Friday, March 30, 2018

*Testing*: Otari Hoodie by Scroop Patterns

A little over a month ago there was a call for testers on a new Scroop Pattern. I submitted and was very lucky to be chosen :) I made this several weeks ago, working on it in secret from the sewing community (and man that was a much faster release than I would've thought possible - Leimomi was on it!), and now that the pattern was released I can officially show it here. So everyone - meet my Otari Hoodie!
The Otari Hoodie is a classic zip front sweater with pockets and a hood, but with some quirky options. The pattern has two hood choices - traditional rounded (like mine has) or a fun pointed back - as well as two pocket choices - traditional scoop opening pockets or Art Deco inspired cloud pockets (like mine has). The options are easy to mix and match, so technically I made View A but with the pockets from View B. I went with the rounded hood since my fabric has circles all over it, but I would love to make the pointed version as well some time.
Going by the size chart, I made a size 44 bust and 46 waist to hip since the pattern advised that there was a tighter fit across the stomach area and I usually have to make this type of adjustment on every pattern I make. My resulting fit is pretty good - a little loose, but I think that makes it more possible to have additional layers underneath. Part of my loose fit could be my fabric choice. Since I live in Florida and we have just finished our mild cool time of year, I knew a sweatshirt style hoodie would sit unused except for maybe 2 times a year. I wanted a "Florida appropriate" sweater, so I dug this neat cotton interlock out of my stash. The gray fabric with the circles is Amy Butler Gray Quarter Moon and I grabbed 2 yards from Fabric Mart in a sale a while back not having any project in mind. The fabric is a medium weight interlock and very soft. The melon colored contrast fabric is just a poly spandex lightweight jersey I picked up in clearance at Hobby Lobby a few years ago. Originally I was going to use this for the lining only and I tried dying some cotton ribbing in an acid green/yellow to match the circles on the main fabric, but after 2 bottles of fabric paint and over a week of soaking and drying and soaking again, I threw in the towel and just decided to go with the melon since it was already a good color.
I even had all of the rather random components in my stash for this project - I used a separating handbag zipper that I shortened to the necessary length, a few grommets for the hood, and cord I bought for knitting bags. The only thing I had to purchase was melon colored thread :) Can we all just stop to appreciate that the hood is the perfect size?! I was thrilled when I sewed up the hood pieces and tried it on. It's loose enough not to mess up your hair but tight enough to stay up. This is no small feat even in rtw hoodies, so I was particularly happy it turned out this was on mine.
Other than grading between two sizes, I also lengthened mine by 1" - another standard adjustment. I loved the cloud pockets as soon as I saw the pattern and knew I would use them but I think they would've been lost on my busy print, so I decided to extend the lining pieces to peak out just a bit like piping. I love this effect and it was an extremely easy touch to add. Nicely the pockets are fully lined, giving not only a clean finish but also helping keep your hands toasty.
My one niggly fit issue is that the shoulders drop slightly on me, but keep in mind this was the tester version and this specific issue has been changed on the larger sizes to make the shoulders more narrow. This dropped shoulder caused my sleeves to be slightly long, but really in a hoodie it doesn't make a bit of difference since extra sleeve length means extra hand coverage in the cold. The overall fit is a bit loose, and I may take it in a bit, but again that is probably due to my lighter weight fabric. The pattern suggests a heavier sweatshirt fabric, which would certainly take more space and be tighter fitting.
The hood has a draw string that is held in place by a casing you sew connecting the lining to the main fabric. My tip would be to place your grommets exactly where the pattern states and then sew all your seams at 3/8" like suggested or you will run into problems. Mine were close, but maybe not exact, and it caused some grief sewing over the grommets since you have to install them early on in the hood construction. The grommet insertion order has changed since I made it, helping make this an easier process.
The hood is fully lined and there is an inner neckband to close everything up inside - it's' such a nice finish, seriously. This part was definitely the most fiddly, particularly in my light weight poly knit that loved to roll. I starched the neckband before insertion, which helped, but this is an area that takes further precision to make sure you enclose everything that is going on there. It's worth the effort though because it looks so clean and professional afterward.
I did all of my top stitching in contrasting melon thread for an added touch of fun. Here you can see how close you sew to the grommets on that hood - be aware there. Also apparently YKK handbag zippers don't come with pulls? I have yet to decide what to attach to mine as a pull, but it still functions just fine without one. You definitely want to be aware on all of the top stitched seams - I pulled out a few of the lines of stitching around my zipper because they were slightly off and it's' glaringly obvious since it runs right down your middle. This is definitely a place for precision and taking your time, even if you don't use contrasting thread.
The zipper is also enclosed with a twill tape facing inside - a lovely touch as it looks clean and adds stability for easy zipping. I've had this ruler printed twill tape for a few years now so I decided it would be a little sewing joke inside my sweater and it makes me ridiculously happy when I see it. I could actually use my hoodie to measure things in centimeters should the need pop up. How cool is that?
And here's a close up of the pocket area -my top stitching isn't perfect here, but I don't think anyone will have their head at the same level as my abdomen like this, so it's not a big deal here. The zipper looks good and the pockets line up across the zipper, so I'm happy. The pattern gives lots of words of advise on where you need to be super accurate with your stitching, which was nice. The pattern also lets you know which seams should be sewn with a stretch stitch and which with a straight stitch - sure you could technically puzzle this out on your own if you've sewn a few knit garments, but how nice it was to take the extra thinking out of it and just be able to sew by the directions. That's a sign of a good pattern in my eyes.
So that's my Otari Hoodie :) This was my first time ever testing a sewing pattern and I an super honored I got the chance. This was a very fun project that included a few new-to-me techniques, but the pattern was written in such a way as to make these new steps easy to accomplish. I would call this an intermediate pattern because of the zipper and neckband, but a confident advanced beginner could certainly make it if they were dedicated and good at following the instructions. They will get you there even if you are not super experienced. I'm really happy with my fun hoodie and now I have a great pattern on hand when the mood strikes to make another one (or if I need a unique gift!). It was so nice to test this pattern - Leimomi was very attentive with questions I had and really took our suggestions into account and made small changes to make this an even better pattern. It's so nice when your issues are taken into account by the designer and I would love to test for her again anytime. Thank you so much, Leimomi, for choosing me to test, and thank you for a terrific pattern!

