A Detailed Guide To Sew A Free Peasant Top Pattern

A Detailed Guide To Sew A Free Peasant Top Pattern

Learn to sew a peasant top pattern for women. This free peasant blouse sewing pattern is easy to make and wear.

How to sew a peasant top with a free sewing pattern for women

Hey y’all, today I’m going to show you how to sew a peasant top pattern. I’m also sharing a free pattern, video tutorial and a couple of variations of this peasant top pattern. It was bound to happen eventually…kind of like the Pillowcase Dress, how to sew a peasant blouse is another of the most searched for and requested tutorials on sewing blogs, including this one.

Belted Women's Peasant Top Pattern - Sew a Peasant Top - Melly Sews

I think peasant blouses are popular because they’re loose and fit a lot of figures without having to do bust adjustments or other fitting. So, today I’m sharing a free pattern for my women’s peasant top. I even used this pattern to make the cropped and off the shoulder version below.

Cropped peasant top pattern

Best Peasant Top Fabrics

Fabrics with a lot of drape work best for this style of top. Otherwise it can look rather tent like. The examples in this post are sewn from cotton voile (white cropped version) rayon challis (red waist length version) and polyester crepe (navy blue version). Stretch fabrics can also work well, just be careful of the weight. Lightweight knits are best. Other suitable fabrics include gauze, lawn, batiste, silk charmeuse, lightweight linen, etc.

The versions of the pattern in this post have an elastic neck. But you can also do a drawstring neck like I did in the blue short sleeve version featured in this Reel (it’s the dark blue geometric print) or elastic shirring like I did in the dress version I made featured in this post.

Woman in a waist length peasant top

Materials to Sew a Peasant Top

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. All affiliate links are identified with (affiliate link) after the link or a commissions earned statement above the link(s).

To make your top, you’ll need:

  • 2 yards of 60″ wide fabric. Make it 2 1/2 yards if your fabric is 45″ wide.
  • 1 yard of 1/2″ wide single fold bias tape
  • 1 yard of 3/8″ or 1/4″ inch wide elastic
  • Safety pin or bodkin (affiliate link) to pull the elastic through the casings. Note that while I love my bodkin, mine is too wide to pull through the narrow casing on this pattern. Other bodkin styles might work better.
  • optional – elastic thread (affiliate link)
  • The pdf pattern, see below
Woman in a peasant top and jeans outfit

How to Get the Free Downloadable PDF Pattern

The pattern is in a women’s size 36″ hips. The hip measurement is actually the most important here, since there’s lots of gathering and ease around the bust.  If you need to make the pattern bigger or smaller, check out this post.
To get this pattern, click your preferred option from the buttons below as a newsletter subscriber or gallery access pass purchaser. Note that the free version of the pattern does not have printable instructions.

Please note that all my free patterns are licensed for personal use only (no selling items made from this unless you purchase it) and by downloading you are agreeing to this license.

Women's Peasant Top Pattern - Sew a Peasant Top - Melly Sews

How to Sew a Peasant Top Sewing Pattern

To sew your peasant blouse, watch the video below or on YouTube here if it won’t load below for some reason. Or scroll below the video for written instructions.

So, print and cut out your pattern pieces. Need help with printing? Check this post.

In the video above, I used French seam finishes. This post has more details on French seaming.

To assemble the shirt, first pin the front edge of the sleeve piece to the bodice front, right sides together. Repeat with the other sleeve on the other side of the front. Stitch and finish the seams. I used French seams to sew mine.

Step 1 - Women's Peasant Top Pattern - Sew a Peasant Top - Melly Sews
Step 1 finished - Women's Peasant Top Pattern - Sew a Peasant Top - Melly Sews

Then pin the back sleeve edges to the bodice back right sides together. Stitch and finish the seams.

Step 2 - Women's Peasant Top Pattern - Sew a Peasant Top - Melly Sews

Fold the shirt in half, right sides together, matching the underarm seams. Stitch down the sleeve and side seams in one long seam and finish the seams.

Step 3 - Women's Peasant Top Pattern - Sew a Peasant Top - Melly Sews

Unfold bias tape and pin right sides together to the neck edge of the shirt. Start at center back, and fold the short raw edge of the bias tape up 1/4″. Pin around the neckline until you get back to your starting point, fold the bias tape so it meets the fold you made to begin with, and then cut off the excess. Stitch around the neckline in the fold closest to the raw edge.

Step 4 - Women's Peasant Top Pattern - Sew a Peasant Top - Melly Sews
Close up of step 4 - Women's Peasant Top Pattern - Sew a Peasant Top - Melly Sews

Turn the bias tape to the inside of the neckline and press. Stitch as close as possible to the free edge of the tape to secure it in place.

Step 5 - Women's Peasant Top Pattern - Sew a Peasant Top - Melly Sews

Cut 23 -26″ of elastic – the longer your elastic, the lower cut and/or wider in the shoulders your shirt will hang. Thread the elastic through the casing made by the bias tape.


Hem the bottom and sleeves by folding fabric to the wrong side 1/4″ twice.

To gather the sleeves, you can either sew in a bias tape casing like you did for the neckline, or use elastic thread. If you choose to do a casing, sew 1″ from the sleeve hems. If you want to use elastic thread, wind it on your bobbin (hand wind if you have a side loading bobbin, machine wind if you have a drop in bobbin) and use a long stitch length, then sew 2-3 rows 1/2″ in from the sleeve hem. This post shows how you shirr with elastic thread if you’ve never done it before.



  • Peasant tops often look best with a belt.  So you look like you have a waist. You can play with both skinny and wide belts, but definitely try one
  • Since this top has a lot of volume, keep the bottoms slim. Skinny jeans, leggings, a pencil skirt – all of these work well with a peasant top.
  • Play with sleeve length. Since we’re going into fall, I wanted an elbow sleeve, but short or long sleeves can also look nice. You might not even want to gather the sleeves – bell sleeves in both long and short lengths can be fun too.
  • If you’re up for it, you can even try wearing this top off the shoulder. Opt for longer elastic if that’s your plan.
  • Consider adding a  placket – you can do it like this tutorial, and then add a drawstring instead of elastic to tie it in front. You don’t even have to do buttonholes if you make the placket fairly short.
  • But please, please, don’t add ruffles to the neckline. You run the risk of looking clownish. Especially if the ruffles are wide.
Red print peasant blouse and custom embroidered jeans outfit
Women's Peasant Top Pattern - Sew a Peasant Top - Melly Sews

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How to Shorten Tank Top Straps – Step by Step Tutorial

How to Shorten Tank Top Straps – Step by Step Tutorial

How to fix tank top straps if they’re too long – adjust tank top straps using this DIY tutorial with clear video, pictures and instructions.

How to fix a strap that's too long and shorten it

Hey y’all, today I’m going to show you how to fix tank top straps that are too long. I’m short – not quite 5’3″ – so this is an issue I have every time I buy a tank top at the store. When the straps are too low, the necklines are too low for me, so these are alterations I do often. Luckily this is one of the easiest garment adjustments to make. And once you’re done, you’ll have the perfect fit for your top.

This technique works well on tank tops with straps that are wider than a bra strap. It’s not the best method for thin straps, for those I prefer to shorten at the back of the tank.

Supplies to Fix Tank Top Straps

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. All affiliate links are identified with (affiliate link) after the link or a commissions earned statement above the link(s).

You don’t need many supplies to shorten your straps. Here’s what I used:

  • Straight pins (affiliate link) or safety pin
  • Thread
  • Scissors
  • Sewing Machine – if you don’t have a sewing machine you can hand sew this. See this post for hand sewing stitches and use a running stitch and whipstitch and hand sewing needle.

There are a few simple steps to make the armholes on a sleeveless shirt smaller, which you can see in the video below or on YouTube here. Or scroll below the video for written instructions.

Step 1: Pin the Shoulder Straps

Start by pulling the shirt up at the shoulder seam until the strap is the desired length. Pin at the shoulder. Do this on both sides. Pin the strap. Note that this may not be an equal amount taken from each side of the existing seam. For example, if you have forward shoulders, you may be taking more from the front than from the back of the shirt. Check the armpits and neckline to make sure you haven’t shortened the straps too much.

Pin a strap that's too long

Step 2: Cut

Make sure the straps are the same width at the pinned area. Then cut the excess fabric off of each strap, making sure to leave fabric above your pin for a seam allowance. I left 1/2 inch.

Cutting a too long strap on a tank top

Flip the shortened strap so that the pieces are right side together. You may want to pin them this way.

Sew strap with right sides together

Step 3: Sew

Stitch across the strap where the pin was. If the tank if made from stretch fabric like mine, you don’t need to worry too much about using a stretch stitch here. This part of the tank likely won’t need to stretch much. You also don’t need to worry about fraying with a knit fabric tank, but if your tank is made from woven fabric you may want to add fray check to the raw edges.

Step 4: Topstitch

The last step is to open seam and press the seams allowances flat to the sides of the seam. Then you’ll topstitch those in place.

Sewing to shorten a strap

Again, since this is a small area, a zigzag stitch, serger or other stretch stitch isn’t necessary. On my tank top there were three lines of stitching on the binding from a triple cover stitch, so I sewed along the outermost line and innermost line of stitching.

Pressed open seam on a tank top strap stitched down

And that’s it – now you can wear your tank top without the straps falling off or your neckline being too low.

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DIY Jean Shorts from a Vintage Sewing Pattern

DIY Jean Shorts from a Vintage Sewing Pattern

Check out how I sewed myself retro style denim shorts

How to sew shorts - I made denim shorts from a vintage sewing pattern

Hey y’all, today I’m sharing my DIY jean shorts that I sewed from a vintage pattern. Or, as my youngest is calling them, my “ultimate mom shorts.” Unfortunately I don’t think he meant that as a compliment, lol! This post isn’t going to be a step by step DIY tutorial, more of a review of alterations and changes I made to a commercial sewing pattern.

My jean shorts are sewn in non stretch cotton denim with a 5 inch inseam and 3/4 inch hem. And as they take more trips through the washer and dryer, I’m looking forward to the fading and worn-in look that will naturally happen. But for now the more uniform color makes them look retro to me.

Brunette woman wearing shorts she sewed from a vintage pattern

These DIY jean shorts helped me test the fit of this pattern without using all the fabric and thread an entire pair of jeans would take. Plus, I needed another pair of jean shorts anyway. The one pair of cut-off shorts I have is constantly in the wash. I widened the legs (more on that later) so these would have more of a shorts shape and less of a cutoffs shape.

I bought this 1980 Calvin Klein Vogue 2442 jeans sewing pattern a few years ago because I wanted to add some non-stretch jeans to my closet. In general, I’ve had good luck with the fit of Calvin Klein jeans in stores. For example, this pair was CK and all I did to them was taper the legs. Incidentally, you can also check out that post to see why I now take mirror pictures any time I’m trying on jeans.

Vogue 2442 vintage jeans pattern

As you can see from the pattern cover above, the details of the fit aren’t easily visible in the photos. The dark wash denim they use to make the skirt and pants was probably not the best choice. Hopefully details are easier to see on my new shorts. They have regular jeans 5 pocket styling with a back yoke, shaped waistband, and slightly angled back pockets from the pattern.

Front and back view of jean shorts sewn at home

Now, I realize that designers license their names to sewing patterns and that the sewing patterns aren’t necessarily the same pattern draft as the ready to wear items. But I figured it was worth a try. And luckily, much like RTW Calvin Klein jeans, I didn’t have a lot of fitting I needed to do. I’ll get into the details of what I changed later in this post.

DIY Shorts Fit

Woman with long brown hair in DIY jean shorts and an olive t-shirt

Often the most difficult thing to properly fit on jeans or pants is the crotch curve. It’s a balancing act between having enough length to accommodate a rear end and making the curve shallow enough that you get that cupping and shaping under the cheeks that jeans are known for. All without giving anyone a perma-wedgie. Shorts and wide leg jeans make this fitting balance more difficult – the looser fabric at the thighs tends to pull up into the derriere. So I am pleased to note that I didn’t have to alter the crotch curve one bit from the original pattern for these.

Vogue 2442 Calvin Klein Jeans modified to shorts - back view

If you’ve been reading my sewing adventures for a while, you know this is not the first time I’ve sewed jeans. This project is encouraging in that neverending quest for the perfect pair. The fit is comfortably snug through the hips and seat. The high waist fits without cutting into me when I sit. The stays in the front help suck everything into place. And since this is non stretch denim, I know that the more I wear these shorts the more they will mold to my specific body shape.

Pattern Alterations

Before I sewed these in denim, I did sew up a muslin. After the muslin I altered the waistband pattern quite a bit as you can see below.

Adjusting a curved waistband for a straighter waist

The original waistband was very curved. This makes sense because the waist to hip difference on the pattern measurements was 10 inches. However, the difference on my body is only 8 inches. So I traced the waistband pieces and slashed from the top down in 4 places in the deepest part of the curve. Then I spread each slash 1/4 inch. This left me a flatter, but still curved, waistband. The Vogue pattern does have separate left and right waistband pieces, so I repeated this on each side.

Adjusting a jeans pattern to make shorts

To change the pant leg to more of a shorts shape, I followed these steps:

  • Draw a straight line 6 inches below the crotch line on the front and back.
  • Use a ruler to mark 1/2 inch out from the pattern at this line on each side
  • Redraw the side seams and outer seams at the new angle so that the legs are less tapered.

Sewing Process Changes for my DIY Jean Shorts

The pattern instructions for these pants were clearly written with the home sewist and a single sewing machine in mind. So right off the bat, my process was a little different using both my serger and cover stitch machine. Instead of the recommended seam finishes in the pattern, I used my serger to overlock seam allowances after stitching on my sewing machine. I also used it to overlock raw edges to prevent fraying. You can see that on the edge of the fly facing in the image below.

Denim DIY jean shorts on table showing inside of shorts

I did much of the double topstitching with my cover stitch machine instead of sewing single parallel lines. The cover stitch machine is responsible for the white threads you can see inside the yoke seam above. The pattern calls for topstitching the outer seam on the legs instead of the inseam, but I prefer a stitched down inseam. So I changed the order of construction slightly to allow for that.

I added rivets to my shorts; I think this is the quickest way to make home made jeans look more professional. I also goofed on the front stays and put them wrong side out, oops! But it wasn’t worth unpicking serger seams to fix that since they’re inside.

What I Will Change Next Time

When I sew this pattern again, I made note of a few changes I’m want to make. I plan to taper the tops of the thighs slightly more. This will help balance the shallow back crotch curve and shape the rear nicely. I will also need to shorten the jeans, as the inseam on the pattern is longer than my body and I don’t plan to wear heels. The back pocket placement was copied directly from the pattern. I will probably angle them slightly more on the next pair, and maybe even curve the outer edge just slightly. The two part waistband has a center back seam that I want to eliminate. And I plan to sew the front stays with the right side of the fabric facing in next time!

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DIY Shirred Dress Tutorial: Easy Step By Step Sewing Guide

DIY Shirred Dress Tutorial: Easy Step By Step Sewing Guide

This easy step-by-step sewing tutorial will show you how to make a shirred sundress

How to sew a DIY shirred dress

Hey y’all, today I’m going to go over the process I used to make this DIY shirred dress. I used techniques from multiple different posts/videos that I’ll link here to get to this final result and it’s been my most worn sundress this summer.

Blue sundress with embroidered and ruffled hem on a brown haired woman

The shirring on the bodice of this summer dress makes it comfy. I love how it hugs but doesn’t squeeze my figure. And the tie straps are easy to sew and a pretty detail. The dress version of this definitely gets worn more than I wore the skirt only version.

Brunette in a blue DIY sundress

I’ll show the skirt only version when I get I that part of the dress sewing tutorial, in case you’re more a skirt than a dress girl. Both ways showcase this gorgeous embroidered cotton fabric. I had no idea what I wanted to sew when I saw the fabric in the store but I knew I needed it in my wardrobe. The embroidered edges made the perfect ruffle hem.

Woman wearing a blue sundress twirling

Quick Overview to Sew a DIY Shirred Dress

You don’t need a dress pattern to make this sundress – just some of your own measurements. Here’s a short video tutorial that shows the process. You can also watch this on YouTube here. And below the video I’ll get into the details of how to sew this dress with more written and video instructions.

To draft your pattern for this, you’ll need measurements for your bust and hip circumferences, and also you’ll need to know vertical measurements from your high bust to your waist over your bust and your high bust to waist at center back. Those vertical measurements are the ones you can see me taking between the strings I tied on myself in the video above.

Here’s a diagram of the bodice pieces for this dress. Depending on the fabric width, you’ll either cut one piece on the fold, eliminating the side seams and adding a center back seam, or one front and one back on the fold.

Draft for a shirred sundress bodice

And here’s how the skirt is drafted.

Tiered ruffle skirt drafting
Women wearing a blue sundress she sewed

The straps are the last pattern piece you’ll need, and for those I just cut 4 that were 18 inches long by 2 1/4 inches tall.

Tie strap sundress

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. All affiliate links are identified with (affiliate link) after the link or a commissions earned statement above the link(s).

Materials for a Shirred Dress

Here are the supplies you’ll need to make your dress

Blue sundress sewn with tied shoulder straps

How to Sew a Shirred Bodice

The first step for your bodice will be to sew it into a loop. Depending on your fabric width you can either use one center back seam or you can sew two side seams. Then sew a narrow rolled hem on the top edge. You can check out the video below or on YouTube here for more details on how to do that. For written instructions to sew a rolled hem, see this post.

After you hem the top edge of the bodice you’ll add the shirring. If you want more in depth details about shirring with elastic thread, check out this post. But I cover all the basics in the video below as well, which you can also watch on YouTube here. The simple version is that you wind a bobbin with elastic thread and sew rows with the elastic on the inside.

Because my bodice front is taller vertically than the back of the bodice, I spaced my rows of shirring stitches slightly further apart on the front than the back instead of sewing perfectly parallel rows.

How to Sew the Ruffled Skirt

Here’s the video that shows how I reasoned my way through the skirt drafting as well as how I sewed the skirt. For the dress, you’d skip sewing in an elastic casing and instead go to the next section here where the bodice is attached to the skirt. The video is also on YouTube here.

Finishing the Shirred Sundress

Once you’ve sewn the skirt and the bodice, all that’s left is to attach them to each other and add the straps. Quarter the bottom edge of the bodice and the top edge of the skirt. Match the quarter points and stretch the bodice flat as you sew it to the skirt. You will likely need to gather the top edge of the skirt to match the bodice.

For the straps, fold each one right sides together, matching the long edges. Sew down the long edge and one short edge, then turn the tube. Put the dress on and pin straps where you’d like them to be. Tuck the raw edge under on the inside of the bodice and stitch a square around the bottom of the strap to secure it to the bodice. This step is shown in the overview video further up in this post if you need to see it.

And that’s it – enjoy your custom fit dress!

Woman with long hair wearing a diy shirred dress

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How to Sew a Bustier Dress – With a Pattern or Custom Draft

How to Sew a Bustier Dress – With a Pattern or Custom Draft

An overview of how I sewed two different bustier dresses – one drafted from measurements, another from a modified purchased sewing pattern

How I sew bustier dresses in teal and sky blue

Hey y’all, today I’m sharing an overview of how to sew a bustier dress. As I shared over the months of March/April on Instagram, I sewed these two bustier dresses for a special occasion in our family – the finalization of my daughter’s adoption. I documented a lot of the process of making mine on Instagram, so in this post I’m going to be gathering all that information in one place.

Teal and sky blue custom sewn bustier dresses on hangers

What this post will not be is a step by step bustier top tutorial on how to sew your own dress. I’m not going to be walking through the process of how I drafted my own pattern, but I will share the resources I used for patterns, fabric and sewing these dresses. I’ll also share a huge setback I had that kept me sewing until late the night before our court date.

Mother and daughter in custom sewn bustier dresses

And since the subject of adoption comes up in this post, I want to add that we followed my daughter’s lead on whether and how to celebrate her adoption. Foster care and adoption encompass complicated situations with complex feelings. I want to make sure to acknowledge that complexity. Adoption is anchored both in loss of a first family and gain of a second one. Holding space for that both/and is important.

Family photo with women in formal dresses

How I Sewed Bustier Top Dresses

I made a video talking about my process of sewing these bustier dresses which you can watch below or on YouTube here. I’ve also got written details and more pictures below the post if you prefer.

Making a Bustier Pattern

Pattern Cutting for Lingerie, Beachwear and Leisurewear on a table with a dress in process of being sewn.

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. All affiliate links are identified with (affiliate link) after the link or a commissions earned statement above the link(s).

To make the pattern for the bustier part of my dress, I started with Pattern Cutting for Lingerie, Beachwear and Leisurewear by Ann Haggar (affiliate link). I originally bought this book to improve my swimwear drafting skills, and still mostly use it for that. And now that I’ve drafted and fit the corset pattern from the book, I feel like I might adapt parts of it for swimwear too.

Muslin versions of a custom bustier pattern in developtment

Fitting a pattern like this in a woven fabric took many iterations. I made 4 muslins, then added one more change (the pink band on the gray cup above) before I cut out my good fabric.

Fabrics and Supplies

Woman with dark brown hair wearing a full length formal teal dress that she sewed with a sheer overskirt

To sew my bustier dress, I used silk tissue fabric from my stash for the lining and ordered nylon mesh from Spandex World for the main fabric. For my daughter’s dress I also ordered the nylon mesh, but for the bodice and lining of her dress I bought some duchess satin. I really wish I had done that for mine as well, because the silk tissue was very difficult to work with.

In addition to the fabrics, thread and my sewing machine, I also used molded bra cups, underwire, invisible zippers and plastic boning for both of our dresses. And the molded bra cups caused a last minute issue in my dress that almost derailed my whole plan for this dress.

Woman twirling in a dark aqua formal dress

My plan for the dress/order of construction went something like this:

  • Sew back in outer fabric and in lining
  • Sew front in outer fabric and in lining
  • Attach top tier of skirt to front, repeat for back
  • Insert zipper
  • Cut straps and attach to outer fabric top of the bustier
  • Insert cups
  • Sew front and lining together along top, repeat for back
  • Sew side seams
  • Add boning by sewing outer fabric to lining to create boning casings
  • Finish straps at shoulders
  • Attach bottom tier of skirt

I did all my muslin fitting without putting in the bra cups. This is because I originally planned to use cut and sew bra foam to line the cups, which I knew from use in swimwear shouldn’t alter my fit much. But when I had my final pattern pieces ready to cut, I realized I did not have enough bra foam to do that, and I didn’t have enough time to get more. So I bought the molded cups and inserted them. And this is where the problems started.

Sewing Setbacks

Woman with dark brown hair wearing a dark teal dress

The morning before the adoption was scheduled, I just needed to finish the straps and the bottom tier of my dress. I tried it on to double check strap length and I REALIZED I COULDN’T ZIP MY DRESS. Like I was nowhere close to being able to zip it. I took it off and compared it to the last muslin I had made and realize it was TWO INCHES SMALLER. I compared pattern pieces, which seemed to match my dress, and then I was stumped. Until I thought about the fact that the only change I had made was to add the bra cups.

The thickness and inflexibility of the cups is what was making the top smaller. I confirmed this with the tape measure – each piece of the bodice measured the same as my muslin but the overall circumference at the bust was not the same. Luckily, I had used 1/2 inch seam allowances to construct my bodice AND there were 8 total seams I could let out. I left the center front to side-front panel seams alone so I wouldn’t have to take the cups out, then let out all the other seams including the zipper to gain back the two inches I lost. And then I still couldn’t zip it.

Back view of a woman holding up her dark brown hair so that the straps and back of her teal bustier dress are visible

The Solution Worked

At that point I called a friend to come zip me in to check that it was possible. I’m not sure if it was stress or what, but the same dress I could barely zip into that day I easily zipped myself into on the day I took the pictures in my studio.

With the zip finally zipping I finished the straps and the bottom tier. I’ve got a tutorial showing the same tier technique here, the only difference is that I didn’t have to finish the top edge of my tier because nylon mesh doesn’t fray. (I also didn’t have to finish the bottom edge for the same reason).

Buying a Pattern

In truth, if I had found the Rose Cafe Bustier Dress pattern sooner, I probably would have fit it to myself as well for my bodice. But since I had already drafted my own and gone through the whole muslin process, I knew how long it would take to do the same for my daughter. That’s when I went to look for patterns and decided to give this one a try. I was glad the size I sewed up as a muslin for her fit on the first try. That made her dress much faster to sew. I finished it before I finished mine, even with additional time added as we played with different options for the arm drape we eventually went with.

In the end, I am so glad I persisted even after the sewing setbacks, and that we had a great photographer who captured images of that day.

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How to Sew a Zip Up Hoodie with Pattern and Video Tutorial

How to Sew a Zip Up Hoodie with Pattern and Video Tutorial

Follow the easy step by step directions to learn how to sew a zippered hoodie. Includes video tutorial for visual learners.

How to sew a zip up hoodie - DIY tutorial  for a zippered sweatshirt

Hey y’all, today I’m sharing a hack to my free hoodie pattern and showing you how to sew a zip up hoodie instead of a pullover hoodie. This zipper sweatshirt has front kangaroo pockets, a soft hood, and if you sew it in sweatshirt fleece fabric it’s the perfect cozy garment. In fact, it’s so perfect I made myself and the Coach each one. Though, like the pullover version, I reserve the right to borrow his at will, lol!

Woman in a black zip up hoodie stands next to a man in a gray zippered hoody

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. All affiliate links are identified with (affiliate link) after the link or a commissions earned statement above the link(s).


Want to make your own hoodie? You’ll need these supplies (affiliate links):

  • About 2 1/2 yards sweatshirt fleece.  Make sure this stretches at least 10% widthwise, 30% for the cuffs and hem band
  • 1/4 yard rib knit for the cuffs and waistband
  • A separating zipper to match the center front length of your hoodie (more on that below)
  • Sewing machine with a zipper foot
  • The hoodie sewing pattern – see below

The free men’s hoodie pattern is for a size 36-38 inch chest ONLY. If you need a different size, you can grade up or down as shown in this post or you can purchase the multi-sized pattern here. As a note, my bust is 34 inches, so you can see how it fits oversized and how this pattern works as a unisex sweatshirt.

Click your preferred option below to get the free pattern as a newsletter subscriber or buy the multi-sized pattern with printable instructions. The pattern for purchase is the Conroe Sweatshirt, and it will fit chest/bust sizes 31-60″.

Please note that all my free patterns are licensed for personal use only (no selling items made from them unless you purchase the pattern) and by downloading you are agreeing to this license.

Gray zippered sweatshirt on a women's dress form

How to Sew a Zippered Sweatshirt

Watch the video below or on YouTube here to see how I sew a zipper hoodie. If you prefer written instructions, scroll below the video.

Modify the Pattern

The first step to sew a zippered sweater from a pattern for a pullover sweatshirt is to modify the pattern. Do this by adding 1/2″ seam allowance to the center front and the fold line of the pocket. Then cut two mirrored fronts and two mirrored pockets. Cut the back, hem band, sleeves, cuffs and hood according to the original pattern.

How to modify a pullover hoodie pattern to sew a zip up hoodie

Sew the Hoodie

Sew the pattern according to the pullover instructions with the following modifications:

  1. Skip hood sewing until after zipper insertion
  2. Sew two pockets to two fronts. The center line of each pocket should align with the center front raw edge.
  3. Sew shoulder seams, side seams, sleeves and cuffs according to the original pattern
  4. Do not sew the bottom band in a loop. Fold it in half, wrong sides together, matching the long edges. Align the folded short ends with the center fronts, and stretch the hem band slightly so that it lays flat against the sweatshirt as you sew it to the bottom edge. You should be stitching through three layers.

Insert the Zipper

Now you’re ready to insert the zipper. First make sure your separating zipper is the same length as your center front plus hem band, minus the neckline seam allowance. If you need to shorten the zipper, check out this post for instructions and a video. That post shows how to shorten both metal and molded plastic separating zippers.

Illustration to measure zipper length for a hoodie

Once your zipper is the correct length, lay it right sides together with one of the front pieces. Your zipper stop should be just below the neck seam allowance line. Baste the zipper in place. On the back of the zipper, on the other side of the tape, mark lines even with the top of the pocket and the hem band seam. Separate the zipper, then match the other half right sides together with the other front piece. Match your marks to the top of the pocket and the hem band seam. Baste this half of the zipper in place.

Illustration showing how to baste in a separating zipper

After the zipper is basted, zip up the hoodie to double check that your pockets and hem band seam will match across the front. If they don’t, pull out your basting stitches and try again. If they do, unzip and then stitch each half of the zipper in place with a straight close to the zipper teeth and right sides together.

Turn each half of the zipper so that the teeth face the center. Topstitch close to the zipper teeth with a straight stitch. This will help keep the zipper tape turned to the inside of the hoodie.

Finishing the Hood

Finally, sew the hood pieces right sides together. Match the hood seam with the center top of the back piece at the neckline, right sides together. Leave the casing allowance hanging past each neckline edge at center front. Stitch the hood to the jacket along the neckline using a stretch stitch (I used a serger).

Wrap the hood casing amount around the top of the zipper tape at center front. Continue folding the hood casing all along the face edge of the hood. Stitch the casing.

Close up of the top of a zipper on a gray hoodie

And now you’re finished! Enjoy your zip up hoodie.

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