Retail is all about cognitive dissonance. From my decade at Barnes and Noble, I've taken this idea to heart. You set up back to school tables at the end of June, before many students are even out of school. You plan Christmas in August, and put out the Valentine's Day gifts on December 26. And this incongruity has continued into my sewing world since we announce our boxes 45 days ahead of their shipping.
Which brings me to today's theme announcement: the good ole, must-have wardrobe staple, the knit hoodie sweatshirt. I'm pretty sure I spent most of my time in college either wearing a hoodie or carrying one around in case I got cold. They were the de facto item to buy at the campus textbook store to show your school spirit, and, I'll be the first to admit, they were wicked comfortable (My Boston peeps should appreciate that one 😉 )
But don't mistake me to think that hoodies are only for college kids. With the rise of loungewear over the course of this pandemic year and half, they are making a noticeable comeback. Brands like JCrew and Madewell are releasing their own versions, and even Anthropologie has gotten into the game, albeit with quirky, boho versions. So as sewists, it seems only natural that we make our own, one of a kind versions!
Whether you're making your very first sweatshirt or replacing one that may have gotten worn out over 18 months of near continuous wear, you're bound to find one of our boxes ideal for your next sewing project. We've got four amazing variations on the theme, from split hems to tie waists, from kangaroo pockets to raglan sleeves, to set you up for an amazing sewing project. And we've collected a batch of fall ready fabrics with earthy tones, quirky prints, and calming neutrals to start your Fall off right!
So without further ado, let's dig into the boxes!
Sew Fearless Box: Hug Hoodie from Made It Patterns
A new pattern company for our boxes, Made It Patterns is a UK based designer duo that started with kid's patterns then expanded into women's and teen's. What I love about their designs is they are eminently wearable - a lot of knits and wardrobe staples - but they all have a little design twist that makes them stand out. For example, they recently released a simple knit tank but with shoulder pads for structure and a unique shape, and I cannot get over how cool it looks!
It's just this twist on the usual that drew me to the Hug Hoodie. The slouchy style plus the unexpected crossover hem made the traditional sweatshirt look modern and sleek. and I immediately started fantasy-sewing it in my head.
The style is perfect for a looser fleece or terry, one that has a little drape to it. And it's also perfect for adding a contrast or coordinating rib to the hem and cuffs. So I sought out some fantastic knits that will show off the shape and style of this pattern in all its glory. Here they are!
- Light Blue Drake Fleece - With a soft fleecy face on one side and a simple jersey on the other, this fabric is exactly what you think of when it comes to sweatshirting. Plush, soft and on the heavier side of medium weight, this fabric will be the warmest of the three options. And in a lovely light denim blue, it will become just the neutral basic that your handmade wardrobe needs. We're pretty sure you'll want to live in this hoodie from the moment it comes off the sewing machine!
- Lightning Bolt French Terry - Lightning bolts aren't just for Harry Potter! This lightweight, rayon-polyester blend terry is the perfect fabric for creating a top that fits somewhere in between sweatshirt and knit top, with all the benefits of both. Soft, drapey, breathable - this fabric has it all! Plus, the novelty print is sew much fun. Paired with a black ribbing, it will be unique and stylish, just like you are!
- Roasted Pumpkin Cotton Fleece - If you're a pumpkin spice person, this is the fabric for you. And even if you're not (like me, sorry), it's hard not to fall in love with this earthy orange hue. It just screams autumn to me and makes me think of hay rides and campfires. The brushed back of the fleece is soft and snuggly, and because the fabric on the thinner side, it will be a great transitional piece to wear as the days slowly get cooler. All in all, the perfect Fall choice!
Sew Confident Box: Mile End Sweatshirt from Closet Core Patterns
Closet Core Patterns released the Mile End Sweatshirt shortly before I started planning this month's boxes, and it seemed like a no-brainer to include it in the theme. And the more I see makes on Instagram and blogs, the more I know I made the right choice!
There are so many fun details in this pattern. With multiple variations, you can make a simple slouchy sweatshirt, a fun gathered waist version, and a sleek cross-V pocketed version. Each variation features an oversized fit, shaped side seams, and even arm darts to increase the cocoon shape of the top. It all comes together into one dreamy, snuggly hoodie that is just asking to be worn day in and day out.
In terms of fabric, I knew I wanted to use really cozy picks, ones that feel amazing to put on when you want that extra layer. I think I found exactly that with these three picks. Let's take a look!
- Corn Silk Yellow Tencel French Terry - Late summer early fall always make me think of how the light changes. You go from bright sunny days in August to cooler, more dilute light as the sun starts to angle away. This yellow captures that effect for me. It takes the cheery, sunny yellow of summer and adds a dusty, buttery mellowness that feels perfect for the season. It also helps that it's made of a lovely cotton-tencel blend that feels silky and soft, just as sweatshirt should be. Plus, the looped back french terry is perfect for transitional weather. All in all, I think you've found your new favorite autumn sweatshirt!
