Sporty Sewing in Bamboo Jersey

Hoodies and running skirt made from Mood Fabrics' bamboo jersey.

I’ve been curious about bamboo fabric ever since my husband came home from a search-and-rescue team meeting one day back when we were in graduate school and told me that everyone on the team was switching to socks made out of bamboo because of the natural anti-bacterial properties of the fabric. (If you’re curious, his search-and-rescue team was an amazing group of volunteers that would get called out into the wilderness when people would get lost or injured while hiking or otherwise galavanting in the great outdoors.) I don’t talk about it much here, but I’ve been a competitive runner since high school and love being outside. Almost every morning starts with a run, and if I had my way, every weekend would involve some time on a trail. Having athletic gear made out of a fabric that would naturally fight off odors sounded fabulous. But, years passed and nothing made of bamboo made it into my running gear. Editor’s note: The most recent info we could find on bamboo fabrics being anti-bacterial is that the FTC still considers this an unsupported claim. Personally, we’d choose bamboo jersey for the softness alone.

Hoodies and running skirt made from Mood Fabrics' bamboo jersey.

Well, that is until I found Mood Fabric’s selection of bamboo jerseys. To start off I chose two fun colors, hot pink and pale blue, since I like to be visible when I’m on the trail and since I knew I wanted to make something for both me and my husband. The pattern choices were easy, too. I’d received the Men’s and Women’s Avocado Hoodie patterns from Disparate Disciplines for backing the new pattern company’s Kickstarter campaign, and I’d been eagerly awaiting cooler months in order to try out the design. I also made a coordinating running skirt for me from Jalie 2796.

Hoodies and running skirt made from Mood Fabrics' bamboo jersey.

The Avocado Hoodie pattern not only comes with a hood, but also comes with a large kangaroo pocket in the front that wraps around to the back to also give your partner somewhere warm to put their hands when you’re walking with your arms around each other. The pattern seems to run a teeny bit large, at least based on the fact that it still fits me pretty well despite cutting out my pre-pregnancy size and the fact that I cut my husband’s button-down shirt size and he has plenty of room for layers underneath. But, the sizing could seem large because of the awesome stretchiness of the bamboo jersey. This stuff is soft and pliable and just all kinds of awesome. That said, I might just have to make my next version out of this Thakoon sweatshirt knit to test my sizing theory. Anything for the sake of science, right?! Regardless, I think my husband and I are both quite happy with the fit, even if it is a bit looser than some of our other athletic gear. Plus, it’s bamboo, and we’re excited to see if these hoodies live up to my husband’s former team’s anti-bacterial hype.

Hoodies and running skirt made from Mood Fabrics' bamboo jersey.

I chose to line my pockets with the pale blue bamboo jersey as a fun little surprise. My husband’s version was made blue through and through. On both hoodies I serged all of the exposed edges using a blue thread to continue the theme. It adds more fun to mine while being more subtle on my husband’s. The kangaroo pocket is designed to be one big pocket that wraps most of the way around the hoodie, but I decided to break the continuity by stitching the front pocket down to the pocket lining. Though the back pockets end up being much smaller that way (though still large enough for your partner to keep their hands warm), it helped to keep the front pockets from gaping open when stretched over a baby bump. I also hand-stitched down the sides of the pocket tabs so they’d stay neatly in place as well.

Hoodies and running skirt made from Mood Fabrics' bamboo jersey.

I found it pretty easy to work with the bamboo jersey, which gave me the confidence to topstitch around the neckline to hold the hood in place instead of using the pattern’s neckline facing pieces.

Hoodies and running skirt made from Mood Fabrics' bamboo jersey.

I love hoodies, even if I rarely use their hoods. It’s just fun to have a hood. But, who knows? Maybe I rarely used hoods in the past because I lived in sunny, warm California. Perhaps Seattle’s seasons will teach me that hoods can actually be functional! The pattern doesn’t call for these hoods to be lined, so I just serged the center seam. I also serged the edge of the hood before I turned it under and hemmed it. I like the way the blue thread jumps out again against the pink fabric but almost disappears against the blue fabric. Also, you can really see the lovely drape of the bamboo jersey in the hood.

Hoodies and running skirt made from Mood Fabrics' bamboo jersey.

One final cool feature of this pattern is the thumb hole engineered into the sleeve cuff. All of my favorite long sleeve running shirts have thumb holes, and I’m really excited to now know how simple it is to make nice, neat thumb holes in cuffs.

