Happy Homemade Sew-Along Hoodie

When Meg of Elsie Marley and Cherie of You & Mie announced a sew-along for the Pull Over Parka (Hoodie) from Happy Homemade: Sew Chic Kids I was excited! I have this book! I've done this pattern! I was in!

I went out, got the fabrics, threw them in the washing machine, and pulled out the pattern to see if I needed to trace a bigger size (I didn't) or if I could use the one I traced in the fall (I could). And I was going to stop there. I was. But I was excited.

Sewing from Happy Homemade, Volume 2: Sew Chic Kids -- The Pull Over Parka (Pattern S) in Knit | The Inspired Wren
Don't worry she still has arms in real life. The hoodie does too.

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I told myself, "I'll just cut the fabric," and while doing so I decided to make a contrast lining for the hood. That got me eager to start sewing. 

I told myself, "I'll just sew the first seams and then set it aside." The next thing I knew, it was all done save for the bottom hem/drawstring casing. 

I don't know how exactly it went from I'll-just-wash-the-fabric to it's-all-done so quickly, but it did. It was an accident. I accidentally completed something I didn't mean to -- who knew that could happen?

Sewing from Happy Homemade, Volume 2: Sew Chic Kids -- The Pull Over Parka (Pattern S) in Knit | The Inspired Wren

Last fall I treated myself Happy Homemade, Volume 2: Sew Chic Kids [Amazon affiliate link] and this hoodie was the first project I made. I had enough chambray on hand (left over from an earlier dress) and thought this pattern would look great in a neutral.

I sewed the hoodie with french seams throughout (even down the center seam of the hood). If you look carefully where the sleeves join the back you'll see I mistakenly sewed the seams inside-out. I sewed them down and pretended it was deliberate (helped by the fact that both incorrectly sewn seams were on the back instead of being one arm correct, one arm incorrect). The neck binding is written as a 1/4" in the book. I followed those directions on this chambray version and found it to be too fiddly for me to cleanly execute. The elastic at the front center is poorly stitched and not very elastic-y. To correct this I added the two ties, which are sewn in place (and do not run through the hood -- though that could be a fun option). I also opted to finish the bottom with encased elastic in lieu of the drawstring. The Peanut wore this through the winter over long sleeve tees; the 3/4 sleeve over long makes a great layered look (and yet I don't seem to have a pic of it, huh).

Sewing from Happy Homemade, Volume 2: Sew Chic Kids -- The Pull Over Parka (Pattern S) in Chambray | The Inspired Wren
This chambray version predates the blog, but I managed to get a pic of it as part of a 2013 compilation.

When I heard of the current sew-along, I decided I wanted to give this one a go in a knit. I chose this soft triangle print interlock (from Joann's), because I think it will be a perfect cover for evening ocean breezes on vacation this summer. I used my pattern pieces from the chambray version without alteration. As I was cutting I thought of the french-seams from the earlier version, especially that center hood seam. That's when I noticed a peachy coral quilting cotton I had purchased at the same time as the interlock (for tote-bag lining) was a perfect match. Lining the hood saved me from figuring out how to prettily finish that exposed hood seam and saved me from any potential stretch along the neckline as I sewed the knit: win/win!

To line the hood I simply cut a second set of hood pieces from the peachy coral. Where the directions call for a rolled hem at the hood edge, I stitched the lining and the shell hoods right sides together using the hem amount as my seam allowance. You could also top-stitch this edge, though I didn't. I basted the bottom of the hoods together and proceeded with the directions as written.

Sewing from Happy Homemade, Volume 2: Sew Chic Kids -- The Pull Over Parka (Pattern S) in Knit | The Inspired Wren

Remembering my 1/4" neck binding troubles from the fall, I made 1/2" single-fold bias tape from the cotton and used that to finish the neckline. Tacking the ends of the elastic in place and then encasing the raw edges and elastic of the neckline was a breeze this time.

Sewing from Happy Homemade, Volume 2: Sew Chic Kids -- The Pull Over Parka (Pattern S) in Knit | The Inspired Wren
Inside out with a clear view of the 1/2" bias tape binding at the neckline.

Then I stalled out. I couldn't decide if I wanted to finish the bottom with elastic again, or hem it as is. When some lovely people commented on Instagram how great the coral-peach looked, I decided I wanted another pop of it at the bottom in the form of a drawstring. Don't look to closely at the button holes that serve the drawstring (button holes on a knit aren't my strength, and I forgot to switch from my standard pressure foot to the button hole foot as I made them). The drawstring itself is another long stretch of self-made bias tape, this time 3/4" double fold stitched on each edge. Instead of a rolled hem, I folded the full hem amount up to be the casing, and used a twin needle with woolly nylon thread in the bobbin to sew it in place.

Sewing from Happy Homemade, Volume 2: Sew Chic Kids -- The Pull Over Parka (Pattern S) in Knit | The Inspired Wren

I'm thrilled Meg and Cherie did the sew-along. I think I like this new knit version even better than the chambray and wouldn't have even thought of it had they not put it on my radar. With absolutely no affiliation or relationship, I encourage you to check out the sew-along. They are currently two days into a very detailed explanation of how to complete this cute hoodie -- a great reference if you'd like to give this pattern a try. And then before you know it, you'll have accidentally finished one yourself.

Sewing from Happy Homemade, Volume 2: Sew Chic Kids -- The Pull Over Parka (Pattern S) in Knit | The Inspired Wren
I asked to see her tongue. "Here's my foot." I'm wondering if all models are this difficult.


Happy Homemade, Volume 2: Sew Chic Kids [Amazon affiliate link], Pull-Over Parker (Pattern S) in Size 4


Doodles Collection, Stretch Knit Triangle in Teal  from Joann Fabric and Craft Stores
Country Classic Cotton Quilt Fabric Solid in Coral, also from Joann Fabric and Craft Stores


The comfy relaxed look and feel of this pattern in a knit. Also this pattern is a great blank canvas for all sorts of embellishments from pockets to appliqué to color-blocking.


Let me reiterate that the neck binding in the book is specified as tri-folded to 1/4" wide and I found it much easier to work with 1/2" single-fold bias tape instead without compromising the look of the final garment. 
I've made other items from this book, too: a white blouse, a graphic floral print tunic, and wide-leg pants.
Don't forget to check out the sew-along (click the pic) for a great resource when sewing this parka/hoodie pattern.

Happy Homemade Sew-Along

Ren Murphy writes for The Inspired Wren.
You should really see all that goes into each project!
Be sure to follow along daily as The Peanut dresses in handmade clothes for #madeforkidsmonth. Updates on Instagram (and Flickr) of works-in-progress will give you that behind the scenes view you’re looking for, and sneak peeks of First Tuesday Tutorials, too.

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