Ottobre Kelopuu hoodie

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It’s not Wednesday, but today I’m wearing pink.

My latest make is a hooded zip-up sweatshirt. Comfort sewing at its finest.

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The pattern

I was given a 12-month subscription to Finnish magazine Ottobre Woman a few years back and this pattern caught my eye straight away because of the asymmetric zip. It’s from issue 5/2014 Autumn/Winter and yes, you do have to trace off the pattern pieces from a kerr-azily nested sheet. But there are only eight pieces, and although the instructions are fairly minimal it’s not too tough to put together.

If you’re a beginner though, it would definitely help if you’ve made another knit garment before this one. And one or two things haven’t translated perfectly from the Finnish – for example, the pattern says ‘grommets’ but I’m fairly certain they mean eyelets.

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The fabric and supplies

I took a trip up to Guthrie and Ghani in Birmingham to find the right fabric for this, as the pattern recommends something with 20% stretch and I wanted to make sure it had that, and that it was the right weight for a sweatshirt.

I picked out this magenta sweatshirting (out of stock at time of writing, although they do still have other colourways) which has a very narrow grey stripe running across it for £15.50/m. I bought 2.2m for the size 42 and there was a bit left over as it’s lovely and wide.

The contrast zip was from Empress Mills – it matches the cord eyelets, and I used cream twill tape from my stash to finish the edges neatly inside.

Fit

Curvy Sewing Collective says Ottobre is drafted to fit a B/C cup size, so in a comfy sweatshirt I decided just to go by my full bust measurement and not bother sizing down and doing an FBA up to a D. I *always* add length to pattern bodices, but this one was long enough without that. I did add a bit to the sleeve length so to stay cosy in winter.

I totally forgot about grading out at the hip, so it’s ended up a little tight there, but never mind!

Construction

You have to be super-careful to line up the bottom edges of the zip, and the cuff edges but other than that, it’s not too tricky.

The minimal instructions, and especially the lack of diagrams, were a worry, but actually I managed without problems – even with the single welt pockets. I can recommend thoroughly interfacing the parts suggested, and I did have to guess how to fully close up the pockets, but apart from that it came together fine. I had one wobble near the end where I couldn’t work out how to finish the front edge that doesn’t have the zip, but eventually I realised it didn’t much matter which side I attached the twill tape to.

The verdict

Estimated cost: £40

I’d make this again in a heartbeat if I can justify a second one – probably in this lush heather fleece-backed sweatshirting. The only change I’d make would be to re-work the hood into three pieces to give a less-pixie-like shape and to use a larger eyelet so I could have more options for the cord. Or  I might even skip the cord and eyelets altogether – what do you think?

If you’re looking for a hoodie pattern but kangaroo pockets and standard centre-front zips are too middle of the road for you, then this pattern offers something a bit out of the ordinary without losing the comfort factor.

[And in case you were wondering, Google translate tells me that kelopuu means ‘dead wood’ in English.]

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