Pattern hack: Hoodiejacket

Today I’d like to show you how I’ve changed (hacked) a sewing pattern for a hoodie into a sewing pattern for hooded jacket with a diagonal zipper. This actually works with any sweater sewing pattern, the only thing that is important is that pattern has normal and no raglan sleeves.

The Plan

The hack

And this is how I made it:

Part 1: Get a zipper into your pattern

Take the front part of your sweater pattern, usually you only have half of it, because it is cutted on fold and copy this once or prints it out twice. Then glue these two pieces together on the fold line and you have a full front piece for a sweater in front of you.

Now you have to decide between which points you want to have your zipper, draw a straight line between these points and cut the front part (VT) at this line apart. (The zipper will be placed at this cutting line later).

Part 2: Adjust the front hem band + determine you zipper length

To achieve the right width and angle for the zipper at your hem band (since this is always narrower than the sweater is wide), do the following: Take the pattern piece for the front hem band or draw it with the size information given in your sweater sewing instructions. Now measure the width of the lower edges of your “new” front pieces.

While measuring you might get the following result: Front part 1 (front 1) = 20 cm & front part 2 (front 2) = 30 cm (total width of the front part at the lower edge = 50cm). The width of the front hem band of the sweater pattern you are working with might be 43 cm.

Calculation (rule of three):

50 cm ≙ 43 cm -> (50 cm width of the lower edge of the front sweater corresponds to a front hem band of 43 cm)
Width front 1 = 20 cm ≙ ? (calculate: 20×43:50) = 17.2 cm = width of hem band front 1
Width front 2 = 30 cm ≙ ? (calculate: 30×43:50) = 25.8 cm = width of hem band front 2


17.2 cm + 25.8 cm = 43 cm (= front hem band width specified for your sweater – you calculated right!)

Now you know how wide the hem bands for the two front pieces have to be, namely hem band front 1 = 17.2 cm and hem band front 2 = 25.8 cm. Now mark these two numbers on the hem band pattern piece (or your prepared drawing) of the front hem band and extend the diagonal dividing line of your “jacket front part” at this point. This way you have the right angle and the right width for your front hem bands for your jacket with a diagonal zipper.

In order to determine the length of the required zipper, you also have to take the height of the hem band into account, which you have just separated at the front into two parts to be able to place a zipper in between.


Check if your sweater sewing pattern already has seam allowance included or not. If your pattern already has seam allowance included, you will have to substract the seam allowance from the measured length to get the correct length for your zipper.

Part 3: Facings (my version) or lining

You can determine the facings relatively freely in the form and width, but these should always end with the shoulder seam and the neckline. (see sketch). If you want to make the later sewing a little easier, you can also make your jacket with a lining. For this you just need to duplicate both front parts (one for the outside and one for a lining) and the part for the back. This, however, means you need much more material (fabric), but on the other hand you will get a much nicer finish of the hood without having to sew this part “by hand”. I opted for the unlined and hand-sewing version this time, because this is my first attempt to make this jacket and I only have a limited amount of my sweat fabric available. But certainly the inside of your jacked will look much “cleaner” with lining.

Part 4:

a) Pocket

For this I have thought of something special and copied the narrower front pattern piece of my jacket (front 2) and cutted a rounding into the side seam (from about 1/2 armhole up to the height where I want to be my pocket opening. At this rounding I’m going to place a hem and only sew the upper part of this pattern piece to my front 2, so that only the actual pocket opening remains open.

b) foldable facing

For the foldable facing (unfortunately I can not think of a better word or a better description), I took the pattern piece of the front 1 and created a triangular section with the rounding of the neckline. I made this part, because there is always one point with sweat jackets that bother me, the “hole” that remains at the neckline between the two parts of the hood. I really like it warm, or protected from the wind on the neck and do not like to always have to wear a scarf. This small extra part makes it possible to get a hood pretty similar to the hood of a hoodie, which is attached from shoulder to shoulder at the neckline. And to make it a little more stable I planed it to be double-layered. (Addition: Who fears that this foldable facing might constantly slip while wearing can sew in a snap or a small loop with a matching button to (invisible) hold it in place.

Here are my new pattern pieces for the front of my hooded jacket:

The red lines indicate the places where you have to add seam allowance. My used sweater sewing pattern (a combination of two sewing pattern of two different manufacturers) already has seam allowance included so I only have to add some at these lines. For my zipper I decided to use a seam allowance of 1,5cm and for my pocket hem a seam allowance of about 0.7cm (round about the width of my pressure food).

Part 5: Hood

I have used a hood that is sewn from shoulder to shoulder to the neckline and consists of only 2 (or with lining 4) parts. There are also great hoods, which are made of 3 parts each. And of course, you can also use these, all you have to pay attention to at this point are the different width of your front parts necklines to which you have to adapt the hood. So measure and adjust the length of the “tips”, of the hood. The back part remains the same, because nothing has changed there. Here is an approximate example of my modification of the hood pattern pieces. I had to shorten both sides a little, so that the hood ends at one side at the zipper (h-front 1) and the other (h-front 2) at the tip of the foldable facing.

Soooo … the pattern adjustments for my hooded jacket with diagonal zipper are now finished. The pattern pieces for sleeves, cuffs, back, and back hem band remain as they are, just like you would use them for a sweater.

Have fun and give it a try! Feedback and/or photos of your jackets are most welcome!

My finished “hacked” hooded jacket

Here is a photo of the first implementation of my pattern hack (including my own pocket idea) and what can I say …. I like it very much! 🙂

PS: Since some of you might have trouble to imagine how to put these parts together correctly, some suitable sewing instructions might follow in some time. For now, if you have any questions, just send me an email, I’m looking forward to assist you the best I can.
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