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Otari Hoodie Sew Along

The Otari Hoodie Sew Along #3: Sewing Prep

In the previous Otari Hoodie Sew Alongs I covered:

Want to join in?

Buy the Otari Hoodie Pattern Here

And don’t forget that all Scroop Patterns are on sale until the end of October with the code:


Today’s Sew Along  post is a quick and easy one: sewing prep!


First you’ve got some interfacing to do:

Otari Hoodie Sew Along

View A Body, View B hood interfacing

Interface all the areas shown on your pattern.  DO NOT interface the front of the Hoodie, where the zip will go.

Otari Hoodie Sew Along

View B Pocket Interfacing

I prefer a lighter weight woven interfacing on a cotton base (the kind I use is sold here in NZ under the name gyclee) but knit interfacings are also a good choice.

I do not recommend non-woven or knit interfacings: they don’t move with the fabric over time, so end up pulling away from your fashion fabric over time, creating unattractive bubbling.

A tip:

If your hood fabric is fairly lightweight, you may need multiple layers of interfacing to help reinforce the area around the grommet.

Cut each layer of interfacing slightly smaller than the previous one, so that there isn’t a bulky, heavy edge at the end of your interfacing:

Otari Hoodie Sew Along

The navy blue merino I’m using for my navy & kelly green hoodie definitely needed this treatment.

Once everything is interfaced, you’re almost ready to sew: you just need to set up your machine, and choose your stitches.

Sewing machine setup:

Put in a nice fresh jersey needle:

Otari Hoodie Sew Along

I use a size 70/10 needle for lighter hoodie-weight knits, like my navy & kelly green merino, and a size 80/12 for heavier hoodie-weight knits, like my patterned double-knit.

And thread up your machine with quality polyester thread:

Otari Hoodie Sew Along

I used to prefer Mettler thread, but their quality has been very inconsistent since they moved some of their production to China, so now I primarily use Gutterman (except when I have Mettler in the right colour in my thread stash).  If you are using Mettler I recommend making sure it’s German made.

Now, choose your stitches.  The pattern switches between Stretch Stitches (zig-zag, lightening, stretch-as-you-sew or overlocker/serger stitches), marked on the pattern with SS, and Non-Stretch straight stitches, marked on the pattern with NS.

Four ways to sew with knit fabrics, thedreamstress and

You might find this post on sewing knit fabrics, and the pros and cons of the four most common options, helpful in choosing which stitch to use.

With every pattern I sew I like to write down the exact stitches I’ve chosen for seams and topstitching, so that I can keep track of them as I sew.

And now you’re ready to go!

In the next Sew Along post:

Sewing the View A Pockets

Want to join in?  Buy your Otari Hoodie Pattern Here 

Day dress, ca. 1912. The John Bright Collection

Rate the Dress: grape purple & vermillion 1910s

We’re taking a little break from the Otari Hoodie Sew Along for the regularly scheduled Rate the Dress post.  Have you’re say on this week’s historical dress, and then we’re all go on Hoodie sewing again!

Last week: Roses & Fringe in the 1910s

Some of you loved the dress, but not unreservedly: it only got one 10.  And while many of you could overlook the butt-heart, by and large you did not like the fringe.

Despite my hate of fringe, I actually loved last week’s dress.  It reminds me of the Miss Universe dresses that represent each country.  It’s like there was a Miss Universe pageant in 1910, and Hawai’i participated with the most tasteful of the themed dresses.  Orchids, flower leis, and a nod to a grass skirt.

The Total: 7.6 out of 10

There have definitely been better received 1910s evening dresses!

This week:

I usually like to mix up my eras in Rate the Dress, but today I’m breaking with tradition and showing a dress from the same years as last week’s frock.

This formal day dress in deep grape purple, with accents in vermillion, is possibly by Liberty of London.

It certainly has a hint of aesthetic influence in the colour combination, and ornamentation in the bodice, but is still within the range of conventional dress.

Like many 1910s dresses, this one is made by its details: three layers of sleeves, tiny lines of beading along the bodice trim, and french knots marking the hem of the outer sleeves.

Rate the Dress on a Scale of 1 to 10

A reminder about rating – feel free to be critical if you don’t like a thing, but make sure that your comments aren’t actually insulting to those who do like a garment.  Our different tastes are what make Rate the Dress so interesting.  It’s no fun when a comment implies that anyone who doesn’t agree with it, or who would wear a garment, is totally lacking in taste.

(as usual, nothing more complicated than a .5.  I also hugely appreciate it if you only do one rating, and set it on a line at the very end of your comment, so I can find it!  Thanks in advance!)


