27.10.15 – Joan and another hoodie

Aloha!  Today I am sharing with you two sews – one quick and easy success and one tricky work-in-progress.

The first item is another hoodie – it is getting chilly in these parts now and I just got my hair cut a little too short so a hood is very welcome.  This pattern comes with the Craftsy class Sewing with Knits  If you want an introduction to sewing with knit fabric I would highly recommend this class – you get five patterns including this hoodie and Meg McElwee has a really lovely teaching style – she makes it all so simple and really takes you through every step with lots of hints and tips.


You may have noticed that I am quite fond of stripes… but this is no ordinary striped jersey knit.  Unfortunately I didn’t make a record of where I got it and I can’t find it now but it’s got a waffle texture on the outside and is lovely to sew and wear.  Here is a close up:


The hoodie is so easy to make – it’s basically 5 pieces; front, back, hood and two arms.  Everything is hemmed, no facings or bindings.  Apart from the fact that you have to piece together a pdf pattern you could probably knock this out in a couple of hours.  I’ve made it before but this is the first one I’ve blogged about and it has become a firm favourite.

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I really like the slight A-line shape and the wide neck – it makes for a loose and casual top (it does come out a bit big so if you don’t like things too baggy bear that in mind).  I made the sleeves a little wider at the bottom for this one, the pattern is so simple that you can really play around with the shape to get it how you like.

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You could add pockets, drawstrings, cuffs if you wanted, it’s a real good basic pattern to build on.

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And now for something completely different ….

This is the Joan dress from Sew Over It, inspired by the lovely Joan from Mad Men.  This dress is totally and completely not the kind of thing I wear,  I don’t think I’ve ever worn anything like it in my life but there is something about sewing your own clothes that makes you more inclined to try different styles and be a bit more adventurous and I have been making so many hoodies and casual tops that I fancied a bit of a palette cleanser.

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I bought the purple crepe fabric from Sew Over It too.  It’s funny stuff but very well behaved, I love the colour.  So this is a very fitted fully lined dress, it’s not particularly difficult but it takes time, mostly because once you’ve made the dress, you have to make it all over again in lining material.  I did make a muslin and was surprised to find that it fitted quite well straight out of the packet.  I shortened it in the indicated places and I took the back seam in very slightly but that was it.

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How grown up is this dress?  You can’t help but walk with a bit of a wiggle in something like this.  It also makes me feel a little bit like Margaret Thatcher which is rather disturbing.
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So as you can tell from the pictures it is VERY tailored.  I am holding my breath in most of these photos.  I tried it on regularly whilst I was making it and it seemed fine.  It’s a flattering shape and almost seems to invent curves that don’t exist.  My zip is not completely invisible but I quite like the look of the line down the back._0003_2015-10-26 14.14.40

However …. something happened once I put the lining in.  What was snug became suffocatingly tight.  It is so rare for me to wear tight clothes that I am not sure how much restriction of movement is acceptable.  Am I supposed to be able to lift my arms above my shoulders?  If so, then something has gone very wrong because this is my arm lift limit:


After a couple of minutes of wearing it I can feel the panic building – ‘get it off me, get it off me’

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I haven’t hemmed it or finished the kick-pleat because in all honesty I can’t see me getting much wear out of it.  It’s a great pattern, the instructions are faultless and it comes together very nicely, I am just too much of a scruff-bag to really relish looking so …. ladylike!




7 thoughts on “27.10.15 – Joan and another hoodie

  1. I want one of them hoodies please – Why not finish the dress and take it to the charity shop – unless of course you can re-use the fabric. I really enjoy your sewing blogs by the way


  2. The dress looks amazing on you however I’d find the sleeves too restrictive as well. Would it be more comfortable if you took the sleeves out and made it sleeveless, then if you prefer sleeves you could add a jacket or cardigan? I’d also check to see if you can reduce the side seam allowance a smidge on the lining to add a little ease, as this may not have as much give as your main fabric. Thoughts only, but it is a lovely silhouette.


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