Handmade hooded sweatshirt with felt appliqué

I can never turn down free fabric. Ever. It can mean I have fabric hanging out for years, but more often than not, I eventually find a way to use it. I got this fleece fabric for free a few weeks ago and knew I’d need to make something small with it since both pieces were only about 1 yard long. Another week later and I came across a hooded sweatshirt sewing pattern for toddlers that I had bought at Value Village a few years ago, and knew it was meant to be.

diy sweatshirts and felt appliqués

Skill level: This sewing project would be good for intermediate sewers.
Time commitment estimate: A few hours for each hooded sweatshirt, depending on skill level and how advanced your appliqué is.

To start: Make sure all fabric is prewashed before you cut it so you eliminate any shrinking that might happen after it’s sewn and then washed.

 Sewing supplies you’ll need (below are some links to Amazon if you want things delivered to you, otherwise Joann’s will have everything you need):

1. Sewing machine – You’ll need a standard sewing machine to complete this project. See here for some suggestions on sewing machines for beginners.
2. Thread – The only thread I use is Gutermann. Other brands have the little lip that always gets caught when I’m sewing and it drives me crazy. This would be a good investment if you need various colors for future projects as well. Otherwise just get a spool that matches your fabric.
3. Scissors – Invest in a decent pair of scissors (not expensive, just decent) and then don’t let anyone else use them. I had a sewing instructor in school harp on that constantly – everyone puts pressure in different areas of the scissors and you don’t want your alignment to get messed up. Fiskars is my brand of choice, and this pair looks like a great place to start. Also, don’t use them for anything except fabric. They’ll get dull quicker and there is nothing worse than trying to cut fabric with dull scissors.
4. Fabric – You’ll need fleece fabric for this project. See instructions on back of pattern for amounts needed.
5. Felt – This is what I used to make the appliqués on the front. I love using Rainbow Classic Felt because they’re made from recycled post-consumer plastic bottles (!), and I rarely need pieces bigger than the 9″ x 12″ they come as. You can buy them by the piece at your local craft store, or order a bigger pack online to have on hand for future projects.

DIY quiet baby book

6. Hoodie Pattern – I used McCall’s pattern M6237 to make these sweatshirts. As mentioned above, I actually got the pattern from Value Village a few years ago!

diy sweatshirts and appliques

First step was to draw a design to use as the appliqué. I knew I wanted something different but still coordinating since I was making them for a set of twins. You can make your own appliqué design to put on the front, you could buy an already made patch (like this one or this one), or you can download the cloud and rainbow template I made here.

Using the template pattern pieces, cut out the appropriate felt colors and sew to the sweatshirt fronts using matching thread colors. I used a sewing machine to sew the pieces on, but you could always hand sew them as well.

diy hooded sweatshirt and felt appliqué

diy hooded sweatshirt and felt appliqué

diy hooded sweatshirt and felt appliqué

My advice with the construction of the sweatshirts is to serge the seams, or use a zig-zag stitch to make sure everything stretches properly. The main thing is to make sure the neck hole is big enough to get over their adorably over-sized baby heads.

diy hooded sweatshirt and felt appliqué

diy sweatshirts and felt appliqués

diy hooded sweatshirt and felt appliqué

diy hooded sweatshirt and felt appliqué

diy hooded sweatshirt and felt appliqué

And of course, per usual, Frankie gets 10% credit as my trusty assistant. Thanks Frankie, for always being super cute and in the way.

diy hooded sweatshirt and felt appliqué

diy hooded sweatshirt and felt appliqué

Gymboree is one of my favorite places to shop for really cute kids clothes. Below are some options for Sweatshirts to buy something similar to the one that I made above! (As is the case with most places that sell children’s clothing, most of the sweatshirts that are similar to this more unisex style I made were found in the “boys” section. Just a heads up.)

  1. Shark Pullover // 2. Gator Hoodie // 3. Pirate Pup Hoodie //4. Tiger Hoodie

5.  Kitten Hoodie // 6. Sunny Girl Tee // 7. Smile Camera Tee // 8. Mouse Tee

*This post is brought to you in collaboration with Gymboree! Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog!

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