Monday, February 24, 2014

A Sweatshirt with Easy Welt Pockets (Really?)

The more I sew clothes for my cohorts, the more specific their requests. Alex wanted a zippered, hooded sweatshirt with pockets attached so they didn't flop around, and NO drawstring. Well, yay, this pattern fit the bill.

The sweatshirt is Ottobre 3-2005-29. I bought this old magazine issue because it actually has a few men's garments. This particular pattern comes in both children's and men's sizes.

Alex also likes the higher, but not tight, neckline since it's warm and cozy. The hood is lined with black jersey.

I added some extra orange reverse-coverstitch topstitching which coordinated somewhat with my rust zipper. My stash is happy to have rid itself of this ridiculous two-way zipper. It was so long, I had to cut about 2 feet off. No, sewing a rust-colored sleeping bag is not in my future.

Now, did I really say sewing welt pockets (in polar fleece, no less) was easy? Precision sewing in fluff when you can't see your needle wasn't the easy part, but this clever pocket design made the welt easy:

See those vertical dotted lines on the pattern piece? Those are pleat (or fold) lines.

Here is the procedure in steps:
1. (not shown) After marking the rectangle, place the pocket piece right sides together with the garment. Stitch the rectangle. Slash and clip to the corners. Turn to the inside and press unless you have polyester fleece. [Normal welt procedure.]

Reverse side.

2. Pleat or fold the pocket piece over so it just covers the rectangular opening.

I haven't done any topstitching here yet, but that sure formed a great welt!

And lastly, since I didn't want to risk melting my fabric, I "interfaced" my zipper facing with some strips of woven fabric. I serged the long raw edge and serged the other edge to the wrong side of the fabric.

Thursday, February 20, 2014


I made these before Christmas, but it still seems appropriate to think about balaclavas, since we've had the good fortune to get another snowstorm as we speak.

Scarves have a place in this world, but sending my kids outside without scarves this year has been a time-saving experience. No searching for and tying scarves. No one complaining the scarf is choking them. No one coming to have their snow-encrusted scarf retied. No one losing their scarf in a snowbank.

My boys quickly found the ninja side of balaclava.

The balaclava was fairly simple to sew once I wrapped my mind around which pieces went where, and my assembly-line method made subsequent ones go that much more quickly.

I used leftover fleece scraps. The main hat is one piece (partly cut on fold and partly stitched) connected to a double layer ear portion. The face mask is a separate piece attached inside to the hat's seam allowances. The binding, made from nylon-lycra (swimsuit fabric), was probably the trickiest part to sew, but was easier the stretchier the fabric used.

My stairsteps also got balaclavas.

And the facemask pulled down.

4 of the 5 kids have worn these all the time. I guess you can't win them all.

One kid asked me to sew him another one because he thinks his should be washed since he's breathing into it all the time. Hahaha. I agree.

The pattern is Green Pepper 550 and comes in all sizes from toddler to (large) adult head.


©2009 21 Wale | by TNB