My husband wanted a fleece top for hiking, and had a few specifics in mind. He wanted a partial zip front and a closer fit through the body. We started by using the pattern we used for the Cat Man Fleece, Simplicity 4889 and by using the lobster fabric. As a side note, there are not weird wrinkles in the top - I just snapped the photo a little earlier than expected.
The lobster fabric is a total disaster - the waffle knit really, really stretches and is not as firm as some waffle knits I've encountered. That trial run will be lining a trash can soon - coincidentally tomorrow is trash day in my town. Initially, I thought a large would be the correct size since he has recently lost some weight. Not so, as this pattern is designed with a lot of ease. At least the lobster fabric provided us with the information that a large is still too large for this type of top. After taking measurements, and comparing them to the finished garment measurements listed on the pattern pieces, we decided that a medium would be the right size with the right amount of ease.
I constructed the top up to the collar in the fleece and had him try it on - perfect! I also pinned up the hems and we adjusted the neckline a little to follow his neckline a bit better.
I then went about adding a collar and zipper to a pattern which originally didn't have either item. I had pretty much decided how I was going to do this, and decided to do a little research to make sure I wasn't crazy. Thankfully, the good old Reader's Digest Guide to Sewing has directions for *exactly* this sort of collar and zipper finish - and even in a stretch fabric. I mostly followed the directions with a few changes and ended up with this collar and zipper:
The only change I made to the RD directions was to add a bit of bias tape to the facing at the neckline to finish it nicely and cover the seam allowances:
To finish the hems, I did a wide coverstitch with the coverstitch machine:
He's really happy with it and maybe he'll get to try it out this weekend if the weather is nice! He's also said not to be surprised if he comes home with more fleece and zippers.
Parting Shot: Secret Code. My son loves those old Hardy Boys books and so do his friends. They've even got a club and secret code made up for themselves.