Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sewing on a Budget - Boy's Sweatshirt

After taking a break over the summer holidays, I'm back to blogging for Abakhan's Creative Budget Challenge. This month I decided to make a sweatshirt for my son. My two older boys go to a school where they don't need uniforms, so they wear more casual clothes instead. Abakhan Fabrics have a great offer on acrylic/fleece fabric, so I thought I would try sewing a sweatshirt. They also have some great tips for sewing with fleece on their website

As the challenge is to sew on a budget, I was aware of keeping all related costs to a minimum. The pattern is from a US sewing magazine Interweave Stitch, which can be expensive, especially if shipping charges are included, but luckily the patterns are also sold separately. This pullover/sweatshirt pattern is from the Fall 2010 magazine, but sells for $6 / £ 3.70 if downloaded alone as an e-pattern


Before cutting out, I compared the pattern to a sweatshirt my son wears a lot. I then sized up the pattern (by one size) and added about 5cm extra to the length.

I simplified the pattern by sewing the neck opening first, omitting the collar and facing and instead bound the neckline and sleeves with cotton tape. The sweatshirt is self-lined so that it would be warm and that the inside would feel as good as the outside.

It sewed up really quickly, less than 2 hours from pattern tracing to binding. In fact I sewed it so fast, I forgot to trim the seam allowances at the armholes, which accounts for some puckering there - though it doesn't seem to be evident when worn.



It's the first time I have used cotton tape, and I was pleased with how it worked. Though bias is usually better on curved seams, the tape has a loose weave, so sewed perfectly to the curved neckline.


Not including the pattern and the cotton tape, the cost was:

1.5 m acrylic fleece - £8.63/3= £2.88


If I include the pattern $6 = £3.70

and the cotton tape .5 m = £0.07

The costs were as follows: £6.65

A fleece sweatshirt, sewn at home, for approx £7 is incredible value!

There was a lot of funny posing went on while trying to get these pictures, he was delighted to get something made for him.


I still have 2 more 1.5 m pieces of fabric left. The boys won't be rushing to wear pink or neon green, so I will just have to make sweatshirts for my daughter and myself!




(The fabric for this sweatshirt was chosen by me and supplied by Abakhan Fabrics, free, as part of their challenge to sew on a budget)


Pin It Now!  


  1. The twill tape on the neck edge and sleeve hems is a nice touch! Your son seems to like it, so it is a winner all around!

    1. Thanks, Karin, I really like how the tape looks too :-)

  2. It's a great pullover...looks like it'll be nice and warm!

    1. Thanks, Cindy, it's very cosy with the 2 layers. Their school is in a very old building, so he'll need every bit of heat!!