Monday, September 16, 2013

How To: Make the Urban Unisex Hoodie Reversible

Got an awesome tutorial for you guys today!  I originally wrote this tutorial two years ago (almost to the day actually!) on my old blog, The Chronicles of Mercy's Mom.  Now I'm moving it over to this crafty blog.

This is a tutorial on how to take the already super wonderful Urban Unisex Hoodie by Heidi & Finn and make it even more versatile than it already is.  If you're dubious that a hoodie pattern can be incredibly versatile, let me assure you, it can be.  With this pattern I have made countless hoodies, 4 separate costumes (cat, dog, Dora, and Boots), and a rain coat. There are also many other adaptations to be found out there, such as converting it to have a zipper opening.

(Fun fact about this pattern- it was the first PDF pattern I ever purchased.)

Ready to get started? 

First step is to cut out and sew the pattern as directed all the way up to attaching the hood.  Lay it out and pin as instructed in the pattern.  Now sew along the sides and the top, NOT the bottom, right along the green line in the picture below.

Please forgive the truly horrendous photos, I was doing this at midnight.

Turn it right sides out and iron the seams. (If you want, I didn't on this particular one and it turned out fine.)

Now you're going to take the sides and fold them so the edges are overlapping, making sure both the top and bottom are even. Pin and sew this edge, stopping a few inches from the top. Make sure you are only sewing the two flaps together, don't catch the back or the hoodie.  That would be disastrous.

That text should say "Pin and sew..."
Now turn it inside out, and do the same thing to the other side.  Again, be careful you don't catch the back or the hoodie.

Time to place your snaps!  You can do as many or as few snaps as you like, in one row or several.  Spacing is also up to you. I usually just do one row of three snaps, but this time decided to do two and two.  Now, the original pattern calls for buttons, but for the reversible version it has to be snaps.  (I use Kam Snaps.)

Makin' progress!  Next step is to attach the band. Take your band and lay it flat out.  Fold over one long edge and iron it down.  Repeat for the other long edge.

Fold in half "hot dog style", wrong sides together.  Iron the edge. 

 Now unfold the middle seam, and also unfold the very ends of the edges.  Fold in half  right sides together, "hamburger style" this time, and sew the short ends together.

Fold the edges back down, and fold along the center crease again, so you've got a tube of fabric folded in half, with the raw edges folded inside.

Now for the tedious and frustrating fun part of attaching the band to the hoodie.  You are going to nestle the raw edge of the hoodie in between the two layers of the band.  It's a hoodie sandwich.  The raw hoodie edge is the meat, and each layer of the band is the bread. (I hope that makes sense, and doesn't just make you hungry.) 

In the picture below, on the very bottom is one layer of the band with the edge folded down, and on top of that is the bottom edge of the hoodie. Then the other side of the band is brought up and pinned down, encasing the raw bottom edge of the hoodie within the band.

Sorry, didn't realize the picture was so blurry til after I was finished.
 Do this all the way around, pinning lots. 

Time to sew.  Sew where you pinned, making sure you catch all the layers; the top layer of the band, both layers of the hoodie (all 4 layers at the point in the front where they overlap), and the bottom layer of the band.

Way to go! 

It's really not as bad as I made it sound, it's just my least favorite part of making these hoodies, even though it's the crucial part that makes them reversible.

 Now all that's left to do is finish the sleeves.  Most of the time I'm lazy and leave off the cuffs. I just do a rolled hem to get a cute lettuce edge for my girly.  Alternatively, you can attach the cuffs using the same method we just used to attach the band. 

Congratulations, you have now achieved a whole new level of completely reversible awesomeness. 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Pencil Applique Tutorial

Remember this?

The Bubblegum Swing Dress that I made as part of the sewalong, featuring an adorable alphabet print fabric and handmade pencil applique.   I promised a tutorial on that applique, and I'm keeping that promise!

I usually make my appliques using my Cricut machine, but I didn't have a cartridge that had a pencil on it.  I'm terrible at drawing, so that was out of the question.  I set off in search of an acceptable image on the world wide web.  This was the one I settled on.

I had originally planned on taping a piece of Wonder Under to the screen and tracing it that way, but then I remembered someone sharing a trick of printing out patterns directly onto freezer paper, and thought I'd see if I could do the same with the Wonder Under.

First cut a piece of the Wonder Under (I prefer Heat n' Bond brand, but others should work the same) to the same size as a piece of printer paper.

Getting ready to trace

The Wonder Under curled back up, but it didn't interfere with anything, just place it in the printer so the image will print on the paper backed side, not the adhesive side.  Scale your image to your desired size, and print.

I failed to take a picture of this part, but cut out an additional piece of wonder under a little bit bigger than your image to be the backing for the applique. 

Then cut the individual parts of the image out. 

 Apply the wonder under pieces to the wrong side of it's corresponding fabric, including a piece of fabric for the backing.

The large tan piece is the backing, then each of the individual pieces.  Trim the excess fabric around each piece (except the backing piece).

More failure to take pictures, although I could have sworn I did, but I can't locate any. 

After each piece is trimmed, apply them one at a time to the backing, recreating your desired image.  Once all pieces are applied, trim the excess fabric of the backing along the outline of your image.  Your applique is now ready to to put onto your item!  Just iron it down, and then stitch along each piece using either a satin stitch or a zig zag, then also along the outline.  

Admire your finished product!

Much less painful than trying to freehand a design,  and less labor intensive than trying to trace right from the computer screen.  I hope you try it, let me know how it works for you!