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How to Add a Hood to Almost Anything

DIY Christmas Sweater Dress
My Fifth Chemotherapy Treatment: One More to Go!

I have a secret. For months, I’ve been stocking up on any Christmas-y clothing I’ve found for $1 while thrifting.

Tacky Christmas sweaters, shirts, vests, and the dress below have all been fair game in this side quest of mine.

refashionista How to Add a Hood to Almost Anything before
So festive. So cozy.

I was originally planning on reselling these to Ugly Christmas Sweater Partiers at a holiday market. Then the pandemic hit, which effectively killed that scheme.

Oh well! I suppose that just means I’m going to have to subject you all to a few holiday refashions!

Remember this fabulous Ugly Christmas Sweater Gown I made that one time?

When I put this dress on, I was amazed at just how very soft and comfortable it was. It’s made of a nice sweatshirt-type fabric.

The label gave me a chuckle, as in my ad agency days I used to do search engine marketing for this brand.

Blair clothing label
So we meet again.

For a moment I was tempted to just curl up on the couch and take a nap, enveloped in the warm folds of my frumpy Christmas dress.

But only for a moment.

After some thought, I decided I wanted to refashion this dress into a hooded minidress.

The original neckline for this dress felt a little stifling, so I cut it right above where the ribbing was sewn in to widen it a bit and left the edge raw.

cutting off ribbed neck of dress
You can leave it on if you like it though!

I cut off some of the fabric from the bottom.

cutting off fabric from the bottom of dress
Christmas Chop!

I was very careful of exactly how much fabric I cut. I needed to make sure I’d have enough fabric to make a hood, but leave the dress with enough length to still be worn as a dress after I took the sides in a little.

I put my dress on my dress form inside-out and pinned the sides.

dress pinned on dress form
Making it a smidge more fitted!

I still wanted it to be loose and cozy, so I didn’t take it in very much.

You can see how I left the sleeves pretty blousy too.

pinned side of dress
Just a little take-in

After both sides were evenly pinned, I sewed them down.

sewing side seams of dress

After taking my dress in, I tried it on again to check the length and decided to trim off just a bit more.

cutting more fabric from bottom of dress
Short & sweet!

I didn’t care for those buttons on the skirt of the dress, so I picked them off with my seam ripper.

removing buttons from dress with seam ripper
Pick! Pick!

Don’t worry! I didn’t toss them out. They’re now chilling in my button stash until it’s time to use them on something else!

removed buttons in my hand
They’ve gone to a farm to run free.

Since the buttons were the only things holding the front of the dress together, I pinned it back together and sewed it down.

sewing front placket of dress together
No flashing of hoohahs here!

I folded the bottom hem under once and pinned it.

pinning bottom hem of dress
Keep it even!

Then, I sewed my new hem down.

sewing hem on dress
The new length will be much better, methinks!

I also took a moment to take the sleeve cuffs in a little bit to enhance the slightly blousy look I was going for.

taking in sleeve cuffs
Just an inch will do!

Now for the hood!

I grabbed a hoodie out of my closet that I liked the fit of, laid it over my bottom scrap, and traced it in chalk.

tracing hood onto fabric scrap
You’ll do nicely!

You can see I drew my chalk line slightly outside of my template. That’s my seam allowance.

You can also see how I’m taking advantage of that bottom hem by making it the hem of the front of my hood to save myself a step.

closer view of traced hood

I cut out the two pieces of my future hood (since the scrap fabric is doubled over).

cut out hood pieces
Hello lil hood-to-be!

Then, I pinned them together, front sides facing each other.

hood pieces pinned together
Bringing it all together!

I stitched the two pieces together.

sewing hoodie pieces together
My head already feels warmer just looking at it!

Then, I turned my dress inside-out and attached the hood to the neck, centering it from the back.

hood pinned to neck of dress
Time to make good on my promise of a hood!

I sewed my new hood in.

sewing hood on dress
Almost done!

Now I have a cozy new hoodie dress that’s just perfect for a relaxing dinner with Mr. Refashionista!

How to Add a Hood to Almost Anything after
Peace on earth yo!

This was my first night out of the house since my most recent chemo treatment, so I styled my new dress with comfy Uggs. Don’t judge me.

Check out my DIY hood!

hooded dress side view with hood up
It’s all good in the hood!
back view of hoodie dress
Le back!

And yes…that’s a new pixie wig!

Jillian in pixie wig close up
It’s identical to Liza…but blonde!

I think my new hood and the shorter length really updates this dress!

close up of Jillian with hood up
Plus it’s nice and warm!
Jillian in hooded dress close up

I took my elfin ensemble out for a rooftop dinner with Mr. Refashionista!

Jillian and Brian
Yay for Date Night!
refashionista in jacket with cocktail
It was chilly, so I also wore this vintage jacket.
closeup of Brian
Cute, isn’t he? 🙂


refashionista How to Add a Hood to Almost Anything before and after
Yield: 1 Hooded Garment

How to Add a Hood to Almost Anything

Jillian in hooded dress close up

I just added a hood to a dress and it was really easy! Learn how to add a hood to just about anything (sweatshirts, jackets, dresses, and more) in this upcycle tutorial by the Refashionista.

