Adding a hoodie to a shirt is one of the easiest and most rewarding sewing projects you can do with a sewing machine. In just a few simple steps that anyone can do you’ll end up with a hood that looks really professional. It’s really hard to mess this up! 

Knowing how to sew a hood can come in handy in a variety of situations. You can add hoods to hoodies, shirts, and jackets you are making from scratch. However, once you see how easy it is, you might want to start adding hoods to some existing shirts you have laying around. This trick can come in especially handy for kids shirts! Adding a hood makes the shirt not only more practical, but also often more interesting. 

Step 1: Cutting Your Pattern Pieces 

Before you start sewing a hood, you’ll need to find appropriate fabric, of course. If it is for a shirt you are making from scratch, you will probably just want to use the same fabric you already have. If you are adding a hood to an existing shirt, then you have two options. Either try to find matching fabric (can be difficult), or choose a contrast color. Adding a hood in a different color and then also adding trim to your shirt in the same color can create a beautiful effect. It all depends on your creativity. 

Once you have found the fabric of your choice, it’s time to cut your pattern pieces. For a hood, you really don’t need a special pattern, since the shape of a classic hood is super easy to create. Here is what to do: 

To start, measure the neckhole/the line on the shirt where you want to add the hood. This is the length for the base of your hood. If you don’t want the hood to go all the way around the neck, then make sure to account for the space you want to leave open. Additionally, if you are adding a hood to a shirt without a zipper in the front, it can be nice to add a couple of centimeters so the two edges can overlap in the front. The result looks nicer and ensures full coverage. 

Once you know the length for the base of the hood, measure this number in half. This will be the width of each of your pattern pieces. Now, create a rectangle by making the other side 2-4 inches longer than your base. This really depends on the size of the hoof you want. 

Next, you’ll want to cut off one corner so the side of each piece forms a semicircle. The easiest way to make the two pieces match is to cut them at the same time. This will give you a classic hood, but you can tweak the shape of the pattern pieces of each side if you want to give your hood a specific shape. 

Step 2: Sew the Pieces Together 

To put your hood together, place the two pattern pieces on top of each other, right sides together. All you need to do now is take your sewing machine and create a seam for the back of the hood (the semicircle part). You can use a simple zig-zag stitch, or something else, depending on the fabric you are using. 

Add Lining (Optional)  

If you want, you can also add lining to your hoodie. You can make the lining for the same fabric you choose for the exterior. This will simply create a thicker hood, perfect for colder weather. If you want to add some flair, though, you could choose a colorful lining in a contrasting color. It’s all up to you. 

To add lining, you’ll want to cut two more pieces in the same shape as your hood. Then, sew the lining pieces together just like you did before with the external part of your hood. Next, you will put the lining and the hood right sides together and sew along the edges. At this point, you don’t want to sew together the base part, since you will want to turn the hood inside out. Now the right side is outside again.

Step 3: Align the Hood With the Shirt 

Once your hood is ready, you’ll want to position it perfectly onto the shirt. The best way to do this is to measure where exactly the middle of the neckhole is. Fix the middle of the hood there with a pin. To ensure that the hood is fitting right, it might be a good idea to hand-baste it in place first. At this point, you want the hood folded ‘downwards’, wrapped around the shirt. The outside of the hood should be facing the outside of the shirt. 

Step 4: Sewing the Hood On

All that is left to do now is sew the hood and the shirt together. Simply start at one end and sew straight until you reach the other end. And that’s it! You now have a hood on your shirt. If you have a serger, you might want to use it to go over the seam you just made. This will make the final result look more put together. However, it is not really important since this seam will be hidden inside the neckline anyway. 

Final Thoughts 

When you first think about sewing a hood, it might look complicated. However, there is really not much to it. Once you start, you will see that it goes really quick. Overall, sewing a hood shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes! And adding a hood can be a super-stylish way to personalize your clothes – from jackets to shirts to even dresses. Depending on the project you are making, you can take your stylish add-on to the next level by adding trim or even lace to the edge of the hood.