I’ve decided that the collective noun for a group of sweatshirts should be a “cozy”. And the reason I have had to come up with a collective noun for a group of sweatshirts is that I’ve made a lot of sweatshirts in the last few weeks. It’s actually winter here, el nino is real, and I have been very cold. So out came all my stashed french terry and merino and any other soft, warm seeming fabric, to quickly become my cozy of sweatshirts.
I actually started before Christmas, with one last minute selfish make to take to my frigid Nevada familial home for the holiday. I loved the Elle Puls Bethioua pattern as soon as I saw it, and I cut two out at once, one for my mom and one for me. I made mine from a cool striped french terry merino from The Fabric Store, with very subtle stripes on the right side and more obvious stripes on the loopy side. I thought I would be clever and use the loopy side for the bands, as a contrast, but that may have been foolish as I have already snagged the loops several times on various things. I guess french terry is designed to keep the loops on the inside! I made a size 38 graded to 40 at the hips based on my measurements, and I made the bottom band much wider than is called for in the pattern (my piece was 6″ tall rather than 2″), so it’s more like a traditional sweatshirt band.
My next french terry use was far more traditional. I had this yellow and navy cotton french terry from GirlCharlee that I bought along with a scrap of heathered navy baby ribbing for the bands. I’d never actually used real ribbing, believe it or not – I’ve just always used regular jersey for neckbands and such. I’m really glad I had the ribbing for this top, though, because this terry has basically no recovery, so I could never have successfully banded it with self fabric. In fact, the seams got pretty stretched out when I serged on the bands, but they mostly shrunk back when I washed it. The pattern is the Hey June Lane Raglan, just because it’s the only traditional raglan pattern I have, and that’s what I wanted. The neckline is a bit wide, and it wound up maybe a tad longer than I had anticipated, but I actually kind of like it, and it certainly checks all the sweatshirt boxes.
Next I wanted to take the cozy factor up a notch, so I eagerly printed and assembled the (horror!) 45-page pdf for the Hey June Halifax Hoodie. Ordinarily I would only assemble the pieces for the view I want to make, but with this pattern I knew I wanted to make all the views – take that, scotch tape supply! I started with the more traditional sweatshirt view with funnel collar and kangaroo pocket. One of the testers made a great version with contrast trim on the pocket and a contrast inner collar, and I really liked that idea. I had this great orange reversible doubleknit in my stash that I bought at JoAnn years ago with the intent to use it for a colorblocked dress of some kind, but in the years I’ve had it, no pattern called its name as loudly as this sweatshirt, so separates it was. One side is a solid orange and the other side is a teeny tiny orange and white stripe, so it just reads as light orange from far away. There are also subtle sparkles in this fabric, not my favorite feature, but hopefully it’s not too noticeable.
It was a bit of a brain twist to remember which side of the fabric was my intended right side for each pattern piece, but I managed to assemble it without any unpicking of wrong-side errors. For the funnel neck, I cut it as two pieces rather than one as the pattern instructs so I could have the contrast only on the inside, but of course I forgot to add seam allowance to the top edge, so my collar is a scant 1/4 inch shorter than it should be – I moved the buttonholes down accordingly. Now I just need to find an appropriately colored cording for the collar… easier said than done. It might have to wait until my next trip to the LA garment district, since I can’t even find regular plain buttons anywhere around here. Anyway, I really like how this turned out. Again, a bit longer than I would have thought, but I think it works.
I immediately moved on to the other view, the asymmetrical side seam version. I had this great waffle texture thermal merino from The Fabric Store that is grey on the right side and a kind of grey-teal on the wrong side, which I wanted to showcase on the collar. Rather than cut the funnel neck with the top on the fold, I extended the top out about 6 inches, with the hope that it would drape down and reveal the wrong side. However, this is a pretty narrow collar, so it doesn’t really drape like I’d imagined. I also didn’t want to use the hem band, so I attempted to lengthen the bodice by about an inch and a half. Unfortunately this wasn’t quite enough, or I am just not a fan of the high front hem, because I’m not super happy with the length. Maybe I should go back and add the hem band? I’m not crazy about this top, which is perhaps evident in the fact that I’m making stupid faces in all the photos I took of it. Does anyone else find shooting things that were a disappointment harder than things that turned out exactly how you imagined?
And for my last foray into cozy tops, I cut into this totally awesome polka dot merino jacquard(?) I got at The Fabric Store in the fall. It’s nice and sproingy and fairly lightweight, so I decided to basically make another boxy dolman sweatshirt like my Echino leopard top from October. I used the same hack of the Hey June (apparently Hey June is my spirit sweatshirt pattern company) Aurora tee, cutting it short and boxing it out, and adding a hem band (6″ tall piece, again). I made the sleeves longer this time, though, as befitted the warmer fabric.
As a bonus, looking at the orange doubleknit and the polka dot merino on my cutting table together, I realized they matched perfectly, so I made a quick infinity scarf with the scraps! I had to piece both fabrics to make it long enough with the scraps I had left, so there are two seams instead of the usual one, but I took the opportunity to flip the reversible fabric so part of the scarf is solid and part is striped. Pattern overload, as usual, but I think you can get away with it in a scarf.
Anyhoo, I’m feeling much warmer now.
As far as the new year goes, I don’t have anything really profound to say about last year in my sewing life, other than that (as probably evidenced by this post) I think it was the year of separates. Now that I’ve made several successful pairs of pants and shorts, I’ve been making and wearing many more tops than dresses, which were my go-to garment for years. As far as my favorite makes of the year, well, they’re what I blogged. I made a bunch of other things too, but I’m not too inspired to write up anything that I don’t love. As for what’s next, after five easy sweatshirts, I’m finally ready to make something complicated, so I’m tackling a wool Cascade Duffle Coat. After that, who knows? Maybe something that’s not motivated by winter, eventually.