Friday, 4 November 2011

Black Hoody Top

The Eurozone may be staring into the abyss at the moment but the sewing goes on. Here's my second make of the hoody top from Papercut patterns.

Here's my first version in red.   I used my adjusted pattern from the first time around where I shortened the length and slightly changed the position and shape of the raglan sleeves.   I don't know what the black fabric is. It's part of the fabric I bought from the old lady.  It's entirely unsuitable for this type of garment which requires a nice stretch.  It has some stretch but I imagine the lady used it to make theatre costumes with - something that doesn't crease, is hardwearing and has some stretch so it can move around.   You can't tell the fabric is unsuitable from the photos or when you wear it - it just looks like a black hoody top!

I wanted a contrasting hood so I bought some lovely grey and black striped jersey.  I was going to use the stripe as a contrasting lining at first but I decided I liked the stripes on the outside once I'd made up the hood!

The top is incredibly comfortable and flattering.  As the top is quite short (how I wanted it) you need to layer it up.  I may have to make more layering tops to go underneath.

There's not much more to say about the top so I thought I would talk about some of the techniques and tutorials I used so I can link them to my techniques page.


Here are some pictures of the cuffs:

Cuffs are not just for Christmas.  They would add a delightfully professional finish to any jersey top or sweatshirt.  You can even buy some ribbing to match your fabric and have ribbed cuffs.

I'd never done cuffs before and the pattern instructions were not particularly clear. Luckily I found this tutorial on cuffs.   It did take a while for me to figure out which is embarassing now because they're so easy.   I seem to remember unpicking them but that may have been when I was trying to follow the pattern instructions.

So to add a cuff to your sleeve you:

1.  Measure the bottom of your sleeve (the circumference of the cuff) plus seam allowance on either side.

2.  Decide how long you want the cuff, double it and then add seam allowance on both ends.  The design of these cuffs are nice and long which I like.

3.  The cuff pattern piece is a rectangle using: [the measurements at 1 above] x [the measurement at 2 above].

4.  Cut out two pieces of the fabric from your pattern, using the edge of the pattern as a grainline.

5.  Fold the rectangle, right sides together.  In my case the fold was on the long edge.  Pin and stitch so  you have a long tube.  Fold in half so the seam allowances is encased on the inside of the cuff.  (Refer to the linked  tutorial where there's a picture if you can't follow this).

6.  Follow the tutorial instructions from here to stitch the cuff to the sleeve (which already has the side seam stitched).    Finish the seam.

Attaching a lined hood using bias binding

Making up the lined hood was really easy and the pattern instructions were fine.     There are 4 pattern pieces, one for each half of the hood and one for each half of the lining.  They are both the same size.  I lengthened the hood on the pattern piece.  For the first time in my life I have a hood that is comfortable and the right length!  You can also change the design of your hood if you like.  This one is round against the head but you could change it to something more pointy.

You sew the halves of the hood and hood lining together, laying them right sides together and sewing along the line that will run across the centre of your head.  You now have two hood pieces, the outer hood and the lining.  Place the two pieces right sides together and sew along the edge that will frame your face.   You can add optional topstitching to the front edge of the hood.  I did the topstitching on my red top but not the black one.  The black one came out much better.  I found it much easier to attach the hood to the garment using the bias binding when I hadn't topstitched.

My search for on-line tutorials was really so that I could attach the hood to the garment.  The pattern instructions just said something like "attach hood" and had a picture of the outside of the top with the hood attached.  They didn't tell you to use bias tape but I couldn't see how you could attach the hood and have a nice finish on the inside.

I couldn't find many on-line tutorials for hoods.    I found this tutorial for a cute towel for a child with a hood.  (I so want a towel with a hood and I may have to make a big one for me!).   The hood on the towel is lined and was attached without any form of bias tape.  The method looked quite good but I was not convinced I could make it with a neat finish on my hood.  The towelling fabric may be more forgiving with this method.

I then found this rather student-y tutorial for a hooded gown.  This gave me the idea for finishing the inside of the hood with bias tape.  It didn't say how you did it so I figured out a way to do it (which I describe below).  It came out really well on both tops, and gave a great professional finish (apart from not managing to sew the bias strip very straight on the red one).

