When it’s cold outside, there’s nothing so cozy as a hooded sweatshirt.  Whether its for you or someone else,  a warm, winter hoodie becomes even more inviting when it’s handmade by you!

Image shared from mellysews.com

Make an Argyle Applique Hoodie

Let’s start with a sharp looking Argyle Applique Hoodie designed as an upcycle by Melissa of Melly Sews. This fun, embellished shirt began it’s life as two small women’s sweatshirts. Although, as Melissa says, you could use the ideas to embellish a store bought sweatshirt, too. Or, you could just make your own and use her Argyle tips to add to it. I really love how Melissa makes measuring for size and re-cutting the sweatshirts so easy. You can follow her stress-free directions and adapt this cool project to any size.

Melissa has a nice detailed list of supplies for you that includes a 20” separating zipper. Melissa’s finished hoodie is about a size 4T, so if you’re adapting her tutorial for a larger size, you may need a longer zipper.  You’ll find a super collection of colors and sizes in the sturdy Coats Molded Separating Sports Zippers at your local fabric shop. If you’re making an adult size, look for the 26” Coats Molded Separating Team Spirit Zippers  and plan to make your argyles in team or school colors. From there, just follow Melissa down the warm, winter hoodie road and you’ll have a great time with this project. If you’ve been squeamish about separating zips or have never made kangaroo style pockets before, she’ll hold your hand gently as you sew and you’ll learn a lot! Click here for Melissa’s tutorial.

Image shared from thingsforboys.com

Turn a Hooded Sweatshirt into a Zip Up

But maybe you have a hoodie you like and all you need is a zipper to make it perfect – what then? Abby of the Australian Things for Boys blog owned a hoodie that was just a wee bit too tight at the hip. Clever maker that she is, Abby added a zipper for a little extra width and now has a hoodie she loves wearing!  Abby is your creative guide for a simple re-do whether you need to add width or just want to convert from a pullover. Her instructions are so simple that I bet you’ll be viewing all of your pullover sweaties with a new eye, so you may want to stock up on zippers. Her warm, winter hoodie refashion took just about half an hour! To become super separating zipper savvy, click here for a Make it Coats video tutorial. Click here for Abby’s tutorial.

Image shared from seekatesew.com

Change a Zip Hoodie to a Button Up 

So……let’s go the other direction now. Suppose your warm, winter hoodie is too big and you’d really love buttons instead of the zipper it came with. Kate from See Kate Sew is a very inventive and fearless sewist. So, she stylishly re-fashioned her too big sweatshirt with creative delight! A little nip, tuck, dart and pleat that Kate calls Sweatshirt Lipsuction, produced a fabulous, yet still cozy-warm, winter hoodie. You’ll start with an over-sized hoodie with a zipper then add a few charming, bold buttons and a little interfacing. Kate guides you through a visual assessment for restyling that’s not precise, but super-fun and creative. This tutorial assumes you know how to sew and leaves a lot of the decisions up to you. Click here for Kate’s hoodie tutorial. If you need a little more buttonhole help, click here for a helpful Make it Coats tutorial.

About the Author


Annette Millard began sewing at the age of three, made her first dress at ten and is always happiest with needle, fabric and thread in her hands. Annette feels very privileged to have spent most of her work life in the sewing industry and loves teaching, making her own handmade wardrobe and writing about sewing. She spent over ten years as the newsletter and web site content writer for the Pacific Northwest's largest locally-owned family of fabric stores and is now thrilled to have the opportunity to share her passion for sewing with the Sewing Secrets community.

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