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You’ve seen them in stores… Hoods on towels, hoods on sweatshirts, hoods on pajamas, hoods on costumes. Most of the time, adding a hood to these items not only makes them adorable, but also hikes up the price you’re going to pay.
Why not learn how to sew a hood on your own costume or pajamas?
Because it’s intimidating? Nah… Once you see how easy it is, you’re going to find yourself sewing hoods on to all kinds of things.
(Be careful, you’re kids will start to expect it. Trust me!)
The first thing you’ll need to do is cut out your pattern. There are 1-3 things you’ll need to cut out depending on your goal. First, you’ll need to cut out a hood. If you would like a face on your hood, that is the second thing you’ll have to cut. Lastly, if you put a face applique on your hood, I’d advise putting a small soft pillow inside (see below) to keep it upright and easily viewed.
I used this super cute raccoon costume pattern for mine. It only comes up to a 4T, so I had to adjust it to increase the size.
Making The Hood
If you are doing this without a pattern, then use some newspaper to form your basic hood pattern to look like picture A. You really only need two of this piece to make a hood (but I’ll also show you how to do the applique and pillow here too).
With the rights sides of your 2 pieces together, find the front top of the hood and pin together (as shown on the left side of picture A. (Click any picture to enlarge.) Sew together so that it looks like picture B. The bottom of picture B is the edge that will go around the face. Hem this piece. If you’d like, surge it first, then hem.
Open your piece so that it is right side out and place any applique on it if you’re putting a face on. Notice in picture C how the ears are pinned down onto the face, but not stitched in yet.
Fold your hood to where your right sides are together again, and pin the top-back together (picture D). Sew along this top, and then open the hood with the outside still in.
The only open part left, the ear to ear seam is made from the triangle on the left of picture D. Being careful not to drop the ears out or move their position, pin from ear to ear (picture E). Make sure you can see the tips of the ears sticking out. Sew this closed. Check to make sure it is as you want it before surging.
Once done with these steps, it should look like the top piece in picture F.
Making The Soft Pillow
If you don’t have a face/applique, skip to the next section.
Anytime I sew a face or other applique on a hood, I want it to stand up tall and be seen when it’s being worn instead of setting flat on top the head.
To do this, I insert a soft pillow piece inside the hood.
Cut one circle, and two slightly more than half circles of a soft fabric. I used the same material here as I made the hood out of.
Place the right sides of your half-circles together as in picture G. It may be hard to see, but I have sewn two lines here, between the top 2 pins, and again between the bottom 2 pins. (Click to enlarge the picture to understand fully before moving on if needed.)
Open your piece so that it makes a circle that should match the one piece circle. Again, place the right sides together, pin, and this time sew a complete circle all the way around (picture H).
You should be able now to turn the pillow right side out. Give it some gentle stuffing. (I used the leftover white pieces from the applique of this project as well as scraps from this project. Never throw away good scraps 🙂 .)
At this point, you may attach your pillow inside the hood as in picture J, or attach your hood first and then sew your pillow in as a last step. I personally like to wait and attach the pillow last.
Attaching The Hood
Now that you have an amazing hood, it’s time to attach it to the jammies or costume.
With my child’s costume right side out, I zipped the front almost all the way up. (Here you can see the tutorial for putting in hidden zippers.)
I try to line up the middle of the hood with the middle of the back of the neck and pin all the way to the front in both directions. Sometimes I need to pin it a couple of times to get it just where I want it.
I like to zip it all the way up (picture on the right) to make sure it’s just where I want it. Once I’m satisfied with placement, I sew it into place.
Go ahead and check it out. If it’s just how you want it, serge it if you’d like.
If you’ve already attached your soft pillow, you’re done. If not, go ahead a sew in your pillow by hand (picture J), and now you’re done.
We make a lot of costumes each year at our home as the kids all dress up for every birthday party when they are young. I love this raccoon pattern because it also come with an owl, a hedgehog, and a fox. It only comes up to a size 4T, so I do have to make adjustments in it as the kids grow.
And as you can imagine, kids (of all ages) are always asking me to put a hood on all the pajamas as well.