Now on to the skirt…

Hoodies and running skirt made from Mood Fabrics' bamboo jersey.

I’ve made this skirt pattern once before, back in my pre-serger days. Even though Jalie gives detailed instructions for how to sew seams without a serger, I’ve been dying to make it up again ever since I got my serger. I knew I wanted to make it in a larger size (since round one looked more like a mini skirt than a running skirt!), and ever since I was introduced to Lululemon’s pleated running skirts, I’ve wanted to try adding pleats to the back as well. Since I had some left over bamboo jersey, I figured it was meant to be!

Everything came together quickly. As with the hoodies, I used my serger everywhere I could and my sewing machine everywhere else. The jersey cooperated perfectly with both machines. I added the pleats exactly the same way I added the shingles to my ombre striped jersey dress. Since I had no pattern pieces for the pleated layers, I just cut really long strips of fabric, each about 5″ wide. For the bottom layer I used the blue to give continuity with the hemline on the sides and the front of the skirt. For the middle layer I used the pink since I thought it would be fun and nicely tie the skirt in with the top. For the upper layer I used a leftover scrap of the cyan stripe from my ombre striped dress. I like the little bit of pattern that it adds. Though the skirt itself is turned under and hemmed, I left the edge of each pleated layer raw.

Hoodies and running skirt made from Mood Fabrics' bamboo jersey.

The skirt sides are designed to have functional pockets that actually keep things in thanks to a bit of 1/4″ elastic at the top. Finally, to add to the color blocking crazy, I made the waistband (and bloomers underneath!) out of the pink bamboo jersey. This running skirt is bright, colorful, and fun!

Hoodies and running skirt made from Mood Fabrics' bamboo jersey.

[Doing my best fake Lulu promo shot!]

I’m excited to get out there and explore the roads and trails around Seattle. Now if only I could find my pre-pregnancy energy levels!

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Comments


  • Ginger
    October 2, 2013

    Oh my gosh, these pics are so cute! You guys look awesome in your coordinating hoodies! I love the skirt, too!

    • Amy
      October 2, 2013

      Thanks! We couldn’t stop laughing while taking photos because we felt like an over-the-top cheesy couple in matching outfits. He kept saying silly things like, “Shake those tail feathers!” Hahaha!

  • Lori
    October 2, 2013

    You two parents-to-be look so cute and I am being serious. Great colors for hoodies, combat the rain up there and so love your skirt. Nice way to use the extra fabric from your last project. Question? Have enough bamboo left to make baby clothes, you have the pink and blue so you will be ready boy or girl!

    • Amy
      October 2, 2013

      Oh my! Matching hoodie for the little one? I think we’d take the prize for cheesiest family ever with that!

  • Eileen
    October 2, 2013

    Thanks for posting! I’ve been contemplating this pattern so it’s nice to read about how it comes together. Do you think it would still come together pretty easily without a serger?

    • Amy
      October 2, 2013

      Yes, I think it’ll be easy enough to make up without a serger. In fact, because of the pocket construction, I mostly used my serger to tidy up the raw edges, an unnecessary step with knits!

  • oonaballoona
    October 2, 2013

    that’s a jersey party up in here! y’all look adorable with those back hand pockets :)

    • Amy
      October 2, 2013

      Jersey party, yes indeed!

  • Vicki Kate
    October 2, 2013

    Oh my! How cute are you two?! The hoodies do look so soft and snugly and I love the thumb bits too, perfect for keeping hands warm when not round your other half!

    • Amy
      October 2, 2013

      These hoodies are quite soft and snuggly. I think they’re going to come in handy this fall in Seattle!

  • Seattlerain
    October 3, 2013

    I just love that your headband matches! Great makes!

    Hmm, now I’m seriously interested in this pattern as I wasn’t before. I do loooove the thumb holes as I was using a lightweight pair of gloves today but felt thumb holes would be more handy in all my fall/winter/spring clothes. Yeah, that would be most of the year here. Brrrr it was chilly!

    • Amy
      October 3, 2013

      And rainy! I’m trying to get used to getting slightly damp every day! As for these hoodies, I really like them. And, I especially like knowing the secret to adding thumb holes into any cuff you want!

  • Amanda S.
    October 16, 2013

    You both are too cute in your matching running gear! Love it!

    • Amy
      October 17, 2013

      Thanks Amanda!