Wednesday, April 18, 2018

My Finished Otari Hoodie

I finished my Otari Hoodie this week. Over the weekend I felt kind of desperate to get it done, as the weather was so warm (almost hot!) and I was afraid I wouldn't get to wear it much. But never fear, Mother Nature delivered a snowstorm and the temperature plummeted again. It's still hoodie-wearing weather.

No lie, this project caused me a lot of anxiety. Not because of any problem with the pattern but because I was so worried I would do everything wrong and mess it up. I didn't want to print and tape the PDF pattern at home because I was afraid of messing up the size by not aligning the pieces properly. But the little local print shop wanted $15 per page to print it and I couldn't justify the cost. A trip to the more-affordable Staples would force me to wait a while to get this project started as my next trip to the city is in early May and I don't like using the gas to drive there until I have a lot of errands or appointments that can be accomplished in one go. So I had to print it at home and tape it together myself on our giant dining room table.

After that I used thin tissue to trace off my size (in this case, I went with a size 34) and as I did that on the floor instead of on the table I had a constant stream of school age and preschool age kids walking around and on the pattern as I worked and a cat that kept attacking my tracing pen.

Then I decided I didn't like the fabric I intended to use for the hoodie. The pattern calls for the main body material, a ribbed knit material for the cuffs and hem band and another material for the pocket and hood linings. I had some plum colored jersey for the main body and had picked out a floral-on-white fabric for the linings and teal ribbing for the bands but I couldn't get comfortable with the thought of using all that color on one garment. It's just. . .not me. I wear my hoodies like coats and so something loud and attention grabbing is less desirable to me than something quiet and unobtrusive that no one notices if you wear all the time.

So I decided to just make the entire darn thing out of the red plummy colored jersey. The jersey wasn't terribly stretchy but I figured it would work up just fine so I went ahead and cut out all my pieces. I did decide to line the pockets in my pretty floral fabric but I wish now that I hadn't, because the pockets are the main thing I hate about the finished project! (You can see the lining poking out in a few places due to my inexpert topstitching!  Ugh.)

While I wanted to make up a straight-from-the-pattern version I did make a small modification halfway through. I noticed the hip band seemed really big so I compared my hip measurements to it and found it was several inches too big for me. I took in the hips at the side seams, grading to the regular seamline at the waist, and took a few inches off the hip band. I'm happy with the fit of the band on my finished hoodie but next time may add an inch back in, just for wiggle room!

Finally I had the hoodie mostly sewn together and it was time to put in the zipper when I realized that the zipper I had purchased was a non-separating one! After a trip to Wal Mart (where they only carry separating zippers in gold or silver on BLACK tape!) I got my separating zipper and faced my most challenging task yet - sewing it in. I have never, ever had good luck with zippers.

But, I did it! On my first try! I owe this successful zipper installation completely to the clear and well illustrated pattern instructions. Thank you, Scroop Patterns! It's amazing how happy I felt when that zipper was put in!

Instead of binding the neck seam with fabric binding I used some FOE I had leftover from making panties and covered the seam with that. It's not perfect but it's a little sparkle and prettiness in what is otherwise a basic, utilitarian hoodie.

I plan to replace my twill tape drawstring with something more substantial whenever I get to the store to look at what they have. Thank you to Judah for these photos he took after baseball practice. His hoodie will be the next one I tackle!



  1. Heavens, you worry too much! I am 62 and have been sewing most of it. Your zipper is great! The entire project is fantastic, including the topstitching. And the color is lovely... I'm envious. Here in Texas, we go from hot to cold so fast that there isn't a lot of opportunity to wear anything pretty for moderate weather. Regards, Dana

    1. Thank you! Yes, we are certainly. . blessed?. . .haha with a very cool and slowly emerging spring this year. Generally we also go from cold to hot within the matter of a week or two, so this transitional season is somewhat unusual!


Thank you for your lovely thoughts!