2007, April 2008
I like sewing, and I like making gifts for people, but most sewing projects are too involved for simple gift giving. I've had good luck with Kwik-Sew patterns, and I've heard good things about their "Kwik-Serge" hoodies pattern, so on a December 2007 trip to G-Street Fabrics I picked up the Unisex Adults Shirts pattern. It has the reputation of being a nice simple pattern that yields a useful garment. It's a good pattern, and I'm probably going to wind up making a bunch of these over time, but I have a few notes.
One, there is a slight error in the instructions for this pattern. The pattern covers two variations, the hoodie I'm making and a collared-and-cuffed version. The hoodie instructions refer you back to the View A instructions for some things, but forget to refer you back for others. This isn't a big deal, you can probably figure it out, but it would be nicer if this error had been caught at the publisher.
Two, the sizing variations are limited. True, sizing is limited in this type of garment when you buy it, but I want a little more when I make from scratch. Maybe it's unfair to complain because this is intended to be a simple, maybe beginner, pattern and they wouldn't want to confuse beginners with too many options, but a few textual notes at the end of the instructions might assure me that I could modify this pattern without compromising the garment.
For the first hoodie, I picked up some burgundy polar fleece at the Jo-Ann Fabrics. Nothing special, this is a lighter weight fleece with no pattern or discernable sides.
For this first one, I decided to make Sharon my guinea pig. I made the "Small" size, more or less according to the pattern. It came out great on the first try! This is a comfy and fast pattern when made with a serger. I should really get some burgundy serger thread, though. I had a bit of trouble getting the top of the kangaroo pocket to lie flat, but it looks OK when being worn. It took me an afternoon's work from cutting fabric to completed hoodie, maybe six hours total. I didn't have any cord for the drawstring that's supposed to be at the bottom hem, but I put the buttonholes in for it.
I had a couple yards of fabric left over from my Batik Drapes project, and rather than throw it away, let it sit in the pile of fabric for the next few years, or just use it make gift bags, I decided to make a pair of overalls with it. Once I figured out I didn't have nearly enough fabric for that, I made a hoodie. The fabric isn't really stretchy enough or heavy enough for this kind of garment, but it works reasonably well worn over something else, or maybe as a lightweight coverup.
Since it's made from the same fabric as the curtains in my study, it's pretty good camoflage. If I stand right, you can't see me at all, as illustrated in the picture . It's also pretty much the most ridiculous garment I own, so it's sure to get some notice if I ever wear it out of the house.
Although you can't see it in either of the two photos, the batik hoodie does have the kangaroo pocket specified in the pattern. I made the sleeves and body a bit longer than spec'ed out for a "small" size hoodie, since I am a bit longer in the body and arm.