Tuesday, October 4, 2011

How to Make the Teddy Hoodie Button-Through

Are you ready to make your cutie a Teddy Hoodie Jacket? 

You will need a t-shirt (for the hood lining) and a throw blanket. I used a 100% polyester throw. The kind you just want to curl up by a fire place and drink hot cocoa kind! I did NOT line this entire jacket like Boden did with theirs. There are a couple reasons why. One reason is that I loved the soft texture of this throw and thought it would be nice right up against his skin. The other reason is that we live in South Carolina. Winters here are rather mild, so this jacket, without a lining is plenty warm being that it is 100% polyester! Feel free to line your jacket if you like!

 Before we get started I want to let you know that I have tried to condense all my photos to give you the best tutorial I can come up with! I do ask that if you make this, please share your version with me! I love seeing what you come up with! Also, I love input here and there, so if you feel like something isn't clear enough, let me know! I'd be happy to help! 

In my sneak peak of the Teddy Hoodie Jacket, I gave you the background story about why I decided to create this adorable, super cuddly, toddler jacket! You can make it any size, because first you have to create your own pattern. To get started you need two things: 1)a hoodie of your child's size
2)Freezer Paper (or some other paper you like)
Next, draw out your pattern.
1. Fold your hoodie in half, tucking in arms and hood. Trace around the edge to get your bodice piece.
2. You should have something like picture 2.
3. Lay out the arm of the hoodie and trace around it
4. like shown here in picture 4.
5.You can tuck in the arms inside the hoodie if that is easier. Trace around the entire body part of the hood (this is the back piece of the hoodie).
6. The hood is slightly more complicated. We are making a 3 piece hood, so first lie down the side of the hoodie and draw around it. I found success with adding several inches to the length of the hoodie and then cutting off later what isn't needed, so go ahead and have some leeway here. This is the actual hood piece I drew out after my first attempt. See how long I made it? Also, when doing the hood make the bottom part narrower where it meets the neckline.
8. Next, you need to create your middle piece of the hood. I measured it across the width first, then length (picture 9).
10. I came up with
for the middle piece for a size 2T hoodie. This was perfect for the fluffy fabric, but for the jersey knit t-shirt fabric, I actually cut the middle section smaller, to around 3 inches x 15 inches. It fit inside the hood as the lining better.

Cut all your paper pieces out and lay them out on your material to get the best fit. I folded my throw blanket in half. Since all the edges are already hemmed with a blanket it takes some of the sewing work out of it for us, so use that to your advantage.
Make sure you fold your back pattern piece in half and lay it out on the fold of the blanket with the bottom part (near your waist) right along the hem of the blanket. You also want to cut the sleeves along the fold with the hemmed blanket at the wrists and the front body pieces of the hoodie at the hemmed edge at the waist AND the area where you would attach your buttons. If you don't place them there then, you will have to hem that yourself.

Next draw out your ears by making an ear shape on the paper, cut.
When cutting out the ear piece, make sure to fold your fabric over in half, then half again, so that you only have to cut once! You need 4 ear pieces.

Are you ready for your home to be covered in blue snow? Well, start cutting! Have some fun in it, then get out the vacuum! Cut out pieces like shown.
You should have 4 ear pieces, 2 fluffy hood pieces and the fluffy middle strip, the lining of the hood (mine was a sweater in the above picture {that was attempt one....}then I changed to a t-shirt. It makes it easier to sew with and not so bulky.) Your back piece, the front pieces (2, bottom middle of photo) and your sleeves. When cutting out the hood, make sure that you cut out one piece on the right side of the fabric, then turn your shirt inside out and cut the 2nd hood piece on the wrong side of the fabric.

I am going to warn you that this fluffy fabric is really hard to see my stitching with in photos, so bear with me and just email me if you need some clarification. The fluffy fabric is also VERY forgiving, so honestly, don't worry about messing up! You won't  see your not so perfect stitches!

