I am being so practical at the moment. Feeling a strong inclination to lie on the couch under a blanket all day, I have made myself something slightly more suitable for day wear than my pyjamas and dressing gown, which is what I really feel like wearing around the house (with woolly socks - it was -2 degrees C last night, and we do not have central heating).
The pattern is modified from Ottobre 05-2010-18.
I lengthened it to a mid-thigh tunic so that I can wear close fitting yoga pants underneath and not hold my stomach in. I also made a square shoulder adjustment, but otherwise made the garment according to my measurements on Ottobre's sizing scale. It is a good fit for an overgarment. I am wearing it here over a merino wrap top.I did not have to shorten the sleeves, which is unusual for me.
The fabric is Polartech100 from Milldirect textiles. I had to buy this with the powerstretch for my running gear, because all fabric collectors know that if you only buy one piece of fabric from a particualr vendor, it will get lonely in the box and might wither away before it gets to you.
The Polartech100 is very stretchy. The pattern calls for softshell fleece, which in my experience is thicker, more firm on the right side, and much less stretchy than the fabric I used. This may be part of the trouble I had with this pattern. I used a stretch needle, a walking foot, and 3 step zig-zag at 1.0x1.0mm for all stretch seams and straight stitch for all woven seams. The hems were coverstitched.
Part of the reason for choosing this pattern was the zipped welt pockets at belly level. There is a single internal kangaroo pouch pocket at this level, with the welts and pocket using cotton poplin fabric.
After my trouble with inserting exposed zips to the yoga pants, I wanted to see if adding a woven fabric to the zip application would make the sewing easier. Unfortunately, I did not find this to be the case. I used a thinnish cotton (with eyelet embroidery) for the pockets. I liked how this fabric scrap co-ordinated with the fleece, and thought the textured fabric due to the eyelet embroidery would look better than something more crisp once the garment had been through the washing machine. I did not use an iron, but fingerpressed the fabric, as I did not want to risk melting the polar fleece. This made it very difficult to keep the welts even, and the pocket opening rectangular. If I was to make this garment again, I would use another layer of woven fabric or stay tape for the edges of the pocket before applying the welts.
The Ottobre instructions for applying the pocket to the welt involve twice stitching in the ditch of the welt seams, and afterwards sewing the inside pocket to the free edges of the seam allowances of the welt after topstitching. I found the 1cm seam allowances called for in the pattern left very little room after the turn of fabric from polar fleece, and 3 layers of cotton woven fabric. If I were to make this garment again, I would increase the seam allowance for the pocket welts.
I found that the pocket pieces were too small for my front piece, and had to recut. This, of course, may have been my error in either marking the welts, or tracing.
I do not really like the hang of the garment with the internal kangaroo pocket. It can bind across the stomach. I would either use stretch fabric, or make two separate pockets if I was to repeat the garment.
I used only one invisible zip at the neck. By the time I got up to the neck I was not very happy with the garment, and did not want to waste 2 zips, should it proove unwearable. I did not stabilize the edge, wanting my zip to truly be invisible, and not feeling that polarfleece + stabilizing fabric would turn nicely, and naturally found that this meant the neck seamlines did not match across the zip.This annoyed me even more when I found that I could easily slip on the garment over my head without undoing the neck zip at all.
I chose not to unpick, and embellished the neck seam with a wide machine embroidery stitch, starting above the lower seam, and finishing below the highter seam, to give an illusion of seam matching. I felt better after this :).
I fully lined the hood, not being fond of exposed raw seams.
I particularly dislike the hood. It is ill-fitting and unflattering when worn on the head.
It is a bit sad that my secret flower applique that can only be seen when the hood is up will never be visible. Sigh. If I were to make the garment again, I would draft a new hood.