I love the Donna zip-up, but I wanted to switch it up a little. With just a few adjustments, I made it a 1/4 zip-up instead of the full zipper and it is exactly what I was hoping for. You can do this too, just follow along with me.
- Donna sweatshirt jacket pattern printed and assembled
- All supplies listed in the Donna tutorial
- 9″-12″ zipper instead of the length listed in the tutorial
- Small piece of coordinating fabric for zipper facing (approximately 2″ X 14″
After all of your pattern pieces are cut out and ready to go we need to adjust the hood just a bit. You want to keep the neckline the same length as it is made to fit the bodice as is, so we are just going to extend the height a bit and square it to make the zipper installation easier.
- Tape a small piece of paper to the front neckline section of the hood piece.
- Measure up from the drawstring hole marking 1/4″ and draw a horizontal line straight out.
- From the bottom point of the hood, draw a vertical line straight up to meet the previously drawn horizontal line.
- Trim off the excess paper.
Finding Your Zipper Length
You would typically use a 9″- 12″ zipper for a 1/4 zip pullover depending on the size you are making and how low you want it to unzip. To determine your length, measure the height of the small section you added to the neckline of the hood plus how far down you want it to unzip on the bodice. You want the zipper to extend a little past the length you want it to unzip. It’s easy to shorten your zipper, so if you are unsure, error on the side of too long. (I will explain how to shorten a zipper later.) For mine, the hood section is 2″ tall, and I want it to unzip 6 1/2″ down the bodice. The total length is 8 1/2″, so I shortened my zipper to 9″ long.
Cutting Your Fabric
- Front bodice: Cut on the fold (instead of cutting two mirrored images.)
- Hem band: Cut the back portion of the band per the chart in the tutorial. For the front band, the chart shows to cut two separate pieces. Instead, add the length in the chart together and cut it as one piece.
- Pocket: If you are making a kangaroo pocket, cut the pattern piece on the fold (instead of two mirrored pieces.)
- Zipper facing: Take the length of your zipper and make the facing piece 1 inch longer than your zipper and 2 inches wide. You will trim off any excess fabric after attaching the zipper, so you can make it longer or wider if you feel more comfortable with that.
- Hood: Cut 2 mirrored pieces of main fabric, and 2 mirrored pieces of lining fabric.
- Cut all other pattern pieces as instructed in the tutorial.
- Find and mark the center point of both the front neckline and the zipper facing.
- Line up the marked points. Your bodice will be right side up, and the facing piece will also be right side up with its wrong side towards the bodice.
- Slide the facing piece up slightly so it extends 1/4″ above the bodice.
- Pin along the facing piece to hold it in place.
- Measure down the facing piece the length you had decided you want it to unzip and mark it.
- Draw a vertical line starting 1/2″ down from the top of the bodice down to the bottom zipper marking.
- Sew with a straight stitch 1/8″ over on both sides of the line and across the bottom marking.
- Carefully cut down the drawn line stopping 1/8″ from the bottom stitching.
- Angle out towards the corners at the bottom and cut being careful not to cut any stitching.
- Fold the facing towards the back and pin it in place. Pin the top, unsewn section of the facing down to keep it out of the way for now.
- If you are choosing to put in a drawstring, use the markings on the pattern piece and follow the tutorial to make the holes.
- Place the two main hood pieces right sides together. Pin and sew along the curved outer edge.
- Repeat with the lining pieces.
- Turn the hood lining right side out and slide it inside the main hood so the right sides are together.
- Pin and sew along the front edge and along the top of the added neck portion of the hood. Leave the front vertical section of the hood open.
- Turn right sides out and press.
Sew the Hood to the Bodice
- Before attaching the hood you need to sew your back and front bodices together.
- Line up the shoulders right sides together and sew.
- With right sides together, line up the center seam of the MAIN HOOD ONLY with the center of the back bodice and pin.
- Work your way along the bodice and continue pinning the main hood around to the front edges. Your hood should extend over the front bodice edge 1/4″ on either side because of the zipper facing being turned in on the bodice.
- Sew the main hood to the bodice making sure the hood lining is pulled up and out of the way.
- Now that the main hood is attached, take the inner edge of the neck portion of the hood, turn it in 1/4″ and pin it to hold it in place. Make sure the facing piece is laying flat and extends over the neckline seam allowance.
Attach the Zipper
- If you need to shorten your zipper, measure down to the length you need it to be. Use a needle and thread to sew a whipstitch around 8-10 times, then cut off the extra zipper 1/2″ below the stitching.
- Place wash away wondertape along the front sides of the zipper tape. (This is optional but very helpful)
- With the front bodice facing you, slide the zipper behind the facing and line up the top of the zipper teeth with the seam between the main and lining hood pieces.
- Make sure the neckline and hood seams line up are even. Pin in place if desired. Wondertape is probably enough here, but me and zippers don’t get along well so I use an excessive amount of pins and wondertape.
- Turn the bodice inside out so you can work on the zipper facing.
- Stick wondertape to the backside of the zipper tape, and fold the vertical sides of the facing over the zipper tape towards the teeth. Fold up the bottom edge of the facing and hold it in place with wondertape or pins. (It’s ok if the facing hangs over, we will trim it later.)
- Turn right side out. Optional: baste the zipper in place using a zipper foot.
- Turn the bodice right side out and fold the top of the zipper tape to the back so it will be sewn in between the main and lining of the hood.
- Fold in the bottom raw edge of the hood lining in 1/4″ so there are no visible raw edges on that section of the hood.
- Fold the hood lining down towards the inside of the bodice and sandwich the zipper tape and top of the zipper facing between the main and lining of the hood.
- Pin in place, then topstitch along both sides and the bottom of the zipper.
Finishing the Hood
- Fold the raw edge of the hood lining in 1/4″ all the way across. I like to use wash away wondertape for this.
- Again, using wash away wondertape along the inside edge of the hood lining, line up the hood edge along the seam allowance of the main hood and the bodice. Press in place with the wondertape, or pin.
- Sew along the taped (or pinned) hood edge to hide the seam allowance and attach the lining to the bodice.
- If you are putting in a drawstring, topstitch along the hood 1″ in from the outer edge.
- If you have decided to add a kangaroo pocket, this is when you should attach it. Since both the front bodice and pocket piece were cut on the fold, you will line up the center points of both to determine placement.
- Continue sewing the rest of your pieces as instructed in the tutorial until you come to the hem band.
- For the hem band, place the front and back sections right sides together and sew along the two short ends to create one big loop.
- Quarter and pin both the band and the bodice, match up the quarter marks and sew.