How to Make a Windbreaker

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Windbreaker jacket on the line.
Windbreaker jacket on the line.

A windbreaker is a basic jacket that is usually made from a shiny polyester fabric, which protects the body from the wind. Windbreakers come in many styles, some with front zippers and some without, some with collars and some with hoods. Windbreakers can even be made with a soft lining and a warm, thick interlining. You can make your own windbreaker by altering a basic body pattern into any jacket style that you like.

Things You'll Need

  • Oversized T-shirt
  • Scissors
  • Large paper
  • Measuring tape
  • Polyester fabric
  • Fabric pencil
  • Pins
  • Home sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Iron
  • Ironing board
  • Zipper

Make the Windbreaker Jacket Pattern

Step 1

Take an old, oversized T-shirt that you do not mind damaging. Cut the shirt apart at the seamlines, so that you have separate sleeve, front and back pieces.

Step 2

Cut the front shirt piece directly up the middle and discard one of the halves. Also discard one of the sleeve pieces.

Step 3

Lay out the sleeve piece on a large sheet of paper. Fold the sleeve piece in half, lining up the seam edges. Trace the sleeve piece.

Step 4

Measure the distance between your shoulder and your wrist. Draw a straight line on the sleeve drawing, from the top of the shoulder out past the hem, that is as long as this distance.

Step 5

Measure the circumference of your wrist and add 2 inches. Transfer this measurement to the end of the line you drew in Step 5 to create a new sleeve hem line. Connect the bottom of the sleeve hem line to the seam edge line.

Step 6

Trace the shirt back piece onto the paper. Extend or shorten the hem line to the desired length.

Step 7

Trace the shirt front piece onto the paper. Extend or shorten the hem line to match the shirt back piece.

Step 8

Add 1/2-inch seam allowances to all seams and 1-inch hem allowances to all hems and the collar edges. Cut the pattern pieces from the paper.

Sew the Jacket Body

Step 1

Lay the pattern pieces on top of your windbreaker fabric. Cut two of the sleeve and front pieces, and one of the back piece.

Step 2

Fold each of the sleeve pieces in half, lining up the seam edges. Pin the side seams together, then sew them 1/2 inch away from the edges. Iron the seam allowances open and zigzag stitch the edges so that they do not fray.

Step 3

Pin the side seams of the front body pieces to the side seams of the back body pieces. Sew them together, 1/2 inch away from the edges. Iron and zigzag stitch the edges.

Step 4

Insert the sleeves into the sleeve holes on the body. Line up the sleeve hole edges and pin them together. Sew the sleeves to the body 1/2 inch away from the edges. Iron and zigzag stitch the edges.

Step 5

Fold the collar edge under 1/4 inch and iron it flat. Fold it under another 3/4 inch and stitch along the folded edge. Iron the collar flat.

Finish the Windbreaker Jacket

Step 1

Fold the jacket hem under 1/4 inch and iron it flat, then fold it under another 3/4 inch. Stitch along the folded edge and iron it flat.

Step 2

Fold and sew the sleeve hems just as you did the jacket hem.

Step 3

Pin the left side of the zipper tape to the left side of the center front opening. Sew the zipper tape to the jacket front.

Step 4

Pin the right side of the zipper tape to the right side of the center front opening. Sew the zipper tape to the jacket front.

Step 5

Add any embellishments to the jacket, such as decorative stitching, pockets and buttons.

Tip

  • If you would like to add cuffs to your windbreaker, cut 4-inch wide rectangles that are as long as the wrist hem measurement. Sew the rectangles to the wrists. If you would like to add a hood to your windbreaker, you can either trace the hood of an existing jacket or draw your own hood shape. Make sure that the base of the hood matches the full collar circumference.

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