Sew Over/Under: Sewing Overwear: Stella hoodie (now with extra pockets!)

Well hey there Sewcialists! Fancy meeting you here.

I’m Amy. That’s me below with the ‘I’m usually the one on the other side of the camera’ smile. I’m a beginner sewist who likes to make everyday garments, with bonus points if they’re made in a fabric that doesn’t need to be ironed before wear. Let’s talk sewing.

Author wearing the hoodie the author made, hood up

The August theme is sewing underwear and outerwear, and given that it’s currently winter here in Australia (don’t laugh, it’s cold for us!) I decided some outerwear was the way to go. Although now that I think about it, some toasty warm French terry undies probably wouldn’t go astray either.

My pattern of choice was the Tilly and the Buttons Stella hoodie, which is in the book Stretch!, made in this lovely green and pale pink French terry from See You at Six. I even managed to snag the coordinating solid French terry and ribbing — a surprising amount of forethought on my part for what was ultimately an online impulse purchase. Thanks, Past Amy!

Close-up of the neckline and hood of the author's hoodie

I made a few adjustments to the pattern, including adding ribbed cuffs to the sleeves and bottom hem, and trading in the included kangaroo pocket for self drafted in seam pockets. The hoodie drawstring was omitted because I own a cat who will actively launch herself at hoodie drawstrings (whether the garment is being worn at the time or not) to attack them. I also lengthened the sleeves just enough so that I’m sure my mum would tut and try to fold them up my wrist if she saw them. I run cold and like longer sleeves so the cuffs cover more of my hands. Sorry, Mum.

From reading blogs and Instagram posts, it seems like sewing knits is something that some sewists (particularly beginners) are nervous of. It looks like I’m one of the opposites — a beginner who’s more intimidated by wovens. Don’t get me wrong, starting a new knit project is still a bit of a nerve wracking (but also exciting) challenge, but wovens? What do you mean I need to try and make a flat piece of fabric fit around curves using skinny triangles??

Close-up of the body and sleeves of the author's hoodie, with hands in pockets

There are a plethora of blog posts out there giving excellent, useful, entirely solid advice on how to sew knits. Needle types, fabric choices, machine settings — all the objective information you need to smash that stretchy project you’ve had your eye on.

Close-up of the neckline and hood of the author's hoodie

There’s one extra bit of advice that I’d like to throw into the mix: treat your knits like you should be treating yourself. With kindness!

Wash, dry and handle your knits gently. Allow them to be fed through your machine without force. And when in doubt, give it a steam and let it sit for a while! Who among us can’t benefit from a bit of self care and a rest just like our favourite knits? Sew slow and enjoy the process.

Author wearing the hoodie the author made, hood down

What will you be making for #sewunderover month? Let me know in the comments. Or if you also have an insane garment attacking cat, you can tell me that too!

Amy is a librarian by day and a sewist/knitter/gamer/chocolate eater by night. On weekends you’ll find her taking horse riding lessons, dreaming of the day she’ll finally have a pony to call her own, and mildly panicking about the height of her To Be Read book pile. You can find her on Instagram at @sewingbadstitches 

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