My 3 Monsters: DIY Rapunzel Hoodie

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DIY Rapunzel Hoodie

I had so much fun making the Mike &Sully hoodies for my boys a few months ago that when we got my 4-year-old neice, Kayla's, name for Christmas I knew exactly what we needed to do.  She was Rapunzel for Halloween so my daughter, Sydney, and I started brainstorming how we could make her a Rapunzel jacket.

Believe it or not, finding a PLAIN lavender hoodie was the hardest part of the project.  There were dark purple ones.  There were lavender ones with all kinds of bling and logos an the front.  Not a single plain, light purple hoodie to be found.  We ended up buying a light heather gray hoodie from The Children's Place in the boys section and dying it with Purple Rit dye.  It's still slightly darker than I would prefer, but it worked just fine. 

If you know a sweet girl who would like a Rapunzel hoodie, you can whip one up in an afternoon.  Here's what you need:


1 plain hoodie -- lavender or light colored {gray or white}
1/4 yd of knit fabric for sleeves  {same color as your hoodie or similar}
1 yard of yellow fleece fabric
2 rolls of 1/4" wide pink ribbon
1/4 " elastic
Purple Rit dye {optional}

Step 1:  Prep the hoodie and fabric.

If you were not able to find a lavender jacket, follow the directions on the bottle of dye to dye the hoodie.  I used 1 bottle of Purple Rit liquid dye in my washing machine to get the color you see here.  If I did it again, I would probably use half of the bottle of dye to make a lighter purple color.  When you are dying the hoodie, also dye your knit sleeve fabric so it matches.

Step 2:  Add the puffy Juliet sleeves.

When you are creating a character hoodie like this, you have to boil it down to the essential elements -- the things that will make it obvious what character you are recreating.  For Rapunzel it was the hair {obviously}, the laced up front, and the puffy Juliet sleeves on her dress.  Your hoodie is not going to have puffy sleeves {unless you are really lucky} so we are going to have to create them.

To draw the pattern:  Measure around the circumference of the upper part of the jacket sleeve and double it.  On a large piece of paper draw a line to that measurement.  

Create a shape as shown in the image above.  Just freehand the bell shape at the top.  The taller the bell, the poofier your sleeve will be.  Cut 2 of your pattern out of the knit fabric -- one for each sleeve.

Lay out your ribbon as shown and stitch it to the sleeve fabric:

Make a casing on the bottom {straight} edge of each piece of fabric by folding the it up 1/2" and then folding 1/2" again.  Stitch along the dotted line as shown in the image below.

Cut a piece of elastic for each sleeve to the length of your sleeve circumference measurement {not doubled}.  Feed the elastic through the casing, pinning on each end and then stitching in place. 

Baste along the top {curved} edge of the sleeve piece and gather the fabric.  

This next part sounds really confusing, but it's actually pretty easy.  Stick with me.  You're going to pin this new sleeve to the existing sleeve along the shoulder seam, adjusting the gathers to fit.  But FIRST, Lay the fabric over the sleeve, the way you want it to look when it's finished -- the new sleeve should be right side up on top of the existing sleeve.  THEN, flip the fabric up over the shoulder seam as shown below and pin it right side down over the shoulder.  Fold each end back about 1/4" and overlap so you'll get a finished edge in the armpit when you're done.

Stitch it around shoulder seam to secure, then flip the fabric down over the sleeve again.  Pin the armpit seam in place and stitch it down to the original sweatshirt sleeve.

Repeat for other sleeve.

Step 3:  Create the laced front.

Since we have a zip-front hoodie, we can't just add criss-crossed ribbon lacing to the front and keep it functional so we'll create faux lacing by folding the ribbon and stitching it down.  Measure out the front of your hoodie and mark the spots where you want the ribbon to bend with a piece of chalk so that it will be even on both sides and meet in the center.  Pin the ribbon in place and top stitch along each edge to hold it in place.

I tied a 12" piece of the same ribbon into a small bow and situated it so that it was centered with the zipper. Then stitch it to ONE side of the hoodie {so the zipper would still be functional}.  When it is zipped up it will look like it's attached to the ribbon lacing!

Step 4:  The Hair!!

Lay the hood part of your hoodie on top of the fleece, with the front edge 1" back from the cut edge and the top of the hood touching the fold.  Trace the shape, adding 1/2 inch for seam allowance.

Stitch along the back, curved edge of the hood.  Turn right side out and set aside for a minute.  Cut the remainder of your fabric into 3 strips that are 8" wide x the width of your fabric {44-60-ish inches}.

Pin the long strips of fabric to the back of the sweatshirt necline, pleating the fabric and overlapping the fabric a little as shown.  Baste this fabric in place along the neck seam..

Pin the fleece hood on as shown so that when you flip the fleece hood up, all the raw edges will be enclosed between the two hoods.  The edges of the fleece hood will extend beyond the edges of the original hood.  That is good.  Stitch along the dotted line then flip the fleece hood up over the original hood..

Fold the edge of the yellow hood to the inside, encasing the original purple hood and stitch all the way around.

Braid the three long strips of fleece loosely so that they fall over the shoulder to the front, trimming to the desired length.  I used a clear plastic ponytail holder to secure the ends and tied a pink ribbon bow to hide it.  And that's all, folks.  The whole thing is machine washable, so if it gets dirty it's not a problem!  The long braid drags on the floor a little bit. It could be trimmed a bit shorter, but the long braid makes a great scarf for when it's cool outside!

We also made a few flowery hair clips to clip in the braid and on the hood to add some fun pops of color and give Kayla something to wear in her own hair even when she wasn't wearing the hoodie.  I am IN LOVE with the way it turned out.  We gave it to her when we were all together for Thanksgiving and I am kicking myself for not getting a picture of her wearing it.  You get the idea, right? my brother and sister-in-law sent me this adorable picture of her wearing it:

Sweet girl!  We love Kayla!  I hope that inspires you to get creative.  As always, if you have questions or my directions are unclear, send me an email and I'll see if I can help.  Now my mental wheels are turning -- how could I create other princesses?  Or super heroes?  I need more little nieces and nephews . . . 


  1. How wonderfully creative! What a lucky little girl your niece is - I bet she was thrilled.

    Great job, Amy. :)


    1. Thank you! I probably had as much fun making it as she will have wearing it -- maybe more!


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