Most of the sewing I do is girls clothing and my little guy always seems to get left out. I decided to remedy the situation by making him the coolest, cuddliest, coziest outfit around. The hoodie makes for an adorable out-and-about outfit with jeans. Not to mention it also doubles as the perfect Halloween Costume on a cold rainy day. When he wears it out we get swarmed with compliments. :)
All the little kiddos with cute animal hats and scarves are what inspired me to do a panda hoodie. And who doesn't love a Baby Panda?? The heated booties are for those cold walks in the stroller. Gotta keep those extremities warm!
I recommend a fair amount of sewing knowledge for this project. A make-it-work attitude is always a plus too. I made my own patterns off of clothes that I know fit my son well. I will show you every step I took to complete this adorable outfit.
Step 1: Materials
The amount of fabric and materials will vary depending on the size of your project. You can apply the methods I'm using to any size, babies, toddlers, kids, adults etc. I will give the amounts I used for 24 months size. I used this "Ultra Cuddle Fabric" I got from Joann Fabrics. It looks similar to fleece but more lush and incredibly soft. Unfortunately it is messy to work with, it sheds when cut. Once sewed it is fine but prepare yourself for a messy room while you work. Drove me nuts. But not enough to not use it.
The overall cost for this project is only 10-15$! So much cheaper than buying a hoodie and booties or a costume!
- 1/2 yard Black Ultra Cuddle Fabric - or Fleece
- 3/4 yard White Ultra Cuddle Fabric - or Fleece
- 1/4 yard batting
- 1-2 ounces of fiber fill stuffing
- One sheet of black felt
- Matching thread
- Scrap pieces of cotton fabric for foot warmer
- 3-4 tablespoons of rice
- Hand sewing needle
- Sewing machine
- Measuring tape
- Scissors or Rotary blade
- Cutting mat
- Wrapping paper
- Lint Roller - For the Ultra Cuddle Fabric
Step 2: Panda Hoodie Pattern Pieces
Using a hoodie that fits well Trace the different sections on wrapping paper. This can be tricky but the more you do it, the easier it will get.
First fold the hoodie in half so one arm and the connected front bodice is all that is showing. Lay it flat and stretch out edges to get the right shape. Trace around the edges.
I wanted a raglan sleeve for the panda hoodie so I adjusted the armhole to a straight line slanted towards the top neckline edge. As seen in the pictures. Use a ruler to straighten the lines and then cut it into two separate pieces - sleeve and front bodice. Using a fabric with stretch allows room for error, so don't worry too much about being perfect.
To make the back bodice trace the front that you just cut and make the collar line about 3/4 inch higher.
For the hood, fold in half and trace. You will want to measure the hood neckline and make sure that this measurement matches the total of the bodice front neckline and the bodice back neckline added together. Adjust the hood to match the bodice.
After that your pattern pieces are ready to be cut.
Cut (2) of the bodice front in white fleece. Be sure to add 3/8" seam allowance everywhere but add 1" for the bottom hem, and 1/2-1 inch for the center front zipper area.
Cut (1) bodice back on a fold in white fleece. Add 3/8 seam allowance everywhere but add 1" at the hem
Cut (2) sleeves on fold(the longer side) in black fleece. Add 3/8" seam allowance everywhere but add 1" at the bottom hem.
Cut (4) the hood piece in white fleece. Make sure the two pairs mirror each other. Add 3/8 seam allowance.
Step 3: Assembling the Panda Hoodie
Now that your pieces are cut you can start sewing the hoodie together.
First attach the sleeve to the bodice back with right sides together. Look at my picture for reference. Sew the bodice back armhole edge on each side.
Now flip the fabric over, place the other side of the sleeve onto the bodice front armhole with right sides together. Pin and sew both sides.
*If you hem your armhole before the next step it will be easier than what I did. Make sure you have the right arm measurement first.
Now fold them so they are right sides together and match the sleeves and sides. Pin and sew.
This is where I hemmed the wrist and waist areas. Doing it this way makes it so you can try it on and make sure the hem is in the right spot. The sleeve is harder to hem this way. If your not worried about it then hem before you sew the sides as I noted earlier.
Now you will see two separate hoods. Pin and sew the top edge for each pair. Make sure right sides are together.
*I wanted the hood lined so A) It is warmer and B) to hide the panda face stitching.
Attach one hood to the neckline of the hoodie. I marked the center back and matched the seam of the hood to that and pinned out for there. Sew.
At this point you are ready to do you panda face.
Step 4: Making the Panda Face
I cut shapes until I got what I was looking for. You can always print a face and use that as a template.