- Rainbow Sherbet Tie Dye Bamboo French Terry - Sometimes it's hard to deny a trend, and thus is the case with the return of tie-dye. Once relegated to Hippies and Dead Heads, this effect is everywhere nowadays from traditional Shibori to dip-dying to ice-dying. Get the look of home-dying without the possibility of staining our kitchen with this cool fabric. A tri-tone dye of orange, pink, and purple, the print is large scale and will transform into a truly unique sweatshirt. Plus, the bamboo content will keep you wrapped in the dreamiest fabric you can imagine!
- True Blue Denim Eco-Fleece - What is eco-fleece, you ask? A blend of hemp, cotton, and bamboo, this fabric is designed to be both sustainable and wearable. The hemp and bamboo helps it take a really saturated color, and the cotton keeps it sturdy and wearable. In a serene denim blue, this option will pair with basically anything in your wardrobe, just like your favorite pair of jeans. Plus, because this fabric doesn't contain spandex, we'll also include a matching ribbing for the cuffs and hem band. Sounds like a killer combination to me!
Sew Curvy Box: Fitzroy Hoodie from Style Arc
If you picture a hoodie sweatshirt in your mind, it's probably going to look a lot like the Fitzroy Hoodie from Style Arc. Slightly dropped shoulders, boxy fit, and, of course, the classic hood, this sweatshirt is the epitome of a wardrobe staple.
But it's the details that really make it stand out. A paneled back gives a cool, modern look, like a racing stripe on a sports car. And the side seam pockets are subtle and clever replacement for the typical patch front pocket. This sweatshirt is both chic and snuggly, and that's quite a balance to strike, if you ask us.
In terms of fabric, it seemed like the cozier the better, so we went for thicker knits that will really work for shape of the hoodie. So here they are!
- Lavender Gray Eco-Fleece - Like the eco-fleece in our Sew Confident Box, this fabric is a blend of hemp, cotton and bamboo. All three will keep you warm and wrapped in goodness when you turn it into a hoodie. And the color! A cool, dusky lavender, it reminds me of the summer sky at dusk when the light is still lingering after sunset. It's a wonderful transitional color that will take your from September to next spring with ease. A lovely option!
- Canyon Pink Doodle Pink Bamboo French Terry - We're quite big fans of the doodle print thing that's been happening lately, and this fabric is no exception. The lightest option of the three, this french terry is adorned with brown and light pink squiggles that look like you hand-painted your sweatshirt with a marker and highlighter. But we've saved you all the time that would take and let you get to the fun part of wearing your hoodie right off the sewing machine!
- Cognac Doppio Brushed Double Knit - Quite thick and beefy, this double knit has a smooth stockinette face on both sides of the fabric, making the insides of your hoodie just as cozy as the outside. The thickness of the fabric makes it perfect for the boxy shape of the pattern and a deceptive amount of stretch keeps the hoodie comfy and wearable. The intense, orangey-brown color is rich and indulgent, and the rayon give the fabric deliciously silky hand. A gorgeous fabric!
Sew Indulgent Box: Page Hoodie from Chalk and Notch
It's extremely rare for us to use the same pattern company back to back in a box, but Chalk and Notch seems to be on the same wavelength as us this summer in terms of style. Their Page Hoodie is simply too good to pass up, so here we are doing back to back Chalk and Notch mini-series.
The Page Hoodie has so many things to love. The raglan sleeve and loose fit scream comfy-cosy. Plus, with variations for hems and sleeve fit, you can make a ton of different sweatshirts with just one pattern. It's a tried and true style with a laidback feel and we just want to throw one on and snuggle up on the couch for an evening movie right now.
For fabric, we decided to stick with classic sweatshirt options with a twist, something expected, but then maybe not. Plus, for all three of these options, you'll get a matching rib knit for the hems and cuffs. So without further ado, the fabrics!
- Chili Red Organic Tencel French Terry - September is early for leaves changing, but not too early for the colors. This chili red, slightly on the orange around the edges like cayenne, really captures the color of the maple trees in the northeast. And that makes it an ideal choice for a fall hoodie. The tencel-cotton blend is soft and lightweight, and the loop backed terry will feel amazing against your skin. A gorgeous, autumn choice!
- Atelier Brunette Off White Néroli French Terry - Still on our Atelier Brunette kick, I may have snagged the last few bolts of this french terry print before they sold out. The larger scale print, sort of an abstract floral that reminds me of cherry blossoms, livens up the off white background for a fabric that is both neutral and anything but. An unexpected choice for a sweatshirt, it will feel all together natural when you turn this fabric into your next hoodie!
- Charcoal Merino Bamboo Fleece - No matter how many times we've offered it, I can't get enough of this fleece. If you haven't discovered the wonder that is Merino wool, you are in for a treat. Merino is soft, incredibly breathable, wicking and even anti-microbial. Combined with bamboo, this fabric is about as soft and smooth as a wool blend can get. In a heather charcoal color, a hoodie made with this fabric will be luxuriously warm and wearable. An incredible addition to your wardrobe!
In our Classic series this month, we're reviving the fan favorite cardigans from last year. A great transitional item that's a little bit dressier than a hoodie, these boxes will help you stay warm and stylish no matter the weather.
That's it for this month's boxes. But stay tuned. Big, big, BIG things are happening around here, and you won't want to miss them. Sign up for our newsletter if you haven't already or follow us on Instagram to be the first to hear. I promise; it'll be worth it!
Until next time. . .