Over the holidays, I made approximately 90% of my gifts to give to others. Two of my favorite gifts were the Pokemon and Baby Yoda polar fleece hoodies I made for my two nephews. These hoodies were for me to enter into the apparel side of sewing. In the past, it has mostly been hammocks, bags and backpacks. I seem to have a fear of sewing clothes for some reason, but I think that fear is old and needed to be tested against 7+ years of sewing under my belt. I have to say, it’s not as hard as I had imagined! In fact, these zippered hoodies were a joy to construct.
If you want to learn, learn from the masters, right? I bought this children’s polar hoodie pattern from The Green Pepper two years ago with the ambition of tackling it back then. The pattern sat under piles of other projects destined to be completed after I finished the ones on top. Then, it got buried even further, into a DRAWER! When I finally pulled out the pattern earlier this year, I spent a good few days tracing out the different size patterns from the master pattern using a pattern tracing wheel onto manilla pattern paper stock and I now have all the patterns from size 4 -14 traced and ready for tracing onto fabric.
One of the great things about having a pattern to work with is choosing to following all of the instructions or, follow the necessary parts and change up things to suit your project. I love that the pattern from The Green Pepper allows the patter to be made into a jacket, a hoodie, or a vest. These prototypes will be the polar hoodies.
I was at Joann looking for some fleece and was not disappointed with the licensed prints they carry. I’m still on the hunt for premium licensed artwork that can be printed on any kind of fabric, however, the vision I have for Unalome Outfitters is to have original designs for fabric prints in the future.
For these jackets, I wanted to add an extra layer of warmth to the torso area so I included some Insul-Bright reflective insulation to the front and back of the jackets. It was extra insulation I had laying around when I made my ironing table. In hindsight, I wouldn’t use this again for insulation, but rather Climashield, Primaloft, or Up Insulation. The crinkly sound the insulation has is not great for clothes, but hey, that’s what prototypes are for!
In addition to the insulation, I wanted the jackets to be “reversible” as well so I essentially made 4 jackets total. The extra instructions were not in the standard construction directions, but I had a plan worked out in my head.
Before sewing the pieces together, I had to serge/overlock all the raw edges of all the pieces to prevent the fleece from falling off. This step is a necessary step for fabrics that have a tendency to fall apart at the edges if they aren’t finished off with an overlocking stitch.
I started with the hood construction, then moved onto attaching the front panels and pockets. Once the front panels were complete, I attached them to the back panel and attached the hood and zipper. I took my time making sure that I attached the correct pieces at the correct point in the construction process. I assembled the arm sleeves on the side and only attached the sleeves once the front and back torso pieces were attached.
Following most of the general construction instructions on the pattern from The Green Pepper, the first jacket to get finished was the Pokemon hoodie. The second jacket was the Baby Yoda. Joann had the same print in both blue and green, so I had to get both! I really like contrasting stripe I put on the hoodie.
These prototypes were a fun exercise and I really learned a lot. At a smaller scale compared to adult-sized versions, the children’s version quickly showed me where I need to improve on future garments. I’m excited to take these patterns as a springboard to generate different variations of the original pattern. Stay tuned!