I did go with my plan to do the front by cut'n'sew - I hung yarn marks at the centre all the way up so it would be easy to mark the centre line and I did shape the neckline so I wouldn't have to worry about joining the hood to a cut'n'sew edge.
My usual method for a plain hood is to begin from the neck edge, going up to the top of the head with the seam along the top. Any hood is really just for looks and you want the hood to look the best when it is down (you never wear it up!) so I am changing it up a bit and starting from the face edge, with the fairisle going across the top with seams in the back which won't show anyway when the hood is down (see 'boyzindahood', KW No 37 and/or 'in da 'hood' KW No 38, for the shape). I'll use a small stockinette hem at the edge that will look similar to the front bands and only do a portion of the fairisle pattern, maybe only the first half...pockets sewn into side seams with narrow stockinette hem for outer edge. Life is good!
Happy New Year and all the best for 2016!