Top 5 Tutorials of 2012 – #3

We’re on to the number 3 Tutorial – and I have to say that when I was creating this look, I had no idea it would be so popular, both with Tater and with readers.

It’s the ….

Thoughts almost 1 year later: This project was the first one I did that got a lot of pins – and traffic from Pinterest. Which took me by surprise – I really didn’t think it was anything special.

Tater, of course, disagrees. He continues to wear this constantly, and will be very sad when it no longer fits. And after this jacket the kid is obsessed with argyle – even designing some himself.

As promised, here is the hoody tutorial. I’ve been (pleasantly) surprised by how this project has taken off – in a week it has become my 4th most viewed post EVER. So thank you to all of you that have been commenting, featuring and pinning this hoody. I hope to see some of your versions!

You could embellish a store bought hoody like this, but I made mine from scratch, so I’ll be explaining the whole construction. And you’ll see photos from 2 different hoodies (I forgot to take a lot of the pics I needed on the first one) so don’t let the different colors throw you.

To make it, I used these materials:
2 women’s size sweatshirts (this is a 4Tish size. I used women’s size small because they were mine and old and I didn’t mind cutting them. If I was buying fabric, I think it would’ve been about 1 yd of 60″ knit)
About 1/2 yard of 60″ green cotton interlock (to line the hood)
Heat ‘n Bond Lite
Scraps of off white, navy blue, and green interlock for diamond. I cut out 20 of them – 8 off white, 8 green and 6 navy
1 20″ separating zipper
A pattern for a t-shirt that fits my son (if you don’t have one, tutorial on how to make one is here)
This page for the diamonds and the pockets

IMPORTANT: I sewed all seams with 1/2″ seam allowance. If your pattern has a different seam allowance, you’ll need to adjust some measurements. Also, I used a serger, but you absolutely don’t have to. A zig-zag stitch will work fine, and sweatshirt material is actually a very forgiving knit to start with if you’ve never sewn knits.

Start by removing the ribbing from the bottom of one sweatshirt. Cut carefully and close to the seam, then set this aside, you’ll use it to finish the shirt later. Cut the sweatshirt up the side seams so you can lay it out flat.

Next, use the t-shirt back piece and cut one on the fold of the sweatshirt. Use the t-shirt front piece, but don’t place it on a fold. Instead, add 1 inch to the edge that would’ve been on the fold, and cut 2 separate pieces.

If your t-shirt pattern has short sleeves, either measure your kids’ arm from the shoulder to the wrist and add 1 1/2 inches (room for seams and growth), or use a long sleeve t-shirt that fits them to get your measurement. Lay out your sweatshirt sleeve with the seam on one side. Measure up from the cuff, then place the top of your t-shirt piece in line with your measurement with the fold edge of the pattern against the folded edge of your sleeve. Cut the sleeve, tapering it toward the wrist, making sure you’re cutting off the seamed side of the sleeve. Repeat with the other sleeve.


For the pockets, you need two pieces that are mirror images of each other. Make sure you don’t cut two on the same side (speaking from experience, ahem).

We’ll be cutting out the hood pieces later.

Now you’ll assemble the pockets so you can put the argyle on them. Press under the edge that will be open and stitch it down.

To make the argyle pattern, I cut diamonds out of my interlock scraps. I used a rotary cutter and mat to be precise, but if you cut very carefully, you can do this with scissors. Just try to make sure you cut each side of the diamond in a single stroke without moving the scissors so that you have a nice clean edge, since these are not hemmed.

Apply Heat ‘n Bond Lite (make sure it’s Lite so you can sew it; the regular stuff can gum up your needle and machine. You could also use any other sewable fusible backing) to the diamonds. Line up your diamonds on the back of the t-shirt and iron into place. Once they are fused on, sew around the edged of each one with a straight stitch. I used matching thread for each color of diamond. Pull threads to the back side before clipping them.

Once you have the diamonds sewn in place, trace the argyle stitching lines over them. Use a ruler to help, and make sure you’re crossing through the middle of the diamonds.

Stitch over your lines with a straight stitch, pivoting your needle at corners. Backstitch the end of any line that doesn’t continue around a corner and pull threads to the back of the fabric before clipping them.

You can also add diamonds anywhere else on your hoody. I added some on the sleeves, front pockets, and around the neck. I went a little more free-form with the lines on the sleeves and pockets, as you can see in these pictures:


You may have noticed that I have diamonds pieced next to each other on the top front, not in an argyle pattern. While I really like them as a design element, they are serving a more practical purpose – one of the sweatshirts I used had a logo screen printed on it, and I couldn’t quite cut around all of it, so those diamonds are covering it up. I arranged them on the front pieces, then cut off the edges to match the edges of the front pieces.

Next, sew the pocket flaps onto the front pieces like this, making the bottom edge even with the bottom of the front pieces, and making sure to set the front pieces side by side to make sure you’re sewing the flaps on even with each other, so your hoody doesn’t look lopsided.

Fold the pockets down, press the outside edge under and topstitch it into place, making sure to backstitch at the pocket opening.

Now sew your front pieces to your back pieces at the should seams.

Install your sleeves.



Sew up your side/underarm seams.

Cut the binding you set aside to size to fit the bottom edge, stretching it only slightly. Pin it in place and sew.


Now to make the hood piece. Measure the neckline of your shirt, then divide that number by 2. Add 1/2 inch. This is measurement A. Then measure your kid from one shoulder, up over their head, to the other shoulder. Add 2 1/2 inches to this measurement, and you have Measurement B. Mark out a rectangle on your second sweatshirt that is as wide as Measurement A and as tall as Measurement B.
When you mark this, it doesn’t really matter which way the fabric stretches, because this is not a fitted hood. If you find you can’t cut this all in one piece, you can always divide Measurement B in half and add 1/2 inch then cut 2 pieces; this would give your hoody a seam down the top center, which a lot of hoodies have (and which you’ll see in my picture below). Cut out the same size rectangle out of your lining fabric.
Now – either lay your two pieces with wrong sides together, or fold your one large rectangle in half, with side A down. Round off the top corner – I ended up taking more off after this picture, so there’s a (badly drawn) line indicating how I ended up cutting it.
Draw an angled line on the bottom edge (side A) that is about 1/2 inch wide on the back side and tapers toward the front. Cut like this:
If you have two pieces, sew across the tops so you can open your hood out like this (if you managed to cut it as one piece, just open it now). Lay the lining on top, right sides together, and sew down the long side.
Now open this piece, then fold it down and sew the sides. Like this:

Now you can turn the hood right side out, and push the lining inside.

Next, install the zipper. Start with it closed, and pin it face down along one edge with the raw edge and the edge of the zipper even. (Please ignore the hood in the picture below – I found it works better to put the hood in last).

After stitching this in place, mark the other side of the zipper where the top of the pocket and the top of the binding meet the zipper.

Now flip the zipper under, separate it, and topstitch.

Take the other side of the zipper, lay it face down on the other side of the jacket, making sure to line up your marks with the top of the pocket and the top of the binding. Stitch into place.

BEFORE YOU TOPSTITCH THIS SIDE, zip the zipper up and check that the pocket and binding line up. Trust me, don’t skip this step (speaking from experience again).

Finally, pin the hood to the jacket. Don’t pin the lining. Stitch in place.

Now pin the lining on top of the seam, folding the edge of the lining under. On the right side of the jacket, stitch in the ditch (the seam) between the hood and the jacket to secure the lining down and cover the seam allowance.

And finally, topstitch around the edge of the hood, to keep the lining in place.


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