The “Late or Never” Hoodie

The Facts

Fabric: about 1 metre of navy sweatshirting, ~$5, and 20cm of navy ribbing, ~$2.50
Pattern: traced off one of Steve’s existing hoodies
Year: 2012
Notions: none
Time to complete: around 2 hours
First worn: today
Total cost: ~$7.50

I’m a terrible girlfriend at times. Or maybe it’s just that when it comes to presents, I’m too ambitious. It’s a not-so-good habit of mine – the best intentions to make lovely gifts for people, I gather everything together, and then something happens and I don’t get them finished in time for the birthday/baby shower/Christmas/whatever and once that deadline has passed next thing I know a couple of months have gone by and I still haven’t finished the gift. Good intentions, and all that. *sigh*

Anyway, this hoodie is one of those rather late gifts. It was meant to be for Steve’s birthday nearly two months ago. I made it this week. Oops. (Sorry, Steve!)

I guess it says something about this bad habit of mine that he wasn’t even expecting me to finish making him a present in time. I really must do better next year….

(On the plus side, I had gotten all the fabric together, and snuck one of his hoodies away to use for a pattern, all well before his birthday. Does that count for anything? Probably not. *sigh once more*)

After focusing on frantically making maternity clothes for the past few months, it was nice to make something for someone else this week. With the latest Sew Weekly challenge being to use red, white and/or blue, it was a perfect time to finally get around to making this hoodie.

Biding my time so he wouldn’t walk in while I was tracing around his already-existing hoodie, I traced the individual pieces of his hoodie directly onto the sweatshirting using pins and tailors chalk.

Sure, this may not be the ‘proper’ way to copy an existing garment, but for things with reasonably simple lines, I find it works well.

Here’s how I do it:

When tracing a front or back piece, fold it in half and lay it out as though it was a pattern piece on the fabric. (I.e. centre fold to fabric fold line.) Try to pull as much of the rest of the garment out of the way as possible without distorting the lines, so you’ve got less to put pins through. Pin it all in place so it won’t move around.

Then stick pins in the seam lines, through both the garment you’re tracing and the fabric underneath. The more the merrier – don’t be shy about poking those pins through!

Pull the garment away from the underneath fabric slightly, so you can see the pin sticking through. Mark that pin’s spot with tailors chalk.

Repeat with all seams. You’ll likely need to reposition the garment a bit at certain points – for example, with this one I marked half-way around the arm scythe, then repositioned the garment so it was flat at the shoulder seam to mark the other half of the arm stythe. (Hopefully that makes sense?!?)

When it’s all marked out, remove the garment, and add your seam allowance outside of the tailors chalk marks. You’re done!

So, this hoodie was nice and easy to whip up. I like tracing boy’s clothes – far less curves and no darts to worry about! I used my overlocker for the entire thing (with the exception of sewing on the kangaroo pocket and hemming the hood), and only half the making time involved actual sewing. (The rest was tracing.)

Steve seems to like it – he was wearing it all day today, so I figure that’s a success. :-)

And just because my lad likes to pull odd faces, here’s zombie-hoodie-Steve.

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7 responses to “The “Late or Never” Hoodie

  1. Very nice! I hear you with the super-late-handmade-gift thing! I can never seem to keep up with the rate that friends are having babies (let alone birthdays!), and always find myself backlogged! Better late than never, right? :)

  2. I so know what you mean about finishing gifts, yet when it’s for me I sew into the night!! A brilliant hoodie, I am keeping this post well out of sight just in-case any of the men in my life want one!

  3. You call that a ‘late’ present? You are so super productive Kat, I can top your ‘late presents’ by at least a year! And thank you so much for that brilliant ‘how-to’. I have tried (and failed) to accurately trace jersey garments before and this method will be really helpful in the future. x

    • Haha, well, we just won’t mention a present for one of my brothers that I’m about 8 years late with so far….. Every so often he reminds me of it. *sigh*

      Hope the pinning method is useful! I’m sure there will be better methods out there, but hey, it works for me. :-)

  4. Also meant to say… Happy Birthday and….fab bit of modelling Steve!

  5. Darling, it turned out marvelously!!! You have been crazy productive, so I think it’s great that you managed to make this for Steve! Happy belated birthday to Steve!

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