Turn any t-shirt or sweatshirt into a hoodie by learning how to make a hood. All you have to do is make a few simple measurements, sew a couple of seams, and you are all ready to join your hood to your favorite shirt. Make a hood from a bright contrasting color and match it to your personality. In this tutorial, I will show you how to make a hood pattern either from scratch or by tracing over an existing hood and how to sew a hood.
How to Make a Hood - Supplies
- FABRIC - Choose a similar fabric to the item you will be adding the hood. You will need one fabric for the lining and one for the outside. The lining fabric can be thinner so as not to add too much bulk. You may want to match the color of the jacket or shirt, but you can also have some fun and choose something completely different. Woven fabrics are the easiest to sew and are more commonly used for hoods.
- THE GARMENT - Find a shirt or jacket you would like to add a hood. It should have a neck that is not too tight. Jackets that open down the front with either buttons or a zipper are perfect for hoods.
- SEWING SUPPLIES - Sewing Machine, thread, pins, iron, and ironing board.
How to Make a Hood - The Pattern
The first thing you need to do when learning how to make a hood is to create the pattern. There are 2 ways you can do this - by tracing another hood you have in your cupboard or by making a hood pattern.
How to Make a Hood By Tracing
- Take a hood you have from a garment in your cupboard.
- Fold your hood so the center seam is at the back and the front openings match. Take time to smooth out all wrinkles and get everything quite symmetrical.
- Lay it flat on a piece of paper and trace around the edge. Carefully replicate the bottom edge as well. I usually draw an inch or so, lift the hood to check then continue. You will usually find that the opening edge is lower than the back.
- Add seam allowance around your hood pattern. A standard seam allowance is ½ inch (12mm) or ⅝ inch (15mm). The seam allowance at the neck should match that of the neck of the garment you are attaching to the hood.
How to Make a Hood Pattern
Grab a large piece of paper. Sticking a couple of pieces of printer paper together is easiest.
You could mark directly on the fabric but, I find it is better to draw on paper in case you make a mistake.
You will need to make a couple of measurements
- Shoulder to the top of your head - This will give us the height of the hood.
- Around the neck of the item you will be attaching the hood - Note this is the shirt neck and not your actual neck. This will be around the garment neck from one side of the opening to the next. Generally the garment neck measurement will be at least 4 inches (10cm) larger than your actual neck. You don't want the hood to strangle you!
Step 1 - Bottom Edge
Draw the bottom edge of the hood. This will be a length of half your around the neck measurement. If is half the neck since there will be 2 pieces to make the hood.
Angle the bottom front 1 inch (2.5cm) lower than the back. This is to make the hood more comfortable by having a little larger opening at the front. Smooth out the line like in the picture below.
Step 2 - Front Opening
Draw the front opening straight up. The length of this line will be your shoulder to head measurement plus 4 inches (10cm). If you want a really loose hood then you can go as long as 6 extra inches.
Step 3 - Back
Draw a squared line from the back and front opening. This will help guide you in shaping the back of the hood. Draw a curved line to shape the hood. The inside curve is about 2-3 inches (5-7.5cm) from the back corner.
Step 4 - Add Seam Allowance
Add seam allowance to your pattern all the way around. I like to add ½ inch (12mm) as this is easy to sew. Ideally, the seam allowance should match that of the neck of your garment.
Cut your paper pattern out around the seam allowance line (not your original line). All ready to start cutting fabric now! The rest is really easy.
How to Make a Hood - Cutting Out
Fold your fabric in half so you will get mirror images of the hood. Cut 2 from the outside fabric and 2 from the inside fabric. The selvage of the fabric should be aligned to the straight edge of the front of the hood.
How to Make a Hood - Sewing Instructions
Step 1 - Stitch the Back Seam
Put the outside hood pieces right sides together and stitch the center seam. Use the seam allowance of your pattern.
Repeat for the lining. Clip the curves.
Step 2 - Press
Press open the seams. It is a little awkward but just make them look the best you can.
Step 3 - Join
Put the lining hood and outside hood right sides together. Stitch the outside. You will be leaving the bottom open still. Take care to match the center seams. You may want to topstitch along this edge but I like it left as is. It will depend on whether your fabric is sitting flat at the seam join.
Step 4 - Finishing
Turn the hood to the right side and press the front opening flap.
How to Attach a Hood
Your hood is all ready to stitch to the neck of your shirt. When stitching to the neck, you will put the shirt and hood right sides together and straight stitch. Match the back center seam of the hood to the back center of the garment. You will stitch through both layers of the hood.
This seam will get a lot of wear and tear so you may want to stitch over it twice. Use the seam allowance you added to the hood pattern. In my example that was ½ inch (12mm).
Finish the seam to prevent it from fraying. A serger or zig-zag stitch can be used. A lot of hoodies have a piece of ribbon over the seam to make them more comfortable and less scratchy.
How to Make a Hood - In Conclusion
Put your hoodie on and feel fabulous and proud of the fact you've learned how to make a hood!