First we are going to create the body of the hoodie. You should have 3 total pieces here....your back piece and your 2 front pieces. Lie them on top of the back piece and pin the sides and shoulders. Sew a straight stitch down the side (making sure to leave the arm holes open), then go back over the sides with a zig zag stitch. I zig zagged stitched all non-hemmed sides. I adjusted my stitch width on my machine to 7.0 mm (width) to make it easier to get the fluff. If you don't zig zag stitch, your final hoodie will always shed. Do the exact same for the shoulders. Sew a straight stitch, then zig zag, so that you have a vest.
You can faintly see that I zig zagged...see how forgiving this fabric is? It doesn't matter if you mess up! I told you!
Next sew your seams of your sleeves shut and insert them into your jacket and pin. Make sure that you have turned them out the right way, before attaching.
That's the sleeve hole pinned to the arm pit area of the jacket. Now sew, being careful not to sew your sleeves shut.

Now you should have a sleeve on your jacket....what a cute little baby sleeve!
Sew on the other arm piece to your jacket.
You almost have a little coat! Aren't you excited!?
Next, we have to sew the lining of the hood. I'm going to show you the pictures of the first hood I made, because you can see things a little better.
To start, pin your hood pieces to the middle section making sure that the right sides of the fabric are on the underneath part of the hood.  Remember this is the lining and it will show the underneath part, so that's the part that matters.
Sew together using a straight stitch. T-shirt material doesn't fray, so no need to zig zag.
Now that you have your lining. Pin your fluffy hood pieces together, just like you just did for your hood lining, BUT DON'T SEW it down yet.

You need to make your ears. This is the fun part! Lay two of your ear pieces right on top of each other. Sew around the curve. No need to zig zag. Then turn them out like shown here.
You almost have the ear. Next pinch the bottom together like this.
Keep that part together and sew right along the bottom where you are pinching. Do that for both ears. Then, grab your pinned fluffy hood and make a little hole where you want the ear to go.
Stick your ear in that hole and pin it right along the seam. Do it on the other side of the hood, too. Try it on for size to make sure your ears are evenly placed.
I'm not going to lie...I was slightly concerned when this fit on my head! Once you have the ears how you like them, turn the hood back inside out and sew along the seams of the fluffy hood. You don't need to zig zag these seams, as they will be hidden by the hood lining. Reinforce the part where your ears are sewn into the hood by going back and forth over that area a couple times. Make sure to sew the ears into the hood. You should have this.
Next, put your hood pieces right sides together and pin along the curve (where your face will go) and along the bottom (close to the neckline), but leave a 2 inch opening.
Sew along the edge.
Turn your hood right side out. Tuck in the 2 inch opening and sew a straight stitch across the bottom to close. I went all the way across and around the entire curve of the hood.
Now, pin your hood to your jacket at the neckline.
Sew a straight stitch across the neckline to attach the hood, then zig zag stitch along the edge, making sure to adjust your stitch length again to 7.0 mm. 
Now your jacket is almost complete! We just need to add some closures along the front.

I was going to completely avoid putting buttonholes on this coat, because for starters I had NEVER done it before! Secondly, I didn't think this fabric would work very well since it is so plush. I was talking to my manager from our Hancocks store when she suggested using Tear Away Stabilizer underneath OR....NOTEBOOK PAPER! Notebook paper, you say? Are you positively sure about that? 

I had to try it. Are you ready to sew a buttonhole onto a really plush fabric using NOTEBOOK paper?

Grab you a sheet of notebook paper and a scrap piece to practice first.
Then read your manual to your sewing machine to make sure you know how to actually work YOUR machine. My machine has a one-step buttonhole, which NOW I really love! It's not intimidating once you try it out.
Going across up there from left to right....

1. Read your manual 2. Get your buttonhole foot and put your button in the little button guide plate...that will measure how big your button will be. I keep mine in there while sewing. 3. Select your stitch on your machine 4. Position your notebook paper and fabric underneath your foot and hold onto your upper thread with your finger while it starts sewing. 5. See the back of the notebook paper just tears away 6. Slide a pin at the top of the button hole 7. Take your seam ripper and seam rip up toward the pin 8. You have a buttonhole! 9. Sew on your button and WAAALAAA! You did it! Pat yourself on the back!

I sewed 4 buttonholes and then hand sewed my 4 buttons onto the coat. Here's the final Teddy Hoodie Button-through Designs By Sessa style!
Now, hurry, go make one for your sweet little one! I'd love to see your cutie in your creation in the DBS flickr group! So, please upload a photo there when you are all done! Thanks!