Review of the Carmen hoodie pattern by Simply Sewing

I fell in love with this campervan sweatshirt fabric immediately and simply had to buy it for my shop. I thought it would be perfect for a cosy hoodie and would go beautifully with my mustard yellow sweatshirt fabric, so when I came across the Carmen hoodie pattern by Simply Sewing, I thought it would be the perfect pattern to use.

The hoodie pattern, which came free with issue 63 of simply sewing magazine, features a colour block design. I decided to use the campervan sweatshirt fabric across the middle and the hoodie lining; and the yellow for the top and bottom.

After measuring myself, I matched up with size B and it is seemed about right in terms of sizing.

I made a couple of alterations to the pattern. When cutting out the pattern pieces, I totally missed that you needed a double layer of fabric for the back lower piece. I therefore decided not to make any lining, as I didn't see the point when it was only for the bottom section of the back piece and because I decided to use ribbing across the bottom, which reduced the need for the lining (as it was going to hide the seam).

I took a look at a hoodie I had bought from Superdry, to see how they made it and to look at what I liked about it. I very much encourage you to do this when making your own clothes. I saw that the pattern went straight down at the bottom, but I like hoodie's that are finished with ribbing at the bottom edge. I stock a mustard yellow ribbing that matches my sweatshirt fabric perfectly and which I was using for the cuffs, so I cut off about 3 inches off the bottom pattern pieces and then added the ribbing at the bottom.

I made the sleeves slightly narrower from the elbow to the wrist, as I thought they were a little baggy. I noticed that my Superdry hoodie used a tape for the hoodie string, so I copied that idea from my hoodie. I also used the campervan sweatshirt fabric as the pocket binding.

I found the pattern a little tricky to follow. The photographs didn't add much, especially as they didn't help you to distinguish right side from wrong side. I found it annoying that the photographs were all at the top of the pattern and I had to keep searching for which photo related to which part of the pattern.

The pocket bag instructions were wrong. I thought I had misunderstood them and ended up making a mistake and had to use the dreaded seam ripper. I've just found out belatedly that there was a problem with the pattern for the pocket bag. The link to the pattern correction is below:

I also didn't understand the instructions regarding adding the hood - they seemed rather overcomplicated. I ended up making up my own way to attach it in the end. The instructions seemed to suggest using the hoodie lining as a binding, but from the description it seemed to suggest only having 1 cm width to bind with, which I didn't think was adequate, and my fabric was quite thick, so I didn't think it would work. I decided instead to finish it with pretty ribbon instead to cover the seam.

I am really pleased with the finished hoodie and very glad that I took the time to topstitch along all of the seams. I love the colour block design, it fits perfectly and its super cosy. I've had a lot of comments about it and would definitely use the pattern again but make the same alterations.

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