Sewing

The Biker Hoodie

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Happy June, and wow:  this year is sure flying. Today Cheeks is back to share his latest:  a sweet Ottobre Kids biker hoodie!

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This was my first ever make from Ottobre Magazine.  After years of seeing the awesome kids and womens clothing they design, I finally took the plunge and subscribed for 2017.

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This hoodie is #19 from the Spring 1/2017 Kids issue.

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I had wanted to make this hoodie for him for my first Fabricista post, (blogged here, too) but I couldn’t find an appropriate fabric at the time.  And so I waited, and was rewarded with this fabulous double faced sweater knit:  it’s wool on the outside and deliciously soft rayon on the inside!  Can you imagine a more perfect fabric to help dress a toddler in wool?  I sure can’t.

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This is one of my favorite things about Fabric Mart (besides the killer pricing):  finding these diamonds in the rough.

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The fabric was listed as dry clean only, but only the very special garments in my life (or coats) ever get that treatment.  If it can’t be laundered and survive, I can’t be bothered.  I washed this on cold and gentle, and the hand definitely changed (it felted a tad), and there was some notable shrinkage, but overall I was impressed by how it came through.  Your mileage may vary; mistreat your fabrics similarly at your own risk.  I plan to wash this either by hand or in a lingerie bag on gentle in the future.

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Anyway, back to this pattern, and my very first Ottobre pattern experience.  I wish I had started with something simpler to get used to the pattern direction verbiage; I’d compare them to the sparseness of BurdaStyle’s directions, but translated from a different language.  Basically, they are of similar difficulty to hash out but in a different way.  Also like Burda, the patterns include hem allowances, but all seam allowances need to be added to the pattern pieces.

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The sparse wording (about 1/3 of a magazine page for the whole construction) made it difficult to suss out which pieces should be cut in which fabrics, and I only figured out a dotted line meant a pattern piece was meant to be cut on the fold after cutting out a comically tiny inner neck binding (the rest of the pattern pieces cut on the fold were obvious and had a note saying say so).

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The end result has some really nice finishing, though to get there I’m pretty sure I read all of the instructions about a dozen times. I really like how the seams at the neck and along the front edges are enclosed by the jersey binding pieces.  This was my first time using this technique, so it’s a bit funky in places, but I can see myself adding this to many future garments.

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Some changes I made to the pattern:  I lengthened the body 1″ so I could use a zipper I had on hand, and I omitted the welt pockets.  The latter was not necessarily intended, but I began the welt sewing process three times and ripped it out three times and decided he could go without pockets on this one.

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The bits of topstitching also give this one a little oomph.  Some of it gets a little lost in this double faced sweater knit, but there’s still a bit of definition.

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I hemmed and hawed about what to use for the sleeve cuffs, and finally decided to just use the back side of the fabric.  The benefits of a double faced knit!

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As for the elephant in the room, the size, I didn’t realize how ginormous this was until I put it on him.  I made the smallest size offered for this style, 98, which is for a 22″ chest.  His chest is 21″, but I still never expected him to drown in it this much.

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Though it makes for some funky looking photos now (those sleeves cuffs are folded up twice in most of these photos!), it’s for the best since we are just heading into Summer, which means this will most definitely still fit him come Autumn.

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Plus, I think the hood makes him look a bit like a Jedi, which is pretty cool in my book.  Hehe.

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11 thoughts on “The Biker Hoodie”

  1. This is a home run! Seriously, by the time I finished reading your post, I’d looked up the fabric on-line, wondered if I could find a similar pattern in adult size, and reminded myself to subscribe to Ottobre–Ij love everything about it. I was also wondering if this fabric was more stable than knits usually are, or if you were just a Jedi seamstress. It looks really amazing and the details are really well executed.

    As a mom of two baby boys, who are now 24 and 26 but will always be my babies, I can assure you that no clothing will ever be too big for long. :)

    1. Thank you, Debra! :) It’s a bit more stable than your average bear, when it comes to knits, but still has a decent amount of give. I used fusible stay tape for the zipped edges.

      Aw, yes. They will always, always will be your babies. Cheeks has already had a couple of growth spurts since these photos were taken; I bet it will be perfect for Fall!

  2. Cheeks looks gorgeous, it’s such a fab hoodie and always better to be too big than too smaller as they grow so fast. Love the zip!

  3. Oh, Mr. Cheeks just reminds me that my boy is also already wearing 98 occasionally. Time flies like crazy. I love the jacket, loose as it is. Those cuffs look on purpose too and when is he really going to wear the hood?
    My MIL knitted a crazy complicated jacket for Bauki, and I gave her the wrong size so it would last longer. Turned up cuffs it is. The crazy ahem loving grandma would knit him another one every two months…

    1. FLIES! Like a speeding bullet.

      Haha. Definitely better to be too big than too small! It’s like Winter vs. Summer: You can always put more layers on, but you can only get so naked…

  4. Gorgeous!
    I love the Ottobre designs – really cool options plus some good basics all wrapped up in a really lovely magazine. I like some of the techniques, but yeah… sparse instructions!

    Love the jacket.

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