I finished a thing! A thing requested my Long Suffering Husband. And it took me less than a month, smashing my Personal Best for LSH sewing. Despite some trials and tribulations along the way. Go me!
It started well. I had been vaguely thinking of making him a jumper/sweater type thing when he shyly asked me if I would make him a hoodie. So, I entered his measurements into Lekala, because at the time they had a free men’s hoodie pattern (but now I get mysterious errors when I try and find it on their site) and I had been meaning to try out this potentially extremely useful source of made to measure patterns (could this lead to the golden grail of perfect fit out of the packet? Spoiler alert, not this time). Taping the pdf together was easy too as he did it! Then the pattern just squeezed onto the leftover fabric from a project of mine – hooray (a project that is currently in the naughty corner, hopefully more on that soon). Surely this was a project that was meant to be?
First up was the whole dyeing/drying/ironing thing that I’ve mentioned before, but just in case anyone wasn’t listening NEVER CUT YOUR FABRIC BEFOFRE DYEING. Trust me.
However, I got through this. With time. And patience. And lots of pins. And ironing. And my new ironing mat. (The only casualty was when I melted my pin box, whoops.) Then it was time to start sewing. I decided to start small, with the hood. I this point discovered that Lekala subscribe to the minimal instructions philosophy. “Sew parts of hood together” it said, with no picture. It’s a 3 part hood. Which way up does the middle strip go? Any markings on those seams? Nope. On the pattern pieces? Nope. Wide end at bottom or top? Does this sew a long for a completely different hoodie pattern help? Nope (not with this bit anyway). Well, a bit of detective work suggested narrow end of the centre strip at the bottom, as the middle of the shorter of the two short edges has a notch, which if at the bottom would line up with a notch at the centre of the neckline of the back. So that’s what I did then.
Next up, pockets, which I used the SBCC Brooklyn Hoodie Sew-A-Long to help with. So far so good. Then I attached my fronts, arms and backs together, all by myself this time, since this has raglan sleeves unlike the Brooklyn, but it was straightforward and everything lined up despite my dyeing related escapades.
Time to celebrate with some more complicization, as he’d asked for some screenprinting. It was nice to be able to do it while the garment would lie flat. (Luckily he decided against an anomite on each side of the hood ala Princess Leia hairstyle).
At this point, I thought I was over the worst, surely it was all downhill from here. Then came the sleeves. I double checked that the pattern was for ribbing (as I was using), not self fabric, it was. So I merrily cut, sewed, overlocked and pressed my cuffs. Only to find out they were terrible The cuff was way too big (see top right above), in fact the whole arm was too roomy. I also didn’t like how narrow the cuff was.
At this point I hadn’t sewn the waistband. So I cut I just used the pattern for the height and made it 80% of the width of the bottom circumference of the hoodie. That looked ok sewn on and there was just enough left to make two new cuffs, slightly deeper and with a much smaller circumference than the first pair. They fit LSH nicely, so then I reversed my previous calculation and divided their dimensions by 80 and then multiplied by 100 to get a new width for the end of the sleeve cuff (you with me here?) (Oh, I also had to unpick the overlocking and triple stitch on the first set of cuffs but the less said about that the better). With a new sleeve cuff opening width decided (marked by a pin in the bottom right photo above) I then drew a new straight sleeve seam, that blended into the original seam quite near to the armpit. We both liked the new sleeves and cuffs a lot better. Phew.
Then it was back to following the SBCC tutorial for tips on inserting the zipper and attaching the hood.
I’m pretty pleased with my construction of this jacket. I think the contrast topstitching works well and I like that I added a zip tag and a hanging hook that match the hoodie thread. And no-one is going to notice that the twill tape neatening my hood/main body seam is actually navy, not grey.
However, I don’t like the fit. It’s too short, especially at the back, and too wide as well – hence the hobbit comment. The adjusted sleeves are good but there’s too much fabric in front of the armpit. All of which I can’t be bothered to adjust, due to screenprinting and topstitching.
I’m giving it a 6/10. It will be worn, I did the best I could, but the pattern is just not the right shape. Which is odd, seeing as how it’s supposed to be fitted to him.I haven’t double checked but I don’t think my entered measurements were that out.
He wants another hoodie, so I’m on the look out for another pattern. Easier said than done! Anyone got any top tips (he wants a full zip so the Finlayson and Avacado hoodies are out) then let me know in the comments.
Also, if you’ve made a Lekala pattern before how did you get on with the sizing?