Tools and materials:
- Jersey fleece
- Fabric chalk
- Sewing pins
- Sewing machine
- Elastic (I used 1” width)
I love a good, soft hoodie. I just love the coziness of it, but don’t always want to be wearing something big and baggy. My solution? Making my very own cropped hoodie from scratch. This project was so much fun, and I am so happy with the final results. So grab some cozy jersey fleece fabric in any color you like and follow this tutorial to learn how to make your own.
For this project, you’ll need to use a sweater you already own as a reference for the hoodie you’ll be making. So try on the sweater and make note of any changes you want to make in terms of the fit when it comes time to make the hoodie.
Take your jersey fleece and fold it so that the fleece-y side, which is the wrong side, is facing out. Then fold your sweater in half, with the front facing out, and place fold against fold. Now trace the neckline of the sweater onto your fabric. If the sweater you’re using is a v-neck, like mine, you’ll have to bring the neckline up a couple of inches to make it a rounded neck. Then trace around the rest of the sweater with ½” seam allowance. Once it’s all traced, cut it out and make a little mark at the center of the neck, labeling it as the front.
To make the back piece, take the front and lay it out fold to fold on the fabric. You’re going to now trace the front piece, but with a few adjustments as shown above. The back of the neckline needs to be 2” higher than the front, you need to add about ½” at the middle of the armhole, and the hem should be curved down to about 1” longer at the center-back. Then mark the center-back with a snip or your chalk.
To create the hood, start by measuring the front and back neckline circumference, then divide it by two to get your half-neck measurement. Mine was 27”, so when I divided it by two I got 13.5”. Now fold your fabric vertically, which is along with the grain, and then fold it again horizontally, so that you end up with four layers. Now take a hoodie that you already have and flatten the hood onto your fabric. Then trace around your hood, marking at the neckline, and measure the neckline, making sure it’s half of your neck measurement, plus 1”. So mine, after rounding, was 14”. You also need to make a little mark at 1” from the end so that you know where to overlap it.
Double your fabric with right sides facing each other, and use a ruler to create a line down the center. Take your sweater and place the front sleeve along the line you drew. You want to make the hem of the sleeve the same width as your upper arm. Half of the length is on the front and half is on the back. Then trace around the rest of the sleeve. Next, flip the sleeve over to trace the back side. Cut out the sleeves and mark which side is the front and which is the back. Don’t forget to label the underlayer as well.
Now that you’ve got your sleeves cut out, you need to make the cuff. Draw a rectangle and cut it out of the fabric. The length of your cuff will be the same as your sleeve hem, and the width will be 3” if you’re using a 1” elastic.
It’s time to get sewing! Take the two main pieces and lay them together, right sides facing each other. Then sew them together at the shoulders. Now open up the sweater, right sides facing up, and position your sleeve in place, again with the right sides facing each other. Next, pin the sleeve, with the rounded part facing the neckline, first at the shoulder seam and then around the front and to the back. Make sure the front and back of your sleeve match the front and back of your sweater body.
Take your cuff and fold it over with the elastic inside, pushing up to the top, and sew the sides. Make sure that you’re leaving ½” at the top for seam allowance. The elastic length should be your wrist circumference plus 2”. Once that’s in place, sew the cuff to the right side of the sleeve hem. Once you’re done with that, you’re going to sew down the entire underarm sleeve. Make sure to do a reinforcing stitch at the beginning and end so that it doesn’t unravel when wearing.
You’ve finally reached the hood! Open up both layers that you cut and lay them together, right sides facing each other. Now you’re going to sew along the rounded edges, leaving the entire bottom open. Once that’s done, turn the hood inside and out and match seam to seam inside each other. Those are going to be the whole center of your hood.
After making sure everything is lined up, cut a 1” slit 2” from the bottom edge and ½” from the edge of the hood. Then repeat this on the other side. This slit is where the drawstring will come out of. To make the drawstring, cut out a large slit of the fabric, fold it over twice, and sew it.
To insert the drawstring you just made, you’re going to find the center of the drawstring and match it to the top-center of the hood, where the seam is, and do a little back-tack there to keep it in place. Then pull both sides of the drawstring out through the little slits you made, and sew a 1” casing, while pushing the drawstring right to the edge, so that you don’t sew the drawstring accidentally. Then cut your drawstring to the desired length and finish the ends by folding them up ½” then another ½” and doing a small back-tack.
It’s finally time to attach the hood! You’re going to line up the center-back of the body with the center-back of the hood and pin it around until you’ve matched up that notch at 1” from the edge on the hood to the center notch on the front. This will create an overlap when you do it on both sides. Then you just need to sew around that, and your hoodie is done!
That it’s, y’all! What do you think of this cropped hoodie? I totally love it; it’s so cute and fun, and trust me on this one, it’s super comfortable! When you make this, you can make it in any color you want, but I do recommend you stick to the fleece material because it is so soft and cozy! Be sure to drop me a picture of your hoodies in the comments. Can’t wait to see ‘em!
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