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Vintage Simplicity 5591 Hang Ten sweatshirt for Buddy

Simplicity 5591 Hang Ten vintage 1982 childs sweat suit sewing pattern // Megan Nie

I have been on the hunt for the perfect sweatshirt pattern for Buddy for quite some time. But i kept stalling, never quite finding exactly what i wanted, and doing that classic sewer thing, where i convince myself i shouldn’t buy a pattern because I could draft it myself. Umm no. Don’t tell yourself that. Every time i tell myself that, you know what happens? No sewing. When i’m completely honest with myself i remember that i don’t have time, and it’s better to use someone elses patterns that’s already been tried and tested.

Simplicity 5591 Hang Ten vintage 1982 childs sweat suit sewing pattern // Megan Nie

SO on my endless hunt, I forgot something important. Years ago my mom bought a massive stack of vintage patterns at an Op Shop (we call Thrift Stores, Op Shops in Australia) for almost nothing, just because she thought i might like them. My mom is clever. In that stack was this ridiculously adorable, total 80’s childhood throwback, sweat suit pattern. YES.

Simplicity 5591 Hang Ten vintage 1982 childs sweat suit sewing pattern // Megan Nie

There are a lot of things i love about this pattern, starting with the cover art. Can we please talk about why that one child is wearing shorts over track pants? Can we also talk about how short those shorts are on the other kid? Or what about that poor little guy in the background with his hoodie string tied tightly in a bow? The roller skates? Oh yes, 1982. Of course.

And i’m not even talking about the best part! This pattern was a Hang Ten collaboration, so it comes with, drum roll please, Hang Ten heat transfers! I DIE. You are instructed to then hand embroider the inside of the transfer to fill it in. I’m so sorry, but I do not have the patience of a saint, so i skipped that… for now. Chris really really wants me to make Buddy a sweatshirt with the Hang Ten transfers on, because apparently as children of the 80’s it is our duty hehe.

This pattern has a lot of variations and i’d like to try them all. It includes a sweatshirt, a tee, shorts, track pants and a zip up hoodie sweatshirt. It honestly seems like the perfect kids sweatsuit pattern – and i feel like a super duper jerk for saying that, because it’s out of print. I’m sorry, please forgive me.

Simplicity 5591 Hang Ten vintage 1982 childs sweat suit sewing pattern // Megan Nie
Simplicity 5591 Hang Ten vintage 1982 childs sweat suit sewing pattern // Megan Nie

This pattern is a single size pattern, and is apparently for 4-5 year olds. But knowing big 4 patterns often include a lot of ease and Buddy is not a big 7 year old, i checked the body measurements, and they were literally perfectly his measurements, so i knew all would be ok. Don’t you just love it when things work out that way?

The fabric is a grey marl french terry from Potter Textiles in Perth. They’ve now sold out I believe? It’s very soft and incredibly stretchy. I used the wrong side of the fabric for the neck band, sleeve and hem cuffs, and i really love the contrast. Buddy is very sensitive to scratchy things, and he has declared this the comfiest softest jumper ever, so i feel like i’ve won the mum-made-jackpot. He even tried to sleep in it.

I wish i could have shown you how cute it was on Buddy himself, but he wasn’t interested in having his photo taken today, and I try really hard to respect my kids boundaries with things like that.

Simplicity 5591 Hang Ten vintage 1982 childs sweat suit sewing pattern // Megan Nie

I’m not sure how everyone else stores their vintage patterns, but i am always terrified of damaging them. So I tend trace out all the pattern pieces (which in this case SUCKED because there were so many and the print lines were kind of faint), and then i store everything in a zip lock back. I hate the fact it’s plastic, but after we had a water leak a few years back that damaged a bunch of patterns i’m not taking any risks.

Simplicity 5591 Hang Ten vintage 1982 childs sweat suit sewing pattern // Megan Nie

I can’t wait to use this pattern again, i’m so happy with how it turned out! 

About Author

Meg is the Founder and Creative Director of Megan Nielsen Patterns, and is constantly dreaming up ideas for new sewing patterns and ways to make your sewing journey more enjoyable! She gets really excited about design details and is always trying to add way too many variations to our patterns.

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Ali
Ali
4 years ago

This is the best! I also have a copy of this pattern that I found at an op shop, which I couldn’t resist even though I have no children of my own. I think it’s a size three, but I wish it came in my size!

PsychicSewerKathleen
4 years ago

I buy a lot of fabric in thrift shops here in Victoria BC. It started out with intentions to find “practice fabric” but it’s astonishing what I found! Lots of silk and once I even found about 2 metres of coating Cashmere! I didn’t investigate the patterns much (thinking they are likelyl to have pieces missing which would be a level of frustration I wasn’t willing to cope with) until one day I just thought why not? And I found 2 unopened Burda patterns that I just love! So your mom is right :) Love Buddy’s sweatshirt!

Judy
Judy
4 years ago

I kept all the multi-sized KwikSew and Stretch &Sew patterns I used for my children in the 80’s. Perfect sweatshirt/pants for my grandchildren. $3 patterns v. at least 3 times that price now!

Katherine
4 years ago

I just googled hang ten. The brand still exists, it is just not sold in Australia. Cool flashback, thanks!

Joyce
Joyce
4 years ago

I worry about the ease the 80s style always seemed to have. My children grew up in the 80/90s, I made a lot of their clothes then from a magazines called Top Kids. I’ve tried using them for my grandkids but there’s so much ease in them they look like they’ve timewarped.

Let's Get Sewing
4 years ago

This is lovely! I bet she’s thrilled, although not as happy as you probably are considering you just discovered a new pattern!