My Itch to Stitch Nazare Zip-up Hoodie in an Activewear Knit

Zip-up knit jackets are a stable in my workout wear.  To be honest, the ones I wear most often were  purchased about ten years ago from either Costco or Sam's Club.  They've served me well, and I've never had a burning desire to sew myself one. 

Until Itch to Stitch released the Nazare Zip-Up Hoodie pattern,  That indie pattern company is one of my favorites, and when she put out a tester call I signed up.

Itch to Stitch Nazare Zip-up Hoodie in Activewear Knit Sharon Sews

I liked the lines of the pattern, thinking it would be great fun to do colorblocking. 

Well, as you can see, THAT didn't happen. Best laid plans and all that.   

Let me explain.  The pattern calls for a 22" separating zipper (for the size I sewed). I have a BOX full of zippers of all sizes and types. (I had purchased a grab bag of zippers from  Zipper Stop a few years ago.)

While I checked that I had a 22" zipper, I neglected to check that it was a separating one.  Something I discovered when I was prepared to begin stitching my jacket. 

Silly rookie mistake, but now what was I to do?

Okay, no problem. Since I live an hour away from a Joann store, I placed an order with Wawak knowing they usually fill and ship orders in one or two days.  But my order ended up delayed and wouldn't arrive until the due date of the test. 

Hmmm, it was beginning to look like I was not meant to test this pattern. 

But I still had an option (besides driving an hour to the Joann store).  In town I have access to a Walmart and a Hobby Lobby. So off I went.

Walmart did not have what I needed, but Hobby Lobby did.  There was ONE 22" separating zipper!  I quickly put it in my shopping basket before someone else spotted it and decided they needed that zipper also :-)   It wasn't the color I would have chosen, but it was "make it work" time. 

My original plan called for a pink zipper, but this zipper had a black zipper tape. That forced me to look through my fabric stash to find a knit that would work for the jacket. 

I unearthed this athletic wear knit that I purchased about six years ago from SR Harris. I remember it was labeled with a yoga wear company name, but I can't recall the name at all.  It's heavier than most activewear knits and has almost 75% stretch both ways, with great recovery.  It was so easy to sew, and next time I visit SR Harris I'm looking for more.

Itch to Stitch Nazare Zip-up Hoodie in Activewear Knit Sharon Sews

The pattern has a regular and full bust option (I sewed the full bust option), diagonal front seam lines, front pockets with curved openings, an exposed zipper, long sleeves with cuffs, a bottom band, and a two-piece hood. 

The hood is decorative, although I suppose you could add a drawstring if you wished. 

Itch to Stitch Nazare Zip-up Hoodie in Activewear Knit Sharon Sews

Most of the testers liked the length of the hoodie. I personally prefer more backside coverage and will add about two inches to the length next time. 

Itch to Stitch Nazare Zip-up Hoodie in Activewear Knit Sharon Sews

I found the pattern easy to sew, but it is rated intermediate, I believe the designer decides on the skill level based on feedback from the testers.  I've been sewing a loooooong time, so there was nothing in the instructions that I hadn't done before.  

Instead of using a narrow zig-zag stitch, I used Mettler Seraflex thread As a BERNINA Ambassador I did receive samples of this thread in my welcome kit last year. I was a bit leery about the claims that it stretches so you can use a straight stitch. 

Well, I can tell you it does! I sewed the jacket with a straight stitch, and have worn it a few times already with  no popped seams. I did find I needed to adjust my tension slightly and sew slower or the thread wouldn't go through my needle smoothly.

Itch to Stitch Nazare Zip-up Hoodie in Activewear Knit Sharon Sews
I will say there is a bit of bulk sewing the zipper where the diagonal seams intersect as well as the bottom band. I used my BERNINA height compensation tool to sew over the bulk, but a tool like a Jean-A-Ma-Jig works also. 

I never even thought about making sure the diagonal seam and the bottom band seam lined up before sewing my zipper. But everything lined up perfectly!  The seam details aren't noticeable in my fabric and I will remember to double-check next time if I use a solid color fabric. 

Itch to Stitch Nazare Zip-up Hoodie in Activewear Knit Sharon Sews

The pockets are not huge, but they are large enough to tuck in a gym access card, or your phone, if you're careful!  Bending over might allow the phone to fall out.  I might try and add a zipper to the pockets in my next version.

I did like that the designer included instructions using twill tape to cover the inside zipper tape as well as the neckline seam.  It makes for a nice look when the jacket is open or only partially zipped.  

Itch to Stitch Nazare Zip-up Hoodie in Activewear Knit Sharon Sews

The pattern is available in sizes 00-40, and is designed for someone that is 5' 6".  My jacket is a size 10 with the full bust option, and I'm 5' 5-1/2" - gotta get that 1/2 inch in :-). I made zero pattern alterations on this jacket.  I almost always have to shorten my sleeves, but I'm happy with where these landed on me.

I sewed the jacket with the intent of wearing it when I go to the gym. Which isn't nearly as often as it should be, but at least I've set a goal.  2023 is the year I regain the strength I lost four years ago.  After the surgery to put a shunt in my spine (four years ago on April 1), I have been afraid of working out.  While high-impact workouts are a no-no for me, I've finally decided I'm going to start lifting weights consistently.  Granted the weight I can lift is pretty small, but I'll report back at the end of 2023 and I'm sure I'll be stronger.

Itch to Stitch Nazare Zip-up Hoodie in Activewear Knit Sharon Sews

I discovered that the jacket is also great to toss on with jeans and a tee when it's just a bit chilly outside. 

Itch to Stitch Nazare Zip-up Hoodie in Activewear Knit Sharon Sews

I have to say, I'm really happy my zipper order was delayed. Otherwise I would have a very different jacket to share with you today. And I REALLY like this one! 

If you're interested in purchasing the pattern I am an affiliate with Itch to Stitch, because I have been so pleased with these patterns.  Here's the link to the Nazare Zip-up Hoodie pattern.  I get a tiny commission if you purchase using this link, but no worries if you don't want to use it!  I'd still recommend the pattern.

As a BERNINA Ambassador, I used my BERNINA 770QE PLUS to sew this knit jacket.

I did use my BabyLock serger to finish seams.

Have a blessed day!


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