Winter Wardrobe No. 3 Zippered Sweatshirt

Today I'm excited to share number 3 on my DIY Winter Wardrobe list, the zippered sweatshirt. The inspiration for this item came from a few places. First, I've noticed a lot of cool sweatshirts in stores lately as well as unique zipper details. Next, I found this amazing Japanese knit. Visions of zippers, sweatshirts and lounge pants danced in my head. And the rest as the say is history.

I bought the fabric at The Fabric Store in LA a couple of months ago. If you haven't been and are in the area, I highly recommend checking it out. They have a really inspiring selection of fabrics. Also, make sure to sign up for their mailing list and they'll send you info on special sales. And while I'm talking about the fabric, I have to mention, you should check out The Fabric Store's blog. They have some seriously amazing sewn items over there – very inspirational and very well styled.

Next I needed to find some zippers. I found this little 6 inch separating zippers in white at a fabric and notions store in downtown LA. I'm afraid I can't remember the name, but it's on 9th, around the corner from Michael Levine and has a literal rainbow of zippers way in the back. If you are a zipper fiend, this place will make you think you died and went to zipper heaven.

I drafted this pattern from a sweater I own using the rub-off method (see here and here). I was a little nervous about the pattern so I made a muslin using some bargain bin knit fabric I had laying around. To sew the basic muslin only took about 20 minutes – so much faster than the real deal! Satisfied with the muslin's fit, I moved on to my fashion fabric.

The fabric is lovely and beautiful and I totally swoon for it. But it does tend to stretch out, as knits tend to do. Thus, I had difficulty finding the straight of grain. But I folded and finagled and cut out my fabric pieces. Being without a pattern, I very thoughtfully wrote down each step I needed to take. It involved a lot of moving back and forth between the serger and regular machine. I started by sewing the back raglan seams and finishing the front raglan seams.

Next, I added a contrast triangle to the front neck edge. I did some experimented and decided that I liked the look of a serged edge and reverse side of the fabric. I added some interfacing to the triangle and top stitched in place with a walking foot.

Then, I finished the neck edges with a folded over strip of fabric. I'm afraid this is the only step where I went awry. I probably should have used a smaller length of binding for the neck edge and stretched it to fit as the neck seems to  have stretched a bit. Of course I was too obstinate to fix it and told myself the stretched out neck gave it a very becoming Flashdance feel.

So, moving on, I adhered small strips of interfacing to the front raglan seams and attached my zippers. I left a little gap at the bottom of the zipper because I couldn't sew with my machine across the bottom of the zipper and then I liked how it looked with a gap. Finally I stitched the side seams and did the hems. Really not a bad way to spend a peaceful Sunday at home listening to NPR.

So, what do you think of my creation? Is the neckline ok? You do agree that the fabric is pretty amaze-balls right? I have some fabric leftover and I'm thinking about making shorts or pants – if I have enough fabric. Here I'm wearing the sweatshirt with NYDJ pantsthese earrings and ballet flats (similar here). This post is already super long but I want to mention the pants. I found them at the Nordstrom Rack for a pretty good price and I LOVE the fit. The waistline is kind of high (a la Mom Jeans) but they are so comfortable and flattering. I would definitely buy them again, especially if I find them on sale in a blue denim.