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Alexis Hoodie Dress From Sinclair Patters

I'm starting to have doubts that we are going to have a true fall this year in Michigan. Though we are halfway through October, we are still having 70 degree days pretty frequently. While it's annoying that I'm forced into short sleeves and sandals when I really want to wear boots and tights, I know this can't last forever... Winter IS Coming, and I intend to keep sewing cool/cold weather goodness!
I have a new pattern to share today: Alexis Hoodie Dress by Sinclair Patterns.

The Pattern

The Alexis Hoodie Dress from Sinclair Patterns is based on that classic hoodie style we all reach for when it's cold, but depending on the fabric and fit you sew, you can create a mid-thigh dress to wear with tights and boots, or a structured tunic to wear with jeans and leggings.

Design Features

- Lined hood with wide band
-Elbow length or optional layer-look long sleeves
-Mid-thigh hem length
-Large "kangaroo pouch" pocket
-Gentle bell shape with enough ease to wear over jeans

Alexis Hoodie Dress is available via download in PDF format in sizes US0-US22, with each size being an individual file. The full size range is available in Petite, Regular and Tall drafts, or for an additional fee, you can order a custom drafted copy with your individual measurements. 

Fitting My Alexis Hoodie Dress

Several of my upper body measurements are spot-on for the US6 (chest circumference, back width, shoulder width), but my bust, waist and hip are not. This can make size selection difficult. I took a chance on the description of "relaxed fit" and muslined the US6 hoping there would be enough ease in the waist and hips. 
I did make a few adjustments on the paper pattern before I cut this out:
1. A rather large FBA of 1 inch (2 inch total increase) as I was concerned about my full bust causing drag lines. It looks nice (even with the dart) but it feels loose.
2. 1/2 inch Forward Angled Shoulder Adjustment, something I do 99% of the time.
3. Removed 1 inch length from the CB using the Pivot-slide method. I find this reduces back wrinkles without distorting the pattern piece the way a swayback wedge does. I feel like this adjustment is becoming a standard for me on dress patterns.  
 Not a bad fit at all! I did find that the muslin tended to slide backwards when I moved, causing this unsightly nonsense:
Based on this muslin, I added one more adjustment:
4. A 1/2 inch Forward Head Adjustment (which moves the whole seam forward). Now my finished dress stays in place, even with the weight of the hood.

Later, as I sewed, I discovered the sleeves were too long and adjusted on the fly:
5. Removed 1 inch from the upper sleeve and 3 inches from the layered sleeve piece to achieve my preferred fit and length. (Please Note: The final sleeve length was changed on the pattern, so you will want to measure or make a muslin to find your best fit.)

And Then Version 2

 Based on Version 1 feedback from the testers, there were a couple tweaks to the pattern. Once V2 was available for download, I printed out the same US6, but opted to not make the FBA this time. Really, I should have just stuck with the plan to make a slightly smaller bust adjustment. The fit without is fine and totally wearable, but if I had made a 1/2 inch adjustment (1 inch total increase), I could have avoided the creases at the armpit. But, that's how fitting works. Sometimes I'm right, sometimes I'm wrong, but either way I learn and improve for the future.

Construction 'N Fabric

The tutorial for Alexis Hoodie Dress is very easy to follow, making the garment less complicated to assemble than it looks. I would offer just a couple extra tips to keep in mind that aren't mentioned in the instructions:
1. I recommend stabilizing the front pocket curves before stitching the front pocket lining on, just like you do with trouser/jeans pockets. It just takes a second to fuse on a strip of knit stay tape (or cut a narrow strip from knit interfacing to use as stay tape). I feel that it provides support to a curved/stretchy/bias opening that will take abuse from hands being shoved in and out. It helps the pocket keep shape and minimizes gaping or over stretching.
2. I used a rayon spandex as my accent fabric on my first dress, which makes a great sleeve and hood lining. However, it is a bit flimsy for the hood band. I would recommend interfacing that piece if you choose a similar fabric. I interfaced mine and it made all the difference.
For my first dress, I used the same fabric as my muslin: a 100% cotton French terry in a denim blue color from Joann Fabrics. Aside from finding it cut crooked off the bolt and twisted after the prewash/dry process, it was very easy to work with.
For my contrasting fabric, I used the last 2/3 yards or so I had of some navy floral rayon spandex from Simply By Ti.
I didn't quite have enough for all the parts I wanted, so I made faux facings to peep out of the pocket openings. 
For my second version, I used some quilted-look knit from Joanns. It's beefy and looks nice from the front side... However, it stinks of polyester the second you put any heat to it, and it is so scratchy on the wrong side. 
Truly, it's a fabric that should have been lined.
I decided to skip the optional layer-look cuff on this version, and just create a layered long sleeve tee to wear underneath. This protects my skin from the itchy polyester, and it looks good!
I lined my hood on version 2 with a soft poly linen blend. This keeps it neutral and allows me to us any long sleeved tee as an under layer. 

Final Photos

Is Alexis Hoodie Dress For You?

I'm betting if you live in a cold-winter climate, you already know you want to make this! It's warm, cozy, easy to wear (I took mine refrigerator shopping AND to the couch with a hot tea).
Plus, it's surprisingly easy to make. You really are only a day away from having this on your body...even sooner if your serger isn't a jerk like mine and you don't have 17 million interruptions like I did.
You can grab your copy of Alexis Relaxed Fit Hoodie Dress HERE.
Join us in the Sinclair Patterns Facebook Group for more Alexis inspiration, and to share your version!


  1. What a fabulous make, I hope autumn/fall makes its appearance soon!


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