How To Hack A Hoodie into a Cowl

Sarah, from Sweet Sprocket, is on our blog today showing us how to hack a hoodie into a cowl. It is a super easy way to change up the look of your favorite hoodies!

If you ever read my blog over at Sweet Sprocket, you know I often start out my posts with confessions. Here’s my confession for this post – I’m not a huge fan of hoodies. I mean, in theory, I like things to keep my head warm. In reality, I don’t often use them as intended and they end up being bulky and pulling on my garment when not actually on my head. For this reason, I’ve long been a fan of hacking hoods into cowls. There’s nothing I don’t love about a cowl – a warm neck, the draping of fabric in a flattering way, the option to use a little contrasting fabric for an interesting detail… Cowls are my jam. Word in the PDF sewing world is that fellow sewists would love an easy “how to” for hacking hoods into cowls. Well, read on! Our friends at New Horizons heard the call and I’m sharing my super easy hack today!

I used the Summit Peak for this tutorial, though I’ve used the same method on the Tami as well. I use pattern interfacing for most of my pattern tracing, so that’s what you will see in the photos below.

First, take your hood pattern. Cut a rectangle of interfacing/freezer paper/regular paper (whatever you’re going to use to make your cowl pattern piece). My rectangle is about 11 inches tall by 14 inches wide. The width was determined by the distance from the furthest back point on the hood to the front edge of the hood – ie, the widest points of the hood from front to back. The height can be as tall or as short as you would like the finished height of your cowl to be.

Second, cut the bottom edge of your rectangle to match the neckline of the hood. I’ve seen cowl patterns that are not curved in this way, but I feel this helps the pattern sit nicely around the neckline.

In this step, I also shape the sides of the cowl. I used the same shape as the back of the hood and a straight line up from the front of the cowl. This shape, as you can see, will give more height of fabric in the front and less at the back of my neck. There’s a lot of room for personal preference here. If you shape your cowl out at the front, instead of straight up as I did, it will completely change the shape (and will be lovely too!) Play around and find what you like best (or change it up all the time because sewing is fun!)

Once you have your pattern piece, cut two pieces of fabric on the fold (fold line is the same as if you were cutting a hood, on the right side of the pattern). Cut one piece for lining and one for exterior. Keep in mind that the “lining” piece is often more visible when the cowl is relaxed. I’m using the darker gray for the exterior and the lighter print for the lining.

Take your lining piece and sew the edge opposite of the fold (the back neckline) with a serger or a stretch stitch. Repeat for the lining piece. You should have two “loops” of fabric now.

Place them right sides together, matching up the back seams and along the straight top edge, as pictured.

Sew around this straight edge with a serger or stretch stitch to attach your exterior and lining pieces.

Lastly, turn right side out. Divide cowl raw edge into four equal sections (center front and center back plus two sides). Repeat for the neckline of your garment. With right sides together, match these points up to attach the cowl to neckline and stretching as needed in between points. ***Take special care to match up the exterior of your cowl to the right side of your garment, so that the lining shows when you are finished.***



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