Hugo hoodie: Sewing Instructions

Documentation under construction

First the good news: There’s a video series that shows how to make Hugo from start to finish. Scroll down, it’s embedded in this page.

Now the bad news: The written instructions for Hugo are not complete yet.


Text a bit dry for you? I try to make videos available as part of the pattern documentation.

This 6-episode series shows you how to make your hoodie start to finish:


Step 1: Prepare the Pocket

  • Place the Pocket Facing pieces together with the edges of the Pocket piece, good sides together.
  • Stitch the facing pieces to the pocket with a 1cm seam allowance. Stitch both the long edge, and the shorter edge at the bottom of the pocket.
  • Carefully trim the seam allowance on the facing pieces.
  • Flip and turn the facing pieces good sides out. Then hand-roll and press the seams.
  • Topstitch or edge-stitch 0.5 cm along both upper and lower edges on each side of the pocket, to anchor the facing and the seam allowance.
  • Topstitch another line 0.5 cm from the inside upper edge of the facing on each side of the pocket. This topstitch line will end at the lower edge stitch line.
  • Trim away the excess facing on the inside of the pocket.
  • Press the edges.

Step 2: Attach the Pocket

  • Match the Pocket to the front, good sides together.
  • The upper pocket seam line is marked by notches on the pattern. The pocket bottom edge should point towards the neckline. Align the pocket edges horizontally with the notches on the pattern. Overlap the top of the pocket over the seam line by a little less than 1 cm seam allowance.
  • Stitch the top seam of the Pocket to the Shirt Front.
  • Flip the pocket over the seam line so the bottom now lines up with the edge at the waist.
  • Using a long basting stitch (4mm or longer), baste the pocket into place at the waist, with a ½ cm seam allowance. This is optional, but keeps the pocket in place while you work on the rest of the shirt.

Step 3: Attach the Sleeves

  • The side of the sleeve with the pointy edge at top is the back of the sleeve piece. It is also marked by a double notch on the pattern.

  • Match good sides of the sleeve seam to good sides of the front, matching the single notch on front to single notch on the sleeve piece. Stitch the seam. Do this for both sleeve pieces.

  • To finish the seam, you can use one of these methods:

    • Use a serger to sew and finish the seam in one step. This is fast and convenient, but produces a less-refined look.
    • If you do not have a serger, or would like a more refined look, sew a seam with a straight stitch on your conventional machine. Press the seam allowances apart on the wrong side. Then, edgestitch along both sides of the seam from the right side. Finally, trim the excess seam allowance. This produces a refined look, but takes longer.
    • Another serger-free option is to sew the seam with a straight stitch. Then stitch together the seam allowances with an additional line of zig-zag alongside the straight stitch. Finally, trim the excess seam allowance. This simulates what a serger would do, and is quicker than option (2).
  • Match the good sides of the sleeve to the good sides of the back, matching the double notch on back to the double notch on the sleeve seam. Stitch the seam, then finish the seams as you did for the front.

Step 4: Close the Sides

  • Match the good sides together along sides and sleeves.
  • Stitch the side seam and the sleeves together in one long seam, starting at the waist and going all the way through to the end of the sleeve. You can stop at the underarm point to change colors for the sleeve, if your design calls for it.
  • Finish the seam allowances as you did in step 2. If you finish the sleeves with the edgestitch method, you will need to go slow for finishing the sleeve seam, as you will be .sewing in the tunnel..

Step 5: Add a Drawstring to the Hood (Optional)

  • Take one matching set of the Hood Side pieces, that you intend to feature on the outside of the finished hoodie.
  • Mark the place for a hole on each side hood piece, along the rim.
  • The hole should be located about 1.5-2cm from the edge of the fabric. This is to allow for the seam allowance, as well as for the hood
  • The hole should be located above the notch on the hood rim. The notch shows where the sides of the hood overlap at center front , so the cord should exit above that point.
  • You can consider using the buttonhole feature of your sewing machine, if it has one, to sew a buttonhole at this point.
  • Cut open a hole at the points you marked.
  • After the hood is prepared, you can run a cord around the front edge of the hood. Sneaker shoelaces work well for this.

Step 6: Prepare Inside and Outside Hood

Follow this set of steps twice, once for the outer hood and again for the inside hood.

  • Run a Center Panel piece around one outer edge of the Hood Side, good sides together, and pin in place. Stitch.
  • Pin the Center Panel piece around the remaining outer edge of the hood, good sides together. Stitch.
  • Press the seam allowances, and finish them as in Step 2. Trim the seam allowances.

Step 7: Join Inside and Outside Hood

  • With both hoods inside out, put them on top of each other, good sides together.
  • Align the center panel seams and pin.
  • Stitch along the outer edge of the hood with a 1cm seam allowance. Do not trim the seam allowance.
  • Flip the hood pieces right side out, then press the outer edge flat.
  • Topstitch along the edge of the hood, about 1.5-2 cm from the edge. Ensure that you go beyond the seam allowance, and that it is not caught in this line of stitching. This creates a decorative rim. The enclosed seam allowance helps make the rim a bit poofy.
  • To close the hood, serge together the bottom layers along the neckline. If you do not have a serger, use a zig-zag stitch.
  • (Optional) If you added holes for a drawstring, you can thread the drawstring now.

Step 8: Preparing a Neckband and Attaching the Hood

  • Cut a cross-wise strip of fabric out of your main fabric, your neck opening + 2cm (3/4 inch) long and triple your neck seam allowance wide.
  • Place good sides together on the neck binding piece, then sew a 1cm seam allowance along the short side to make the binding into a circular band.
  • Starting from the back, match the outside of the hood to the right side of the neckline. Align the hood panel to the back of the neckline.
  • Working around to the front, pin the hood to the neckline.
  • Match the good side of the neck binding to the outer neckline (this will be the inside of the hood). Pin the binding to the hood.
  • Serge or zig-zag all layers together with 1cm seam allowance. Check around the neckline to make sure all layers were caught by the stitching.
  • Reinforce the points where the neckline intersects with the sleeve seams. Use a straight stitch on the sewing machine to stabilize these seams.
  • Fold the binding over the raw edge of the neckline, and pin.
  • From the outside, topstitch along and approx 1cm away from the neck edge to catch and secure the binding. You should be able to use a straight stitch here as long as the neck fits somewhat loosely when you try it on. If the neck fits snug, then use a zigzag stitch.
  • Trim excess binding from the inside.

Step 9: Attach the Cuffs and Waistband

  • If the ribbing is light or thin, you can cut the cuff and waistband pieces twice as high, then double-fold them.
  • Place good sides together on the cuffs and waistband pieces, then sew a 1cm seam allowance along the short side to make them into circular bands.
  • Fold along the long side to make cuffs and waistband into double-thick tubes. Sew or serge along the open edges to close.
  • Align the seam on the cuff to the seam on the sleeve. Pin, good sides together.
  • Pin the opposite side.
  • Serge (or zig-zag stitch) the ribbing to the cuff, stretching gently until the ribbing and cuff are the same length. Remove pins before they enter the serger.
  • Trim the bottom edge of the pocket if it extends past the waistband edge.
  • Ensure the ribbing is gathered as uniformly as possible around the waistband.
  • Serge or zig-zag the waistband, again gently stretching until the ribbing and waistband are the same length. Stitch with the hoodie on top so you can see it gets caught in the seam.
  • Topstitch the lower pocket edges to the body of the shirt to anchor the bottom of the pocket.