Did you remember that I live in the Caribbean? Even in the winter the temperatures are well into the 80's. Well then, why on earth do I need a fleece hoodie? To be fair, I don't really NEED one, but following the problems I had with the fabric on my Cowl Dress, I just started a new course at Craftsy – Sewing with Knits .
It promises to teach us how to successfully sew with knit fabrics and includes free patterns for the hoodie, scoop neck t-shirt, v-neck t-shirt, short skirt, yoga pants, shorts and a dress.
The fleece hoodie is the first project in the class as the fleece may not be as demanding as some of the other knit fabrics. My local sewing shop only stocks one fleece – a rather crappy one in navy blue. It's certainly not like a sweatshirt fleece – more like something you might make a throw or blanket – I don't know. It tears easily if you pull on it and stretches out of shape, then doesn't return. They don't have a lot of customers coming in to buy fleece when the temperature is in the 90's.
The course really is excellent so far – I can't recommend it highly enough. The presenter is charming and has a lovely smile and explains everything so slowly and carefully and the course is perfect for new sewists like me. I've got some new equipment, different needles, a lot of free patterns and downloadable course materials. I've learned all about types of fabrics, the use of clear elastic, stay tapes, iron on tapes, hemming, twin needles, stretch needles, a walking foot and so much more.
The fleece hoodie pattern uses a lot of fabric – I had no idea really how much you need for things like sleeves and the hood is huge! But luckily it was only cheap-ish so this learning project only cost $12. Things were going very well – I had the hood on, the sleeves in, tested for fit (it was OK), and the only thing left to do was the bottom hem.
I'd been practicing my stitches on left over scraps to see what worked best and one that I hadn't tried during construction was the triple stretch stitch So I decided to use this for the hem as I don't have a twin needle as yet. Ah, and this is where it went wrong. The triple stretch stitch was obviously a bit too much for my crappy fleece and it stretched out the fabric something terrible. Originally the bodice had hung straight down, but now the bottom hem is so stretched it looks like a circle skirt ! Yikes, what a mess.
Still, it's not like this project was going to get a lot of wear anyway. We do occasionally have some ‘cold' weather here in the Cayman Islands when a jumper is necessary so I can wear this around the house to keep warm, but I don't think this one will be on public display. I'm excited to continue with the course and look forward to making some t-shirts next.
I really think if you had some nice fabric, then this project would be a winner – it's easy to make and the resulting fleece is the sort of thing that you might wear everyday – casual, comfy, easy to wear – like your favorite RTW casuals but with the satisfaction that you made it yourself.
If you are interested in the Sewing with Knits course, you can find out more here –>