Active Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour
Difficulty Easy


  • 1 Garment in need of a hood
  • Enough fabric to make hood (a yard or so) Note: This can be harvested from the garment itself if you have enough fabric!
  • A hoodie from your closet (to use as a template)


  • Fabric Scissors
  • Straight Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Tailors Chalk


    1. Find a hoodie in your closet that you like the fit of.
    2. Fold your fabric piece in two, and lay the hood over it.
    3. Outline it in chalk, making sure to leave room for a seam allowance, as well as room to add a hem to the front of your hood (unless you can work an existing bottom hem into the front of your new hood)
    4. Cut the two pieces of your hood out of your fabric.
    5. Pin the two sides of your fabric together, front sides facing each other.
    6. Sew the two pieces of fabric together.
    7. IF YOU WERE UNABLE TO USE AN EXISTING HEM AS THE FRONT OF YOUR HOOD, pin and sew a hem on the front of your hood to conceal the raw edge.
    8. Turn your garment inside-out and pin the hood to the neck, centering it in the back.
    9. Sew the hood onto your garment.
DIY Christmas Sweater Dress
My Fifth Chemotherapy Treatment: One More to Go!

74 thoughts on “How to Add a Hood to Almost Anything”

  1. Interestingly enough, I originally found you and started following your blog after your Ugly Christmas Sweater Ballgown was in the paper 🙂 I LOVE the hood… so many great ideas… so little time!

  2. Adding a hood was an amazing idea! Definitely inspires me to take another look in my closet… And you look fantastic as a blonde! Seems like you can pull off any style and color! 🙂

  3. Love this restyle… and am very grateful for the how-to… I’ve printed it out for future use. You are really rocking that blonde and the ‘new’ dress! Peace!

  4. You make a fantastic blonde elf! Will you come sit on my shelf?
    What a great refashion. I really didn’t think you would pull it off. You did and beautifully.

  5. You seem to be doing well and I’m so glad. Believe that this is not your time to go. Draw on your faith and the support of friends and family and of course Mr. Refasionista. Your blog has inspired me to sew more. Rock on and have a Merry Christmas!

  6. The hooded dress is adorable! And you look so vibrant and Christmasy! Also – I love the instruction sheet at the end – it’s so clear and concise. May your Holidays be bright and safe!

  7. Just magic! So cozy and such a celebratory statement all in one adorable outfit. Cheers to both of you lovely people! Thank you for bringing such joy into my day.

  8. Thanks so much for this refashion. I’m gonna make many hooded things for my granddaughter. You’re the best, ive seen hundreds of your re-dos and you so inspire me. Best wishes with your treatment and cure HUGS and Merry Christmas ! ! !

  9. aka, The Blair Stitch Project!! This is one of my favorites!! Maybe it’s the hoodie. Would you agree that the fabric (especially cotton) from years/decades ago is so much more friendly to work with than the cheaper fabrics of today’s garments? This dress looks so soft and comfy, and I love it with the red tights and boots!

  10. This is one of my favorite refashions now!! It is totally amazing♡ Also you look fabulous in that blonde tone. All the good vibes and prayers your way for your last session. You got this!

  11. Cute refashion, major hugs and props to you for continuing to inspire us on many levels. Never thought about adding a hood to a garment, I like it! Praying for you!

    Hugs and Merry Christmas

  12. That’s awesome! I love it. And I’m praying your last chemo treatment is a breeze and you are free and clear. Take care. Thank you for keeping on keeping on.

  13. Love the blonde on you and that refashion is a winner. Looks so cute on you. But then, everything does.
    Sending love and good wishes your way

  14. I love the refashion, and you look absolutely adorable! The wig is cute! Thank you so much for continuing to instruct, entertain, and share your life with us. I hope and pray that you are doing well!

  15. You are awesome, an icon … (blond and not blond!) …. in so many ways; stay happy, healthy and optimistic. We are your support chorus and cheerleader section. Keep calm and keep sewing and let us know how you and yours are doing. Virtual hugs from Canada. Ingrid.

  16. Over the top CUTE!!! The COLOR!!!!, the HOOD, the HUBS……even THE WIG! You’ve outdone yourself here…one of your best ever! Best Wishes on getting close to completing your treatments Jillian!

  17. This is absolutely the cutest refashion ever! I love hoods, but not real crazy about the ones I currently have (sweatshirt jackets, primarily) as they’re a bit pointy. Not the look I’d be going for. Yours is beautiful — from any angle. Any advice for hood-making without having a sort-of-perfect hood to draft from? Could I use one I have and maybe curve it a bit, do you think? Love the pics of you and Mr. R. Love and prayers, Beth

  18. Once again you’ve managed to give new life to something less than stunning and make it a show stopper! (My mom used to order from Blair in the 80s!) Love the hoodie too!

  19. Cutest refashion ever! I’d also like to know where you got that wig. I’ll be going thru chemo the rest of my life….and I’d love to find that wig…only in gray.

    • Thank you so much Connie! I’m so sorry to hear you have to go through chemo.

      The name of this wig is is “Risk” by Ellen Wille. You can order it from OR (Wig Outlet is cheaper). I really like her and she comes in lots of colors!

  20. This might be my favorite refashion! I am still laughing at your rejected buttons having “gone to the farm to run free” Every deceased childhood pet seemed to all go to that same farm. Maybe they’ll run into your buttons.

  21. Omg. I can’t believe you turned that dress into something this cute! And your new pixie wig is adorable! Pixie looks great on you <3


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