Friday, August 9, 2013

The "Mad Maggie" Hoodie

It was a rainy day in Asheville, so I decided to pull out my sewing machine and get to crafting something fun. And when I think of fun, I immediately think of my sister. When she and I get together, we kind of go insane. Not in the bad way, just in the "spontaneous song-and-dance number, laughing hysterically" insane. Seriously, ask our husbands. Ask our parents. Ask distant relatives. We go nuts.

 This is my wonderful sister and me on my wedding day in 2009. Her name's Meg, aka "Mad Maggie."
Don't ask her how she got that nickname... nothing to see here....

Anyway, last week I was searching for some fun sewing projects and I found this little number by The Cottage Mama. Isn't it just the cutest? Here's a link to her awesome, easy-to-follow tutorial!

As soon as I saw this sweet little hoodie, my wheels started turning. I love the look of clothes with feminine details (a la ruffles) with something unexpected. So when I went to my fabric stash and found some black fabric with skulls, I knew I had something going.

What do you think? The perfect hoodie for my cool, crazy, fun sister Mad Maggie.

Now, at the time I wasn't really sure how it was going to turn out, so I didn't take any pictures. And so when I finished it and LOVED it, I decided to make another one and take plenty of pictures this time! So here we go.

You'll need:
      - About 1 yard each of two different, corresponding fabrics. You'll have plenty left over, but I always like to be sure since I'm just a beginner at sewing.
      - LOTS of pins
      - Matching thread
      -Trim if you'd like. I didn't use any, but The Cottage Mama's version did and it was darling. So take your pick!
       -Finally, a hoodie to embellish! I used one I got from Walmart for $8, but you could do this to just about anything with a hood.

Start by folding your hoodie and using the hood as a template for the lining. Lay it on top of one of your fabrics, and trace the outside leaving about a half inch for a seam allowance.

Cut out your hood lining, and sew all along the curve.

Next,  fold back and press about a half inch of the straight edge of the lining.


Press open the curved seam of your hood lining. Pin, right side facing down, to the inside of of your hoodie. Sew in place.

Fold the lining back and press, so that the lining fits inside the hood and the fabric is right side out. Top stich all along the curve of the hood, sewing your lining in place.

Next you need to cut the fabric for the ruffle. You'll want about 2 times the length from the bottom of one side of the zipper, all the way up and around the hood, and down the other side of the zipper. Mine (a men's small) was about 80 inches in length, so my strips of fabric needed to be about 160 inches long. I know that sounds like a lot, but you can just cut smaller strips and sew them together to make one really loooong strip for each color. One strip (the outer ruffle) should be 5 inches wide, and the other (the inner ruffle) should be about 3.5 inches wide. 

So just to reiterate, that's:

One outer ruffle 160" long, 5" wide

One inner ruffle 160' long, 3.5" wide

Next, and this is the not-so-fun part (in my humble opinion), sew these long strips into tubes by folding them in half, right sides together, and sewing along the length.

After you do this, turn the tubes right-side-out, press, and topstich the ends together, so that there are no raw edges on your ruffle. 

To make the ruffles, set your machine stitch to the longest length and sew a straight seam all the way down each ruffle, being careful not to backstitch the ends. 

When you've done this, GENTLY pull one of the thread on the ends to ruffle the fabric (for some reason, the bobbin thread always worked the best for me).

 I hated this part; you have to be super careful not to break your thread or you have to start over. My advice is to just take it slow. It's a lot of fabric and it takes a while, so just be sure sit down and make yourself comfortable. And remember: be gentle!! The second you feel any resistance while pulling your thread, just use your hands to work the ruffle down the length of the fabric. If you're stubborn and just keep pulling, your thread is sure to break.

Once that's done, the hard part is over (hurray)!!! 

Pin your outer ruffle all along the hood and zipper of your hoodie and sew in place. The Cottage Mama made a great point to switch to a denim needle at this point and I totally agree. It's a lot of fabric to work with, and I bent one of my normal needles in the process. Once I switched to a denim needle, that baby soared through the fabric no problem!

Pin your inner ruffle on top of the other and sew in place. Just take your time. Like I said, it's a lot of fabric to keep track of, but it's just a straight seam. Go slowly and it's as simple as pie. :-)

And here's the finished product! I just love it. Halfway through making it I got a little worried that it would look like one of Prince's blouses with all that ruffle (you know what I'm talking about!), but I think it's sweet. This one's not as "Mad Maggie" as the skulls- maybe I should call it the "Sane Maggie" or the "PTA-friendly Maggie" version?? What do you think?

Thank you Cottage Mama for the inspiration!!!  I can't wait to make the sweet little girl's version from your site soon. :-)

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