I am a quilter at heart. I'm always working on a quilt and have a design wall for them in my sewing room. I have more design ideas than time, though, and it takes me YEARS to finish a quilt. I also really enjoy sewing clothes so I really love it when I can combine my two hobbies and do colorblocking on clothes!
When I first saw the design of the Around the Block Hoodie pattern by Ellie and Mac, I have to admit that I squealed a little bit. It mixes a cozy hoodie, warm scraps, pockets, and fun design lines all into one project that I can finish in under two days. YES!
I immediately dumped my bin of French terry and sweatshirt scraps on the floor and started auditioning them all next to each other to see which combo was my favorite. My favorite way to audition fabric is to take a photo of each combo, and then randomly look through them on my phone throughout the day, delete the photos that seem boring, and see which one makes it to the end of the day. If all else fails, I message a friend. The hood takes the most fabric since it is lined, so I used the scrap that I had the most of on it.
The Pattern: Sizing
The Around the Block Hoodie Pattern has a very wide size range from XXS to 5XL, which covers bust sizes 29 inches to 60 inches and hip sizes 33.5 to 63 inches. I made a size XS, which is a size down in the bust from just a few months ago. My bust is in a weird place right now because I have been nursing for 10 months. It is no longer in its full postpartum glory, and it is starting to go back to its normal (not very big) size. My waist measurement is actually in the small size, but I did not grade up because the hoodie is not fitted in the waist. My hips were exactly in the XS size range.
The Pattern: Options
The pattern has the option for top length and a longer hip length. I made top length because I am only 5'2" and like where the top length ends on me. If you want a longer hoodie to cover your bottom or are tall, you will be happy to have a longer length hoodie
Pockets!! Yes, please. I love big pockets. I notice if I don't add pockets to a hoodie, dress, or pants that I just won't wear it as much, and when I do wear it, I constantly look for where the pockets should be. This must mean that I have sewn for myself long enough that I am so spoiled and expect glorious pockets in everything I wear.
The pattern includes directions for a hood with faux drawstrings with a patch and 3/8 inch grommets. I really like REAL drawstrings so that if I am out running in my hoodie or doing anything else active, I can keep the hood on. I notice that hoods that don't cinch just bounce all over the place and then fall back and choke me. Maybe I am being dramatic? Anyways, it is such an easy change to the pattern that it is hard to really call it a modification.
When you cut your drawstring, just add 30 inches to the distance around the edge of your hood. I think this made my total drawstring around 58-60 inches. I used the pink French terry from my bottom tier on the hoodie to make my drawstring, so I cut out a strip that was 1.5 inches wide by 58 inches long. I probably had to sew 2 strips together to get the length I needed. I then sewed the tube together on the length of it and then turned it right side out.
When I was topstitching the hood, I topstitched 3/4 inch away from the hood edge to create a channel for my drawstring to go through, BUT I left about an inch not topstitched near the grommets so that the drawstring could find the channel, casing, or whatever you want to call it.
Will I Make it Again?
This pattern is going into my winner bin! I have 3 bins where I store adult patterns: (1) the naughty bin, (2) the indifferent bin - patterns that are ok but that I won't probably make again, and (3) the winner bin. The winner bin is mostly filled with Greenstyle patterns and then a select few from other designers that I want to make again. It takes a lot to go in my winner bin. The pattern has to get worn a ton and grabbed out of the fresh laundry quick. I may have to do a blogpost round up at the end of the year telling you what made the winner bin this year (or do you want to know what is in my naughty bin? Haha!)
This pattern is also going to keep my scrap bin low. I hope they come out with a kids' version so that I can really bust through more scraps and have fun hoodies for my kids.
- Top Pattern: Around the Block Women's Hoodie by Ellie and Mac. It is on sale for $3.85 for release.
- Top Fabric: The mint French Terry is called Aruba Blue and is from Joann Fabric, the blue is sweatshirt fleece from my friend Aimee, and the pink is a mystery scrap of French Terry that I have no memory of ever using, so it may have came from Aimee too.
- Leather Grommet Patch: I used the darker brown Kraft Tex washable paper. It sews and washes like fabric but looks like leather. I got the sampler pack and plan to use some for bags too.
- Bottom pattern: Super G Tights by Greenstyle
- Bottom fabric: Heavy Black Supplex from Zenith and Quasar
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Disclosures: I received this pattern for free as part of the testing process to give the designer feedback about the instructions and fit of the pattern. This post also may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small compensation when you purchase via my link. There is no cost to you. Any and all opinions expressed are my own.
Photo Credit: My sweet 9 year old daughter, Abigail.