One of the downsides of having such a tight writing deadline was that after I finished writing, designing, and illustrating each of the chapters in the book, all I’d want to do was sew up a MILLION versions of that design for myself – but I’d have to move on to the next design right away… And once I finished writing and sewing all the samples for my athlete models to wear in the photoshoots, I was a bit burnt out on activewear sewing in general for a few months, so I didn’t start to get excited about the designs again until late last summer. But luckily Fall is a great time to be sewing up some of the transitional designs in the book, and the Hoodie is a great one for layering over your kit to get back and forth to the gym (or running group, or climbing wall, or dojo, etc!).
I bought some incredible quilted jacquard jersey at Stoff & Stil last May when we were over visiting friends in Copenhagen which I’d earmarked for this hoodie from the start. But since I was a bit fabric-crazed (okay – high!!) I didn’t actually do the currency conversion until I finished sewing this up months later, and I had no idea I’d paid something like £35/m for it, oops! (It’s not also available on the UK site, sorry!)
But I have absolutely zero regrets about spending that much for a garment I freaking adore and wear all the time – both layered over my running kit but also just worn with jeans to the office (or the pub, as in the case with these photos!).
I also bought a chunky, open-ended zip at Stoff & Stil at the same time as the fabric, and since the Hoodie (and indeed, all the top blocks) are hip-length, I decided to buy a two-way opening zip so that I can open it from the bottom as well as the top for a different look. If you prefer your Hoodie to be a bit shorter, you can just take some length off the hem of your loose fitting top block before beginning with the Pattern Changes directions, but remember to re-measure your opening as you may be able to get away with buying a shorter zipper!
With opening zippers (two way or standard), you always want to err on the side of a longer zipper rather than too short – the excess can be folded to the inside at the neckline (and covered with the hood opening facing piece) to make it the right length. I used excess ribbing as the facings for both the hood opening and the pocket opening – the great thing about ribbing is that it’s super stretchy and easy to bend around corners, plus it looks nicely matchy-matchy with the cuffs!
The only real change I made from the instructions in the book was to place an additional patch pocket underneath the big pocket to securely hold my phone! I’ve done this on quite a few sweatshirts for myself and James over the years, and it provides an extra bit of security that we won’t lose our phones in the river as we jump from boat to pier and vice versa! Once the phone pocket was topstitched into place, I positioned the main patch pocket over top as per the regular instructions.
Some of you may remember that I shared a “I just made this!” selfie on Instagram at the time, and this ended up being one of my top liked posts for 2017, so it’s nice to finally be able to share the details of it properly now that you can buy the book and make one for yourself!
Remember, if you’ve got the book and share anything you’ve made online, please use the hashtag #SewYourOwnActivewear (and/or tag me in!) so I can find it!