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I’m sure all of you have got a favourite hoodie which fits you just right and which you wear so often, that the ribbings are totally worn out, and there are holes in the fabric caused by washing it for so many times. Then one day you realize that someone who doesn’t love this hoodie, as much as you do, may think that you’ve got some financial problems, because you’re wearing ripped clothes. It has happened to me once. Friends were asking me if I didn’t need any financial support because I looked like I did. There’s a rescue though! I’ll show you how to sew a hoodie, basing on your beloved one. We’ll start with copying a pattern, and next week I’ll publish, the longest so far, hoodie sewing tutorial. It’ll be about: sewing a hood with a lining, making pocket, printing flock and about installing eyelets in the hood. So in short words – a lot of new stuff – enjoy! I will make pattern for men’s hoodie, the only difference in ladies pattern will be size and some fitting in waist, so no matter your sex you can all use this instruction.




Lay some fabric flat on the table, then lay a paper on it (I’ll explain why in the next step). Iron your hoodie and fold it in half vertically, so that front part will be on top and both side seams will match. Lay it on the paper, so that the center of front fold matches with the paper’s edge. Flatten and smooth the front part of the hoodie. To receive a flat shape in the armholes part you need to wrinkle the sleeve a little. When you’re recreating a pattern always keep in mind that the part you’re copying should be flat, look closely at the fabric’s structure near the seams, to make sure that the sewn-on element (in this case it’s a sleeve) doesn’t change the shape of the element, which you want to copy (in this case torso). If you won’t notice any unevens in the structure (e.g. it may be laying diagonally) you can start copying. Outline the shoulder and the side line, marking the beginnings of  armholes and neckline seams (arrows). Mark on the paper’s edge the seam between the hood and the neckline and also between the torso and the ribbing at the bottom of the hoodie (look: pictures below).




To copy armhole and front neck line, use a pin- poke it on the seam every 1 cm. You’ll receive holes on the paper, which will imitate an armhole’s shape. So here – the fabric is underneath the paper, so that the pin may poke into the paper deeply and leave visible holes.




Copy the pockets’ shape in the same way.




Fold the hoodie in half, so that its back part will be on the top, and lay it on the paper. The shoulder and the side should match with drawn previously lines. Using a different color, mark the seam between the hood and neckline. Poke a shape of the back armhole and back neck line with pins.




Connect the dots ,which were made by poking pins, to draw necklines: in the picture below the green one (which is low) is the front neck and the blue one (shallow) is the back neck. There should be right angle between neck lines and paper edge. Then draw a shape of  armholes  – it’s important  to prevent it from being pointy between the armhole and shoulder. It’ll be perfect if the armhole will begin at a right angle to the shoulder (you can correct their shape a little if the holes are placed differently). The lower- green armhole- is the front one, and the shallow-blue armhole- is the back one. In baggy hoodies there might be no difference in the armholes depth. But in the fit ones, the difference might be even bigger than it’s showed in the pictures. Outline the pocket and draw a line of the hoodie’s bottom edge- it should start at a right angle to the hoodie’s centre. The pattern for the half of the hoodie is ready.




Copy the pocket’s shape onto a new paper, adding a mirror image of it – to receive a symmetrical shape.  If, like in my case, the pocket’s opening has an harsh arch shape, then change it into a softer one- almost looking like a straight line. It’ll help to trim this element while sewing.




To start with a sleeve, draw a straight line in the centre of the paper- it’ll be the centre line of the sleeve.




Fold the sleeve in half (so that the seam will be on the bottom edge). Lay it on the paper with front part facing up, so that the upper edge will match with the centre line previously drawn. Rub-down sleeve to flatten and smooth the shape- it’ll be needed to wrinkle the armhole of the hoodie, so that the sleeve would lay flat- again, look closely at the fabric’s structure. Outline the bottom edge. The fabric near the cuff part is gathered a little- it’s beacuse of the ribbing. That’s why you should draw a line straight- not following the edges( look: picture below).




Copy the sleeve’s cap by poking a pin on the seam.




Turn the sleeve over, so that its back is on the top. Lay it on the opposite side of the sleeve’s center line.  It’s important to place the sleeve’s cap at the same height as you did the front . Outline the edge with a different color and poke a shape of the sleeve’s cap with a pin.




Now fold the paper in half, vertically. Fold should be on the sleeve’s center line.




Using a third color, outline the sleeve’s cap. Note! -the front and back shouldn’t match (the front is cut deeper), but they should go down to the mutual point.  From the cap, down to the sleeve’s bottom ( in the picture below- to the right side) everything should be symmetrical: average side edges of the sleeve.  Draw the bottom of the sleeve at a right angle to the fold (average lengths of side edges and centre line).




Cut the sleeve out from the folded paper. Lay the pattern flat and cut off the sleeve’s cap part, which was outlined before. The part which is cut deeper will be the front of the sleeve.




Let’s start with the hood. Fold it in half and even the fabric in such a way, that the hood’s part, which is sewn-on to the neckline, will set into a wave- the hood near the back neckline is shorter, but it’s longer near the front neck. Copy this seam’s shape using a pin. Outline hood shape.




Now measure the circumference of the back and front necklines, in torso pattern. Do it by placing a tape measure along to the arch vertically. Do the same thing with armholes arches.




Add up  circumferences of front and back necklines (A+B). The bottom line of the hood should be of the same length as necklines’ circuferences, because those lines will be sewn together. If there’s a need to correct the length- then do it symetrically- in the front as well as on the back of the hood’s bottom line.  Mine needed to be extended, so I’ve also corrected the hood’s shape, that its arch line could be more similar to the head’s shape.  Make sure that every hood’s line will join each other at a right angle. Each of these lines is an arch- only the front edge might be a straight line.




Now add up the back and front armholes’ circumferences ( C+D) and compare the result with the sleeve’s cap circumference- since they’ll be sewn together.  If the difference is more than 1 cm, the cap needs to be corrected. Draw a line of the sleeve’s center and at a right angle to it – a line in the widest part of the sleeve. Divide the difference between  cap’s and armhole’s circumferences into 3 parts and measure it in 3 places. Like in the picture below: lightgreen- if you’re reducing the circumference, purple- if you’re extending it.  Copy the cap’s shape by drawing a line through the marked places.




In the end let’s deal with the ribbings. They should be narrower than the edge, which you want to sew them on to.  In this way they’ll gather the fabric and close the pattern nicely.  In the sleeve:  E= 2 x of the wanted ribbing height, F= circumference of the sleeve’s bottom – 4 cm. Ribbing for the hoodie (that will be 1/4 of the ribbing): E= 2 x of the wanted ribbing height, G=  the width of the bottom of pattern for half of the hoodie – 3 cm.




To finish:

  • On a separate paper copy the pattern of the half of hoodie’s back (narrower neckline and armhole) and the pattern of half of hoodie’s front ( lower neckline and armhole).
  • When you will cut the fabric, fold it into half, and lay them on the fabric, so that the knit will stretch  widthwise. The edge of hoodie’s center should match with line of fabric’s fold. Cut with 1 cm seam  allowance all around (besides the edge of front’s and back’s center).
  • Cut out of paper: the sleeve with a matching cap, the hood with corrected bottom line, the pocket and the sleeve’s ribbing. Extend 4 times the hoodie’s bottom ribbing.
  • Cut out each of these patterns with 1 cm of seam allowance, so that the knit will stretch widthwise.

Next week we’re going to be sewing :) Can’t wait !




This tutorial has been prepared for you by Janek