Friday, August 17, 2012

A Man-hoodie

I sew mostly for myself :)  Now my children are all grown up they select and buy their own clothes, of course.  It's a rare occasion for anyone to make a request  :( although I do so love it when they do.
My husband also doesn't ever ask for very much for himself either, so when he does then I pay attention because I know it is because he really really wants it.
He had a favourite RTW Tshirt hoodie thing, and he wanted one to replace it.  The new one had to be as close to the old one as humanly possible, please.  The old one was thin and brittle from washing and all stretched out and sad, and had some stains on it since as it was truly his favourite favourite Tshirt of all time, he has worn it for everything, including the day he applied wood stain to a set of jarrah chairs.  Woops!  And there were holes too.
Finding the perfect fabric for Craig's Tshirt has become something of a quest over the past few months.  Seriously, I have searched and searched, and so has he.  In the meantime the old Tshirt got even more truly horrible....
When we were in Europe and visiting the occasional fabric store together, I set him the task of finding fabric for his shirt.  Have you ever asked a non-sewing person to choose a fabric for some garment?  It is at these times that one starts to realise that one has actually learnt some fundamentally important things after years of sewing after all... like that a knit is a knit and that a woven is not going to ever do the job of a knit, no matter how gorgeous it is.  He had a thing for the lovely pin-striped linens in Milan and kept choosing these as the fabric for his new Tshirt.  I explained the difference, and sent him back off to look for cotton jersey knits.  He would come back, triumphantly bearing another bolt of pin-striped linen.  Sigh.
I think we had both started to wonder if I would ever make the Tshirt, when I spotted it.  In Spotlight, of all places.  The perfect fabric.  Really nice quality cotton jersey, in a nice manly pinstripe, in nice manly shades of charcoal and black.  Sheer unadulterated perfection!  I couldn't believe my luck and I reacted like a frog's tongue to a passing fly...  pow! the fabric was snatched up and clutched in a death grip to my chest and I rushed straight over to the cutting counter (maniacal witch-cackle mentally sounding in my head)
I drafted a pattern by laying down the old Tshirt and drawing around it.
It does have a pretty cool hood actually... I was intrigued when I inspected it closely and pretty excited to see it drawn out flat.  The hoodie has three pieces; the conventional two "hoodie" pieces cut somewhat shallower than normal, and another self-faced front piece shaped like the letter "U", that becomes a sort of casing/collar on the front.  I really like this feature, and will probably use it over again.  There are two little holes in it for the drawstring, and I finished the edges of each hole with miniature blanket stitches, having newly re-discovered my latent embroidery skills, hehe  :)
The self fabric spaghetti drawstring is a long strip of fabric; I folded the two long sides in evenly as I was going along, guiding it through the machine on zig-zag stitch.  The fabric wanted to curl in on itself anyway.
There is a kangaroo pocket on the front, and a deep "Metalicus" band around the lower edge.  The sleeve hems are finished with my twin needle.  I stabilised the shoulder seams with strips of Seams Great (thank you velosewer!) and double stitched the neckline seam down to the back for stability and to lessen the chances of the back neckline stretching out.
Now the favourite old Tshirt looks tired and bagged-out and kinda disgusting compared to the svelte new one in nice new firm fabric!  
the clone and the clone-ee
He is very happy with the new shirt, therefore I am very happy too!

27 comments:

  1. I can see why this was a favorite shirt. The clone looks just like it. Very nice! I think we need a resurge of narrow stripes.

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  2. Perfect match for the old shirt, it even looks well lived in despite being so young by comparison.

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  3. "and I reacted like a frog's tongue to a passing fly... pow! the fabric was snatched up and clutched in a death grip to my chest and I rushed straight over to the cutting counter (maniacal witch-cackle mentally sounding in my head)"

    Nice visual. ;-D

    Beautiful job on the man hoodie. Looks great on him. Lucky man. I haven't sewn for mine in, um.. (counting on fingers)... 24, maybe 25 years. Oops, I should fix that, huh?

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  4. Ahh inspired me again! Hubby wants me to sew him a jacket.. but I'm not quite ready for that yet... but I'd love to sew some things for him eventually - especially as it is hard for him to find clothes that fit. (broad shoulders, long arms, small waist blah blah)... and I love how you draft your own ... :)

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  5. id wear this if given the chance! it would be the perfect comfy 'i stole it from my boyfriend' kind of tshirt.
    great job, can see why he loves it!

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  6. It is a great present to sew something for your man that he really wants. Fabulous result.

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  7. This top looks great.... Excellent post

    Cheers Mike

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  8. Bravo Carolyn! This looks like it fits him perfect, lucky guy! I did giggle when you mentioned picking out fabric with someone he doesn't know anything about fabric, my boyfriend and I have definitely been there!

    Beautiful job, hopefully there will not be any furniture staining needed in the near future!

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  9. Well done, it looks great. I can see why the old one was a favourite and I'm sure this one will be worn to death, too.

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  10. Great shirt - very professional looking. See what you mean by the great style hoodie. Very nice and would keep the neck warm.

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  11. Cool shirt, great fit! You really did an excellent job!! Love the story about finding the perfect fabric;-)

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  12. I love the stripes and the depth of the hood at the front too - makes it easier to get a nice clean finish.

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  13. Great job! I like how it has a high neck.

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  14. o_O great!
    I like it very much! It looks nice on him. Once I told my boyfriend to choose a fabric...and it was so difficult! Ha, ha, ha...

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  15. I can't agree with you more!! Every single sentence in this post could make me vividly visualize what was happening to you (and your beloved husband) in the process, because I have very similar experiences with my family. Congratulations! This hoodie is simply superb, you're the superstar.

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  16. I had a chuckle picturing your husband fetching all the beautiful striped linen in Italy and the moment of glee rushing to the cutting table when you found the perfect fabric at home. Amazing job on cloning the shirt, it looks great.

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  17. Ohh that's so cool...love the shoulder stabilizer tip. X

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  18. Spectacular job, as usual. I'm amazed you aren't inundated by your family with demands for cool clothes.

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  19. I love your man hoodie and the whole story is superb! You're a born writer as well as accomplished Sewist. I just love your whole vibe.

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  20. What a brilliant scheme for husband entertainment in the Milan fabric shops. I hope he brought home some pin striped linen for something else.
    The hoodie looks a perfect clone. It is a very interesting hood. I would be interested in seeing the flat pieces if you do make another one.
    What a nice present for your husband.

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  21. Carolyn, I'm going to have to stop visiting your blog, because every time I come here, you've made SO many amazing things and your skill with stretch knitz makes me GREEN with envy! One day I'll get there! But you'll need a special award soon: Queen of the Overlocker ... or something grand!

    Great hoodie, my Husbie would love one!

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  22. Success! I had to laugh at your description of shopping for fabric with him. I've had the same experience with my DH, even though I'm not a particularly accomplished seamstress. But, if it came to mechanics or carpentry, my DH understands things I never will.

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  23. Great job! I hope you made a pattern, you know he will ask for another one now he knows you can replicate his favorite!

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  24. It looks fantastic! I recon the boy would love something similar, would you ever consider scanning and sharing the pattern pieces you came up with for the hood?

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