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Can I cut the hood off a hoodie?

You may have a favorite hoodie that you want to alter by removing the hood. There are several reasons why you might want to cut the hood off a hoodie:

  • The hood is too big and falls in your face
  • You don’t like how hoods look in general
  • You want to repurpose the hoodie into a crewneck sweatshirt
  • The hood got damaged and you want to salvage the garment

Whatever your motivation, cutting the hood off a hoodie is definitely possible. With some basic sewing skills and the right tools, you can turn your hoodie into a stylish crewneck in no time. However, there are a few things to consider before taking scissors to your sweatshirt.

Things to Think About Before Removing a Hood

Here are some key factors to keep in mind:

How the hood is constructed

Pay attention to how the hood is attached to the neckline of the garment. Some hoods are fully lined and attached with a seam encircling the neck opening. This style is the easiest to remove. Other hoods may only be partially lined or completely unlined, with the neck edge finishing raw inside the hood. These types require a bit more finesse to cut off cleanly.

Fabric type

Cotton and cotton-blend hoodies are the easiest to work with. Thick sweatshirt fabric holds its shape well when cut. Synthetic fabrics like polyester may fray more and be trickier to hem neatly.

Desired finished look

Do you want a rounded crew neck, a wide boatneck, or a V-neck after removing the hood? The new neckline should complement the garment style and structure. Plan the cutting line carefully.

Your skill level

If you are new to sewing, start with an inexpensive hoodie to practice on. More advanced sewers can tackle delicate fabrics and complicated constructions confidently.

How to Cut Off a Hoodie Hood

Once you’ve decided to remove the hood from your hoodie, follow these basic steps:

Prep the sweatshirt

1. Wash and dry the hoodie to preshrink it before cutting.

2. Turn it inside out so the inner seams are exposed.

3. Carefully inspect the inside of the hood and neckline. Take note of the construction and lining.

4. Have the owner try it on to determine desired neckline shape and depth. Mark with pins or tailor’s chalk.

Cut along chosen line

5. Using sharp sewing scissors, cut carefully along the marked line to remove the hood.

6. Cut through all fabric layers, pulling hood away as you cut.

7. Leave 1⁄4 inch of the inner lining around neckline edge if possible.

Finish the raw edge

8. Finish neckline edge to prevent fraying. Options include:

– Zigzag stitch or serge raw edge
– Turn under 1⁄4 inch and topstitch
– Bind with coordinating fabric or band

Additional tips

– Take it slow and don’t cut too close to neckline mark. You can always trim more later.

– Use new, sharp scissors for smooth, even cutting through multiple fabric layers.

– If fabric frays badly, apply Fray Check liquid seam sealant before cutting.

– Keep the cut-off hood intact to use as a template for re-attaching later if desired.

Sewing Techniques to Finish the New Neckline

Once you’ve cut off the hood, you’ll need to finish the raw cut neckline somehow. Here are a few methods to end up with a polished, professional look:

Zigzag or serge the raw edge

Using a zigzag stitch or an overlock machine, sew along the freshly cut neckline edge. This encases the edge in thread stitches to prevent unraveling. It creates a casual finish perfect for sweatshirts.

Pros Cons
  • Quick and easy technique
  • No additional fabric needed
  • Prevents fraying of cut edge
  • May look somewhat unfinished inside
  • Zigzag stitching may be visible from right side

Turn under the edge and topstitch

For a clean finish, turn the cut neckline edge under 1⁄4 inch and press. Topstitch around the neckline close to the folded edge. This encases the edge neatly.

Pros Cons
  • Very neat, finished appearance inside and out
  • No visible stitching from right side
  • No special tools needed
  • More time consuming than a zigzag finish
  • Creates visible topstitching line on inside

Bind the edge with band or bias tape

Binding the cut neckline fully encloses the raw edge for a very polished finish. Fold bias tape or a fabric band over the edge and topstitch in place. Choose a coordinating color for best results.

Pros Cons
  • Beautiful bound edge inside and out
  • Can coordinate or contrast with garment
  • Very professional finish
  • More time intensive than other options
  • Requires additional fabric purchase
  • Topstitching visible from outside

How to Add a New Hood Later On

If you change your mind after removing the hood, you can always reattach it or add a new hood. Here’s how:

Re-attach the original hood

If you kept the cut-off hood intact, you can pin it back in place at the finished neckline edge. Edgestitch around the joining seam on each side for an easy redo.

Sew a new hood

Trace the outline of the old hood onto paper to create a template. Cut out a new hood from fabric using this pattern. Attach the new hood to the neckline edge the same way the original hood was constructed. Take care to match up side seams and center the hood properly.

Sew a hooded scarf

For a quick no-sew option, cut a large rectangle of fabric for the scarf. Hem the short ends. Cut a hood pattern from the remainder and stitch, right sides together, along the long top edge. Pull hood through hole and topstitch hood sides. Loop scarf around neck, with hood in back.

Buy a replacement hood

Many online sites sell plain hoods ready to sew onto any garment. Match the fabric weight and simply stitch the new hood to the finished neckline of your altered hoodie.

Use hood as a pocket

Cut off the original hood and sew it onto the front of the garment to make a handy kangaroo pocket instead. Get creative with hood upcycling ideas.

Common Problems and Solutions

These troubleshooting tips will help if your newly hoodless hoodie has any issues:

Neckline too wide and loose

Take in the shoulder seams slightly to raise neckline. Or sew darts above the bust to ease fullness.

Neckline too tight and stretches

Mark a slightly lower cutting line and recut neck to make it larger. Add fabric if needed.

Fabric ravels and frays badly

Apply liquid fray preventer. Consider binding neckline edges with ribbon or bias tape.

Cut line ripples or waves

Clip inward curves to allow neckline to lie flat. Use steam or starch to flatten seam.

Shoulder seams extended into hood

Open hood/neck seam and re-stitch shoulder and neckline seams separately.

Garment hangs or fits unevenly

Carefully trim neckline to match from side to side. Adjust shoulder or side seams as needed.


Transforming a hoodie into a stylish crewneck is an easy sewing project with the right techniques. Evaluate the hood construction and fabric carefully first. Plan the cutting line based on desired finished neckline shape. Use good sharp scissors and take it slow. Finish the raw edges with zigzag stitching, clean topstitching, or binding. Troubleshoot fit issues by trimming and adjusting seams. With some practice, you can adapt patterns to make any altered sweatshirt uniquely yours. Removing a hood takes a little sewing skill but yields a whole new comfortable wardrobe option.