Happy Thursday and welcome back to Mummykins and Me Comfy Cowl Hoodie Sew Along sponsored by Frollein S Fabrics and Raspberry Creek Fabrics! Today, we will talk about fabrics and how to pick the perfect size. If you missed day 1 with all the details about the sew-along and prizes you could win, click HERE.
Choose your fabrics
One of the great things about the Comfy Cowl Hoodie is how versatile it is fabric-wise. You can use a lot of different types of knits to achieve different kinds of look. The most important thing to remember is that you need to use a knit with some stretch for your main fabric. It will work with almost any kind of knit fabrics, but you will get the best results using a medium weight fabric such as a jersey, a stretch French terry or a stretch sweatshirt fleece. Other heavier fabrics with less stretch, like fleece or sweatshirt will also work but make sure to size up! You will even want to enlarge the neck opening if you use a fabric without stretch. Don’t worry, this is a super simple adjustment and I will show you how.
For the bands and cuffs, my favourite choice is a ribbing fabric with a good stretch. Some ribbing will stretch up to 100% or even more. The stretchier, the better! Up to sizes 3-4, if you plan on using a fabric with less stretch than ribbing, you will need to lengthen the waist band and cuff bands. Start by using a 7/8 ratio and adjust as needed.
Pick up a size!
The secret for a perfect fit garment is to choose your size base on updated measurements. I will never insist enough on the fact that you need to MEASURE yourself or your child before you start. Do not use ready-to-wear size or actual age because you might have a very unpleasant surprise! Taking the extra time to measure every time will help you guarantee a better fit garment. For the Comfy Cowl Hoodie, you will need chest, waist and total height measurements for the child’s, plus hips, for the ladies only. Write them down and compare to the chart of the pattern (page 3 for both and page 6 for ladies height). If you or your child are between 2 sizes, go with the larger size and adjust as needed. The finished garment measurements, in the ladies pattern page 3, are also super helpful because it allows you to choose how much ease you want in your garment.
It’s very easy to lengthen or shorten to get a custom fit. Compare your height measurement to the chart. On the ladies version, adjust the hoodie using the shorten/lengthen cutting line. For the child’s, since the sides are straight, you can add or remove length directly at the bottom of the body. For both, if you are playing with length, don’t forget to check the sleeve length too!
If your chest and waist measurements are in different sizes, you can easily blend the sizes if you want to shape the side seam for a custom fit. Simply print the sizes you need and gently blend from your bust to waist or hips as needed.
Neck opening adjustment
As I mentioned earlier, you need to enlarge the neck opening and cowl if you chose a fabric with less stretch like me. It’s very simple to do but remember that you need to do the modification on paper before you cut into your fabric. If you use a fabric with no stretch at all, size up at least one size AND do a neck/hood adjustment. Here’s what you will need to do:
First cut your pattern according to your correct size. We will work on both front and back pieces as well as the hood. How much you will add will depend on your fabric stretch, weight and head size of your child. For example, I know that my boy has a larger (but how cute!) head and my fabric has some stretch but only 3% of lycra so I decided that 1 inch of ease would be enough. If I were to use a fabric with no stretch at all, with the head size of my boy, I would add 2 inches of ease. But if the same hoodie was intended for my daughter, who has a smaller head, I wouldn’t need to add ease at all.
Now, divide your extra ease by 4. In my case, it gives me ¼ inch. That’s what I’ll remove from the front and back of the shoulders like you see on Photo 1. Remember that you need to add ease to the hood opening too (both outside and lining fabrics), not just the neckline! Since the hood is cut on the fold, you will add half your needed ease. In my case, it gives me ½ inch that I am adding on the fold like you see on Photo 2.
See how simple this is? It makes world of a difference but remember that it is not needed every single time. If you are unsure, better to add a little ease than end up with a neck opening that is too small.
Don’t forget, you can still pick your pattern on sale HERE! Then head to Day 3 for tips on sewing with knits fabrics. After that, go crazy on fabric shopping and check back next week as we start sewing!
Fabrics used today:
Blue French terry, solid pink jersey and black ribbing from Frollein S Fabrics (Organic French Terry Sweater Knit Raccoon Blue). The grey stars stretch sweater fleece comes from a local shop but is similar to Frollein S Fabrics’ Happy Fleece Stars. Lastly, the brown organic sweater knit from Frollein S Fabrics.