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Making a Free Kids Cropped Hoodie

Its lockdown here again in New Zealand thanks to ongoing community cases of Covid-19 in our country, so we are stuck at home with large fabric stashes, in some cases working from home with bored busy kids. But its also Spring and the weather will start to warm up soon. With luck we can get outside to enjoy it inbetween these endless Zoom sessions. One good thing about lockdown is our kids don't need to wear a uniform! so we can start making some cool comfy clothing for them they can show off to school friends at the next Zoom meeting. I asked recently in the OTY Fabrics Facebook Share Group what you would like to see next in a tutorial from me. The overwhelming response was a Crop Hack of the B&T Free Hoodie. I thought, well that's an easy one, I can do that. So here you go, how to hack the free Kids B&T Scuba Hoodie into a basic short sleeved, crop length, cross front hoodie.

What you will need:

  • Fabric (I used OTY Fabrics Tie Dye French Terry in 95/5 Cotton Spandex)

  • B&T Free Hoodie or Similar Hooded Sweatshirt pattern (I used size 5-6 years - 118cm for my version)

  • Paper, Pen, Scissors and a Ruler

  • Overlocker or Standard Sewing machine with a small zig-zag stitch

  • Optional Coverstitch or twin needle for topstitching

  • Weights or Pins

  • Wonder Clips or Pins


1. Grab your taped together master sheet of the B&T Hoodie or similar pattern, and your tracing paper, pen and ruler

Trace Front Pattern and draw new hemline

2. Start by tracing out the front pattern piece in the size you intend to use (for my example I did the size 5-6 years)

3. With your Front pattern piece traced measure down from the top of the neckline point to the length you wish to make. I chose 26.5cm which turned out to be the size 12-18months hemline, I then measured down 3 cm to the size 3years hemline and drew a line for the new pattern length. I chose to have a 3cm wide hem. There is no real rule for the length of a crop top, I used a kids sizing table I had for general back length and used that to guess how long to make my top. I measured down to that length and added the extra length for a hem. My crop top should sit about waist height on an average 5 year old. This theory could work on ANY pattern, you don't have to just do kids, if you know the waist marker of your hoodie then use that as your length for the crop top and add as many cm as you need for a hem, or add a band its up to you. (check the table at the bottom of this tutorial for a general size chart for the crop lengths although for me I would use 4-5 sizes lower hem line as the crop hemline and add a few cm for a hem. As I have done in my tutorial)

For a looser fit angle out a few cm at the hemline and draw a new line

4. As always I loathe making too many pattern pieces so I just traced the top of the back pattern piece and sellotaped it to the front as a flap, I do this so when I am cutting I just fold back that flap to cut out the Front and leave it down to cut out the Back.

Trace top of Back piece and attach as a flap to the front pattern piece

5. For the sleeve trace the full length sleeve for your size then measure down to where you would like the short sleeve. In my case I measured the length of a size 5 years raglan tshirt sleeve to get the length for my hoodie hack. I then folded my pattern piece in half matching up the side seams and smoothed a centre line into the pattern. I then measured down that fold to where I wanted the new short sleeve length to be. I then drew a line across my sleeve pattern from that centre marker. I then drew a straight line down from each sleeve armscye corner to that line to square off my sleeve rather than taper it (as I wanted loose fit short sleeves) and did that to the other side too. I then fold back my longer sleeve to the short sleeve line when cutting.

Measure and draw a short sleeve onto the long sleeve pattern piece

6. For the Hood I didn't want the scuba fit but a crossover or centre join hood. So I grabbed the hood pattern piece and drew a line across the top of the curve of the hood to square off the top then angled the scuba down a few cm across the scuba cut off. There was no set size I just eyeballed it. For the amount of CM added at the front I took off about 1-2cm at the centre seam line as shown in my photo, so the hood would still fit in the neckline and be curved. I did find I had to trim and recut a few times to get a nice curve shape (In fact I probably cut off more than I needed to - its up to you how you do this bit)

Adjust hood pattern from Scuba to Crossover

7. For cutting out I did two Hood Linings, two Hood pieces, two short sleeves, a Front and Back (no cuffs needed yay)

8. Add optional Heat Transfer Vinyl if you are using it. I usually fold my front pattern piece in half and iron a centre front fold crease to help me centre my vinyls. I leave the vinyl cover on as I continue to sew my top only removing after all the ironing is done.

Cut out all your pattern pieces

9. Proceed to sew the Top as you would for the Hoodie, omitting any bands. I sewed the raglan sleeves to the front and back pieces, then overlocked all outer edges, and hemmed using reverse coverstitch where the loop shows on the right side. You can hem and sew as you like.

10. For the Hood I sewed both centre seams of the Outer Hood and Inner Hood Lining then placed the hood outer and inner right sides together matching centre seams and then sewing the hoods together on the front edge. I then turned the hood inside out and ironed the hoods together. I then reverse coverstitched by coverstitching from the inside lining as I stitched, this leaves the decorative loop with nice maxilock swirls on the outside.

11. I then placed the hoods inside the inside out crop top matching the centre back seam of the hood with the centre back of the top. Clip hood all around the neckline overlapping your hood edges at the front (I cut my pattern pieces too shallow so could only join them at the front). Sew hood to crop top.

Clip hood to neckline matching centres and crossing hood front edges over

12. Turn inside out iron, remove vinyl cover and you are done! Now wasn't that a simple hack of the B&T Hoodie?

Back of the Hoodie

Front of Hoodie - check out that HTV

Childs Sizing Chart for choosing the Crop Length of your Crop Hoodie:

  • Size 2-3 years (92cm) - length will be: 22.5 plus 3cm Hem (25.5cm)

  • Size 3 years (98cm) - length will be: 24cm plus 3cm Hem (27cm)

  • Size 4 years (104cm) - length will be: 25cm plus 3cm Hem (28cm)

  • Size 5 years (110cm) - length will be: 26.5cm plus 3cm Hem (29.5cm)

  • Size 6 years (116cm) - length will be: 28cm plus 3cm Hem (31cm)

  • Size 7 years (122cm) - length will be: 29.5cm plus 3cm Hem (32.5cm)

  • Size 8 years (128cm) - length will be: 31cm plus 3cm Hem (34cm)

  • Size 9 years (134cm) - length will be: 32.5cm plus 3cm Hem (35.5cm)

  • Size 10 years (140cm) - length will be: 34cm plus 3cm Hem (37cm)

  • Size 12 years (146cm) - length will be: 35.5cm plus 3cm Hem (38.5cm)

Thanks for stopping by and checking out yet one more of my sewing hack tutorials! Please comment any adjustments or queries or just say to say Hi!


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