Here are some close ups of the hood and the bias tape:

Wrong side showing the bias tape finish

Wrong side back view showing bias tape finish
Note the joining seam at the centre back

Right Side

Wrong side front view

Wrong side back view

You can't really see the black ones very well which is why I posted the red ones as they are easier to see.

This is what I did after constructing the hood as noted above.   So you know which side I'm talking about I'll refer to the pieces as the outer hood and the hood lining.  The edge of the hood that is unsewn at this stage I'll call the neck edge of the hood.

1.   Mark with a pin, or snipped notches, on the seam allowance of the neck edge of the garment at these 4 points:  centre front, centre back and the shoulders.  Your shoulder notches can be equal distance from the centre front and centre back.  (Note - if your hood does not reach all the way round to the centre front, instead of marking the centre front mark where each side of the hood will reach up to).

2.  Mark similar notches on your hood on both the outer hood and the hood lining.  In fact you don't need to do a notch for the centre back of the hood as the hood seam marks the centre back.  When you mark the notches on the outer hood and hood lining that will match up to the shoulder notches on the garment you can again mark them equal distance from the front edge of the hood and the centre back seam.

3.  Pin the neck edge of the outer hood to the neck edge of the garment, right sides together.  Start by matching the notches of the outer hood to the corresponding notch on the garment.  On this top there were no marks on the pattern to show where the hood should be attached.  I did it so there is a gap of about 1 cm at the front neck edge between the two front halves of the hood.

4.  I used loads of pins and hand basted as well.  I stitched the outer hood to the garment starting from the centre back seamline of the hood and finished at the centre front.   Now this is where I found it easier on the black top when I hadn't topstitched the front edge of the hood that frames the face.  On the black top when I reached the seamline of the front of the hood that frames the face I stopped sewing.  I was able to sew right up to that points whereas on the red one where I had topstitched I had to stop at the topstitching.   Repeat for the other half of the outer hood.  Trim the seam.

4.  I then attached some stay tape to the seam allowance at the front neck edge for re-inforcement as this part will get a lot of pull with the hood.

5.  Now the hood's in place you need to secure the lining in place with bias binding.  I made some bias binding out of the fabric.  You cut a strip of fabric the length of the neck edge circumference plus seam allowance for each end (plus a bit extra so you know you won't run short).  The strips are chalked on the fabric and cut at a 45 degree angle to the lengthwise grain.  (Pull your fabric diagonally - there is more stretch this way which is what you want when you are laying it round a curved edge).   I think my strip was about 2.5 - 3 cm in depth.

6.  I used Tasia's method for attaching bias binding to the neck edge of the hood lining,  which she used in the Pendrell blouse sew-a-long.   However I made the strip extra long and then used Collette patterns' method for joining the bias strip at the ends after you have attached it.  It is much easier to work out how long your strip will need to be once you have attached it.

7.  With Tasia's method you fold the bias strip in half lengthwise before you start so you have a long folded edge and opposite is the edge which I'll call the "unfolded edge" of the bias strip.   I basted the folded strip so it didn't move about.   I marked the centre of the strip.  Starting from the front neck edge and using the centre mark on the bias strip as a guide I pinned the the bias strip to the right side of the hood lining (the side that will touch your hair), so the unfolded edge of the bias strip meets the neck edge of the hood lining.   Remember that you want the joining seam on the bias strip at the centre back of the neck edge, not the centre front.

8.  Stitch the bias tape all around stopping around 1.5 inches short of each side of the centre back of the neck edge.  This is so you can join the bias tape using Collette's method referred to above and then go back and sew that 1.5 x 2 inches at the centre back.  Trim the seam.

9.  The folded edge of the bias tape at this point faces up towards the hood.  You then fold down the folded edge of the bias tape so that it will encase the seam allowance of the bias tape and hood lining.  You then pin this to the garment, taking in the outer hood and also encasing the neck edge seam allowance of the outer hood. You then edgestitch along the folded edge of the bias strip.  This row of stitching will show on the right side of the neck edge.  Not a problem because it is covered by the hood when it is down anyway.  You could invisible stitch this down but I don't see the point of that as I can't see that it would be secure.

That was a lengthy post so I'll close off now.   I'm nearing the end of a skirt at the moment but I'm going to have to re-do the hem.  More on that another time!

Happy sewing.

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