Winged Hoodie


I really ought to know better by now.

I’ve lived in Minnesota nearly all my life, and yet somehow when we have our first day of 40 degree weather in months I think it’s going to last. This foolish naivete has repeated itself many years over, even though it never fails to immediately plummet back to below zero within a few days. I guess the groundhog was wrong. Stupid groundhog...

Stuck in sweaters and layers for months on end, it’s enough for a girl to wish for a pair of wings and just fly away from here, at least until spring proper...

Well, they may not let you fly, but you can still don a pair of wings and rehabilitate your wintry weather wear. For little ones who love to play pretend to those of us who never really grew out of it, wings are always cute. I went through all the make-believe phases as a kid, and there’s nothing better than being a fairy to a little girl. Of course, I also wanted to be a pony, a vampire, and a ninja turtle, but that’s only because I took my parents literally when they said I could be anything I wanted when I grew up. I decided to be a crazy crafter artist instead. Not that different really, and hey, I still get to play fairy.

To add some wing flourish to your hoodie, and a fairy accent if you’re so inclined, you’ll need some printed temples (crosshairs included) a ruler, a vanishing ink fabric pen, and regular and no-show mesh stabilizer.

You will also need a hoodie or tee of choice. There are a couple of things to keep in mind when you’re embroidering on garments. One is to keep in mind how thick or thin your apparel is. Thicker clothes, like hoodies, usually take the stitches better and hide the edges of the stabilizer through the thicker fabric. We’ll be using special softer stabilizer to help make it less visible under your clothes, but with super thin tees it’s sometimes hard to hide it. Tees are perfectly fine to embroider on, but keep in mind if you fabric is too thin, heavy stitches may also start to wrinkle or pucker the fabric.

If you’re embroidering a hoodie like I am, keep in mind that your hood covers up a bit of the back, so you’ll want your wings placed a bit lower. Try your hoodie on and look at the back of it in a mirror to help you decide where you think you want your wings to go.

First, cut out your templates so the edges are flush with the design. This helps a lot with placement and measuring.

Play around with the placement of your wings on the back of your hoodie. When you think you like them, tape them down to your hoodie and try it on. Sometimes things can look a lot different once you’re wearing them. Once you’re happy with the basic placement, we’re going to carefully measure them out to make sure they’re centered.

To get perfect placement for your wings, you’re going to want to find the center of your hoodie. I found the easiest way to do this was find a simple seam or center line that marked it. Usually the seam of the hood is exactly in the center, or measure the distance between the arm seams and divide in half.

Use a piece of paper like a T square to follow the center line down until the bottom follows the center line of one of your designs. We’re going to base our centering off one of the wings, so be sure you like where it is before you start measuring.

Mark the center vertical line down your hoodie, and the horizontal line across your wings, using the paper edge to keep it at right angles. The center line will be used to make your wings of equal distance from the center of your hoodie, and the horizontal line will be used to keep them level, so you don’t get funny tilted wings.

Using the crosshairs printed on your templates, line up your wings so the middle is level with the horizontal line you drew on your hoodie.

Now they should be perfectly level. To make them perfectly centered on your hoodie, use one of your wings and find the distance from the center line of your hoodie to the center of your design. Mine was about 3 1/2 inches.

Keeping that wing exactly where it is, use a sharp pen or pencil to poke a hole in the center of your template, and then use your vanishing ink pen to draw a dot through the hole onto the fabric. Also extend the lines of the crosshair onto the hoodie, so you end up with a center point, and four marks you can use to line up your hoop.

This is what your marks should look like when you’re done. I made a little x in the middle so I could see it better.

For your other wing, measure the same distance from the center and make sure that it’s lined up evenly on the horizontal line, then mark it as you did the other one. When you’re done you should have two crosshair markings on your hoodie that you can use to hoop your wings.

Hoop up your wings with some no-show stabilizer. I used Floriani no show mesh. Thin no-show mesh is great for light stitched designs that are going to go on garments, to hide the square of stabilizer left behind. It’s not great on really heavily stitched designs that have a lot of solid fills, because the design will start to “sink” into the fabric if the stabilizer isn’t sturdy enough, but I wouldn’t use heavy designs on a t-shirt anyway. It’ll just look all icky and bulky.

Carefully line up the markings you made with the markings on your hoop, and stitch out your first wing. When it’s done, trim the stabilizer, cut some more and stitch out your second wing.

Your two little wings all stitched out and pretty. Have fun with the colors you choose. My wings are kind of a pretty punk, but you could also use shades of grey and black and be a dark fairy, or use all pink and be a pretty pretty princess fairy.

The ink marks on your hoodie will fade after a little while, so don’t worry about them.

If you like, you can try on your new set of wings to see how they fly. Not literally, of course. I tried that once off the top of my tree house and it didn’t work very well.

Wait though, we’re not done yet! We got some cute fairy wings on the back, what about a little fairy embellishment up front? These fairy wings coordinate really well with our two fae designs, so I picked one of my favorites and decided to put it on the left chest of my hoodie.

For design placement on the front, I highly recommend putting your hoodie on and then taping it down to find the perfect spot, because it can change a lot when you’re wearing it. Mark it as you did you last designs, finding the center and the four edges. Hoop up this design with regular stabilizer, since it has a lot more solid stitches, and stitch away, coordinating her wings with yours!

And now you have a fully fledged fairy wing hoodie, with a little fairy design to liven up the front, and a beautiful set of wings on the back. The no-show mesh is soft and flexible, so you won’t feel it at all on your back, and your hoodie stays soft and comfortable.

Not in a fairy mood? Feeling a bit angelic instead? Well we have a set of angel wings you can download if you’re feeling a bit more heavenly.

These wings stitch light and fast so they won’t weigh down your garments, and they’re super cute for little angels, teen fairies, or girls that just don’t really care to grow up in a world where wings aren’t allowed. Stitch them off and take wing, because now you know exactly how to get a perfect pair. They may not elevate me beyond the frigid weather, but a little whimsy goes a long way on a cold, gray day.

Want a printer-friendly PDF of this page? You got it, bud.
Suggested designs for this tutorial: 
Fae Flight (Wing Pair)_image
Fae Flight (Wing Pair) $4.99 - $5.99
3 Available Sizes:
Machine Embroidery: 6.14"w x 5.87"h | 4.53"w x 4.33"h | 2.91"w x 2.80"h | Hand Embroidery