Thursday, March 8, 2012

Pattern Review: The Luka Hoodie from Sewing for Boys Book

I have been LOVING Sewing for Boys, the book.  My favorite so far has been the Treasure Pocket Pants, although I have also made the Henry Shirt and Just Like Dad Flannel Robe.  The Patterns by Figgy's Gals wrote the book, and I have also tried their Dapper Dillinger trousers (here again).

So here is the Luka Hoodie.  It is called an advanced pattern, and I think it was a bit easier than that.  Although sewing the inside and outside together was a bit confusing at the end.  It is nice how the seams are hidden, though.

I had a few issues.  For one, the pieces aren't marked fabulously.  In the book photos, the main pocket is made of the contrast fabric.  But on the pattern piece it says to cut a piece out of the main fabric and in the directions it says to stitch the secret pocket to the main pocket piece.  Doing these things makes the exterior of the pocket the main fabric and the interior the contrast (the sleeve fabric).  When I made it, I thought I messed up and cut the semi-circle on the wrong color, but in reviewing it after the fact, I think I followed the directions but I think they led me astray from what I thought I was making it look like.

In that same set of directions, I found an error (#5 in the construct the secret pocket section): they say to sew wrong sides together, but I needed to do it with right sides together.

Also, the sleeves were asymmetrical.  Attaching them took a bit of thinking (maybe that is why it was advanced), because somehow I only ended up with pattern markings on the sleeve pieces and not the body pieces.  I used white microfleece on the inside, which didn't help (it is hard to tell front from back of the fabric).  To make sure I had chosen the front and back of the sleeve properly, I ended up laying it all out on the desk to visualize the completed piece.  That worked for me.  

It is also confusing that the photos of the finished piece in the book have the contrast and main colors swapped in a few places (they are different in the directions; for example, the secret pocket flap is in both colors in the photo but only in one color in the directions).  I added a layer of lightweight interfacing to this flap, too, and it worked well for me.  The secret pocket is a hit with my little audience, too.

I had to look up how to make fabric covered buttons, even though they mention they are nice in the book (but not how to do them).  I didn't end up doing it because I didn't have the supplies readily available at home.  I think the wooden buttons look fine.  I saw one blog review where she had added fabric behind the buttons to keep a draft out, and I wish I had known how to do that.

I found another error in the directions here: in creating the button loops, they keep telling you to put them on the right top panel but the photos and drawings all show these on the top left panel.  

Also in this section, they have you leave an inch unstitched at the bottom.  It is unclear why, and later, I found it to have no benefit, and I had to topstitch that area later.  Maybe it was left open so I could attach the buttons while hiding the threads inside?

I added diagonal topstitching on the big pocket and like how it looks.

For sizing, my guy has been fitting into the 2/3 size, although he wears a 4 or 5T regularly.  I was surprised that the sizing of this hoodie is a bit smaller than the other pieces in the book.  I couldn't roll the sleeves on him, and it pulls a bit around his shoulders and is a bit tight in the forearms.  The hood is a little snug around his face.  It is a bit wide and short, but that didn't surpirse me since the Henry Shirt for the same way.  I think he'd fit better in the 4/5.

I think all I need to do now is make zebra pants, with a tail of the contrast fabric, and he'd blend right in!

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