I bought just one pattern in the Black Friday sales last year: it’s the Style Arc Kennedy, and it made the list after I spotted the flannel one Meg from Cookin’ & Craftin’ gave her sister. I wanted that one, so I made…basically just that one! And honestly, I am feeling it! The coziness is high!
I’ve sewn one Style Arc pattern before – a baseball cap – and was surprised then by the terse instructions. This time, I actually found the brevity refreshing. There’s plenty of notches, a few sentences of description, and a “deep dive” into a step or two, but mostly I felt freed to sew this relatively simple garment in my own way without having to constantly return to a booklet. Style Arc also includes a nice clear line drawing showing where to topstitch (though not when). I didn’t actually notice this line drawing for a long time, so I didn’t get the benefit of its information until I was nearly finished with the hoodie, but I still like it!
It did make clear my real dingleberry moment, though – I sewed the kangaroo pocket flap upside-down. I like the shape as designed better (narrowing towards the bottom), but not enough to unpick two lines of topstitching, a sewn seam, a serged edge, and the flap itself.
I topstitched twice because while the directions said to press the horizontal front seam up and topstitch once, the bulky layers of seam allowances where the plackets overlap said to me in clear English, “Lia, if you try to press us up, WE WILL FIGHT YOU”. So I pressed the seam allowances down instead and topstitched them while avoiding the pocket flap, then pressed the pocket flap down and topstitched that edge too.
My experience with this pattern was almost identical to Meg’s – I too found there was too much ease in the dropped-shoulder sleeve cap, I too sewed the front plackets my own way (like these cuffs, but with only one finished short end), I too omitted the bottom hem hardware (though I put in a smidgeroo of 1″ wide elastic). I also followed Meg’s advice and halved the interfacing at the front plackets and cuffs. And, since she mentioned her concern about the kangaroo pocket openings stretching, I sewed mine as a double-turned hem instead of a single-fold.
My interior seams are serged. Style Arc does instruct you to attach the hood in two passes that result in a clean turned finish at the neck, which is great, because I was gonna do that anyway! I don’t like serging that’s visible on the hanger.
Something went hinky at the cuffs, though! I could have used a little extra info there. For one thing, I couldn’t figure out how to turn the little extensions that are meant to replace a sleeve tower placket and end up with both a clean finish AND an overlap at the wrist. Ultimately I chose clean, which means those edges meet but don’t overlap; I eventually whipstitched them shut so no breezes would find their way into my soft flannel sleeves. Also, my cuffs were shorter than my sleeve openings! I bunged in a pleat per sleeve. I guessed wrong which side of the sleeve to bung it into, but as Lancelot underwhelmingly remarks, tirra lirra.
I ended up with buttons instead of snaps because I was tired of ordering things, but if the etsy shop where I had purchased my other hardware had also sold snaps, I would have used them as directed. I was happy with their prices and shipping, and grabbed some extra cord ends for future drawstrings, too.
I do love a bit of hardware – it makes clothes look so official! I love it even though I struggled to get the paracord through the squeezy-toggle holes (I tried holding the toggle open with one hand and smushing the cord through with a bamboo skewer in the other, but it was a no-go). Then Professor Boyfriend had a suggestion of, I think, tenure-track brilliance: use Scotch tape to make little plastic aglets for the end of the cord. Trivially easy to thread through the holes with that addition!
A word of caution about the hood: it’s graded. I sewed a size 12, but I can see in my multisize pattern that it keeps…getting…bigger! And that puppy ain’t small to start with!
I thought about lining my hood in (faux) shearling instead of flannel, but this project was already getting spendy, and it would just get fully imbued with shed hair anyway.
Plus this flannel is SO SOFT. It’s Kaufman of course; it’s their Shetland Speckle, and my only possible criticism is that I wish it was much wider. I used 3 yards of the 45” wide fabric for this project, with 7″ full width left over, but I was no respecter of the grain. Unlike the herringbone flannel, there’s no directional pattern preventing the use of the cross-grain. I think 3 yards of either would still be enough for a size 12 though.
This garment might not offer glamour, elegance, and style, but I’ve worn it more days than I haven’t since sewing on the last button! I feel like an enamel camping dish, in the best way. Given that current weather predictions for my area include a low of -7°F (that’s almost -14°C!), I see no reason to take it off anytime soon!
Pattern: Style Arc Kennedy
Pattern cost: $8.95
Supplies: 3 yards of Shetland Speckle Flannel in Navy, Hawthorne Supply Co., $39.10; toggles, end caps, paracord; MergePatternsNCrafts (etsy); buttons, Michael’s, $17.05
Total time: 9.75 hours
Total cost: $65.10