Sometimes we need a little nudge to kick-start the inspiration. For me, that was the October Hoodie Along Challenge in the Sew Alongs & Sewing Contests group.
I've been hanging on to an old tee shirt for a long time now. I'd worn it so often that it was soft and faded. Sadly, it sprouted a hole in an unfixable spot. Usually, these garments of mine end up in the donate bin, but this tee has a bit of sentimental value for me. So, I tucked it away, as any sewer worth her salt would do, telling myself that one day, I will find a way to wear it again.
I was important to me to use quality materials for my Lufisto tee shirt upcycle. If I were going to take the time to turn it into a whole new garment, I wanted to make one that will last. Luckily, I already had the perfect things in my stash.
I bought 3 yards of black French Terry from Simply By Ti fabrics at their Birthday Sale last April. It's one of those fabrics that you have to smell before you cut it. I have a routine of running all new (washable) fabric through my washer and dryer 3x before I put it on my shelf stash. However, when I pulled this down, I couldn't tell if it had been washed just by looking at it. I had to give it a good whiff first to see if it smelled like dryer sheets. I guess that's just a weird way of me saying this fabric comes out of the wash looking like brand new. No fading, no pilling, no fuzzing. That's exactly what I want, because I launder my hoodies all the time.
Also from my stash, I selected a red bamboo jersey. It is soft and a pretty good red-match for the picture on my tee. I used it for the hood lining and for my zipper facing. Bamboo jersey on its own is not the right fabric for a facing. It's far too slinky. To make it work, I fused multiple layers of knit interfacing to it until I was satisfied with the drape.
Aside from my old Lufisto tee shirt, the red bamboo jersey and the black French Terry, I didn't need much else. A separating zipper, twill tape for the neckline, a red cord for the hood string and some knit interfacing was it. My plan came together pretty quickly, but I was so nervous to start cutting!
Starting With The Hardest Part
Cutting out the hoodie itself was actually easy. I used the same free So Sew Easy Hoodie pattern as my white test version (blogged HERE). But before any assembling of the garment could happen, I needed to do the hardest part: reverse applique my tee shirt.
Obviously, French Terry and tee shirts are two very different weights of fabric. I wanted my back to be just as thick and warm as the rest of my hoodie, so I cut 2 backs. After trimming away most of the tee shirt, I took the print and laid it out evenly on one of the backs, pinning it in place. Pinning the back to my test hoodie helped me place the picture just where I wanted it. Then I basted it in place.
The two backs were layered together, with the tee shirt facing the wrong side of the back. I worked slowly marking the edges and rounding the corners, then I stitched both layers of back pieces together. I used the stretch stitch on my regular machine, going over it with a 3-thread cover stitch to make it pretty.
The big reveal!
Flipping the back piece so that it faced right side up, I snipped away the center of the top piece, leaving a narrow raw edge that will curl back. I trimmed away the excess on the back as well, leaving me a single back piece to my hoodie with my tee shirt picture showing through.
Additional Special Assembly Required
The tee shirt picture is the focus of this hoodie, but I didn't want the rest of the garment to be too plain. I wanted to carry that "raw edge" feeling into more of my hoodie seams. I also wanted to add a little bit of color.
Reverse cover stitching the drawstring channel in red to coordinate with the hoodie lining just made sense, the raglan sleeve seams were a little more work. I started by marking the 3/8 seam allowance on the front, back and sleeve seams. Next, I pinned the seam lines together very carefully and stitched them with the lightning stitch on my regular machine. Last, I went back over that stitch line with red reverse cover stitching.
After all that, the bands, zipper and facings were easy and straight forward
I debated about my front pocket details for a minute, but
after ripping out stitches 4 times in the end I decided to keep it simple. I put some red reverse cover stitching along the openings to echo the raglan sleeve, and top stitched them on with a 3 thread cover stitch, leaving the edges raw like the back reverse applique.
A Few More Photos
I ran out and snapped these photos between rainstorms. Here in Michigan it's wet, windy and quite chilly. Hoodie Weather is in full swing.
I couldn't be happier with the way my project turned out!
My Lufisto tee is now a warm hoodie that I will wear regularly all fall and winter.
If you are interesting in trying the FREE So Sew Easy Hoodie pattern, you can get it HERE.
If you are interested in the French Terry fabric I used, you can find it HERE.
If you want to know who in the world Lufisto is, you can read about her HERE.
Don't be shy! Come by the Sew Alongs & Sewing Contests Facebook group to chat, read and be inspired by garment sewers of all levels and interests!