How to Make a Monster Hoodie

Have you ever wanted to be a terrifying monster who was also machine washable?  Well now you can be in just a dozen or so steps!  Take this rare opportunity to peek behind the fleece curtain, where I will show you how to make a real honest to Gozer monster hoodie, PingiHats style!

Step 1: Gather your tools and supplies.  You will need the following items to complete this project: one pullover style hooded sweatshirt with a kangaroo front pocket in kelly green; synthetic fleece fabric in lime green, kelly or forest green, white and red (1/4 a yard or less of each); thread in lime green, kelly green, white and red; Steam-A-Seam (optional); straight pins; scissors; rotary cutter (optional); seam ripper; sewing machine; cutting mat; mad skillz at appliqué or a willingness to learn them.  (You are also welcome to make the hoodie in the colors of your choice . If you want to be a hot pink monster with purple spikes, more power to you!)

All the tools you will need to make a monster

Step 2: Prepare your unsuspecting hoodie for modification!  In order to add spikes and a scary monster face to the hood of your sweatshirt, you will need to rip open the seam that goes down the center of the hood.  Happily, this will open up both layers of the two-ply hood so you can make your modifications then hide the not-so-pretty underside in just a couple steps. You will also need to rip out the two parallel lines of stitching that hold up the top edge of the kangaroo pocket so as to add the claw appliqué with relative ease.  Be gentle with your seam ripper – though sweatshirt fleece is pretty sturdy, you can end up with a big ugly tear if you don’t unpick the stitches carefully. You will also want to elongate the seam for the spikes on top of the hood by cutting a couple of extra inches down toward the front of the hood.  Make sure to leave enough room for the face.

Don’t cut too far down the front or there will be no room for the face!

Step 3: Cut out the pieces seen in the photo below.  I’ve made my own pattern pieces that I can easily trace over and over again so that there’s good consistency in my designs.  I would suggest using a piece of card stock and drawing out the teeth, eye, claws and spikes.  Measure the slice down the hood and the width of your pocket to help you get the right sized spikes and claws.  You will need to cut two eyes, two claws, one set of teeth and two sets of spikes.  To make your life easier, you can use Steam-A-Seam 2 fusible webbing on the backs of the eyes, teeth and claws. Do NOT iron it on as fleece can easily melt from the iron’s heat.  Just use it in place of pinning to lightly adhere your small appliqué pieces to the sweatshirt so you can get a nice flat line of stitching around the edges.

All the pieces you will need to modify your hoodie

Step 4: Time to get your appliqué on! I use a zigzag stitch set to the widest width (NOT length) to get a nice close coverage of the edges.  If you are new to the wonderful world of appliqué, I would suggest practicing first with some scrap fabric because it’s much harder than it looks to get smooth even coverage over the edges.  Don’t feel bad if your first couple attempts look awkward and lumpy, just practice, practice, practice until you feel ready to take on the actual project.  Start with the teeth and make sure to place the tips a good 1/4″ at least up from the seam that runs around the bottom of the hood. The hoodie pictured here is a child’s size, so it does not have a drawstring.  In adult sizes, you’ll need to be sure to place the tips of the teeth well above the top seam that encloses the drawstring.

Start with the top edge to keep everything aligned – it’s cheaper than braces!

Step 5: Now the eyes. Be sure to space them evenly and angle them downwards for a nice, sinister look.

Use the red thread for the eyes for a seamless topstitched appliqué

Step 6: Now that you’ve finished the face, move on to the claws on the kangaroo pocket.

Be sure to leave a 1/4″ margin between the claws and the edge of the pocket

Step 7: Tail time!  Attach the ridge of spikes to the base of the tail using the same zigzag stitch used to attach the appliqués to the body of the sweatshirt.

A quilting platform is a useful attachment for doing machine appliqués

Step 8: Pin the tail to the back of the shirt, being careful to center the base, and then zigzag stitch to appliqué.

Take care to separate the front and back of the sweatshirt when pinning and sewing

Step 9: Rejoice for you are finished with appliqués! Now, we move on to the hood spikes!  Sew the two sides of the spikes together along the pointy ridges.  Turn them right side out and use a pointed turner like a knitting needle to get the tips nice and spiky.

Pro tip: snip the tips of the spikes off before you turn them right side out to get the pointiest tips

Step 10: Turn the hood completely inside out and pin the spikes along the outer edge then sew them securely in place.  The photo below shows what the hood should look like before you commit needle to fabric.  After sewing the spikes into place, turn the hood right side out again.

Turn the hood right side out once you’ve pinned the spikes in place to make sure the placement is correct before you sew

Step 11: Finish the hood by sewing up the inside lining.  Fold the edges in on themselves about 1/4″ and pin, then sew the edges together neatly.

Sew as close as you comfortably can to the edge, keeping the seam as even as possible

Step 12: Reattach the upper edge of the kangaroo pocket.  Use the holes from the original parallel lines of stitching as your guide to get nice even lines.

Match your thread as closely as you can to the color of the base hoodie

And now you have turned a plain unassuming Bruce Banner of a hoodie into an Incredible Hulk of Fleecy Monster Goodness!  If you survived this project, why not try your own design?  This is also a great project to do with kids in your life – they design it and you do the parts that involve sharp objects and machine sewing.

From meh to monsterlicious in just a dozen steps!

For more hoodie goodness, visit our fine selection of handcrafted hoodies from scary to cute at

Lynn Rosskamp

HoodieMaster General at


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