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Princess Hoodie: Rapunzel'sTower Couture (1 of 2)

February 3, 2013

A little more than a year ago, I posted a hoodie project based on Snow White. Since then, I've had a number of requests for a breakdown on how I adapted the look of the costume into a jacket, so I thought I'd make another cozy princess hoodie -- this time Rapunzel -- and share the steps with you.

First, I made rough (and I do mean rough) sketches of my ideas. This just helps me plot a course for where I want to go -- I rarely get more detailed than this when sketching out a project like this one.

1-rapunzel.jpgFor patterns, I used on old McCall's activewear pattern for the front, back and long sleeves (it's my go-to zip-up jacket pattern), and the Simplicity Snow White/Cinderella offering for the puff sleeve, which I make as an overlay onto the longer sleeve. If you have a favorite hoodie pattern, I encourage you to stick with it and adapt as needed. A good pattern is like an old friend!

2-rapunzel.jpgOnce my jacket pattern was cut, but before I started any real assembly, I went ahead and applied the sun motif to the back of the jacket. Fleece-on-fleece applique can be a little tricky, and I didn't want to cut a bazillion small pieces out for this one, as it only increases the odds of distortion, so I opted to stitch the design on as one large piece, and then create the lines of separation with stitching.

First, I created a black-and-white version of the image, set a piece of yellow fleece on top of it, and gently traced the design with a pink highlighter. I like using highlighters for this purpose because the ink rinses off easily.

3-rapunzel.jpgOnce my outlines were in place on the yellow fleece, I centered the design on the back jacket section, and straight stitched it into place, being careful not to distort the fabric as I went. You'll notice that I haven't cut my design down to shape at this point -- I find it easier to leave extra fabric, then trim it away later.

4-rapunzel.jpgAfter my straight stitching was complete, I went over the entire design with a satin stitch.

5-rapunzel.jpgLast, I trimmed the excess fabric away from the design, leaving about a 1/16-inch edge outside the stitching.


7-rapunzel.jpgNext up: prepping the sleeves. First, I marked a line along the long sleeve as a guide for stitching my shorter puff sleeve in place. This line has to be high enough that the shorter sleeve will have a little bit of pouf to it. It will be clearer when you see the next three photos.

8-rapunzel.jpgTo prep my shorter puff sleeve, I first stitched grosgrain ribbon onto it vertically in regular intervals, to mimic the striping on Rapunzel's outfit.

9-rapunzel.jpgThen, I gathered the puff sleeve to the width of the line I marked on the long sleeve, and stitch the bottom edge of the puff sleeve down, right sides together, along the line I marked in the longer sleeve.

10-rapunzel.jpgThe puff sleeve was then flipped up so the top edges of both sleeve sections matched (I had to gather my puff sleeve a little bit along the top), and basted together. From this point, you can treat it just like the regular sleeve of your pattern and inset as normal into the body of the jacket.

11-rapunzel.jpgAnd speaking of the body of the jacket, it was time to get it ready to receive those sleeves! My pattern has a two-piece front, so I cut it as normal and assembled the front pieces. BUT, before I went any further, I altered the shoulder and neckline. I cut the shoulder a little narrower and extended the opening of the neckline down just a bit. This ensures that the puff sleeve sits at a more flattering angle (I mentioned in the Snow White post that if you don't alter the armsceye this way, the puff sleeve does some very unflattering things to your silhouette), and also adds a more feminine line at the neck.

12-rapunzel.jpgAfter the front sections were trimmed to my satisfaction, I marked the positioning for the eyelets and ribbon that create the faux lacing along the front. I marked both where the eyelets needed to be set, and also where the ribbons needed to cross at the front edge where the zipper would insert to create proper X lacing.

13-rapunzel.jpgI set in the eyelets and then cut ribbon pieces for the decorative lacing, looping them through the eyelets.

14-rapunzel.jpgNext, I basted the criss-crosses in place along the front edge. Remember, the center of the X needs to be at the line where the fabric will be folded as the zipper is set in, not the edge of the fabric.

15-rapunzel.jpgAfter my basting was in place, I attached the separating zipper to each front, being careful to keep my ribbon in place.

16-rapunzel.jpgOnce the second side of my zipper was in place, I stitched the fronts to the back and set in the sleeves, just as you would for any jacket assembly. Almost there!

17-rapunzel.jpgAnd then, to finish things off, I added a bit of eyelet at the sleeve and neck openings.

And she's ready to leave to leave the tower and explore the world.

BUT WAIT! This is a hoodie project! Tune in to the next installment, where I'll create a button-in hood that mimics Rapunzel's famous long hair. (It does double duty as a scarf!)

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This page contains a single entry by Holly Frey published on February 3, 2013 4:59 PM.

Quick Giant Knit Monster was the previous entry in this blog.

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