Introduction: Color-blocked Zhoodie

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[ z hoo d-ee ]
1. Having the best of both worlds.
2. A zippered hoodie having two pockets and a uni-pocket.

Everyone is familiar with a hoodie. It's a (pullover)sweatshirt with with a hood and a front pocket. Well apparently, if it also has a full zipper(and a separated front pocket) it is called a zoodie. Weird, right? Makes sense I suppose, but I certainly never heard anyone use that terminology. It is just another reasonfor Urban dictionary to exist.

I took an informal poll(okay, I asked 3 people) which they prefer and why: a hooded sweatshirt with a single front pocket or one with a zipper and two separate pockets.

There was the answer of: "I prefer a hoodie because I like having a single front pocket."

There was also the answer: "I like a single pocket but place more value on having a zipper for ease of put-on/take-off, or, if I get warm I can unzip halfway."

What if, I mean, what if the possibility existed for both worlds to collide and exist in unison? I am always tempted to find solutions to First-world problems, and this seemed to be one of them. Could it be done?

Yes. It can be done. I'll show you how...


fleece - one yard each of 3 different colors, 2 yards of predominant(4th) color(navy in my case).

coil separating zipper of 24", and lightweight separating zipper(both in the predominant color)

cord for hood, about 36 inches, two grommets, with tool, and hammer.

sewing machine that accepts size 18 needles(for sewing fleece, nothing smaller works)

appropriate thread, scissors, and hand needle. And chalk. Oh... and about 6-10 hours of time.

Step 1: Patterning the Body

No need to buy or download any patterns. Just use what you have, whether it be hoodies that fit well, or fleece vests. The more you have at your disposal the better to create a nice pattern.

(I always think it intuitive to number instructions with corresponding photos)

1. The Back. I used a vest. You can use a hoodie as well, by turning the sleeves to the inside(see my "satin" jacket 'ible). Be sure to add plenty extra, for seam allowances and for ease of fit. I used two layers of fleece, for good drape and warmth.

2. Cut just outside of chalk lines. Fold that in half to check symmetry and make any corrections.

3. Front Bottom Section(s). Again, add plenty extra for seam allowances and ease. Best to create cutoff below armpit. Again, I used two layers of fleece.

4. One front section(and main pockets, since of same color). Ruler shown for relative size of pockets. (Adjust for you or what you want.)

5. Use created front to section to create other side's color. (Be sure to flip for symmetry!)

6. Front Top Section(s). This is a bit trickier due to the armscye(armhole) and neck. Be sure add plenty extra as it can always be cut away later.

7. Flip over to cut other side. Again, I used two layers of fleece for each side's color.

Step 2: Hood and Sleeves

1. I used the hood from a hoodie( I mean zoodie! ) that I like. I prefer larger hoods, especially because I often wear a hat underneath, so I made a generously expanded chalk line.

2. Compare neckline of bottom of hood to hoodie or vest used for top sections, for better accuracy.

3. Four pieces, two flipped for mirror right sides/wrong sides.

4. Use armscye of top section to create sleeve top. Flip edge/end upwards to create proper shape. Chalk line.

5. Cut 1/2" outside of chalk line at top of sleeve. For the sleeves I only used one layer of fleece. I was concerned about too much bulk at shoulder line and especially wrist cuff.

Step 3: Connecting All the Pieces

1. The four front sections.

2. This photo shows both the left top and bottom section pinned together(and the other side as well)

3. A stitch spacing of "4" is recommended.

4. Ease up on the presser foot as it is a stretch fabric. No more than a 1/2" seam allowance is needed.

5. Front sections joined. Press seams open. (serging them only adds unwanted rigidity, fleece will not fray)

6. Sew back to front section at shoulder. Press seams open.

7. Pin each sleeve to armscye. Expect the sleeve top edge to be larger than sleeve hole(armscye). When sewing, have bodice shoulder seam on top of sleeve top seam, and stretch slightly to fit. (fleece is very forgiving!)

8. Finished seams of garment turned right side out.

9. Turn inside out and stitch side seams, from top to bottom. Pro tip: I like to sew two separate seams, starting at the center bottom of armpit, sewing down to the bottom of the waist, then again to the bottom of the wrist.

