Sunday, 23 February 2014

In hiding: Undercover Hood

A word to the wise: don't take blog photos of yourself when you're hungover.  Or if you really have to, make sure you're modelling a garment in which you can get away with not showing your face much.

Such as, for example, a hoodie.  

A hoodie made from a pattern which even suggests hiding yourself in it. Yes, dear people - this is me, hungover, lurking inside the Papercut Patterns Undercover hood.

And no, these pictures are not glamorous. They're neither modishly styled nor even particularly flattering. But you know what? I think that's all for the better. Because one doesn't tend to wear hoodies in order to look glamorous or modish - in fact, it hardly matters whether or not they're flattering, does it? Not in my case, anyway.

I mostly wear hoodies for recovery purposes after a particularly excellent night out. 

No, actually, that's a misrepresentation. I mostly wear them all the time, for everything. The other reason I'm going with the dressed-down, rough-faced photos is because in reality this outfit is about the closest I get to a signature style. Slouchy, comfy, easy to pair with some jeans and knock about with the kids all weekend.

OK, husband comment! He asked: "Why? Did you need a new hoodie?"  Which got me thinking (after I stopped thinking "dude, no! I don't need to need it to want to make it!").  Of course technically I probably didn't need a new hoodie. And actually, what is the point of sewing your own clothes if they're just going to look they came from H&M?  Couldn't my signature style be just a little more flamboyant, so I can claim that as my creative raison d'√™tre?

But of course, those things aren't really anything to do with it. It just feels BETTER to be wearing a comfy, slouchy hoodie when you made it yourself. Take that, shopping!

Plus, in my opinion, the Undercover Hood is superior. It's just a really good shape. It's sized for sloppiness - if you like your hoodies fitted, you'll need to size down at least once, maybe more - and it's LONG. To me, this is genius - I want to be able to cosy up my hands in my sleeves, and wear the hemline below my bum. Shops don't make that, but, hell, me and Papercut do! I read a couple of reviews that said this pattern was too long, but I measured the pieces, compared the length with my favourite RTW top, and added 5 cm at the hem. Loooong roomy hoodie.

I made the size S, based on my full bust measurement, with no changes for fit apart from the aforementioned lengthening. Interestingly, even though it's slouchy, I do think I could do with a no-dart FBA in future. It doesn't sit as sloppy as I'd like across the front, and I'm blaming the girls.  Actually, would anyone be interested in a quick no-dart FBA tutorial? It's my go-to bust adjustment - I just don't like darts, and it allows you to fit more casual patterns (like this, and Grainline's scout tee for example) that don't have them. Yell in the comments if you're interested :-)

Anyway, the actual sewing was great, too - straightforward, nothing complicated at all. I did the whole thing on the overlocker, apart from topstitching down the pocket. I also topstiched the hood seam down around the neckline, which wasn't mentioned in the pattern instructions but helped the whole thing to sit much better. In fact my only comment about my first Papercut experience is that the instructions are clear, but on the minimal side. I found their brevity quite nice, but while this pattern is definitely beginner-level, I wonder if some might feel more reassured with greater hand-holding.

As for the design, the raglan sleeves, waistband and sleeve cuffs (long ones!) obviously have excellent mix'n'match potential. For a first go at it I wanted to keep things low key, so just made it in solid blue with white hood lining to brighten it up a bit. A bit boring, maybe, but also a brilliant, comfortable, under-the-radar wardrobe basic.

All of which helps.

Y'know, on those days you need your clothes to camouflage things a bit.


  1. I"m wearing a navy hoodie as I read this - and i totally agree that it's the perfect garment for lounging when comfort is more important that fashion! ;) I think your hoodie looks great - I've never seen anyone make this pattern, but I suddenly want one! ;)

  2. Thanks! Yeah there don't seem to be many versions of this blogged, even though it's been around a little while. I'm aiming to rectify that though, I like it a lot!

  3. I don't often wear hoodies, because of the girls. (hoodies always cling onto them) A no dart FBA would be welcome. Maybe that would fix the problem!
    Love your hoodie!

  4. Great hoodie! I love that with sewing your own clothes you can make them fit just the way you like it.. For me that is a little bit longer torso and sleeve wise :)

  5. huisje boompje boefjesFebruary 24, 2014 10:17 am

    Love it! I'm a hoodie wearing girl myself most of the time. I'll sure keep this pattern in mind, a hoodie with raglan sleeves, perfect!

  6. It would probably help, yes - you can't make huge adjustments with it, but I find it does enough to make things wearable that wouldn't have been otherwise!

  7. Yes, that's my favourite thing too. It looks like it could have come from H&M, but it couldn't because they don't make them exactly how I want them :-)

  8. it's a good one! Really comfy and easy :-)

  9. I love the long hoodie - 'cause seriously, when I'm relaxing (or post a fabulous night out), I want a warm butt. Love the slouchy pockets too - I can see the fabric mashup potential as well - hmmm…. ;)

  10. Perfect styling for this! Nothing better than a hoody for a hangover (or just pj's but sometimes we do have to get dressed). This looks like such a good make. I am tempted. Very tempted.way.


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