Back in August, the #sewmystyle2018 pattern choice was the Halifax Hoodie from Hey June Handmade. At the time it was still too damn hot in Los Angeles to wear a sweatshirt. But by October it started to cool off enough (at night at least) to consider wearing layers. The teal leopard print fabric had been in my stash for a few months. It’s a super soft poly-rayon knit I picked up a 2 yard misprinted remnant of at the ASG OC garage sale in April. I knew I wanted that to be a sweatshirt, so it was a match made in heaven.
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From the website:
The Halifax Hoodie is a casual outer layer with 5 different views. There are two main body options – a shaped bodice or a high-low bodice with twisted side seams. Additional features include a hood, kangaroo pocket, full zipper, front notch, and funnel neck. This wardrobe staple is perfect for cool weather layering. With all the different views and options, the modern sewist can use the Halifax Hoodie pattern in innumerable ways. Suggested fabrics include sweatshirt fleece, french terry, cotton interlock, and other heavier weight knits.
The PDF-only pattern is $10 but with 5 views, that’s surprisingly inexpensive. I made View C (the zippered hooded version) to take part in the Sew Alongs October #hoodiealong.
The hoodie is drafted for a 5’5” to 5’8” woman (165-175.25 cm) with a B cup. It comes in sizes XS (0/2) to 2X (US 22). I made the largest size.
Halifax Hoodie PDF
Here is how the PDF stacks up
- Layered sizes: yes
- Colored lines by size: no
- No trim pattern: no
- Prints to edge of paper: no
- Print layout included: yes, page 4 of instructions
- A0 available: yes
There are 3 weird things about this pattern:
- There are no notches except for pieces on the fold, weirdly—but useful. I always try to remember to snip the center and this was a good reminder. But not having notches on side seams, shoulders, and for pocket placement drives me batty.
- The sleeves are cut on the fold—something I have never seen. On knit patterns, this is sometimes okay because knits stretch. But it can cause fitting issues, too. In my case, this worked to my advantage because I had to play Tetris with my pattern pieces given the misprint. I ended up with having to cut two halves for each sleeve.
- The holes for the drawstring in the hood are about 3” too high up. I don’t know why you would want your drawstrings that far up your face. If I were to make this again, I’d lower them to match my RTW hoodies.
The instructions follow the same template of Big 4 patterns and jump ALL OVER THE PLACE. Because there are 5 views, but the basic construction is the same for each, the instructions are only printed once. This will require you to pay closer attention to your view and which page to jump to between steps.
That said, the instructions are very straightforward. There are some very nice finishing techniques, too. The seam between the hood and body is covered, and so is the zipper edge.
You can even line the hood if you so choose (I didn’t have enough fabric to do this). Everything can be sewn on a regular sewing machine if you don’t have a serger (I used both).
Speaking of zippers and knits: the directions don’t call for it but I highly recommend interfacing the center fronts. I used sheerweight fusible interfacing on mine. This kept my zipper from becoming wavy by keeping the fabric from stretching out.
View C requires a separating zipper and twill tape for finishing the zipper edge. Threads has an excellent set of tutorials for shortening zips. If you choose to use a drawstring, you’ll also need 2 yards of twill tape or cording.
I made the largest size, which is a 2x/US 22. With a 47” bust and 45” hips, I figured it would fit fine with a bust adjustment.
Reading reviews, some makers complained that the sleeves were too long. To figure out how long I would want my sleeves, I tissue/paper-fitted the pattern and it came all the way down to my knuckles! And that was without the cuffs. I cut off 3.75” total. That a LOT of length, so be aware of that should you make it!
I shortened the overall length by 1.5” immediately (not my standard 3” because I still wanted a little longer sweatshirt). Unfortunately after the 2” FBA, I got it all back. When I compared it to my favorite lightweight jacket, it was waaaaaaaaay too long:
I cut off another 2”, but that required unpicking the front pockets, which isn’t fun. The end result was fine, but if I were to make it again, I would only slice off 1.5” inches instead of the full 2” after the FBA.
Speaking of which, I definitely need a bigger bust adjustment. You can see in the pictures below that there is a LOT of pulling in the chest area. Noted for next time!
Given that this is a basic sweatshirt, I wasn’t going to stress about making it a perfect fit. Sweatshirts are supposed to be easy fitting. I’m glad this one is a bit more slim so I can wear it under a larger jacket should I need to. I’m happy I had juuuuuuuuuust enough fabric to make it. There weren’t a lot of examples of the zippered version on the internets, so I hope this additional review is helpful.
I have noticed that most of my RTW sweatshirts and sweaters are all thinner knits. Living in California, it’s not like I need chunky sweaters. So I might seek out some lightweight knits and give the other views a try. Since it is such a basic pattern, it’s going to be easy to hack!
I would rate this as a good pattern for a confident beginner, someone who is comfortable working with knits.
What’s your favorite sweatshirt pattern?