Trending: Half Zip Sweaters and Fleeces

Outdoor wear can hardly be described as a trend as it’s designed for practical reasons, but just like activewear, it has broken through to more mainstream wear and is currently found up and down the high street. As someone who loves a good long walk or hike, I appreciate a fleece. Personally, I like my outdoorsy clothes to reflect the rest of my wardrobe with a dose of colour and fun to them so there is plenty of inspiration in the shops for colour combos.

The Great British Sewing Bee saw the contestants tasked with making a half zip fleece with cool details. Whether you are here for the trend or the Bee inspiration, I think I’ve edited the patterns down to some excellent options…

Whether you love fleece fabric or prefer a sweatshirt style, there is plenty of inspiration on the high street. A colour-blocked number is probably how I’d go, but the stripes offer a chic take on the style. You could have fun with a contrasting coloured zip and match that to a woven pocket. The world is your oyster!

First up I thought I’d share the fashionistas half zip option. The Fibre Mood Didi Pullover looks great in sweatshirt fabrics or chunky knits like fleece. Omit the sleeves, and you’ve got an instant, on-trend body warmer. It’s a versatile piece.

The Allie Olson Hive Pullover has a boxy, semi-cropped shape and an angled front yoke with zip. It feels quite polished to me and looks great styled with skirts and high-waisted jeans. You can also make a simple mock-neck sweater with this pattern so it’s pretty versatile.

The Friday Pattern Company Pogonip Pullover is a fun take on an outdoorsy layer. It is designed for woven or stable knit fabrics so you can have lots of fun with your fabric choice. It looks great in everything from quilted fabrics, to fleece, to linen! Packing and carrying the Pogonip is a breeze with the fun (and optional) packable pocket (with strap). I’d love to make one of these!

If you don’t really do sweatshirts because you prefer something a little smarter, take a look at the French Navy Roscoe Sweater. If you are in pursuit of a minimalist, monochromatic aesthetic, the elasticated waist and wrist cuffs mean you need not search for ribbing to match your fabric. Alternatively, should you be after a more playful and sporty look, the panelled front is a canvas for creative expression with loads of colour blocking and/or scrap busting potential.

If you are all about fleeces and want something that doesn’t mess with the design too much, the Wardrobe by Me Half Zipper Sweater is it. This sporty pullover is roomy and comfortable to wear. You can also make this top as a simple sweatshirt. Add contrast bands to the shoulders and sleeves for a cool retro version.

Another fab option for fleece fabrics is the Bara Studio Nela Zip-Neck Sweater. This comfortable zip-neck sweater has an adjustable elasticated hem which ticks the outdoorsy box. It would look great in a bold colour or print to stand out on your walk.

I really wanted to include a men’s option in the round-up and found a sewing pattern that looks great on any gender. The Wardrobe by Me Zip-up Sweater is a sporty pullover with a zipper from the neck to the chest. The sweater is roomy and comfortable with dropped shoulders and side pockets. Make it with a stand-up collar or a cosy hood.

Trendsetters will love the Vikisews Lindsey Hoodie. Though it is actually not a hoodie, (there is no hood!) this loose-fitting sweatshirt with a cool trapeze silhouette. The front features princess seams with internal in-seam pockets, and the back features a shaped yoke. The styling elevates this sweatshirt making it much smarter than your average sweater.

If you’re not a fan of the zipped neckline, perhaps you’d prefer snaps? The Itch to Stitch Bainbridge Pullover is great for the hikers in the house. With a half-snapped front placket and a stand-up collar, it is an excellent layering piece. The bias-bound hem, sleeve hems and collar add an opportunity for colour contrast.

Finally, I’ve got an option that’s screaming out for statement buttons. The Style Arc Bert Knit Top is a comfy, easy-fitting top that features a dropped shoulder line, deep armhole, polo-style collar and tab, and long sleeves with a slight balloon shape. It combines sporty with chic beautifully.

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