Otari Hoodie Sew Along

The Otari Hoodie Sew Along #2: Pattern Alterations & Cutting

In the last Otari Hoodie Sew Along post I covered choosing fabric.

Otari Hoodie Sew Along - Alterations & cutting out

Now that you have your fabric, it’s time to do any pattern alterations you need to get the fit you want.

Buy the Otari Hoodie Pattern Here  

Choosing your size

First, you need to pick your general size.  I recommend choosing your size for the Otari based on your bust size, grading out or in to your hip size.

Otari Hoodie Sew Along - Alterations & cutting out

I’m a 38″ bust, so I’ll be making a size 38.

You also want to check the Finished Garment Measurements (the second and last columns in the image above).

You can see from these that the Otari is cut with lot of ease in the bust and waist, (the finished bust measurement for a size 38″ is 44″), and a tiny bit of easy in the hips (finished measures of 43″ for 42″ hips).  This provides a garment that allows a lot of movement in the shoulders, chest and arms, and that floats over the waist, and sits fairly smoothly over the hips and stomach.

Some knits patterns are cut with negative ease (where the finished garment is smaller than you, and relies on the stretch of the fabric to stretch around you).  The Otari still has ease, because it’s an outer garment and is meant to be wearable over layers of clothes.

Grading between sizes:

OK, so you chose your size based on your bust, but what if your waist or hip measures are quite different than the standard pattern sizes?

In that case, you’ll want to grade between sizes.   Grading between sizes is moving between sizes in a pattern, to get the fit you really need.

For example, if you have slim hips in comparison to your bust, you can go down a size or two in the hips in the pattern.

Here I am using a french curve to draw a nice smooth line from the original patterns waist, to a smaller hip size:

Otari Hoodie Sew Along - Alterations & cutting out

You can now cut your pattern on the new line, and have the Hoodie sit closer to your hips.

If you have a very straight body, with wider shoulders, you might want to grade in at both the hips and the bust, as shown below.  This will give you a very straight pattern, with wider shoulders

Otari Hoodie Sew Along - Alterations & cutting out

Fit Comparison:

Because the Otari is made of stretch fabric, and cut as a looser fitting garment, you have a bit of leeway in choosing sizing.  If you want a really roomy Hoodie, you could just go up a size or two.

If you want a slimmer fit, you can go down a size, particularly if you are using a fabric with reasonable stretch.

Here is what Jenni, size 36, looks like in her size 36 Hoodie:

Otari Hoodie Sew Along - Alterations & cutting out

And here is size 38 me in her hoodie:

Otari Hoodie Sew Along - Alterations & cutting out

You can see it’s a little snugger over the bust and hips, but definitely still fits reasonably.

Here is size 34 Priscilla, in her size 34 hoodie:

Otari Hoodie Sew Along - Alterations & cutting out

And size 38″ me:

Otari Hoodie Sew Along - Alterations & cutting out

You can see that it is very snug in the bust and body, and a tight in the arms – but I can still put it on.

It’s also too short in the arms and body, and that’s because I did length adjustments on the pattern, to fit Priscilla’s petite body.

Length Adjustments:

It’s easy to shorten and lengthen the Otari Hoodie.

First, you want to figure out where you need to shorten and lengthen the Hoodie.

Measure from your shoulder to your waist, and from the pattern’s shoulder to waist:

Otari Hoodie Sew Along - Alterations & cutting out

Be sure remember to discount the 1cm seam allowance in the shoulder seam.

Open the hoodie pattern along the Lengthen/Shorten seam, and add or subtract whatever you need to make the waistline measure match yours.

Measure the length of the sleeves, and compare to your arm measure, and add or subtract as needed, along the lengthen/shorten line.  Remember that the sleeves will have a 2″ cuff.

If the waist is the right level, but the pattern is still longer or shorter than you want, you can lengthen or shorten at the hem.

Otari Hoodie Sew Along - Alterations & cutting out

I want my double-knit Otari to be a little bit longer, so I’m adding 2″ at the hem, like so:

Otari Hoodie Sew Along - Alterations & cutting out

And here are my pattern pieces:

Otari Hoodie Sew Along - Alterations & cutting out

Cutting Out:

And now you’re ready to cut out!

Pay attention to the grainlines on your pattern.  You can cut the View B pocket piece on the bias or the straight grain.

Notice the major mistake I’m about to make in my layout below?  Don’t make that mistake!

Otari Hoodie Sew Along - Alterations & cutting out

(don’t worry, I moved my hood piece so it would be cut on the fold before I cut it).

Happy cutting!

In the next Sew Along post:

Sewing Preparation

Want to join in?  Buy your Otari Hoodie Pattern Here