McCall’s 5252 Hoodie, Part 1

The zip-front hooded sweatshirt (aka the “Hoodie”) might just be the official casual garment of San Francisco.  And for good reason. At the tip of a peninsula, we are surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and the San Francisco Bay, so the marine breeze makes us one of the chilliest spots in the entire Bay Area.

Hoodies provide just the right amount of warmth for early chilly mornings and late breezy evenings for most of the year. Yet they aren’t so heavy that they are too warm to wear mid-day, even during the summer months when the temperature in the city proper might peak in the low-70s.

I’ve wanted to make my own hoodie for some time, and even got a start on the project. But I didn’t get very far before my attention was drawn to other projects.

But now I decided I wanted an easy and fun project to do after all the fiddly, detailed shirt-making I’ve been doing the past months. At least as a palate cleanser before I move on to even more challenging projects. Of course, being me I’ll somehow figure out a way to make this easy project into something complicated.

McCall’s 5252

I’ll use McCall’s 5252 as my pattern for the project.  It’s a surprisingly adaptable pattern, with lots of variations for various vests and jackets, some hooded, some collared.


View E is a full-zippered hooded sweatshirt with long sleeves.

I read through all 17 reviews on, including the linked blog entries from the reviewers.  And here’s what I got from the reviews:

  • I’ll make a size S. The pattern runs large. As in ginormous. The pattern runs at least one size too big, even for men (it’s unisex). Several people also reported the sleeves run long too, but I have long arms so I will probably be good there.
  • The pattern has an “MP3 player pocket” over the lefthand chest. Henceforth, we will call it a “smartphone pocket”. The pattern has you use Velcro to secure the pocket, but reviewers rightly point out that items are likely to fall out.  One reviewer inserted a zipper to close the pocket, an idea I will likely steal and incorporate. Many people skipped this pocket entirely, but I like the concept and plan to include it in mine.
  • I will possibly include zippers on the other front pockets, which are in their usual locations.
  • Plastic rather than metal zippers are more comfy in cold environments.  And less likely to scratch the screen of my smartphone.
  • The length runs long, so consider truncating at the waist. If you do so, also move up pockets a bit to keep the proportions right.
  • You can hem the cuffs as directed, or try knit cuffs.  One reviewer sewed in an elastic pull cord to cinch the wrist cuffs tight.  Something to think about.
  • Though the instructions assume a conventional sewing machine, it’s possible to use the serger for most of the work.  A conventional sewing machine is necessary only to insert zipper and top-stitch collar (on collared versions – I don’t know how the hood changes things).  I plan to use both the serger and the coverstitch machine to produce mine.
  • The hood can be quite deep.  Some reviewers altered the pattern alterations to reduce the depth. 
  • The pattern doesn’t call for a drawstring on the hood, but I plan to add one.  With grommets, even.

The Fabric

For the first wearable muslin, I’ll be using some black and charcoal sweatshirt fleece I purchased at JoAnn’s.


I plan to use some of both to get some colorblocking in the first muslin, for visual interest.

So are you with me? It’s time to get started.

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