Beach Towel Hoody (BS Baha Hoody)

IMG_1187My little guy (3.5 years) is taking swimming lessons.  Outside in February.  The pool is heated (hot) but the air temps are in the 50s and 60s (I know, that’s balmy for many of you) and class is at sunset.  When he gets out of the pool he’s shaking like a leaf!  All the kids line up for cookies afterward wrapped head to toe in towels, and the instructors place cookies in their mouths like they are baby birds.  The little guy needed free hands and the ability to walk quickly to get inside to the shower.IMG_1183

I’ve had the Blank Slate Baja Hoody in my stash for some time – I wanted to make it for beach trips. But he needed it now!  So we went to Bed, Bath and Beyond, and he chose an over-sized beach towel that he liked.  Fun!  A beach towel?  One of the suggestions from the pattern (and messy, like all terry, to sew with, btw).

I made 4T, which is what he wears in RTW.  It fits fine, but it would be easier for him to put it on if I sized up (to be fair, he was rushing to put it on).  I liked that he chose a stripe – it gave me practice with matching stripes.

IMG_1186The pattern is super easy to make, and the directions are very detailed (except the way she has you attach the hood, but that could be me).  I made this in an evening.

I did a few things differently:

  • I eliminated the center front seam, and cut on the fold.  This made matching stripes easier and simplified the pattern. This meant that I now needed to do a bound slit for the neck opening.
  • I cut the pattern so the lower hem was the towel hem – I also lengthened the top by three inches to help give more warmth.   Doing the towel hem made sense – simplified the sewing, taking advantage of a pre-existing feature. (This does mean that you are ignoring nap for the front and back).
  • I lengthened the sleeves out to the towel sides – again to take advantage of the pre-existing selvedge.  I got lucky – perfect length to make this his size as a long-sleeved top.
  • I didn’t have double-fold bias tape on hand (as recommended by the directions), so I used one inch twill tape to finish the edges.  This came out okay.  Better than the tape, but marginally.
  • Placed the pocket to have horizontal stripes against the vertical.

IMG_1188A few things I would do differently next time (because there will be several more next times):

  • I would do the pocket differently.  I didn’t practice how I would do the twill tape, so it’s off.  I would finish the sides of the pocket with binding, but not the bottom edge. Not sure how I would attach the pocket, but differently, to get a better, more professional result.
  • I would practice the bound slit!  This looks fine in the pictures, but I know it will fall apart in the wash eventually.
  • Consider a button/loop closure at the neckline (for warmth).
  • Instead of lengthening the sleeve by extending the pattern, consider making regular sleeves, trimming up the body (have the shoulders extended, but not fully as in the pattern), and setting the new sleeves in flat.
  • Cut in a single layer layout (with terry and the thickness).

IMG_1189I like sewing for him, especially since the indie companies don’t ignore little boys.  It’s got me thinking that perhaps I should buy a serger (for easier seam finishes.)IMG_1182

We took the pictures inside, as it was pouring rain outside (and we still had practice outside). I also took them with my phone, so the quality is not as I would have liked. (Didn’t want to bring the nice camera out in the weather or to a pool).

All in all, I’m pleased with the result, even though I know all the flaws.  I feel pretty good about my almost perfectly matched stripes.  The little guy loves it (or at least the hood and pocket).  And my husband said, “that looks good, really really good.”

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