Functioning Zipper Hacks for a Raglan Hoodie

*Some links are affiliate links which are at no cost to you, but provide me with a small compensation for your referral… so I can keep living my best life.

Living in Michigan provides me with ample hoodie wearing months and New Horizons TAMI Hoodie is always my go to pattern for that. Fabrics used in this tutorial are from Knitpop, Pretty Posh Prints, Blended Threads Fabrics, and LDG Textiles.  I wrote about some easy grommet installation tips on another hoodie here!

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The pattern comes with an option to add a shoulder seam zipper for only aesthetic purposes, but today I’m showing you how to make that zipper zip! I mean, why do all that work and not have it function!? I used this hack here as well! This hack also includes how to add binding; which encases the neck seam- making it more comfortable and giving it a professional look!

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The only additional item you will need is iron-on interfacing and binding. I like my interfacing cut to 3/4 inch wide and slightly longer than the zipper tape. The one used in this tutorial is a 8 inch plastic zipper, which is a great length for most sizes. I do prefer a longer zipper on sizes XL and up. The binding should be a lightweight yet stable knit, such as Cotton Lycra or Brushed Polyester.

To start, cut the OUTER hood from your main fabric and mirror those for the lining. If you are adding grommets, do that now! Pin or clip together and set aside.

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Next grab your FRONT bodice piece, RIGHT arm, and interfacing. Iron your 3/4 inch strip of interfacing on the WRONG side of the right shoulder seam. I usually use a flatiron because it heats up quickly and it doesn’t take up a ton of space! The interfacing should be slightly longer than your zipper tape. Serge the edge afterward so it’s clean and profesh.

Next, place those pieces right sides together and pin or clip. Place your zipper on top, lining it up with the top of your fabric. Mark where the zipper ends. Using a stretch stitch and 3/8 inch seam allowance, sew up to the mark (shown in green dots.)

Clip at a 45 degree UP TO your stitches but not through them. This ensures the seam lies flat when finished. Next fold the interfacing on itself to create the seam allowance and iron or clip.

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Open the pieces right sides up and place the zipper right side down on the seam (with the zipper hanging off of the fabric towards the armpit) and pin. The zipper stop should be just below the V opening. Be sure to open the seam allowance and align the zipper with that seam.

With a short stitch sew 3-4 stitches as close as possible to the zipper stop (see the green dots.) These stitches should barely be on the fabric, but enough to hold the zipper in place.

Grab the zipper and gently wiggle it to the back so it’s right side up. Align the fabric to your liking and pin. There should be about 3/4 inch gap at the top for a seam allowance.

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With a zipper foot sew all the way around the zipper, back-stitching at the beginning and end. Annnnnd the zipper installation is complete!! Continue assembling your hoodie as per directions.

I like to mark both sides of my fabric for the seam allowance to ensure both sides match up when finished. Zippers can be tricky! Next clip your hood to the body, with the right side of the outer hood to right side of bodice. I start with the center back seam, then the ends of the hood, then go in between- slightly stretching to fit. If you DON’T want neck binding, serge the hood on and tuck your tails! If you want binding (trust me you do) read on…

After you pinned the hood to the body lay your binding piece right side down on top of the hood lining. You can measure your opening for the binding length, I happen to have 1.25 inch binding laying around and just grab a strip and start clipping. Leave 3/4 inch of binding at either end.

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Fold the binding down, with the edge meeting the serged seam. Then fold down again and pin into place. Do this all the way around the hood opening.

Fold the ends just as you did the rest of the binding and tuck it back underneath itself, making the edge flush.

Topstitch and VOILA! Your hoodie with functioning zipper AND neck binding is finished! How easy was it? Let me know in the comments!

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Pattern: New Horizons TAMI Hoodie

*Some links are affiliate links which are at no cost to you, but provide me with a small compensation for your referral… so I can keep living my best life.

5 thoughts on “Functioning Zipper Hacks for a Raglan Hoodie

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    1. Thank you so much! Because the pieces on the crossover overlap you wouldn’t be able to do this particular zipper hack. But you could make a placket for the bodice to extend the length to match the crossover hood!

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