January 31, 2013

Upcycled T-shirt Hoodie

THIS is a zip hoodie I made for Rex 2 years ago.  It took a while until he grew into it, but it's been his favorite thing I've made him.  He loves hoods, but he doesn't like thick sweatshirts.  He asked me today if I could make him some more.

I decided to mix it up a bit and this is what I made this time around.

It actually wasn't too hard to make.  Here's the low down.

I started with an old men's t-shirt that had a crazy stretched out neck.  (Name the show: "I wouldn't trust him with a v-neck!")  I also had a long sleeve t-shirt that was about Rex's size ($3 from Wal-mart.)

You could just add a hood and a pocket, but I like to lengthen the shirt and arms because Rex is crazy skinny.  That way the hoodie is a little less baggy on his little frame.  So, I trim off the bottom of the shirt and the sleeves to get rid of the existing hems.  (Don't chuck them.  We'll use the bottom hem again.)

I trim off the bottom of the old t-shirt, which will become the bottom of the new hoodie.  Sweet.  No hemming required.

I even use the existing hems of the sleeves to use on the new hoodie sleeves.

To get the sizing right I just lay it out to match the red shirt and them cut it off, leaving a small seam allowance (which you can see on the left side).  Then sew that closed and attach it to the shirt.  I did it the same way for the sleeves.

For the hood I used a hood that currently fits him and made it a little larger.

I sewed the excess hem from the red shirt onto the hood as an edging as well.

To add the hood you just need to first carefully trim out the neckline on the red shirt, staying as close to the seam as possible.  Then center the hood in the back of the shirt and sew it on.  (In hindsight, I wish I would have made my hood slightly wider so that there wasn't a gap in front.  It worked fine, but next time I'll probably aim to have them line up better.)  

I just tucked under the raw edge at that spot and sewed it under.  I also top stitched all the way around the neckline to match it.

I cut out a pocket shape for the front.  I probably would have made it a little smaller but I wanted it to use the whole target graphic from the previous shirt.  Rex loved that part.  I cut two layers even though I left the raw edges exposed.  One layer seemed too thin.  I sewed along the curved parts and then attached the rest to the shirt (being careful not to sew the curved opening closed).

You could easily sew all these seams normally.  I just like the exposed seams when the fabric curls under - just like I did on my Upcycled T-shirt Dress.

And if you think about the placement, you can reuse all the cool parts of the original shirt.

So, what does the little guy think?

He was pretty pleased.

Pleased enough to rock a few of his own poses for me.  Gotta love those.  (Though he didn't pose with the garden hose this time.  Bummer.)

 And with the added length it gives him enough room to grow a bit.

And there you have it - a not-bulky-but-still-hooded t-shirt hoodie for my little guy.

Thanks for reading.


  1. Adorable!!! You are so talented.
    Love you Rex!

  2. Love it! I have a few L/s blank tees from sale, just waiting to have some 'funk' added to them, thanks for the inspiration, and tute, I will remember this come winter, I hope! :)

  3. This is amazing, and he is precious (as precious as superheros can be, of course) in it! Great work!

  4. Anonymous31.1.13

    Wow, those last two pictures are so handsome. Be sure to tell him that from me (mom of 2 little girls :P)

  5. I love it! I have only sewed pillows and a pair of sweater pants so far, but your tutorials and the stuff you make make me want to try this hoodie and the upcycled dress so bad! Great work!

  6. Very cute! I love when you share sewing projects for boys! I feel like all I ever do is sew girly stuff! Pretty sure these will be next on my list!

  7. I love the way your son models it!! cute

  8. I am so scared of sewing knit fabrics! I just need to get over it already... this is awesome and my little guy would LOVE something like this (he is a hood man all over).

  9. I love it! The fabric colors are great together . . .gotta love turquoise and red together!

  10. thanks for that!!! i love it and i think my little guy would love one!

  11. SO handsome! I gotta think my kiddo would look just as cute in one ;)

  12. This is great! I especially love the color combo!

  13. it seems to be so easy reading your tutorial, cute hoodie

  14. Super awesome! Love the curled edges and how you included all the coolest parts of the t's. The blue and red are a great combo. I have such a hard time visualizing how things will look in the end.

  15. Totally love it! I'm going to have to dig through my stash and see if I have what I need to make one of my boys one.

  16. Ah you have to tell me the name of the show! It's on the tip of my tongue! So adorable love this :D

  17. This is so cute! I love those colors together. You can tell that he just loves it too!

  18. Anonymous31.1.13

    Thank you for posting this! I have the same issue with my daughter who adores hoods but cannot stand the bulk of sweatshirts. I'll be sure to make her some of these!

  19. This is so adorable, if only I could sew :)

  20. I notice you use a lot of t-shirt material in your projects, what's your trick to sewing with it? I can't seem to get the stuff to run through my sewing machine.

  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

  22. What sizes are you purchasing? When it comes to using custom printed t-shirts for marketing purposes, you want to make sure that you buy a wide range of sizes. teeript


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