To make the face I cut a round nose in white, two eye patches in black and four half circles to make the ears. This is where you can play around and personalize it. I made the nose, smile and pupils out of felt because it was easier to work with. I laid out all the pieces on my cutting board for a size and proportion reference.
*I recommend trying the hood on and marking where you want the nose, eyes and ears. That way you know exactly where each will lay with the hood on. Also be sure to avoid the seam allowance and start at least an inch from the bottom.
Start with the eye patches, pin and hand sew on. Then hand sew the nose on top of that. Leave an opening and add stuffing until you get a shape you like. Sew the rest down.
I glued the felt eyes, the nose and the smile on so there wouldn't be stitch lines.
For each ear pair sew the round edges together with right sides touching. Invert and stuff. Then hand sew onto the hood where you marked.
Now that you face is done you can finish the hood. Sew the hood opening edges with right sides together. Flip over and push the hood inside of the other. Fold the center front (zipper edge) in so it lines up with the edge of the hood and pin. Pin the hood necklines together so the lining hides everything and sew.
Now you will see the zipper to the center front edges and then your done!
Step 5: Heated Booties
These house slippers are soft, plush and have the option to be warmed with a heat pack that slides right in. I made this pattern up as I went. I wasn't concerned about perfection but still wanted a nice result. They have patterns you can buy if you are worried about sizing. I've included pictures of the steps to help. If you have any questions feel free to ask.
First I loosely traced a shoe. This will be the pattern for the sole of the boot. Cut (4) for two mirrored pairs. Then cut (2) batting's with the same pattern but trim 1/2" away from the edge as pictured. Make a batting sandwich with the wrong sides together and sew the entire edge.
*For the rest of the shoe I used this sole as a measurement guide.
Make a circle with measuring tape on the sole exactly where the boot opening tube goes. Add an 1"(for seam allowance) and divide by two. This will be the length of two different rectangle pieces. Make the height however high you want yours to be. I chose 4 inches. Cut out two rectangles with those measurements. Place one on the side. Cut (4) mirrored pieces with the rectangle and cut (2) batting with 1/2 trimmed off all edges. Make a batting sandwich with wrong sides together. Pin and sew.
Take the measuring tape and make a loop where the tube would end like in my pictures. Make it as arched as you want for your shoe. This measurement will be what you cut out of the other rectangle pattern you put on the side. Now measure the width of the sole where the arch was. Mark notches on rectangle of the sole width centered on the bottom edge. Place your measuring tape on the paper using the arch measurement you took between the two points you just marked. Trace the arch when the measurement is right. Cut out the arch. Cut (4) mirrored pieces in your fabric, cut (2) in batting with 1/2 trimmed off the edge. Make a batting sandwich with wrong sides together and sew carefully along the entire edge.
Place the first rectangle and the second cutout rectangle together. Sew the side edges and invert.
Now measure the front edge of the sole where the tube doesn't go. On a piece of paper draw a straight line with the same measurement as your arch from the previous step. Then place the measuring tape arched on this line (like pictured) and match with the front edge measurement you just took. Trace this shape. Cut (4) of this shape in black fleece.
Pin 1 of the pieces to the edge of the arch on the tube. Sew the arch edge. Flip over and pin the second piece to the top with the right side facing out. Sew the front edge only. This will be a pocket for your little warmer. Pin the top onto the sole and sew along the edges.
For the heat pack, cut 4 pieces of 100% cotton in the same shape of the front pocket. Put two together and sew the curved edge and invert. Add 1-2 tablespoons of rice in each. Sew the bottom edge. Repeat for other side.
Heat in the microwave for 20-30 seconds then place into the pocket. Always make sure it isn't too hot before putting in.
My son doesn't notice when the warmer is in. It's nice to know that his little toes are warm when we go on walks.
Step 6: Simple Fleece Pants
I had extra fabric so I made some sweatpants to complete the pandaness. You will need pants that fit well and in similar material.
Fold the pants and trace. Cut two on the fold(the long side). Open and pin the cubed edge with right sides together. Sew together. Open and line the leg edges together. Pin and sew. Fold the top edge over, add elastic and sew. Hem the bottom edges.
This is a quick cheap way to make sweatpants, pajamas, lounge clothes. Once you get a good pattern you won't have to trace anymore.
Step 7: Panda Outfit
My son lives in this hoodie, and I gotta say I don't mind. It is, however, hard to take him serious. A crying panda throwing tantrums is pretty entertaining.
You can also adapt this easily to other things like these:
- Make the hood in terry cloth and attach to a square for a hooded towel.
- Add a pocket top to your own store bought house slippers and make rice warmers for them. Easy and fast.
- Make a panda hat only.
- Make a panda blanket, attach the hood to a blanket rectangle or square.
If you do give a try let me know if you have any questions. :)