Unique Hoodie Tutorial

By Emma Jeffery

Difficulty level

Intermediate

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5

Tools used

  • Non-stick Scissors (8")
  • Dressmaker Shears (9")
  • Cutting Mat (24" x 36")
  • Coastal Colors Acrylic Ruler (6" x 24")

Supply list

  • Sweatshirt that fits well to draw around

    Sweatshirt fabric (amount depending on size)

    Freezer paper or tracing paper

    Pencil or pen

    Hem gauge

    Pins

    Thread

    Buttons

I also wanted something a bit different to the regular sweatshirts or hoodies available in stores.

I looked around for a suitable pattern and was stumped when I couldn’t find anything that I liked. Not to be outdone however, I decided to draft my own pattern, using a sweatshirt I know fits me well. I’ve never drafted my own patterns before but I’m here to tell you, it can be done successfully, even if you’re new to it!

Tracing sweater

1. I began by folding my sweatshirt in half through the center, so that the side seams lay on top of each other. I then laid out a length of freezer paper onto my cutting table and placed the folded sweatshirt on top. I began by tracing around the outline with a pencil onto the freezer paper, starting with the front, then repeating the process for the back and the sleeves. Because my sweatshirt is folded in half, I am only tracing half the shape so that my pattern pieces can be laid on the fold of my fabric for symmetrical cutting. I made sure to carefully label each piece as I drew them.

Pattern outline

2. Tracing around the sweatshirt gives me the size I need for my finished garment, but I needed to add the seam allowance before cutting the fabric, so I went around the pattern pieces adding a ¼” allowance using my Fiskars acrylic ruler and my hem gauge around the curves.

Adding SA

3. I then ended up with 3 pattern pieces which included a seam allowance : front, back and sleeves.

Pattern

4. I cut my front piece on the fold and decided that I wanted to add some colorful detail to make it more unique. I simply sewed a few contrasting stripes onto the front piece with a decorative stitching before attaching the back to the front at the shoulders and the side seams.

Stripes

5. I knew I wanted to make a kangaroo pocket for the front of my sweater so I cut 2 rectangles of fabric (one main color and one contrast) a couple of inches shorter than the width of my front piece, and cut the top corners off at a diagonal. I sewed the two pieces together with right sides facing, leaving a 4” turning hole. I turned the pocket right sides out through the turning hole, poked out the corners and pinned it to the front of my sweatshirt. Again using a decorative stitch, I sewed the pocket to the center of the front along the top, bottom and side edges, making sure to close the turning hole with my stitching.

Pocket

6. Next I sewed in my sleeves which I fitted into the armholes by putting in a small pleat at the shoulders and to allow for movement.

Sleeves

Rather than sew a hood onto my sweatshirt, I thought it would be a fun experiment to add an oversize cowl instead and I’m so glad I did as I know that my ears will be kept warm in the cooler evenings.

7. To make the cowl, I cut two rectangles, one in my main and one in my contrast fabric, measuring 13” x 39”. I pinned then sewed them together with right sides facing, leaving a 6” turning hole. After turning the cowl through the hole I left and squaring out the corners, I topstitched all the way around, making sure to close the turning hole as I did so.

8. I then pinned the cowl to the neckline, curving around the back of the neck for comfort. I tried the sweater on to get some idea about where I wanted the neck to be attached to the top and pinned it in place before sewing. I prefered the overlap flap of fabric at the side of the sweater rather than in front.

Cowl neck

9. I sewed two buttons and buttonholes to the cowl to join the two ends together.

Buttons

10. To finish, I hemmed the sleeves and bottom edge by turning the fabric to the wrong side ¼” and sewing it down.

Having completed this sweater and being very happy with the results, I have carefully stored and labelled my self-drafted pattern pieces ready for the next time I want to make myself a new sweater.