How to Make a Zip Up Hoodie

Written by melissa j. bell
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Hoodie sweatshirts are a basic component in the wardrobe of both the young and the practical. Comfortable and always in style, zip-up hoodies are perfect for cold-weather work and just for everyday winter outings. In stores, hoodies can be expensive, due to name brand markups and popularity. When presented with a large number of hoodies in a retail venue, the customer can easily forget that hoodies are essentially just a sweatshirt with a hood. To avoid high prices, make your own! With your home sewing machine, you can make a hoodie using sweatshirt fabric, a zipper and cording. Complete the following instructions to learn how to make a zip-up hoodie.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Sewing equipment and supplies
  • 2 or more yards of sweatshirt material
  • 1/2 yard ribbed knit fabric
  • 1/2 yard lining fabric
  • Long zipper
  • T-shirt
  • Fabric pencil

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  1. 1

    Take a T-shirt in the size you would like your hoodie sweatshirt to be and use it like a pattern. Fold the sleeves back and put the body of the T-shirt over a single layer of sweatshirt fabric. Cut around the T-shirt as if it is a pattern piece, adding 5/8-inch seam allowances to the sides and shoulder seams. This is the back piece of the hoodie.

  2. 2

    Fold the back piece in half and place it over a double layer of sweatshirt fabric, like a pattern piece. Cut two, adding one inch to the straight side as a seam allowance. You should now have two opposite front pieces.

  3. 3

    Lay the sleeve of the T-shirt on a folded double layer of sweatshirt fabric, with the top of the sleeve along the folded edge. Take the fabric pencil and extend the line of the sleeve as long as you like. Add 5/8-inch seam allowances to the bottom and armhole, and a 1/2-inch hem allowance to the wrist. Cut out the sleeve. Lay the cut sleeve on another folded double layer of fabric to create a second sleeve.

  4. 4

    Sew the front pieces to the back at the shoulders, and press the seams. Open the body pieces and line up the sleeve armholes with the armhole sides of the sleeves. Stitch the sleeves to the armholes and press the seams. Measure the bottom of the sleeves and cut two bands of ribbed knit fabric in this length. Stitch it to the bottom of the sleeves and press the seam.

  5. 5

    Stitch the front and back of the sleeves and body together at the side seams. Press the seams.

  6. 6

    Measure the distance around the bottom of the body. Cut this length of ribbed knit fabric to use as a band around the bottom. Stitch the band to the bottom of the body and press the seam. Fold under the extra one inch on each centre front and pin it in place. Pin the zipper to the centre front and stitch it in place.

  7. 7

    Measure the distance around the neckline. Draw half of a hood in any shape you like on a double layer of fabric, using half of the neckline measurement for the bottom. Cut out the hood so that you have two halves. Repeat this on a double layer of lining fabric.

  8. 8

    Stitch the hood up the back in the sweatshirt fabric, and then in the lining fabric. Attach the lining to the hood by stitching them together around the face openings, right sides together. Turn the hood right side out and stitch the neck to the neckline of the body.

Tips and warnings

  • Sweatshirt seams are best finished using a serger, but you can also bind the seams, particularly those around the neck. You can add pockets to your sweatshirt by sewing extra squares of fabric on either side of the centre front. Bind the open edge with ribbed knit fabric the same way you bound the bottom and sleeves.

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