How are the holidays shaping up around your place? We have been enjoying our travels, spending Thanksgiving in Phoenix with friends before heading back to Southern California for Christmas. We have always missed that “neighborhood” feeling at home, with kids running around and playing together, but we sure have found it down here amidst the palm trees!
(A Gluten Free Thanksgiving in Mesa, AZ)
The weather has been absolutely gorgeous (with the exception of one severe windstorm), but it does get a little cool in the evenings, so I’ve been craving a couple new hoodies. The New Horizons Kenai Hoodie looked like a fun and unique pattern, with its crossover front, welt pocket options and hood, so I jumped into the test and sewed myself a couple!
You’ll notice that my color palette is tending toward more neutrals, and that’s because of my extreme capsule wardrobe- I have three drawers, and a 12″ space for hanging for every piece of clothing I own, so it’s important that things be able to mix and match as much as possible. I did my best before we left “home” to pare down to the basics, but even so, I’m finding that making new items inevitably means I’ll have to shed a couple, and I’m ok with that. Since we still have a home base, I’m able to ship things back that I think I’ll want later, and there’s always families around for those times when I’d prefer to just donate. Some of Sophia’s old clothes have already gone onto new homes, and it’s really satisfying to see items I’ve sewn being enjoyed by another wearer (rather than just thrown away by Goodwill, which I think is the unfortunate fate of many of the hand sewn items the receive).
Version 1: Hacci Sweaterknit
My first Kenai hoodie was made with hacci sweaterknit from Surge Fabrics- a purchase from a year or two ago, that just never quite made it to the top of the pile, despite its softness and lovely drape. The sides of the Kenai are gathered, so you don’t want to use too thick of a fabric, and the hacci was a good fit in this regard.
I lined the hood (there is a facing option, if you are short on fabric), but had to “play” with the grainline a bit on the lining to squeeze my Kenai out of 2.5 yards. If there’s one fault with this pattern its that it is a total fabric hog- and I was lucky to have this larger piece in my stash, as I usually just order in 1-2 yard increments at most.
Version 2: Polartec Powerstretch Fleece
Color-blocking is another way to get the Kenai out of shorter fabric cuts- and my second version was made from Polartec from the Fabric Fairy. The black was a polartec wool from a year ago, but the grey is a current offering, and has a really lovely heathered color (it looks like it’s currently sold out, but I’m sure it will be back!). Fabric Fairy also sells flat drawcord in a variety of colors, and I used grey. I reverse coverstitched my seams for a more athletic effect, and skipped the pockets, which I’m now regretting, because a girl ALWAYS needs more pockets.
The pattern also includes a really fun thumbhole cuff, which I’m sure will find its way onto other hoodies (or perhaps another Kenai?). In truth, things have been so crazy with work and travel that I wasn’t sure my brain could wrap its way around the cuffs at the moment, but I believe there is a video coming out soon that should help boost my confidence.
This pattern runs pretty true to size, and but it is a looser fit than the TAMI or the Summit Peak, so if you want a snugger fit in the crossover, you might want to size down. I felt like this sizing was good if I wanted to wear a tank underneath, but if you want a crossover that isn’t going to open up at all, a smaller size would be recommended. This pattern would also be really lovely in Bamboo, or Bamboo/Spandex knit- the drape would be just divine!
Oh, and I should mention I actually made my first handmade gift of the season- a pocket pillow pal for my daughter! I am not usually very good about sewing gifts, but its really important with our limited space that all gifts have a purpose, and if it does its job correctly, this pocket pillow will help me avoid the ‘pajamas on the floor’ problem.
Don’t worry, it will come with a child training manual too (lol). In all likelihood, the pajamas AND the pillow will both end up on the floor, but since they were made with love, maybe it won’t be so annoying?
All fabrics for this project were sourced from JoAnns, and a couple more for my twins (the dragon iteration this time!) will follow. If you’re planning on making one of these cuties, please do yourself a favor and just flip the pocket inside out to machine sew the bottom closed, rather than hand sewing it- by the time I got done with that blasted horn, I was fed up with hand sewing, and was relieved to find this alternative!
I also took a few minutes to make some Christmas themed pillow covers to complete our holiday decorations- pillow covers are so easy and quick to make, and they really brought the space together.
So, if you need us, we will be prepping for the holidays with sewing, cookie decorating (in our swimsuits, because Palm Springs!), and lots of fun crafts (which are thankfully provided by the resort, so I don’t have to source all those little pieces!)
So. Many. Sprinkles. Went onto this cookie.
Do you have any handmade gifts on your list? I’d love to hear about what you’re making or how you’re getting into the holiday spirit this year!