Thursday, 20 February 2020

Pattern Review - Men’s Apollo Hoodie by Sinclair Patterns

Some lovely versions of the men's Apollo Hoodie pattern have caught my attention recently on the Sinclair Pattern's Facebook page so when a friend said he would love a made-to-measure hoodie I knew it had to be the Apollo. 

I love the colour blocking, close fit styling, hidden inseam kangaroo pocket in the central panel and decorative top stitching. This is a really stylish hoodie which can be dressed up with a leather jacket and smart dark denim for some cool city chic! 

Pattern Review

Style Options

Thank you to Sinclair patterns for the use of this image

Plenty of options exist around colour blocking and finishing making the Apollo a versatile wardrobe essential. The pattern drafting gives you the choice to colour block the sleeves or not. I love the inseam pockets which lay lovely and flush... no bagging!  

I used this rich burgundy for the main colour and this lovely dark grey fleck for the contrast fabric. Both are french terry. The hood is lined and I chose to do this in the contrasting grey fabric.

Finishing can include top stitching and piping. I decided to topstitch using a dark grey thread throughout and a stretch lightening stitch to avoid the thread popping during wear. I love the contrast effect on the burgundy and it really gives a professional finish to the garment. There are so many ways to personalise and make this pattern your own.

My friend was delighted with the neat fit of the hood and the crossover feature. He often finds hoods on rtw too baggy and large. He is delighted with the way this hood looks when worn up and how it sits neatly against the neck and shoulders when worn down.

PDF Printing & Pattern Assembly

  • Print options are A4 or US letter for home printing and A0 size for shop printing. Home printing does involve trimming and sticking together all the pattern pieces. I got Mr to do this as his contribution to the project 😂 ... that's a free tip girls!
  • The PDF is layered meaning you only have to print the sizes you need making it super practical and easy to grade between sizes if necessary, and to cut or trace out your pattern pieces after. Saves on paper and ink too!

Sewing Competence

This pattern is great for adventurous beginners rather than a total newbie as the styling aspect is more challenging than for a very basic hoodieI also found the pocket insertion method quite different from what I had encountered before (more on this later). Techniques to master include: serging, topstitching, inseam pockets, seam matching, inserting grommets.

Don't be put off. The step by step instructions are excellent, very detailed but carefully explained with lots of photos to show techniques. The tutorial style really helps the home sewist develop skills whilst working on an actual project. No need to go hunting on's all there for you. Don't you just love Independent Designers ! 

As always, with so many steps involved I do recommend reading all the way through before starting to be clear on the sewing process and order.


Sinclair recommend a medium to heavy weight knit fabric with at least 20-30 % horizontal and 10-20% vertical stretch. 

I used a medium weight cotton lycra (elastane) french terry and a lighter weight cotton lycra for one side of the pocket interior to avoid too much bulk at the front of the garment.  

All fabric is from Rijs Textiles  a wonderful Dutch company. Their fabrics are super quality, inexpensive and their shipping is lightening fast. I can highly recommend them.

I was so delighted that separate pattern files are provided for Short, Regular and Tall men. I did a happy dance at not having to adjust the pattern for height. 
SHORT 163-170 cm /5’4” – 5’7”
REG 173-180 cm / 5’8” – 5’11”
TALL 183-190 cm / 6’-6’3”
The sizing however is limited to XS-XXL (US34-US52). So not as inclusive in larger sizes as it could be.

By my models measurements he sized at a medium tall.  
Although he's very tall he prefers a shorter slim fit so I made a small regular length which was perfect. 
I did a broad shoulder and back adjustment adding 3 cms (1 inch) to each side as my friend has very wide shoulders compared to his chest and waist measurements. 
Here is the simple You Tube tutorial I used for making the pattern adjustment Broad Shoulder Adjustment
The final garment was absolutely spot on in terms of size and length. I felt having separate patterns for height really made the fitting and pattern adjustment process so much easier. A big thank you to Sinclair Patterns for this thoughtful addition.

Newbie Challenges
With the excellent instructions putting this garment together was a breeze. I did find two things challenging though.
Creating the Inseam Pocket:
The beautifully tailored inseam pocket tucked discreetly into the front panel is a lovely feature. I find pockets in a side seam can affect how the garment lays when worn, creating a lumpy silhouette if they bag open or stretch. Not with these beauties!  

The construction is a little different though. Creating the pocket requires cutting out 3 whole front panels. One in the main colourway which will make the visible front panel (burgundy in the photo), one which will make the front facing pocket lining (in a contrast colour if you wish, not visible in the photo) and one which will form the pocket back in the contrast colourway (if colour blocking, dark grey in the photo). 

I chose to use a lighter weight cotton lycra for the front facing pocket lining to avoid having the bulk of three entire layers of french terry making up the front panel.  

Make up involves clipping and sandwiching the pocket panel between the layers of the side panel and stitching. I would advise basting these layers together before sewing to hold everything accurately in place. 

Despite sounding complicated I found that by carefully reading the instructions and going slowly it all came together beautifully. 

Attaching the sleeve cuffs

The sleeves are sewn up and attached using the inset method. This didn't present any difficulty until it came to attaching the cuffs. Probably due to the structured nature of the fabric, I found it pretty difficult to sew around using the serger. With lots of clips and pins I did get there in the end.

And finally ...

I really loved making the Apollo Hoodie. I found it an interesting and satisfying sew. My friend was delighted with it and I'm not sure he's taken it off since I gave it to him. It will probably have to be washed with him still inside it! 😂😂😂

There are so many hoodie patterns on the market but the beautiful fit and styling of the Sinclair Apollo makes it truly a cut above the rest. 

This is definitely my new go to pattern for men's hoodies and I think I know what my Dad and brothers are all getting next Christmas.

Sources & links  
If you'd like to try this pattern it's available here: Sinclair Patterns Apollo Hoodie

Fabric and trim: All from Rijs Textiles 
                          Dark Grey Melee cotton stretch French Terry
                          Burgundy cotton stretch French Terry

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