Adding Hoods to Anything with Once Upon a Sewing Machine

I’m so excited to be able to introduce you all to new blogging friend today!!  This mother daughter team totally knocks my socks off on a regular basis!!  I’m sure you will love there blog, you should check it out as soon as you finish reading the awesome tutorial they are sharing today!

Hi, everybody. We’re so excited to be invited to share a post with you. My name is Rachel. Me and mom, Donna, blog over at Once Upon a Sewing Machine. We sew for ourselves, our homes, and frequently for my two kiddos.

Today’s tutorial is great for sewing enthusiasts of all levels, and it’s a super handy skill to have, too. It has gotten cold by us…real cold. That means it’s time to layer up, and it also means that hoods have become an essential part of the wardrobe.

Sewing hoods can seem intimidating at first, but they are actually really easy to add to an existing pattern or shirt. I’m sewing for me today, but the steps are the same for men, women, and children. We’re going to go through how to attach a lined hood. Let’s get started!

For our example I’m using a top I picked up at the thrift store for $3.00 and some waffle weave fabric I had on hand. You could easily take the fabric for your hood from a thrift store top if you wanted to.

adding a hood

I like that this top has the button opening, but you could also create a cardigan, or use a standard tee neckline.

If you don’t have a button opening or V at your neckline, make sure your new hood is made of material with stretch or you may not be able to get your head back through the opening!

Now you’ll need your favorite hooded item from your closet. Fold it in half, lay it out on the fabric you have chosen for your hood, and grab a ruler.

adding a hood

You’re going to trace around your hood, adding in ½” for your seam allowance.

adding a hood

It will look something like this. Remember, if you go too big you can trim it down, but if you go too small you can’t fix it! I free handed in my neckline, but you can fold down your hood and trace.

I’m making a lined hood, so I will cut 4 pieces. If you aren’t going to line your hood, cut 2.

adding a hood

Take 2 pieces, face them right sides together, and sew from the center front to center back. Do the same with your remaining 2 pieces. Now you will have two hoods! Try one on your head to do a rough size check.

As a reminder, we added ½” to our piece. That will be your seam allowance.

Now take your 2 hoods and place them right sides together. Pin the seam that will run around your face. It will look like this-

adding a hood

Sew with ½” seam allowance. Press the seam allowance that runs from the forehead to the back of the neck to one side and turn the hood right side out.

I use a double needle for this next step because I like the look, but a single needle will work also.

adding a hood

Put a line of stitching down directly next to your seam tacking down your seam allowance and further securing your two layers of hood.

**If you are not lining your hood, turn the front of your hood under and hem. Then put in this stitching to hold your seam allowance down.

Now we’re going to attach your hood!

adding a hood

Here is the easiest way to do it. Pin the center back hood to the center back of your shirt. Pin the tip of your hood to the front center or neck opening. Pin at the center point of that space (probably near the shoulder). Continue pinning by breaking your opening in half like this until you feel comfortable that your whole hood is secured. Sew.

If you are adding a hood to a pattern, you can skip the neck ribbing. In this case I’m going to attach it my neck ribbing. Depending on your top you may want to cut off the ribbing and attach your hood directly to the shirt.

adding a hood

Sew all the way around. Your fully lined hood is attached!

adding a hood

Easy, right? Now experiment. Want to add a drawstring? Line the front with some faux fur? The fabric and material mixing offers you a huge variety of projects just waiting to be tackled.

Big thanks to Kadie for having us over to share this tutorial today! We would love for you to stop by and check out our other tutorials, join our Facebook community, Pin great projects with us, and check out our recently moved store front.


  1. Oh, wow! I’m pretty intimidated by hoods so I’ve never actually tried one. Thank you for making it look easy. -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

  2. Great tutorial, Rachel!!!

  3. Hey, what a cool idea to give new life to an old top! Thanks for sharing!!

  4. Very cool! Looks super simple too! Great tutorial!

  5. Very neat idea, Rachel!

  6. Thanks for the tips! Nice to “meet” you!

  7. Thanks for the tips! Nice to “meet” you!

  8. Great tutorial!

  9. Really great idea! I have an old shirt that would be perfect candidate for this.

  10. Thank you! I’m making a flannel dress and couldn’t figure out how to add a hood. You made my day! Nancy

  11. Used your tutorial to put hoods on capes for my twin daughters. Looked at other sites but they were too complicated. You made everything so simple. Our hooded capes are now perfect. Thank you so much.

  12. very cute 🙂

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