10. This gives a perfectly lined-up seam., as shown in photo.

Step 4: Two Pockets

1. Clip outer, curved edge of each pocket.

2. Turn seam allowances under and pin.

3. Stitch from edge to end.

4. Figure where pockets should start at top, based on where they should stop at waistband, minus seam allowance. Flip over, chalk seam line and pin.

5. Stitch and trim seam allowance.

6. Topstitch at top of pocket.

7. Stitch down at edges of side pocket, then add a second row of stitching parallel to that.

Step 5: Wrist Cuffs and Waistband

1. Create two square-ish rectangles for wrist cuffs, 6.25" high, and the length of the circumference of your sleeve's finished bottom. (Do not add seam allowance as you want the wrist cuff to be one inch smaller as to have a slightly elasticized effect.) Create one long waistband, 6.25" high, and the length of the bottom of hoodie bottom.

2. Remove a few inches from waistband length to give an elasticized effect after sewing to bottom of hoodie.

3. Finished waistband sewn to hoodie bottom. How to: Fold waistband in half, wrong sides together, and pin edges to edges of hoodie bottom, stretching to ease to fit. Press seam allowances open.

4. Wrist cuffs: fold in half, right sides together, and stitch.

5. Press seams open, then fold, wrong sides together, edges even.

6. Pin to sleeve bottom, lining up seams, easing to fit.

7. Turn inside out to stitch.(Always stitch with smaller circumference at top, as the presser foot pressure provides a slight stretching effect.)

8. Trim seam allowance.

9 & 10. Finished sleeve bottoms

Step 6: Main Zipper

1. Coil separating zipper. Pin right side of zipper, non-tooth edge, face down along edge of jacket, lining up bottoms and tops.

2. Using a zipper foot to get stitching close to teeth, stitch along entire zipper.

3. Connect/zip unstitched zipper side to stitched zipper side. Put pins on unstitched zipper side where all horizontal seams are. This is a sewing guide and ensures perfect alignment of of seams/colors when zipped.

4. Unzip zipper and lay it along other front edge of jacket, lining pins up with seams. Stitch.

5. The finished install, all lined up nicely. Topstitching comes after the hood install.

Step 7: Hood

1. Sew halves of hoods together along curve. Be sure right sides are together. You should now have two identical hoods. Press seams open using an ironing ham.

2. Sew each hood together, right sides together, along front. Press seams open. Turn right side out.

3. Two inches up from bottom, 1/2" over, make small hole for grommet. Repeat for other front side of hood.

4. Add small piece of felt for added strength, and feed grommet through.

5. Finished grommet. (If you have extra grommets and have never made one, do a practice one with the fleece.)

6. Now topstitch along front of hood, about one inch from edge.

7. Pin hood bottom to jacket neck edge. Hood will be smaller, so distribute fullness evenly. Stitch together, hood on top, stretching slightly as you sew to match up with neck edge.

8. Finished seam, cord shown. Feed cord through casing with very small safety pin.

9. Topstitch zipper. I do this with the inside of the jacket/zipper tape showing. Match up your bobbin thread to the outer color. Fleece has a deep nap, so it doesn't have to be the exact shade.

10 & 11. Neck facing to house/hide all the neck seam allowances. Cut strip 2.5" wide, length of neck circumference plus 2". Sew strip to seam allowances, along original stitch line.

12. Trim seam allowances, and stitch strip on top, through jacket. Cut away excess for neatness.

Step 8: Unipocket!!

1. Four pocket pieces, lightweight separating zipper. These pockets should be one inch larger on each side than previous pockets, so they extend outside of them(mainly to avoid stitching on top of them).
2. Four pieces of fleece shown are right sides together. Place zipper sections face down, one inch from bottom.
3. Stitch zipper
4. Place corresponding pieces on top of that and stitch down. Sew with previously stitched zipper side up. Then sew across top of pockets, and along sides. Only leaving bottom of pocket unstitched.
5. Clip corners and curves.
6. Turn pockets ride side out. Zip up. Check for evenness and make any adjustments.
7. Place new pocket sides flipped over under old pockets. Chalk stitch line and pin to waistband.
8. Stitch and trim seam allowance.

9. Hand baste tops and sides of pockets.

Step 9: Finished Zhoodie!

Both zippers work great. And really fun(and novel!) to have three pockets. I made this as a Christmas gift for my daughter. The nineties are trending right now, but this will ALWAYS be "in" according to us.

: )

~ Cynthia

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