Painted Autumn Leaf Hoodie

It’s another Simplicity 1251! This pattern comes with a template and instructions for needle-felting a rose design on the sleeves and hood. Now, I wasn’t going to needle-felt by hand and I don’t have a machine that can needle-felt, but I liked the idea of adding something to relieve the stark black of this hoodie. I worried that hand-embroidery would be too delicate (the idea was to be able to throw this in the wash easily), so I decided to try fabric paints.

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The paint I used is Jacquard Lumiere #223 (“Brass”), which I found, to my surprise, at my favorite local trim store, Pacific Trimming. (Never having been in the market for fabric paint before, I just never noticed that they had a rack of it in one of the windows. It’s also available at Dharma Trading Co., for those who aren’t NYC locals.) I found a nice leaf template on Etsy (I got the 9″ x 9″ size), unearthed some unused makeup sponges, and my attempt at fabric painting commenced. Turns out it’s kind of difficult to stencil on sweatshirt fleece, but I’m still pretty happy with the results!

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Oh yes, the fabric is the thick, cozy Beefy Cotton Solid Fleece from The Confident Stitch (thank you to Lladybird for linking to that). I’m so glad I discovered this because I’d been having a really hard time finding thick sweatshirt fleece. (It’s not like sweatshirts are rare items…why is cozy sweatshirt fleece so difficult to find??) (Side note: This does shed A LOT in the wash on the first washing–I’ve only washed it once so far and am hoping now that all the edges are finished it won’t do that again…but oof! The drains in my laundry room were not happy.)

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Unfortunately, this particular fleece actually isn’t a great match to the pattern–the fabric has very little stretch and the pattern calls for some, so the hoodie ended up being pretty tight (even after I reduced the side-back and sleeve seams to 1/4 inch), especially in the upper arms. That is totally my fault, though–I would absolutely use this fabric again in an instant, but maybe with a pattern for a nonstretch woven (or perhaps I should’ve just made a bigger size?). Anyway, it’s wearable without anything underneath, but doesn’t quite fit the bill for what I’d intended: a warm tunic to throw on as an extra layer.

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So we’ll see how much wear I get out of this garment. But at the very least, I’ve now discovered that stenciling on fabric is quite easy and quick, and I’ve found a great source of sweatshirt fleece, so even if I don’t end up using this particular make too often I’m pretty excited about those two facts!

 

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Steampunk Denim Jacket

It’s a jacket made of denim…and that’s all the relationship this has to a traditional “jean jacket.” This has been on my to-do list for…maybe a year? And finally I did it!

For the pattern, I used Simplicity 8020, View A. Major changes from that pattern were to replace the buttons with a zipper and add a set of darts in the front since it was looking a bit boxy when I first tried it on. I made a lot of fitting adjustments to accommodate my narrow shoulders, but that isn’t a reflection of the pattern so much as it is how my body relates to the “standard” sizing. (With each project, I learn more about how to adjust the fitting and I’m pretty happy with my progress on this one.)

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I love that the jacket looks tailored, yet is actually quite loose in the torso (which means it’s comfortable and will hopefully fit over bulkier tops).

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The one thing I think I’d do differently if I made this again is to make the sleeves tapered or straight to the wrist. The ruffle is cute, but it leaves the forearms rather exposed–not so great if you’re wearing this for warmth. (Though this does mean I now have an excuse to get some of those scissors arm warmers from Sock Dreams….)

The jacked is unlined and all inside seams are finished with my serger, then pressed to one side and topstitched.

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But of course the really exciting touch is the patches on the back.

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Loki wants to know what the fuss is all about.

These are sold by MTthreadz on Etsy, and they have soooo many great patches! You can see from the photo above this one that I sewed these on–I did iron them on, but it didn’t seem like they would stay (especially since they’re so large and on an area that would see a lot of movement) so I stitched around the edges with my machine. I will definitely be picking up more patches for future projects.

On a related note, I’ve dived into fall/winter sewing. The main things I “need” for the next few months are:

  • Turtlenecks
  • Toiletries bag
  • Ballgown for November
  • Ren fair outfit

Other things I’m hoping to make:

  • Wool skirt
  • Long-sleeved knit dress
  • Clutch purse (I’m dying to make this one, but the instructions are awfully daunting)

Ah, so many plans!