Last weekend, temperatures here in Chicago climbed up near 40F. What a gift! On both Saturday and Sunday afternoons, I went for a brisk 3.5 mile walk along my usual neighborhood route. I didn’t run any of it — I haven’t run since October because of last autumn’s illness, followed by winter, ugh, winter. Who wants to run outside in subzero wind chills when the snow drifts make it impossible for cars to see you at intersections? Not this girl.
But spring surely will follow winter, and when it does, I’ll have a new fleece to wear on my neighborhood running route.
McCall’s 6252 View A
I like the half-zip fleeces for outdoor workouts on brisk days. They’re warm without being heavy or constricting, and if I start to overheat, I can open the half-zip without having to worry about jacket fronts flopping all over and zipper tabs smacking me like little wasp stingers. Maybe I’m just a wimp, but man, those zipper tabs hit your hands the wrong way, and it hurts. So a half-zip is definitely better, imho.
I chose this radiant bright neon green on purpose. If you run or walk outdoors, this one won’t require explanation. but for the rest of you: cars. A really bright color for my workout gear, something impossible to ignore, makes me think maybe possibly they’ll drive past me instead of driving over me. There are far too many sad stories about runners being smashed on roadsides. I don’t want to become a statistic. Plus, bright colors are fun, and when else can you wear them? This green isn’t exactly the stuff of daily wear, but in outdoor workout gear, crazy bright colors are the norm.
The pattern came together easily without any real hitches. I wasn’t at all enthusiastic about the way they have you attach the facing along the zipper front — they want you to hand sew it, and really, who would bother? I machine stitched it, and it was fine. The facings themselves are a little oddly shaped, and in a lighter fabric, I would just cut the yoke front again and use that instead of the facings. But that would be far too bulky in a fleece like this.
I’ll make this again in neon pink at some point, and when I do, other than tinkering with the facing, the only other change I’ll make is to the sleeves. They’re big. I narrowed them a little bit along the seamline as I stitched — not much, just about a half-inch, but I’ll bet I could easily take out another two inches there. You can see in the photo how they bunch up from the extra width. The pattern envelope shows the same effect on the models, which I didn’t even notice until after I was fitting this to my body. The sleeves are just really too wide from about the bicep down.
Also, the collar piece is cut in a plain rectangular shape. As a result it stands up a little awkwardly instead of curving in toward the neck. So I might redraft that pattern piece for next time, but I want to run in this one a few times before I make that decision. It’s very possible that having the fabric stand up and away from my neck, almost like a funnel-neck sweater, will be more comfortable on a run. So I’m withholding judgment on this detail for now.
As I write this, it’s 13F outside with a “feels like” of 1 degree. One whole entire degree! Mother Nature’s a bit stingy today! And the 10-day outlook shows highs in the teens, lows in single digits and subzero, before you factor in the wind to get the “feels like” temperature. So this pretty green fleece will hang in my closet for now, but maybe in a few more weeks, we’ll see a couple of days approaching 40, and it might get some road time.
Spring has to come eventually, right?
Have you started any spring sewing or knitting yet?