I realized the other day that the patterns I make the most are the ones I never blog about. Clearly that isn’t a refection on the pattern, because these are my go to tried and true, whip ‘er up, wear ’em ’til they’re threadbare patterns. I think I rarely blog about them because they’re basics. However these three patterns account for less than 20% of my women’s patterns, but closer to 80% of what I wear (honest guestimate – 80/20 rule). And the dream team is:
So the first pattern I will review in this series is the Halifax Hoodie (also available on Indiesew).
The finished product:
The Halifax Hoodie is a year-round pattern despite it being one you would likely make out of french terry or sweatshirt fleece. Even if you swap out your wardrobe seasonally, you probably leave a sweatshirt or hoodie around just in case you need an extra layer.
With 5 different views there are options to fit different purposes and styles. I have several zip-ups, funnel necks and collard versions. I’m not going to lie though, this grey hoodie is my favorite. The construction:
The Halifax comes together pretty quickly, with the collared view B being the fastest and the zippered view C being a little more involved. I add the thumb hole cuffs from the Lane to mine (full tutorial here). I also add a zipper guard to protect my clothes and skin from getting caught. It runs the full length of the zipper and then folds around to the front at the top to protect your neck too. I like the detail and it’s pretty straight forward. I will gladly do a tutorial if there is interest!
I wanted a classic grey hoodie without any embellishments. I did however use a pink twill tape on the inside because I love pops of color on the interior of my garments. I also used a pink shoe lace for the drawstring because I can switch that out whenever I feel like it.
My grommets are a little too high up on the hood, so I need to bring them down next time. I may also take some depth out of the hood since this is an oversized hood design and I tend to pull it back a bit.
The Halifax, just like the others in this dream team line up is a well drafted, professional, easy to assemble, and well-fitting pattern. All three patterns are basics that can fit in anyone’s wardrobe. And they are great starting blocks for a host of hacks. I hope to make a hooded sweatshirt dress with kangaroo pocket next!
The ultimate fabric:
Now about this fabric! First a little back story.
Before I started sewing I had a favorite grey sweatshirt that was thick and cozy and almost long enough for me. I still remember scouring listings and comparing lengths in order to find the longest one. I remember the sad day it was inadvertently put in the dryer. And I remember as it slowly acquired one hole after another as a result of excessive use. I tried to replace it, but it was a random brand I had never heard of and they weren’t making it anymore. Fortunately I could sew now so surely I could replicate it!
I got to ordering french terry, only to learn that in the sewing realm french terry is pretty lightweight (9-12oz), which is not a whole lot different from a t-shirt fabric like cotton lycra. Still great for layering and wearing to the gym, but not for replacing my cozy hoodie. The thicker heathered versions tend to have a looser weave right side. In my search though I have found 2 that I highly recommend. One is a 14oz. bamboo/cotton/lycra blend that I mentioned here. The other is this:
This cotton heathered french terry is exactly what I was looking for to replace my well-loved hoodie. Over Black Friday I had decided I wasn’t going to buy fabric from lots of retailers, so I picked Style Maker Fabrics because I knew I would get quality pieces. I’m getting tired of buying fabric because it looks like a good deal only to find that I, wasted my money and grew my stash. Style Maker Fabrics has a great reputation and a well-curated selection of quality fabrics. The description on this read “thick and plush cotton” and the picture looked like it had a very smooth face. I’m pretty sure I giggled when I opened my package and held the natural fibers up to my face. I hit the jackpot!
You can tell that this is more structured and long-lasting garment. I would expect to pay upwards of $80 retail for a sweatshirt like this. Sewing it up wasn’t too hard. Top-stitching the zipper, especially over the kangaroo pocket was a bit of a beast, but the stitches hide themselves pretty well. The fabric is 100% cotton, and the stretch is 40%, so I think a zip-up hoodie was perfect for it. The pattern is sized for knits with 30% stretch or greater so you shouldn’t have to size up with this fabric. I love the fit!
Stay tuned for the rest of the dream team series!
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