Sunday 6 October 2013


Tutorial: Make your Reversible Zippy Hoodie Non-Reversible (plus a really neat bound neckline finish)

Non Reversible Hoodie cover

As you know, my reversible zippy hoodie pattern is part of the Sew Fab bundle that's available for one week only (you only have til 8am EST on Tuesday morning to get yours!).  A lot of people's reactions to the hoodie might be 'Ugh, too much time / effort' but I'm going to show you how to make the pattern non-reversible.  I had no idea that making the zippy hoodie non-reversible would shave off quite much of the making time; the reversible version takes me between three and four hours, the non-reversible version took me a little bit more than an hour!  As well as the time consideration, a non-reversible hoodie has half the fabric costs and a non-reversible zip will bring your material costs down too.

Omitting the lining will work best with medium to heavy weight fabrics, for this one I used a heavy-ish cotton lycra french terry.  If you don't have a serger, you should zig-zag (or otherwise seam-finish) the raw edges for neatness as they'll be exposed without a lining.  I recommend that you use a zipper than is the correct length already rather than shortening one as it'll save you a lot of time, and it's also much easier to find the correct length zipper when it's not a reversible one.  Let's get started!

Cut one back, two fronts, two sleeves, two hoods from the main fabric, and one waistband and two arm cuffs from ribbing.  Personally I like the neater appearance of a lined hood so I also cut two hood pieces from lining fabric.  You'll also need a strip of 1" wide knit several inches longer than the neckline to bind the raw edge, I like interlock because it's stable and doesn't curl.

Assemble the hoodie as you would the reversible version: sew shoulder seams, sew sleeves, sew side seams.  Sew the arm cuffs, fold, and then sew the cuffs to the sleeves.  Fold the waistband and sew waistband to hoodie.  You will have this:

Starting point

Sew the two shell hoods along the centre seam.  Sew the two lining hoods along the centre seam.  Turn lining right side out, place lining hood inside shell hood (right sides facing) and sew together along the face line.  Flip right side out through the open neckline.  Press. Baste opening shut along the neckline edge.  Set hood aside, unlike the reversible hoodie we're going to do the zipper first.

Interface edges

If you're using a knit you will want to iron a strip of interfacing along both centre front edges on the wrong side of the fabric.  This will make it easier to sew your zipper in without waving.  The interfacing should go from the top all the way down onto the bottom of the ribbing.  Do this to both front pieces.

Baste zipper

Unzip the zipper so you have two separate sides.  With the zipper right side down and the teeth facing towards the side seams, align the edge of the zipper tape with the centre front edge of the hoodie.  If you're using the correct length of zipper it should reach down to the bottom of the ribbing with the extra bit of tape sticking up at the top edge. Baste the zipper tape to the hoodie close to the edge.  Repeat for the other side, making sure that your zipper is positioned exactly the same on the left and right sides so they're even when you zip it up.

Press fold

When both sides have been basted, fold the zipper towards the inside of the hoodie so the teeth are sticking out.  The fold of the fabric should not be too close to the teeth or you run the risk of the fabric catching in the zip.  Press well with the iron.


Topstitch close to the edge of the fold, securing the zipper tape in the correct position.  Take care when sewing through the waistband seam and ribbing as it's quite a bit thicker. Repeat for the other side. This is what it will look like now:


If there is any extra tape sticking up at the top, trim it off.  This is a case of do as I say, not as I do. I folded the tape under so it was trapped under the tape which is good thing to do if you're not finishing the neckline seam, but unnecessarily bulky if you are!


Pin the hood to the neckline, stretching it slightly (or easing if you're using a woven) it so that the edge of the hood is very close to the zipper tape.


Baste in place close to the edge.


Then get your strip of knit (remember it should be longer than the neckline by a couple of inches!) and pin it along the neckline edge so that the raw edges match at top. Start from the centre and work towards the zipper.

Fold trim edge

When you get to the zipper, fold the strip back towards the middle and pin in place.  Repeat for the other side.
Sew neckline

Stitch through all layers, attaching the hood to the neckline.

Press seam allowance down

Press the seam allowance down firmly towards the hoodie.

 Press trim down

Then press the trim down so the seam is hidden.

Fold up raw edge

And then fold up the bottom raw edge of the trim so it is enclosed and neat.  The corners are also neat (albeit a little bit bulky as I didn't trim off the zipper tape).

Press, press, press

Press and steam until your arms can't take it anymore. 

Topstitch trim

With the trim facing up, carefully topstitch along the bottom edge of the trim.

Zipper tape corner

If you want you can also pivot and stitch up along the folded edge of the trim.  Admire your nice neat neckline.

non reversible hoodie neck finish

You're done!

The reversible zippy hoodie is part of the Sew Fab bundle in both sizes together for one week only.  As a designer, I get a portion of the sales made through my site so I really appreciate your support! You can get your hands on it here:


  1. This is awesome!!! Totally making one for Em! :D

  2. Fantastic! I'd better go buy the bundle now or I'll be kicking myself if I miss out!!!

  3. Thanks for the great neckline seam binding tip!