sewing · Tutorials

Refashioning a Zip-Up Hoodie: Tutorial

Some of my favorite sewing projects are reconstruction projects. There's something about taking a garment that's already intact and transforming it into something new. I've done a few reconstruction projects but I'm working on a some more.  If you are like me, there are a few types of clothing purchases you may make.

1. Clothing that needs to be altered, but somehow you never get around to it

2. Clothing that you wear out to the point of holes and tears and continue wearing

3. Clothing that you fully intend to wear AND WILL DIE WITHOUT IT but "never have anything to wear it with".


I've started going through my wardrobe to decide whether to wear it or throw it away, and alter what needs to be fixed. The first piece I did is a hoodie I've had since high school. Yup it's been at least 6 years. It's just too comfortable to throw away! And it still fits! 

mini pip zip up hoodie tutorial

This is a super easy refashion, which is probably simple to figure out how to do, but I've added a couple steps, making it my first tutorial!

1. First step is to seam rip both pockets. The pockets on this hoodie were attached to the zipper and the bottom, so I just ripped the seams off the top and side. To completely get the pockets off, I cut them off the hoodie, leaving about 1/4" remaining from the pocket.

mini pip zip up hoodie tutorial

This is the pocket removed. If you can see, above the bottom stitching there is a little remainder of the pockets.

2. Take one of the pockets you just removed and iron it out. If you had a similar pocket to mine, I removed the top hem to show the pocket in its original size.

mini pip zip up hoodie tutorial

3.  Use this pocket as your pattern piece. Trace the shape onto the wrong side of your new fabric. Add 1/2" for your seam allowance. I wanted my pockets to have lining so I made 4 pieces. If you are using a knit, you might not want a lining, but since I used cotton, the lining made it stronger.


 4. Sew them up, leaving an area to turn them inside out, if you are adding a lining. Once you turn them inside out and iron it, fold over the top section to sew the top hem down. This isn't a necessary step, just depends on what you want the final look of the pocket to be. I added 4 lines of stitching, just to give it more decoration.

mini pip zip up hoodie tutorial

5. Sew the pockets on! Remember the 1/4" we kept from the old pocket? This is where the new pocket will be going right on top of. When I originally did this, I didn't leave enough, so I had to sew my pocket further down on the hoodie. This isn't a big deal but having that little bit of pocket left over will make sewing the new pocket on easier. Don't forget to leave the angled side open for your hands!

mini pip zip up hoodie tutorial
mini pip zip up hoodie tutorial


If your hoodies are anything like mine, the pockets are not the biggest problem. Evidence:

mini pip zip up hoodie tutorial

Now this could be fixed just by stitching it up, but what's the fun in that?! To add new sleeves, its similar to the pocket process. I completely cut off the cuff, measured the original, added an inch for seam allowance, and ended up with this..

mini pip zip up hoodie tutorial
The cuff on this was rather large and I usually wore it folded up. I love the look so decided to stay with the same idea. A few tips to sewing a cuff.

-Just like the pockets, if adding a lining, make sure you leave room to turn inside out.

-When sewing the cuff to the hoodie, remember to have the RIGHT sides together!

-If you are using cotton, the hoodie might have more fabric than the cuff, I made a little pleat so it went on evenly.

I also decided to add decorative stitching to the cuff…my version of quilting. (I will learn how to quilt one day!!)

mini pip zip up hoodie tutorial

mini pip zip up hoodie tutorial

See how easy it is?!? Go give your hoodie a makeover!

mini pip zip up hoodie tutorial

And check out my new bag on etsy!

new bag on etsy



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