Monday, 29 August 2016

Upcycled Halifax Hoody by Hey June patterns

Hi!  Welcome to Flagstaff!  And a new (borrowed) sewing machine and there's a Goodwill next door.  So instead of like, dipping a toe into the waters as far as the Singer Quantum Stylist is concerned, you know, with a dress made out of quilting cotton or something, I dove right into the deep end with an upcycling project even more mismatched than my Geodesic. 

A cream cashmere sweater (ladies small) with a hideous cowl.
A blue silk-cashmere blend sweater.
And a cream sweatshirt.
This time they were cheap - about $10 for the lot. 

I suspected that the sweatshirt was unwise but it was a perfect colour match and it was right next to the sweater on the rack.  The weight and drape of the sweatshirt didn't match the sweater knits at all, but also I was in the women's section, and I learnt on my last sweater that you need a men's L or XL to get two sleeves from one sweater.  So I had to do even more patchworking to get this to work out - first on the back, and then on the sleeves.

The pattern is the Halifax Hoodie by Hey June patterns, in a size S.  This is view B, I think.
The pattern is a little complicated because after tracing you have soooo many pieces and they don't all go for the same variation.  But I was tracing in Ukraine and wanted to have everything ready, so I also traced it all at once instead of just as I needed, which added to the confusion.  (Except I didn't trace the hood.  WTF?  I wanted to make the hooded version next...)

All of my bands are from the blue sweater, obviously.
My main hiccup was the armpits.  They were pieced together, and multilayer as the original sweatshirt was multilayer in that spot, and so they are super bulky.  I have gone over that a few times increasing the seam allowance a few mm at a time until I got the best fit on each side.  The bulk contrasts with the softness and drape of the cashmere - to the point that I was wondering if they were too terrible to keep.

I also only have one bobbin so when I ran out of white thread I had to stop, and do the final finishing later.  The finishing was pretty lazy on this - I realised after the fact that I HAD to topstitch the back seams down or they would lie really badly, but I didn't iron much (possibly that also shows).

Overall the sewing machine was ok!  I kind of hate sewing machines that have three things:
1. needle threaders
2. thread cutters
3. automatic needle down position

and I haven't figured out how to disable no. 3 yet.  The other two are just in the way, occupying needle and vision space.  Ugh.  Why do people like these things?  Am I just being stubborn?

At the end I totally thought this project was stupid.  It's all patchworked, it's big, the seams hang out...but then it got cold and I wore it out of the house and got a lot of compliments.  Funny how that changes an opinion!  Also, the sweatshirt sleeves are stretchy so it's great to just slide up my arms, and is really warm and cozy!  So in the end it's not a loss!  I'm going to do this pattern again but I will use the XS and shorten it a few inches.  I know this particular variation was supposed to be oversized but I think I'll like it more smaller.  In the meantime I compared the pattern pieces to assure myself the other variations will be smaller, and I'm going to try the zip up hoody (yeah after I reprint the hood pages).

 My photos were taken inside No Basis in Reality, a new shop that just opened in Flagstaff.  The focus is on locally made and ethically produced clothing and housewares. The shop's owner is also the owner of my borrowed sewing machine : )  I think I mentioned that my goal for this life phase is to take better pictures, so thanks Kirsten for taking super photos for me!


  1. that looks fantastic, I bet you will wear that a lot when a sweater is called for. Very timely to read this as I just did a closet clean and have a few cashmere sweaters that are too small or have some moth holes so I was thinking of doing some kind of patchwork refashion. But maybe it would be better to use a pattern?
    Also - I have the Singer Quantum Stylist sewing machine which I bought at Costco on a slight whim as sewing students could never get the hang of using my 1950's Singers (where you have to pull the wheel to get it started) so I bought the new machine and quickly found it so easy to use. the threader gizmo broke after about 6 months (I bent it by shoving a giant skirt under the presser foot) but while it worked I liked it. As for the thread cutter that is my favorite feature! I don't find it does auto needle down so not sure about that. My main dislike is that the light is kind of harsh but small price to pay for the rest of my likes.

    1. Hi Beth, sounds like I have to read the manual and give the sewing machine another chance ; ) It's been sewing really well so I shouldn't be quite so fussy!

      As for refashions, I prefer using a pattern because I'm not confident that just tweaking here and there will give me a good result. The pattern means that at least I know in the end my product will be more or less what I expect - if you like the style of the Geodesic it's a good one because only the sleeves are big pieces, everything else is triangles.

  2. That's a really great use of old unwanted textiles that still have some life in them. I just love reworked fashion. It looks really good on you :)

    1. thanks so much Carolyn! Coming from you that is a particular compliment, your remakes are always so stunning (I'm thinking of that rainbow recycled t-shirt dress).