*I was given the Otari Hoodie pattern to test free of charge in exchange for my critiques. I was not required to post about my results, but I am just so happy with my sweater I had to share. All opinions are 100% my own. This is just a great pattern :)

Fabric: 2 yards Amy Butler Gray Quarter Moon print Cotton Interlock (53" wide) - $7.50, 3/4 yards tangerine poly  spandex knit - $ 0.50
Pattern: Otari Hoodie by Scroop Patterns
Notions: 2 grommets - $ 0.50, knit interfacing - $ 0.50 , acid green fabric paint - $2.55, peach thread - $2.99, gray thread - $1.00, 1.5 yards measuring print twill tape - $2.50, 28" separating zipper (cut to 25") - $2.60, 1 yard cotton cord - $0.50
Time: 8 hours
Total Cost: $ 21.14


  1. Oh I love how you have the lining doubling as piping on your pockets! I was very tempted to do the same thing with my pockets (I did the same combination of hood and pockets as you), but ultimately decided against it. Next time I make this pattern however, the piped pockets will have to happen!

    1. Thanks so much :) That is one of my favorite parts too - I almost didn't do it because I didn't want to deviate while testing, but I just couldn't resist making them pop out more with the piping. So good luck on your next one!

  2. This has come out as a really great hoodie! The piped pockets are cool and I loove your twill tape. I can’t wait to sew this up - it sounds like I will learn things as well as end up with a good hoodie.

    1. Hi Lyndle - thanks so much :) Yes, the pattern is a good one in that you will definitely learn something by following the directions. Adding the piping was a little fiddly, but it makes for a fun pop. I hope you enjoy making your own hoodie!


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