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Proof that my inner child has excellent taste.

Yep, other sewing bloggers make Chanel-style jackets with all sorts of fancy tailoring, I make goofy pink hoodies with cartoon cats on them.

I LOVE THIS, you guys.  It’s so soft and warm (and I have been informed by a reliable source that I am extra huggable while wearing it), plus it’s bright and colorful and I really like how the colorblocking turned out.

AND it has this super-warm hood with EARS.

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Livin’ the dream.

When I started this hoodie, I figured it was just a fun, goofy thing that I’d wear around the house, but it actually turned out much cooler than I anticipated.

Here’s the pattern I started with:

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I omitted the front pocket and the bottom and sleeve bands (plenty of length without using the bands).

For the colorblocking, my arrangement of pieces was guided by how much fabric I had.  I had only one strip of the Hello Kitty fleece–11″ x 60″–and only one of its long edges was straight, so the strip went down the front and back with the straight edge toward the center of the pullover.  (I got really lucky and had just enough to make it all the way down both pattern pieces.)  I had lots of pale pink fleece, so that became a sleeve and part of the front; I was hemming and hawing about how much of it to put on the front when I realized the fabric had a stain on it.  So it was cut where it is to avoid using the stained part.

Here’s the process I used to assemble the front.

  1.  The pattern piece was meant to be cut on the fold, so I traced it and taped the halves together.

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2.  I laid the fabric pieces out and moved them around until the front pattern piece was covered.

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3.  I pinned the pieces together wrong sides together.  I used lapped seams to attach them, which I had read somewhere was a good way to do non-bulky seams on fleece and other non-raveling fabrics; you just sew the pieces together wrong sides together, trim down one seam allowance, and sew the other seam allowance down over it.  Similar to flat-felling, but easier because you don’t have to fold the edge of the seam allowance under.

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There is seriously nothing Shelby likes more than cutting out fabric.  This whole process took HOURS and she sat there and watched intently the entire time.  She looks relaxed here because I was taking pictures rather than cutting; as soon as I started working with the fabric again, she was up and studying what I was doing.

4.  I placed the pattern piece on my newly-pieced fabric, pinned, and cut.

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The piecing on the back is simpler, in large part because cutting this out took forever and I was tired and ready to move on by the time I got to the back piece.  As I wrote above, at this point I wasn’t really taking the project seriously and trying to do my best work on it.  But my view of it changed when I tried it on after putting the black band on the neck edge.  It just all seemed to work much better than I had expected.  I had been planning to do a white hood and skip the ears, but it suddenly seemed very important that I make a black hood with ears.

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This is a double layer of the leftover Blizzard fleece from my partner’s cycling jersey, so it is WARM.

Side note here:  between my scrap quilting and my adventures in colorblocking items of clothing, I think a lot about how best to combine different fabrics.  The issue for me is that I love to use scraps to make things–it’s cheap and fun and creative and interesting–but I don’t want the things I make to look “scrappy” in the “scrappy quilt” sense of the word.  I want them to look put together and coherent, not random or disorganized.  And one way to do that, I’ve found, is to use a very limited set of colors, as I’ve done in this hoodie.  So I decided not to include the white and orange fleece remnants I had.  And I kept the sleeve colors the same as the front pieces they were next to so that they would look connected, not random.

As for the pattern, I sized down a bit as it was pretty oversized, and the fit is fine.  I’m always a little bit wary of unisex patterns because they usually involve some weird fitting issue due to the pattern company’s attempt to fit everyone in the world with one pattern.  Usually it’s linebacker shoulders, but in this one the only problem I have is that the sleeves are a little bit looser than I would like.  I get a draft up them, so I might try to overcome my aversion to mending and narrow them a little from the elbow down.  ETA:  I did take in the sleeves, and the fit is MUCH better.  I tapered from the shoulder because a whopping 3″ needed to be removed at the wrist and the look and fit of the entire sleeve is much improved.

I’m really happy with how this project came out, and I’ve been wearing my new hoodie pretty much constantly since I finished it.  I have a feeling this isn’t going to be the last colorblocked fleece I make this winter.

I hope you’re all staying comfortably warm in fun and colorful ways, and I will be back soon with some nature-y pictures I’ve been accumulating and some fun news as well.

STH

ETA:  I have linked this post up to Scraptastic Tuesday over at She Can Quilt.

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