Monday, November 10, 2014

Burda 7734 Hooded Sweatshirt in Fleece

My son has never been a great one for posing for photos, but I think he's getting less cooperative as the birthdays go by. Here he is in his mom-made 15th birthday present, a fleece hoodie.

There might be more to say about the shopping for the supplies to make this garment than about the sewing. The Polartec fleece came from FabricMart for a great price. In addition to the main blue color, it has some faint fibers of black, which was very fortunate when it came to pairing the fleece with notions like a separating zipper, ribbed cuffs and waistband and the cord for the hood.

Real, honest-to-goodness ribbing is something I don't usually source or incorporate into my projects, but in this case it seemed that having a nice stretchy fabric with great recovery at the cuffs and hem would make the shirt much more polished and therefore more exciting to a 15 year old boy (or to my forty-something husband, if the boy turned out to not like it). I looked out a source at The Rain Shed, which is based in Oregon. They have two weights of ribbing, both of which look very nice on the website, but since my fleece is a regular weight, I went with the Standard Ribbing rather than Heavyweight. I also ordered the coordinating seamless ribbed cuffs. The quality is nice and the weight is perfect. There are quite a number of colors to choose from, but in this case black was the best choice.

The 24" separating jacket zipper and the black cord at the neck also came from The Rain Shed. I was a bit concerned about the time required for shipping, since the supplies would be traveling from coast to coast, but I ordered on Saturday morning and had my package early Monday afternoon. One thing to mention is that you cannot order directly from The Rain Shed's website: you must call in your order. The phone staff was friendly and efficient, though.

Online reviews indicated that this sweater runs small and short, so I made the next-to-largest men's size, a 42. It looked very large while I was working on it, but it seems like a pretty good fit on a rapidly-growing teenage boy.

Instead of turning a hem to the wrong side on the pocket edges, I fully lined the pocket with a thin black polyester ITY knit, which made a better edge on fleece. The pocket was turned right side out, topstitched along the angled edge, and then edgestitched into place along the top, side and bottom edges. The pattern's instructions for the zipper edge were odd to me: it asked you to turn the center front seam allowances to the outside, baste in place and trim to 1/4". The zipper tape was to be applied on top of those seam allowances, enclosing the raw edges. That might be good for a sweatshirt knit, but the fleece would have made a very bulky edge, so I applied the zipper in the "normal" way and then topstitched it.

You can't see it in these photos, but I taped the hood/neck seam edge with black twill tape, a finish I copied from an RTW hoodie.

My son is always asking me to sew more for him. He didn't have a whole lot to say about this sweater, but he's hardly taken it off since I gave it to him, so I guess that means it's a success! I hope to make him and my husband more of this style, since it is so ubiquitous and popular.

Here is the pattern, Burda 7734, which is out of print: