Embellished Ruffle Hoodie Tutorial

I’m excited to be sharing my Embellished Ruffle Hoodie Tutorial with you today! My style of designing is a little different.  I usually let the fabrics I work with inspire my children’s clothing designs and blog projects, so I’m never quite sure what I’m going to come up with.  When I got this package in the mail from Riley Blake Designs, my mind started swirling with about 10 different ideas.  This line is ‘Woodland Trails‘ and it is about one of the cutest lines around.  It’s sweet, whimsical, youthful and feminine (well, the colors I selected).

After thinking about these fabrics and trims for several days, I finally settled on the project that I’m sharing with you today – The Embellished Hoodie Tutorial.  This is a practical project for any girl……from a baby up to a tween.  You can get as creative as you would like with the amount of embellishing you would like to include and can customize this look and theme to your liking.

So, let’s get started………

The Embellished Hoodie Tutorial
by The Cottage Mama for Riley Blake Designs
1 blank zip-up hoodie (any size)
1/2 yard of two different prints (for ruffles)
1/4-1/2 yard (depending on size) for hood lining
Trims – 1 yard of several trims – rickrack, crochet lace, pom poms or any trims you love
Optional: Woodland Trails Panel (back applique)
Steam-A-Seam 2 Lite (for applique)
Optional: Embroidery Floss
Basic Sewing Supplies
(unless otherwise noted)
For the back embellishment I used one circle from the Woodland Trails panel.  I also wanted to make it a little more special so I hand-embroidered over some of the lines with embroidery floss using a back-stitch and a satin stitch (on the ears).  I also added french knots on top of the brown dots around the edge of the circle.  This part is totally optional, but I would suggest embroidering before you cut out the circle from the panel.
Cut out a circle from the panel.  You can choose any one of the adorable animals.  Just leave a 1″ border around the edge of the actual design.
Next we are going to add the rickrack trim edging around the panel circle.  I love to use Wonder Tape to hold trim in place, but you can also use straight pins.  If you are not familiar with Wonder Tape, it is a double sided tape that washes away after going through the wash.  It also doesn’t gum up your needle when you sew through it.  Line up the rickrack with the edge of the circle and overlap the two ends.  Stitch down the center of the rickrack all the way around the circle.
After sewing the rickrack in place, turn the rickrack to the backside of the circle.  This will allow for just the edge to poke out.  Work your way around the circle, using your iron to press the seam open and press the rickrack into place.
To applique your circle piece to the back of the hoodie, grab your double sided fusible web (I use Steam-A-Seam 2 Lite) and follow the instructions to ahere it to the back of the hoodie.  Once you’ve pressed it in place, stitch around the edge of the circle using a 1/8″-1/4″ seam allowance.  Make sure your bobbin thread matches the hoodie so that your stitching won’t show on the inside of the hoodie.
Cut the lining for the hood.  Lay your hoodie down, folded in half, and use this as your pattern (I use basic hardware store washers for pattern weights).  Fold fabric in half and cut around the hood leaving a 1/2″ for your seam allowance.  You should now have two pieces for your hood.
Place your hood pieces with the right side of the fabric facing one another.  Stitch around the entire side that is curved.  Then clip your curve or use pinking shears to clip to reduce bulk and to help your curve lay flat.  Press your seam open.
Press the front of the hood lining back towards the wrong side of the fabric a 1/2″ (seen in the picture above).  We are doing this to make one of our future steps a little easier.

Pin your hood lining to the inside of the hoodie at the bottom of the hood.  Stitch across the bottom of the hood.

After you have sewn the bottom of the hood, press the seam open and line up the rest of the hood and hood lining.  Top stitch around the hood lining to secure the rest of the lining to the main hood.  That is why we pressed part of the hood under 1/2″, so it would make this step easier and we would have no exposed edges.
If you want, you can add some trim detail on the inside over the seam between the hood and the main part of the hoodie.  Again, this is totally optional, but it adds a cute little detail.  I used the Riley Blake Designs crochet trim.  Pin and sew in place.  Make sure to turn the ends under so you have no raw edges exposed.

Now it’s time to cut the ruffle pieces.  This step will vary depending on the size of your hoodie.  You want your ruffle pieces to be 2-2.5 times the length of the zipper all the way around the hood and back down the other side of the zipper.  For the size 5, I just cut two strips on the fold of each fabric using the full width of the fabric.  This should work for sizes 2-8, just shorten them a little for smaller sizes.  Your width is going to be 5″ for the bottom ruffle and 3.5″ for the top ruffle.

So, you should have two strips of each fabric, for a total of four strips.

To make one big long strip of each fabric, place the fabric with the right sides together and sew one of the short ends together.  Press seam open.  Now you will have one long strip each of two different fabrics.  Fold the long strips in half (length-wise) with the wrong sides facing (right side facing outward). Press.

Now we want to finish both ends of each strip, so that it will look nice when we add the ruffle to the hoodie.  So, unfold the fabric and turn it the opposite way with the right sides together and sew both short ends.  You will do this on two ends for both pieces of ruffle fabric.

I decided to use my serger to finish the raw edge of the ruffles.  I know most people do not have a serger, so you can finish the edge with a zig-zag stitch or leave it raw.  It’s not going to show, but I just wanted a clean edge to work with.

Use a gathering stitch to gather your fabric.  To do this, set your sewing machine to the longest stitch length, mine is 5.0, and run a stitch all the way down the long, edge of the fabric.  Make sure you do not backstitch at the beginning or end otherwise your fabric will not gather.  Now pull one of the threads on either end of the fabric to begin gathering.  Because this is two layers of fabric, it may take a little bit of work to gather the fabric.  Gather both fabric strips until they are the same length as the zipper, around the hood and back down the other side of the zipper.

Line up your bottom ruffle first, then place your smaller ruffle on top, making sure to line up the raw edges.  Pin all the way around the hoodie and stitch in place, sewing as close to the edge as possible.  To conceal the unfinished edge sew trim on top.  I used the Riley Blake crochet lace trim, but you could use ribbon or even bias tape.  Do not get your ruffles and trim too close to the zipper or you run the risk of the fabric catching in the zipper.  I would also recommend switching out your needle to a denim needle for this part as it is pretty thick sewing through the trim, four layers of fabric and the hoodie.

And once you’ve finished that step, you’ve got a gorgeous embellished hoodie!

You can find blank hoodies at most of your local retailers such as Target or Walmart.  I ordered some of these from Etsy.com for $6.00 a piece.  They are a really nice, light-weight knit.

I am totally in love with this fabric, Woodland Trails.  I have so many other ideas…….dresses, pillows, little aprons, ruffle pants, baby quilts and the list goes on and on.

Embellished Ruffle Hoodie Tutorial by The Cottage Mama. www.thecottagemama.com

So, what do you think?  Think you’ll make one of these for a darling little lady in your life?  I’m sure she’d love it.  Shoot, I think I’d even like one for myself!
Until next time……….have a great one!

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  1. Oh, wow!!!! I love this so much!!!! I can’t wait to do this!!!! Thank you!!!

  2. It’s beautiful…. Can I buy one for my little girl Iris if I am in Italy? Kiss JERRY my mail: [email protected]

  3. That is super cute! Would be fun to do for a birthday gift – I will save this post for future reference!

  4. This is so gorgeous.

  5. I LOVE this, pinning it! I have 2 girls, so this is a great (also easy and not too time consuming) project!

  6. We offer essential items for newborns, every day clothes for young children and gifts for new grandparents and relatives who are looking for inspiration.

    baby shower gift ideas

  7. Your tutorial is awesome! I have made one for my daughter and my niece. Thank you!!!!

  8. Lindsay, it’s a joy to see your beautiful designs and stitching! The tutorial and pictures are clear and easy to follow. Thank you!

  9. This is just too adorable! If I could find some purple fabric options & hoodie , my daughter would love it! I may keep this down for the Fall! Great tutorial! 🙂

  10. That is so inspiring! I’m off to the store for a plain hoodie to embellish.

  11. Love this, it is adorable!

  12. OMG this is gorgeous, I REALLY want to make one! Thank you so much for sharing it here, because I just started following you and Riley Blake and missed this. Thank you for sharing!

  13. Anonymous says

    Wow! So detailed…great job! Many blessings!

  14. Amy Bourg says

    Do you recall what store on Etsy you got the sweatshirt from? Looks like it nice and soft and light:-) Love this!

  15. Lovely. I really like it.


  16. Marnie Houston says

    I love this little embellished sweatshirt. Can you tell me where you got the giraffe applique design?
    Also, is the pattern book “Sew Classic Clothes” with multisize pattern pieces included or do you have to trace each pattern in the size you want?


    • Hi Marnie,

      The design on the back of the hoodie is a piece from the Riley Blake fabric line. It may not be in print anymore, but you could try searching for something similar. Also, my book contains sizes 12m, 2T, 4T, 6, 8 and 10 all in PDF form on a disk in the back of the book. You just put the disk into your computer, select the garment, and print out the pieces onto 8.5″ x 11″ pieces of paper. There are marks on the paper where you tape the pieces together to make full-sized pattern sheets. Then you cut out your size just like you would with a paper pattern. You can save the pattern or toss it and just print it out again when you want to make another one. It’s SO easy and there is no tracing needed. Let me know if you have more questions! Thanks so much, Lindsay

  17. Such a great idea!

  18. Libby Leatherwood says

    I absolutely love, love, love this! I have a two year old granddaughter that is going to get one of these. Thanks so very much for the beautiful tutorial!! Your book is on my list to purchase and I can’t wait to get it. I am a member of your group on FB and love all of your patterns. Thanks for sharing with us and for all the inspiration!! Keep up the great work, Lindsay!

  19. This is ADORABLE!! Can’t wait to try it for my almost one year old!

  20. Such a fine job with the directions, which so many sites lack. I came here from the newsletter, just so you know.

  21. Just letting you know that my 15yr old daughter is in love with this hoodie and I must now make her one, lol
    Such a cute idea, 🙂

  22. I know this is a couple years old, not sure how I missed this, but definitely going to give it a try as soon as I can get other things on my list taken care of. I might even bump this one up. LOL thank you for sharing this with us.

  23. Kayleigh Walley says

    This is awesomeness! What was the shop name on etsy so I can get some?

  24. This is just too adorable. My daughter added to my pinterest as something cute for Nana to sew. I’m thinking that this would be a great mother-daughter project next time that she comes to visit with Little Miss.

  25. so it’s YEARS later….and I SO want this fabric but cannot find it anywhere. any ideas on where to look?

  26. If you’re hunting for cool hoodies, this is the
    correct article for you!


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