So this is what I came up with and I'm so happy with it that I thought I'd share. It doesn't require any sewing so if you can't sew and don't want to experiment, you can use snaps which are very easy to put together. Keep in mind when you make your choice that the sewing is only one option and it's fairly simple. Sewing a few particular peices will make the system virtually unnoticeable to you when wearing the hoodie, the snaps are just a bit more bulky.
Another thing to think about is that once built, this system will be quickly adaptable to the next hoodie you buy (I tend to go through them rather fast), you will just need to put a few snaps into your new hoodie.
For anyone who watches the video, I wanted to explain that the volume on the speakers was down half way so I could talk over it. I was very impressed with the sound out of those small speakers, and would recommend them for this project.
Step 1: Tools and Materials
Here is a list of things you will need. There are a couple options on materials because there are several ways to go about making this. If you want minimal sewing, using snaps will work just as well; if you don't mind a little sewing, the Velcro will be almost invisible. You could also use buttons, but that's a style choice.
- sewing machine- optional
- Headphone extension cord at least two feet long
- Ipod Speaker Case- Found at Best Buy for $12.95
- Electrical tape
- 12 DIY snaps- Found at Walmart, $4.95 for 8
- 1 square foot of fabric
- needle and thread- optional
- Velcro strips- optional
Step 2: Making the Access Point
The Access point in the hood is what makes this system so versital and machine washable. It allows you to install or remove each component at will. Put everything in for a long day at the job site, skating, skiing, walking around town, or whatever you will be doing. When it comes time to wash your hoodie, simply open it up and take everything out.
I used a zipper but in retrospect, using snaps would have been better. The snaps are way easier to put in and work well, so if I were ever to transfer this system to another hoodie, I'd just have to put in a few snaps.
First, lay your hoodie down so that the inside is facing you. Spread it out so that the hood is open and as straight as possible. Next, near the bottom of the hood, where it meets the neck, draw a straight line with your sharpie, across the middle line of the hood, even on both sides of center. It should be about one inch above the bottom seem and as long as your zipper if you're using one, or about nine inches if you're using snaps.
With the zipper, place it in the cut you made and center it. Pin each side to the top and bottom of the cut to keep it in place while you sew. Using the sewing machine, carefully sew it into place. As you can see I'm not very good with a sewing machine, but was able to get it secured into the hood. For me this is not a problem becuase it won't be seen by anyone but me. If you don't have a sewing machine, sewing it into place by hand would be a simple chore and might even look better than mine.
If you choose to use snaps, mark four spots evenly spaced on the top and bottom edges of the cut you made, puch small holes through them and then install the snaps with the little tools that come in the package. Make sure before you put them in that they are faced the correct position and will snap together when you are finished.
You now have point of access that, when you're wearing your hoodie, should be completely hidden.
Step 3: Snaps Instead of a Zipper
As I said, when I do my new hoodie I will be using snaps instead of a zipper. The Zipper is nice but it took some real effort to get it sewn in. For those of you who are making one of your own and will be using snaps, it's a very simple process to put them in. There are instructions on the back of each package, and the instructions are well writen.
OK, to start, measure and mark four spots evenly spaced along the upper and lower edges of the cut you made in your hood. At this point you can use the little tool they give you to punch a hole on each of those spots, but I found it easier to poke a small hole with the point of your scissors.
Next we'le start on the lower edge of your cut. Poke one of the backing pieces through a hole from the inside of the hood. You should only see the post sticking through. Now take one of male snap pieces and fit it on the post . In the package comes a lead disk that kind of looks like a nickle, put this under the snap you just fit together. Also in the package comes a small metel peg. This is used to pin the two pieces of the snap together. Simply put the end of it on the top of the post in the center of the snap, and give it a few good hits with your hammer. Three more of these and the bottom edge is done.
On the top edge its the same process except that you will be using the female part of the snap. When doing this be sure that the sanp is oriented facing the right direction. If you put one on in the wrong direction, you can get it off but you can't reuse it, you will have to start with new pieces.
Step 4: Cable Retainers
There will be an exposed wire running from the hood to the pocket that I wanted to keep from flapping around and possibly getting caught in the front zipper. To do this I used some thin strips of Velcro, but again you could use snaps.
For Velcro, cut four thin strips of both hook and fuzz, about an inch in length. Match up a piece of hook and fuzz, both pieces facing the same direction, NOT sticking together. It doesn't matter which piece is in front or back. Put the ends, one over and one under the inside edge of the front zipper. With a needle and thread, make several passes through the ends to secure them tightly to the the inside of the zipper. Start at the top right under the hood, sew three more evenly spaced down the inside of the zipper ending just above the pocket.
When you're finished you should have four small straps that will velcro together around the wire, keeping it nicely tucked inside your hoodie and safe from the zipper.
Step 5: Snaps Instead of Velcro
Again, using snaps here will be easier, but will be a little bulkier. To do this you will need four small straps or pieces of fabric and four snap assemblies. Simply attach the female piece to one end of each strap, then when making the male piece attach it in place of the velcro, on the inside of the front zipper of your hoodie. Make sure that when you fold the strap in half, the snaps will fit together.
Step 6: Speakers
I bought an Ipod case with two small powered speakers at Best Buy for $12.95 to use in this. Descent sound for little money. You can use any small speakers for this, but headphone speakers will not give you much volume. I tried a set that came from my Sony over-ear DJ headphones that I thought would be loud enough, but not even close.
Start by cutting out two pieces of fabric three inches by six inches. Fold both in half so that they make three by three squares. Put a quarter in the center and draw around it with a sharpie. Cut both circles out so that you have a hole in both pieces of cloth. Squeeze a ring of glue around the outer edge of the backside each speaker, poke the backside of the speaker through the hole of each cloth and push the glue into the cloth. This will secure the speaker to the cloth.
When the glue is dry, flip them over so the fronts of the speakers are facing you. Squeeze some glue around the outside of each speaker. Fold the cloth in half over the speakers and push the glue into the cloth, completely encasing the speakers in the cloth.
Step 7: Add Snaps to the Speakers
To secure the speakers to the inside of the hood, we'll use more snaps. Attach a female snap piece to each corner of each corner of the speaker fabric. Thats it, the speakers are ready.
Step 8: Snaps in the Hood
Now we need to add the male snap pieces to the hood. If you would like for the snaps to be less visible, you should spray paint them now before puting them in. You'll have to find a color the matches your hoodie.
Now, take one speaker and position it inside the hood where you think you would like it. I put mine low along the outer corner so that when the hood is down, the speakers will sit on my shoulders and I can still listen to them.
With your sharpie, mark the four snap points on the hood. Either use the tool or scissors to make holes in each point. Now attach the male snap pieces to the hood facing inward.
At this point your speakers should fit nicely into your hood. The hard work is done.
Step 9: Pocket for Power
The speakers I bought come with a little power source that holds three AAA batteries. I needed to make a pocket to hold this somewhere out of site and out of the way. Another piece of the fabric I used to make the speakers and a couple snaps is all I needed for this. I simply cut a long rectangular piece, folded it in half and sewed up each side. When that was done, I put a female snap piece in all four corners. After that, I just put four male snap pieces into the bottom corner of my hoodie right behind the pocket. It sits right at the bottom of where the extension cord runs down the inside of the zipper. The jack the plugs into an MP3 player then runs through a small hole to my pocket.
If you buy non-powered speakers or decide not to use speakers at all, you may choose not to make one of these pockets. you can simply run your extension cord right into your pocket. Or, you can use this pocket to hold your MP3 player. It's your choice.