Thursday, November 15, 2012

Fleece Navidad

The theme of this month's This Is CorpGoth status report is What Do You Wear to Work in the Winter?   Every place I have worked, less one, has always been freezing cold.  So I'm going to cheat a little bit here, because this is something I wear year-round in the office.

McCall's 5538, view C, is the guilty party.  I chose this version because it had the full-length separating zipper, which made it easier to remove during work.  The only alteration I made was omitting the arm pocket.  The fleece I got on clearance from JoAnn's for ridiculously cheap - something like $1.50/yd.  It's snuggly and soft.

If you haven't sewn fleece before, it's a bit tricky.  Unlike cotton or satin, you don't need to finish the seams, but it is much thicker and sheds fuzz.  These lead to wearing out needles faster and clogging up the machine.  I've had cheap machines that could not get through multiple layers of fleece.  It's not a difficult fabric to work with, such as velvet is and always will be, but it can have a bit of a learning curve.  If this is your first experience with fleece, it might be wise to do some stitching tests on swatches first.

Because this pattern has options for contrast, there are more pieces to this pattern than you'd expect.  I don't think the yoke front adds too much if you don't use the contrast, especially if you have patterned fabric like I did.  I suppose it wouldn't be too much work to alter the pattern so the yoke is omitted, if you chose, but it didn't bother me enough to put forth that sort of effort.

The other feature that I like so much about this pattern (other than the full-length separating zipper) is the pockets.  My old office was so cold that I used to carry gloves around with me in one pocket and hankies in the other.  I sometimes carried around my MP3 player and snacks too.  Never underestimate the power of functional pockets.

Because this is a jacket and is meant to be worn over other clothing, this is pretty loose.  I did go up a size, in case I wore a bulky sweatshirt or something or the sort, and if I made this again, I would still do the same.  Another alteration I would make is adding elastic to the cuffs, and perhaps the bottom hem.

The zipper this pattern calls for is 30 inches, which is several inches too long for the size I made.  I found that quite odd, so you might want to sew the majority of the jacket, measure, and then purchase a zipper accordingly.  I imagine the length difference would matter less in one of the larger sizes.

Overall rating: though I have several fleece jackets I rotate though at work, this one is my favorite.  I have some pumpkin fleece sitting in my stash that is waiting to be sewn into another version of this.  So if you don't have any problems sewing fleece, this pattern can be tackled by a beginner.


  1. That's adorable! And totally practical - love that.

    I haven't sewn fleece, but I've sewn faux fur & it sounds similar. Tons of fuzz, very thick. Annoying, but not exactly difficult. Just slow :)

    1. Faux fur is worse than fleece, IMHO. I avoid faux fur whenever I can; fleece is more of a "I'll use flannel if it's feasible, otherwise, I'll settle for this".

      Thanks for doing the mid-month status reports. I really enjoy participating in these sorts of things.

  2. I've only sewn fleece a couple of times when the kids were small and needed jackets. If I'd ever been able to find fleece like this, I'm pretty sure I'd have made something for myself, too! It's gorgeous! :D

    1. I've seen this pop up on eBay occasionally, though it doesn't seem to be available ATM. There are some other fantastic skull options though:

  3. Amazing fabric! It took a while before I saw the skulls. You will look very cool in it!