How to Add a Secret "Tactical" Hood to Any Jacket With Bonus Surprise




About: Called a renaissance man more times than I can count, I am the type of person who believes you can do anything you put your mind to. As a veteran I've seen some awful acts committed, and I guess my wanting t...

This new job I'm at has the smoking area in the middle of the parking lot which is roughly the size of a football field, and the past few weeks have been extremely cold. I always try to remember my hat but racing out of the house I'm always forgetting it. I thought a couple of times about getting a new winter coat with a hood, but I love my old wool coat. So for awhile now I've considered trying to add a hood to it but I didn't want the hood hanging out the back all the time. It needed to be hidden or "Tactical" (out of the way but easy to access). I tried a couple of different ways and learned a bit on the way to making this work.

How to add a secret "Tactical" hood to any jacket w/ Bonus Surprise!!!


Step 1: Materials


Old Sweatshirt that doesn't fit anymore and a good matching color that suites your taste
Thread (Color Matching or Black)
Grease Pencil (or a sliver of bar soap will work too)

Sewing machine (or plain old sewing needle)
Hobby Knife (though if you have it I've been told to get a Hem puller supposed to make tearing stitches easier)

Step 2: Cutting Up the Shirt

The bulk of my sewing experience is mostly sewing a wound shut with a small sewing kit in my arm and a camera holster i'ble I've done earlier, So to those of you who are great at sewing forgive my hack job at trying this, I'm still new to trying this out.

Take an old sweatshirt and tear all the hems you can find so you have some raw fabric to work with.
With a pair of scissors trim the excess fabric off to make 2 big squares out of the front and back of the shirt.

I made a couple of mistakes along the way and this next step was one of them (If your following along making a hood you can skip to step 4 "Changing the design" to save yourself from making my mistake)
Next sew the 2 squares together to make one long rectangle.

Step 3: Making the Design

Hey nobody's perfect, I'm including this step as just a reference not to make this mistake it worked well with my Halloween costume robe but was for crap with an everyday hood. My wife said I looked like a monk wearing a robe and trying to hide it under the coat was big and bulky not at all what I was going for.

The pictures depict how I used a sliver of soap to do a circular hood style it made the hood way too big.
On the bright side it still gave me enough fabric to cut it down to a good size.

Step 4: Changing the Design

After my initial testing or first try at this project, I had to go back to the drawing board. So my first step was to rip all of the first stitches from the previous try.

Next take the two squares of fabric and pair them up, it helps to have a way to pin them together like a couple of needles through the fabric.
Then take the fabric squares and drape them over the side of your head from your collar over the top of your head, make sure to mark the center using your nose as a guide as the center.
Take a piece of string to a loop on one end and going from the corner at the bottom stretch the string to the center mark you made and try an additional loop there.
Place your finger into the bottom loop and a grease pencil or sliver soap in the other loop and draw a quarter circle.
Then take your scissors and cut out that quarter circle.

Step 5: Final Sewing

Keep the two halves matched and sew the edge of the hood around the circle.
Then open the hood and with a wide stitch sew over that stitch which should mash it down making it comfortable to wear.
Then from the center of the coat start sewing inside the hood edge to the inner edge of the collar line (Make sure to leave 4 to 5 inches of fabric not hemmed at each end).
Then create a loop by sewing a couple of inch's at the corner (this will be for the bonus step however if you don't use the bonus you can continue to sew all the way to the corner).

Step 6: WARM and COZY

Now you have a warm hood for those cold days that hides easily under your coat and leaves enough room to slide it up or back depending on your mood.

But wait my face still gets cold when the wind starts blowing, and hey I have some extra fabric left over...

Step 7: The Bonus!!!

With the extra fabric left over, I got the idea to add a quick face mask by sewing it to those extra fabric pleats I left inside the hood!

Using my own head as a measuring tool again I wrapped a piece of extra fabric around my face and marked behind the ears then cut at those marks.
Finally I sewed (from the inside) a hem to each of the pleats together with each of the edges of the fabric; so if I want to use the face mask it slides easily over my head and holds tightly at the bridge of my nose. Or I can fold it back and hide it cleanly in the hood.

Now that I've tested it there is an added benefit to wearing the face mask it keeps the wind from blowing the hood off my head.



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    12 Discussions

    Which part do you need help with, maybe I can add something to make that part clearer. Sometimes I forget to add somethings and I'm always open to adding something I may have forgotten.

    What I'm confused about is what shape the actual hood is (is it a quarter circle or a semi circle?) and also which part of the hood attaches to the shirt.
    It's probably just me, sometimes it takes me a while to understand written instructions XP

    Yeah, that was the part that got a little confusing for me as well you can actually do it either way fold your fabric in half and make a quarter circle (which is probably best because you can get both sides the same size) alternatively you can lay out the fabric and draw a semi (or half) circle, then start sewing from the center of the jacket and the center of the rounded part of the semi circle out to the edge along the inner seam of the jacket


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I like it. I imagine you look a little Sith-y out in the parking lot with your hood up and smoke pouring out of your face mask. Which is completely awesome.

    How's the durability? I imagine that if it's intended for smoking, which can be a smelly activity, you'll need to wash it on occasion.

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I had a lot of comments tonight on it, and of course I sent them here.

    Being a sweat shirt it's pretty tough and durable I figured I'll just be washing it with the coat, So I'll update if I have problems after the wash but it was nice and warm tonight.


    7 years ago on Step 7

    I guess you would want to put a hole in the facemask to suit the intended purpose to keep you warm while you are out there doing your thing?

    3 replies

    Reply 7 years ago on Step 7

    Good Point! And for my intended purpose I may go back and do that on mine, I wanted to make the i'ble more universal to everyone just to be fair to the NS's as well. One of the nice things about it though is I can pull it down under my chin for that purpose and keep my neck warm as well, so I'm not sure yet if I will but it's a good observation, thank you.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    It looks really great, i could imagine it would be a useful "mod" for motorcyclists or people who walk a lot/work outside too.

    About the smoking (being a smoker myself) these days thats a pretty hot topic and i could have been left out without any loss to the qualiy of the post.

    (and now i managed to add a little more wood to the fire in case theres some strong opinions for either side around here :)


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    The smoking issue was really just an after thought, your right though it is one of those hot topics that could spark a lot of discussion, and for anyone reading; While I am a smoker I don't endorse it, nor would recommend starting.

    If I drove my motorcycle out in the winter months I might be able to test that, but it's all packed away this season. However that was my thought exactly "Should I or not put the reason for the idea?", Ultimately I decided to take the hit if it comes. Thanks again for the reply