Guys! I successfully sewed up another German pattern! (I still did spend an awful amount of time translating and re-reading through the instructions and wondering, can I really sew this up without making a muslin and get it done quickly??!). (My first German pattern is over here).
This one is the FeeFeeFashion Hoody Filou (kids) available on the German version of Makerist. I picked it up during the Makerist sale a few months ago.
About the Fabric
The fabric might look familiar to you too. I used this same design (called “Stained Glass Roses”) to make a swimsuit for my daughter last Spring. It’s available again as a flash pre-order from Beanpop Fabrics, with the round closing this coming Friday (October 20)! This Cotton Lycra is beautiful to sew with and it’s a great weight for making hoodies, t-shirts, leggings, underwear, etc! Sew all the things ya’ll! This design is available in French Terry, Stretch Woven, UV Swim, Bamboo Lycra, and Cotton Lycra. All substrates are CPSIA/CPSC compliant.
One great thing about this print is there are SO many coordinate options! Purple, black, white, magenta, yellow, green, orange or blue! For mine, I used a purple and black from my stash (sorry, not sure of brands on these ones).
About the Pattern
The FeeFeeFashion Hoody Filou comes in sizes 80-158cm (sizing is by height), and there’s also a women’s version available. There are options with or without a hood, a collar option (you can opt for standalone collar or collar with hood), 2 different neck panels (the one pictured and a creased version), and 2 different pocket options (slanted or rounded – or no pocket). There’s also instructions for making a thumbhole in the cuff but it was 1:15am by the time I was at this point, and I was eager to get to bed!
European patterns are sized according to height. The pattern does not include any information on waist/chest/hip sizes. The instructions said that if your child was on the skinny side, to go one size down and then add 2cm in length. For my skinny and tall 6 year old, I did a size 110 and lengthened it by 2cm at the pocket and bodice pieces. The fit is actually spot on! *phew*
The pattern actually came together pretty easily. The directions were generally quite clear in telling you which steps to do when and how. My greatest struggle was getting the binding around the front insert and hood in properly. As it is, I think I need to have stretched the binding around the lower corners of the insert so that it would naturally fold into the insert. I’ll try that next time!
Tips on Translating and Tracing
I spent the better part of one evening translating everything with the translate function in my web browser – this is a piecemeal process of copy and pasting fragments of text and then using the text overlay tool in Acrobat to drop the translation in over the existing text. After that, I printed out the pattern (it’s made for A4 but it easily worked on my Letter sized paper) and after trimming, taping, and highlighting the size lines that I needed, I traced it out on medical exam paper. I use Saral Paper* and my double tracing wheel* to add the seam allowances to the pattern pieces before cutting them out from the paper. I spent the following night cutting into my fabric and getting it all sewn up! That part took about 4-5 hours.
About the Grommets
One exciting thing about this pattern is that I was able to break in my early birthday/Christmas present from my parents – a snap/grommet/rivet press! No matter what I do, I cannot get plastic KAM snaps or metal grommets to set with hand tools – they end up just looking like a hot mess – so I was pretty eager to get a table press instead. I LOVE THIS THING! It sets grommets like a dream!! (Yes, all future projects on my blog might feature grommets hahahaha). I haven’t yet bought the rivet dies for it – KAM currently don’t sell them, but I’ve heard you can pick them up on eBay.
And if you are setting grommets in knits, a word of advice – woven stabilizer is your friend! You do not want that grommet area to stretch at all, otherwise the grommet will fall out. I used Pellon SF101 behind mine, and used a square of cotton lycra on the top side to give extra stability and visual interest. I also added some Fray Check* behind the grommet before I pressed it, just in case!
If you’d like to get started with sewing German patterns, I highly recommend joining the Facebook group, “International Knit Sew-Alongs“.
Have you braved the world of German language sewing patterns yet? Sound off in the comments below!