It’s always good to have a quick and easy sewing project to do in the lull between Christmas and New Year, when you finally have time to relax at your sewing machine. Yet, we also want a relatively quick make which can be completed before going back to work in the New Year and can be worn straight away. The answer, sewing friends, is to make a sweatshirt.
If you pick the right pattern, a simple sweatshirt can be made up in a day and worn before the turkey leftovers are eaten. Sweatshirts are a great choice for beginners as well as busy sewists. In addition, you can make it completely unique by picking your own sweatshirt fabrics, using different fabric leftovers from your stash to make a colour blocked sweatshirt, using a contrast ribbing and even customise with embellishments if you have a bit more time.
Sweatshirts are always rewarding to make because we wear them often and they’re comfortable and cosy. In tribute to the humble sweatshirt, at Fabrics Galore we round up the quick and easy sweatshirt patterns to sew up in a flash.
Sweatshirt Styles and Patterns
Even the humble sweatshirt has many styles such as a pull over the head style, a zip-up sweatshirt or a hoodie. Within the style variations, you can also opt for different features such as raglan sleeves, dropped shoulders or kangaroo pockets, popular on children’s sweatshirts. Here are our top pattern picks for easy sweatshirt makes.
The Linden Sweatshirt from the Grainline is a cult classic that needs no introduction. Once you have made one, you will never stop.
Linden Sweatshirt Pattern and suitable sweatshirt fabrics
The Tilly and the Buttons Billie Sweatshirt is another classic. There are a fair few among the staff of Fabrics Galore. The simple shape means you can customise the sweatshirt entirely to your own style. It even has 2 sleeve options, either straight sleeves or balloon sleeves and the bonus of a mini dress option.
Simple Sew Patterns The Classic Sweatshirt comes in 2 lengths, covering the bottom if that is your preference, or sitting on the hips.
The Simple Sew Classic Sweatshirt Pattern and our Breton Stripe French Terry
The Boxwood Hoodie from Mood Fabrics is a totally free Hooded Sweatshirt Pattern - and a great option for a confident beginner. It doesn’t need ribbing in case you are missing some in your stash.
Mood Fabrics Boxwood Hoodie perfect in Cosy Bouclé Fabrics
Kate's Sewing Patterns Alex Sweatshirt is a colour blocked sweatshirt pattern – great for using up fabric scraps.
Kate's Sewing Patterns Alex Sweatshirt perfect with soft fleece fabric
The Baby Child Aspen Sweatshirt Pattern is a lovely kids’ slouchy, raglan sleeved sweatshirt in a regular length or a crop.
Aspen Baby Child Sweatshirt Pattern perfect in brushed back sweatshirting
The Men's Apollon Sweatshirt is an easy men’s sweatshirt pattern which looks great.
I am Patterns Men's Apollon Sweatshirt perfect in fleece backed sweatshirt fabric
Self-drafted patterns are often the best and we love this self-drafted make by our very own Marcela using our sweatshirt, matching ribbing, polar fleece, and bouclé fabrics. See it in its full glory on our Instagram page .
Marcela at Team FG's self drafted sweatshirt in our sweatshirt, ribbing, polar fleece and bouclé fabrics
Choosing Sweatshirt Fabrics
For a detailed overview of all the different types of sweatshirt fabric available, please head over to our other blog on The Different Types of Sweatshirt fabrics where we reveal everything you need to know to select the right one for your project. The following are featured in the blog and are good choices for the patterns above:
- Brushed back jersey – super cosy, soft and warm
- Fleece backed jersey – even cosier and warmer than brushed back jersey
- Loop back jersey – a relaxed jersey which is similar to French Terry but knitted in a way which forms lots of little loops on the reverse - giving it a slightly heavier feel when compared to French Terry fabric.
- French Terry - a knit fabric which is a mid-weight soft textured textile but has loops on one side and soft piles of yarn on the reverse.
- Fleece can also be a very successful fabric for a sweatshirt and scores points for extra cosiness.
Another great point about sweatshirts is you can use ribbing for the neckline and cuffs but you can also use any jersey fabrics instead. Meaning you can add a contrast to the main sweatshirt fabric in a plain, stripe or even a contrasting pattern.
Mainly, you just want to choose high-quality sweatshirt fabrics that are soft, comfortable, and durable. Preferably in a colour or fabulous pattern you love. You can find all the above-mentioned fabrics in our sweatshirt collection and don’t hesitate to ask if you need help with your selection.
Basic Sweatshirt Sewing Techniques
Check out our How to Sew with Jersey blog for detailed advice. The most important thing about sewing with sweatshirt or jersey is to use a ballpoint needle which pushes the threads to one side instead of making a hole. If you use this type of needle, you can use regular thread but if you use a stretch thread called Maraflex, you won’t need to use a zig-zag stitch. If you’re using zig-zag stitch, a walking foot or dual feed foot is recommended.
Sewing sweatshirts are quite simple as they are made from just 8 pieces; however, you need to remember a few things.
When cutting out make sure you don’t stretch the fabric to alter the shape, it might be helpful to weigh the fabric down while you cut it. (If you haven’t got any posh weights, tins of food work just as well).
When using a domestic sewing machine with a zig zag stitch - always test the stitch before you start to check tension.
If you are mixing fabrics to make a patchwork effect, make sure all the fabrics are a similar weight and contain a similar stretch.
When you have sewn the seams, if you haven't got an overlocker, trim the seams down and go over them again with a zig zag stitch to create a similar effect and which keeps things neat.
Tips on sewing the neckline, sleeves, cuffs and hem of a basic sweatshirt
When you have sewn the main body together, the most difficult part of a sweatshirt is attaching the collar and cuffs. The KEY thing you must do and which will make all the difference is marking the 4 quarter points on the sweatshirt body and the ribbing and matching these points up. This will allow the stretch to be equally spread out and will make the sweatshirt look more professional.
Sweatshirt Styling and Inspiration
Sweatshirts are fantastic to wear with jeans and in recent years people have even styled them under jackets for a relaxed approach to smart day wear. Try pairing with a sequinned skirt for a modern take on party outfits or simply slip over leggings and boots for weekends. You can even use a glitter sweatshirt fabric to team over black trousers for an elevated evening look.
Share Your Quick and Easy Sweatshirt Patterns
We hope you have been inspired to make a quick and easy sweatshirt over the holidays. As always, share your makes with us on social and we’ll always try to feature them in our “makes of the week”. And let us know any of your own favourite easy sweatshirt patterns, so that we can add them here.