I finally used some fabric that I have been hoarding for a long time, I used the free PDF pattern from Crafty Kitty (the Rohan Hoodie pattern).
It’s a great pattern with clear instructions, as the fabric is so thin mine is fully lined making it reversible.
Several people have asked me where the fabric is from sadly it is unavailable unless they have a time machine! A lady who lived on my avenue gave it to me about twenty years ago. It had been made into a duvet cover for her own son (then grown up) so I am guessing it is at least thirty years old. My sons used it as children and when they moved on to Football duvet covers I stored it away.
I found it recently when chipping away at the mammoth task of clearing the loft to create a sewing space (that’s another ongoing long story). Flo, (the lovely lady who gave it to me) had lived in the area all her life. She was also a Sunday school teacher and very community minded. She always received lots of chocolate as gifts but as a diabetic couldn’t eat it. So of course she gave me lots of chocolate for my boys too, as a conscientious mother I monitored their chocolate consumption. I would scoff it at night when they were in bed!
Flo was such a good neighbour who contributed so much to the local community I have to call it the ‘Neighbourhoody’. Both my handsome sons are now grown men with young children of thier own. I will make each of their boys one to remember the lovely neighbour Flo.
As the pattern and tutorial is perfect I will just show the changes I made to make it reversible. In summary: make two, don’t include a placket and stitch them together when constructed.
Cut two of everything except the placket (don’t cut any of these) the hoodie is more of a coat than a top. I used a fine white cotton as the lining as this one is for Little Lou to take to Malta. I thought it would be nice and cool and kind to his skin.
Make sure that you cut both exactly the same size and use the same seam allowance as this will make it easier. Make both tops as normal but leave out the placket, cut a V shape in the front neck. Finish the seams using your preferred choice, I overlocked mine after trimming with pinking shears on curved areas. I bought my overlocker (Mr Gray) about three months ago. It still fills me with both anxiety and joy, I love the speed and the way he trims edges. The innards fill me with fear and he is quite fussy about threading, I prefer to use Constance my reliable and placid sewing machine.
Next, place one in side the other with right sides facing and stitch around the hood/neck, I started at the centre back to make sure they were lined up evenly.
I then turned them the right way, gave it a good pressing and top stitched the neck and hood. I had already top stitched the shoulder and side seams as all though Little Lou is tiny he is a ‘Wear ’em out WIlf’.
I laid them both on the table and smoothed out all the wrinkles in preparation for binding the sleeve cuffs and hem.
I made my own bias binding using the tiny scraps as I want to make this vintage fabric go as far as possible. You can download a paper template, buy the nifty tool or buy ready-made. Template and instructions from the Scientific Seamstress:
Or if you buy the gadget here is a video clip guide but Deborah Moebes
Remember the two hoodies are only joined at the neck so far, the sleeve cuffs and bottom hems are still hanging loose. This next stage will go smoothly if your cutting was accurate. Have a look when it’s smoothed out flat and trim if required, if you have an overlocker you can trim and finish at the same time.
Join the hem first, sew the binding to the right side of one hoody hem all the way round you then fold the binding over and stitch it to the other hoody hem. You could sandwich both layers between the binding and stitch together using a binding foot if you prefer. As I am a bit Scruffy McDuffy I used the two-step process.
Apply the same process to the sleeve edges (cuffs) and apart from a quick thread snip and press you are done!
I know now that white isn’t an ideal colour for a three-year old but at least it can be flipped the other way to hide stains!
Thank you Flo for the fabric, the chocolate and making me feel welcome to the neighbour hood had when I moved to the area all those years ago. I now need to make Oliver a Neighbourhoody but as he is a fine figure of a boy I need his measurements to make sure it fits correctly!