Baby, it’s cold outside, and you need as many DIY sweatshirt ideas as you can get your hands on to stay roasty toasty!
As a human who tends to be cold about 85 percent of the time, I live in sweatshirts during the frigid winter months of the northern hemisphere. There’s nothing easier than throwing on a sweatshirt and jeans or leggings.
The beautiful thing about sweatshirts, besides the warmth they offer, is that they’re a blank template for almost endless customization. A self-sewn, DIY sweatshirt lets you be cozy and stylish. Double win!
Following are some of the best-loved sweatshirt sewing patterns — and 33 DIY sweatshirt ideas to make each jumper you sew as unique as a snowflake. Let the customization begin!
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Sewists’ Favorite Sweatshirt Patterns
I combed the interwebs to find endlessly hackable pullover sewing patterns. These DIY sweatshirts have tons of raving fans, which means you can do your own research to discover what these patterns look like on different bodies and in different fabrics.
Grainline Linden: Probably the most classic sweatshirt pattern of this roundup. With raglan sleeves and a straight bodice, it’s neither too relaxed nor too fitted. Search #lindensweatshirt on Instagram.
Sew House 7 Toaster Sweaters 1 and 2: Toaster No. 1 has raglan sleeves, banded sleeve and bottom hems, and a funnel neck. I’ve made Toaster No. 1 three times in three different fabrics. Toaster No. 2 has a slight A-line shape, a boat-ish neck, and a high-low split hem. Check out #toastersweater1 and #toastersweater2 on IG.
Seamwork Astoria: This is a cropped jumper that looks tremendous with high-waisted skirts and pants. Get IG inspo at #seamworkastoria.
Sew DIY Ali: This sweatshirt sewing pattern has some stand-out details, including a shoulder yoke and drop sleeves. Search #alisweatshirt on Instagram.
Blueprints for Sewing Geodesic: This sweatshirt features patchwork triangles and is a great scrapbuster. Check out #blueprintsgeodesic.
Jalie Sweatshirt, Hoodie and Sweat Pants: Jalie is beloved for its activewear. This sweatshirt pattern includes a hoodie and sweat pants. Here’s the tag on Instagram: #jalie3355.
Named Sloane: This sweatshirt has a relaxed fit and long bust darts for shaping. Check out #sloanesweatshirt for inspiration.
Patterns for Pirates Relaxed Raglan: The Relaxed Raglan pattern includes views for a sweatshirt AND a tunic sweatshirt, both with elbow patches. Check out the #relaxedraglan tag on the ‘Gram.
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DIY Sweatshirt Ideas: Stylish Mods for Sewists
1.) Add a turtleneck or funnel neck.
Did you know 87.4 percent of body heat escapes through your neck? OK, that’s a fabrication, but when your neck is covered, you’re instantly warmer.
2.) Add a kangaroo pocket.
You don’t have to wear a hoodie to get a kangaroo pocket. They’re perfect for stashing your phone, tissues, and cold hands.
3.) Add cuffs.
You’re never stuck with a turned-and-stitched sleeve hem! Finish the edge with a cuff… maybe an extra-long cuff to keep your wrists roasty toasty.
4.) Visit the hood.
Did you know the other 12.6 percent of body heat escapes through your head? Yes, another fabrication. But, you can’t tell me it doesn’t feel great to sink into a hooded sweatshirt.
5.) Just cinch it.
There are a few ways to cinch a sweatshirt. You could cinch the bottom hem, the waistline, or the neck opening (particularly if it’s generous in size). Pretty much any line of latitude is eligible for cinching with elastic.
6.) Add thumbholes.
Steal this feature from activewear and enjoy its functionality! Your sleeves won’t shift, and your wrists will stay warm. Get EVEN MORE sporty-outdoorsy inspo and intel from this article: Sewing Outdoor Clothing: How to Outfit for Adventure.
7.) Add a shawl neck.
They have an old-school vibe, and they feel weighty and significant around your neck. Related: Why aren’t shawl necks more common?
8.) Try color blocking.
One of the easiest ways to sass up a simple pattern is with color blocking. Get creative with coordinating sleeves and bands; this could be a good way to use up scraps.
9.) Add embroidery.
Embroidery is like doodling with thread. Take a beat with this slow-sewing practice to mindfully customize your sweatshirt.
10.) DIY a graphic print.
Do you frequently spy graphic print sweatshirts and think to yourself, “I can do better than that” (whether it’s a cheeky phrase or design)? Me too! Let’s bring those clever ideas to life. (Tools for this tutorial include fabric paint, foam brushes, freezer paper, a craft knife, and iron.)
11.) Applique all day.
