The Big Fleecy

My boyfriend James has a RTW fleece that he loves, but it’s getting scraggly and it’s a bit too thin to be useful when we work outside a lot. He’s been bugging me to recreate him a new one for a while now, and I recently picked up KwikSew 2561 which I thought would be easier than just tracing his old one. He bought the fleece from since we knew how nice and thick it was from our earlier fleece adventures. After the mental gymnastics of the Pendleton wool jacket, I decided it was time to make something simple!

His chest measures 42 inches, which, according to the pattern envelope, should be a Large. But when I saw the finished garment measurements, I couldn’t believe there’s a whopping 7 inches of ease included!! Seriously, WHY? I mean, I know American men wear their shirts extra baggy, but that’s ridiculous! So I made him a medium instead, and even then I had to trim it down quite a bit – I took about 2 inches off each bicep area of the sleeves (the poor boy had bingo wings!) and four inches off the length, as the shirt was more of a tunic on him as sewn.

My version is on the left and the original RTW one is on the right. They’re pretty close, but you can tell from the side how much thicker this fleece is (not to mention cleaner, but I’m sure that will change!).

Despite the sizing issues, we think we’ve now got the pattern sorted so I can have this as my “go to” for sweatshirts and teeshirts for him, which is good since he bought some bamboo fabric for himself in America, too!

The fleecy shirt only took an hour to put together, so I did a few other miscellaneous sewing bits and bobs on Saturday as well. I went to the shops to get closures for my the Pendleton wool jacket – one got used on the jacket itself, but the other was rejected as a bit too fancy for this particular jacket. It’s very pretty, though, so I’m sure it’ll find a home with another garment eventually:

I also hemmed some RTW jeans using this technique that preserves the original edge. They’d been just a bit too long, meaning I had to keep turning them up to keep from getting wet and soggy and trodden on, and turn ups aren’t really my style. I’m very happy with this method of hemming, as it took about 30 seconds and you can’t even tell they’ve been altered until you get very close up. And if I ever should want to undo them, I could easily have the original length back since nothing was cut!

And finally, starting on the matching tuxedo-inspired trousers to go with the jacket, I decided to get a head start on the waistband/belt. I absolutely love high-waisted trousers and skirts, but I really hate that they wrinkle the second you sit down! So whilst haberdashery shopping on Saturday I picked up some cotton-covered plastic boning at MacCulloch & Wallis to use inside the waistband. I attached a short section of boning onto the seam allowances of all four front waistband pieces, and an addition section sewn onto the facing sides of the waistband to keep that hexagonal shape from crumpling. At least that’s the idea, anyway!

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