This week we’re going to talk about the Hoodie design from my “Sew Your Own Activewear” book! It’s great to hear from so many of you in the UK who’ve been getting in touch to say how much you love the book, and it’s great to see you building up your To Sew lists from it already, too. As a designer it’s really interesting to me to see which designs immediately jump out at people, and the Hoodie has been appearing on quite a few lists – though I’m sure the chilly UK weather might have something to do with it, too!
It wouldn’t really be an activewear book without some sort of hooded sweatshirt pattern, but there are SO many great hoodie patterns out there already that I wanted to make something a bit different. So my starting point here was to shift the front opening zipper off to one side and play with how that changed the look of the hood and the pocket – and I loved it!
The description in the book says:
“Ahh, the hoodie – beloved of active people and teenagers everywhere, this classic cover-up gets a modern twist here by way of the asymmetric zipped (zippered) opening and stylishly off-kilter hood. A single kangaroo-style patch pocket provides a place to put your phone, keys and bus pass, while the snug sleeve and hem bands keep out the chill. This won’t be the only hoodie you own (or even make) but made in a soft active fleece or tech sweatshirting, this may well become your favourite!”
This design uses the loose fitting top block as its base, but the side hood piece is also provided on the pattern sheets to cut down on the drafting work, too. In this design you’ll learn to work with asymmetric designs, particularly in shifting the hood opening over to one side and calculating the ribbing needed against your opening edges. I could’ve just included the already-shifted hood patterns in the book, but I wanted to give you all the flexibility to have a standard hood on a design if you wanted to, too.
In fact, I used the loose fitting top block and the hood from my Tessellate Tee pattern when I made my fox Halloween costume last fall – yes, the Tessellate Tee hood is the same as the standard hood provided here, which means that you can easily swap in the central pieces from the Tessellate Tee if you wanted a clean-finish ponytail hole on your Hoodie instead!
The leggings worn here use the close fitting leggings block in Funkifabric’s “Fibres” flexcite in orange.
For the sample Jade’s wearing in the book, I used some tech fleece which was in my stash since I made my Paprika Patterns Jasper hoodie (which I wear ALL the time). It was a commercial end-roll but you can buy similar good quality athletic fleece with wicking and anti-odour properties from Mill Yardage (Maldon Mills) or bamboo sweatshirting from Imagine Gnats.
You could potentially use standard sweatshirting for this but be very careful reading the labels to be sure a) there’s no cotton/rayon content in it (as these soak up sweat and take forever to dry), and b) don’t have much/any stretch (you need a minimum of 20% crosswise stretch for the designs based on the loose fitting top block).
The ribbing used in the sample is a wonderful one from Guthrie Ghani (currently on sale!) that is the perfect medium weight – not too chunky but not too lightweight, either. And of course the colour matches the fantastic Prym zipper, which ties it all together nicely!
In the meantime, if you are one of the lucky ones who have your book already, could you pretty please spare a few minutes to write a review on Amazon? It doesn’t have to be long but reviews really do help an author out as it increases sales AND standing within the system! I’ve been getting such lovely comments back from so many people already so it’d be nice to share your thoughts with the world, not just me!
Hint – you don’t have to have bought it from Amazon to leave a review! 😉