You can applique. You can reverse applique. You can applique all darn day — and it doesn’t have to look like some sort of Holly Hobbie situation. Take the technique and bring it into the 21st century.
12.) Add a dramatic sleeve.
If someone said, “Make a sweatshirt, but make it FASHUN,” you’d probably start experimenting with the sleeves. Lantern sleeves look particularly cool with the body of sweatshirt fabric.
13.) Lace it up with grommets.
Grommets add athletic-wear flair and visual interest. I picture a luxe sweater knit with grommets — a mix of tough and sweet.
14.) Have a “Flashdance” moment.
Go off the shoulder with your sweatshirt. Leave the neckline unfinished and let those straps (bra or tank top) breathe.
15.) Add lace.
This is similar to the grommets hack — mixing casual (sweatshirt) with dressy (lace). Unexpected and feminine.
16.) Go for sparkle.
Use sequin trim to personalize with words or designs. This is the compromise between sequin wearers and sweatshirt wearers.
17.) Give ’em the shoulder.
Cold shoulder tops remain a popular silhouette. If you’re a fan, you don’t have to give up this look when the weather gets cold; add it to a sweatshirt!
18.) Practice your X’s.
Wow, this cross stitch sweatshirt is really something. If you can stitch an X, you, too, can customize a sweatshirt! This book of mini cross stitch motifs is so freakin’ great.
19.) Bling it up.
Add studs, rhinestones, or beads to a me-made sweatshirt. Use them to highlight seams, hems, or a neckband. You don’t need jewelry when your sweatshirt sparkles!
20.) Come apart at the seams.
I think a split hem looks so modern. You can do a high-low thing, if you please, or keep the lengths equal.
21.) Add dreamy color.
Who knew watercolor paints could look like this on fabric? No two watercolored garments are the same. (A word of advice: The color-fastness and permanence of paint that’s NOT for fabric isn’t always great. Here’s a tutorial on how to use fabric markers for a watercolor look.)
22.) Try dip dye.
It’s like stripes, but softer. And there’s always ombre.
23.) Tie dye with bleach.
This technique is a little less predictable and a little less hippy-dippy than traditional tie dye. I love the randomness of bleached clothing.
24.) Install zippers.
Ooh, the way to my heart is through hardware (and tacos). You could do a colored zipper, an invisible zip, an exposed zipper, and more.
25.) Add ruffles.
You can insert a ruffle anywhere there’s a seam. (And if there’s not a seam, you can add one — don’t forget the seam allowance.)
26.) Add elbow patches.
I spied many different tutes for elbow patches — emojis, hearts, cupcakes, balloons. Search Pinterest for “DIY elbow patches” and get cracking. I personally love the scholarly vibes of leather elbow patches.
27.) Show team spirit.
Add varsity (i.e., letterman jacket) letters and numbers to declare your monogram, important date, or nickname; you’re only limited by your imagination. I’m thinking about making a sweatshirt that says, “U-Rah-Rah.” Because, Wisconsin Badgers.
28.) Sew AND weave.
In this tutorial, the crafter explains she started weaving jersey strips in a sweatshirt during a road trip. Weaving like this could be executed in a meticulous way, or you could wing it for a more organic look.
29.) Go for luxe.
Oh my, this leather insert in a sweatshirt, inspired by an Anthropologie find, looks so cool. The mix of textures in this garment is A-plus work.
30.) Be cutesy.
Let’s liberate sweatshirt pom-poms from the girls clothing department! Grownups can add levity with these fluffy spheres, too. So fun to touch!
31.) Get creative with puffy paint.
Puffy fabric paint embellishment ain’t what it used to be. This tutorial shows its potential, and I think this is pretty cool. AND it’s shiny and feels kinda squishy when you touch it.
32.) Cuddle up in a cowlneck.
Cowlnecks are like turtlenecks but with more drama. It’s basically an indoor scarf that’s attached to your body at all times. I’m down.
33.) Share some sweet talk.
Gah, could this conversation heart sweatshirt be any cuter? If it were, it’d probably give us a toothache.
WHEW, I am exhausted. And inspired. How about you? What’s your go-to sweatshirt sewing pattern? What are YOUR favorite DIY sweatshirt ideas? Did any of these 33 hacks surprise you? I tried to go for ones I hadn’t seen before.
Should you be interested, here’s my Pinterest board with all these DIY sweatshirt ideas (and a few more for good measure). See ya over there (and follow me on Pinterest if you don’t already)!
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This was great! I’m not in the market for making or wearing sweatshirts any time soon, but I loved looking at this roundup of creative ideas.
Glad you enjoyed it!