Sunday, December 09, 2007
Easy Neck Warmer
A neck warmer is very easy to make and I think they are much safer for kids than scarfs... and fishermen... and mechanics... and anyone with a job around machinery that might catch a dangling end of a scarf. And an added plus - they always stay "wrapped" around your neck. Besides, I find that most kids won't bother with a scarf, but they are willing to pop a neck warmer over their heads.
Believe it or not, 1 size usually fits most - from 4 years old to adult. OK, so I could make it a tiny bit smaller for Little Boy, but he really doesn't like anything TIGHT so my size is a happy fit for him - afterall, the point is to keep his neck warm, not make a fashion statement. Oh - well, except for that favorite color - orange! Then again, it really doesn't look so big once he has his jacket on.
My head measurement is 22 1/2" and my son's is 19 1/2". I guess if you were making it for someone with a bigger head - adjust accordingly, but fleece is pretty stretchy so you should be ok with using my measurements.
I've never had a pattern for these, but this is how I make them:
1. Cut 1 piece of fleece 20" long X 7". This is the main color that will show, so in mine it is orange. *** The 20" length of fleece is where you want the stretch to be. This way it will stretch to fit over the head.
2. Cut a 2nd piece of fleece 20" long X 7 3/4". Yellow in mine. Again - stretch along the 20" length.
3 and 4). Right sides together, sew together the 2 pieces of fleece along a 20" edge - starting 1/2" in from the edge and ending 1/2" before the end. Use a 1/4" seam.
4. Now - sew the other 20" edge together using a 1/4" seam - you will need to re-adjust the fabrics so that they are even with each other (because 1 piece is 7" and the other is 7 3/4") On both long edge seams the fabrics are even with each other - this is how you get the 2nd color contrast along the collar. Again - start 1/2" in and end 1/2" before the end.
*** You can start/stop 1/4" in if you want - then you don't have to go back and sew the little holes closed, but I find it easier to give myself the extra room to put the short seams together in the next steps. Up to you.
5. Turn right sides out.
6. Wrap around into a band and right sides together, sew 1 color fleece end to end with a 1/4" seam. Now - I just go back and sew the top and bottom where there is a little hole from beginning and stopping 1/2" in instead of 1/4". I just find this easier than trying to line everything up perfectly the 1st time around.
7. On the 2nd color of fleece sew ends together from the top down a ways, backstitch - skip about 3", backstitch and sew to the end. I go back and sew the little holes at the top and bottom. Now all you need to do is handsew the 3" gap together by hand.
8. Ta-Da! Enjoy your new neck warmer. One of these days I have to experiment with a dressier (stretch) fabric for indoor wear.
I hope you can figure it out with these instructions. They really are easy to make. Go on - you have time to go buy some fleece if you are trying to come up with a Christmas present for that outdoor person in your life. Fleece is usually pretty wide, so you really won't need much to make several - just be sure when you buy it that you remember you need the stretch on the long edge.
Oh - and if you cut fleece on your cutting mat (like I do) - one of those bath scrubbies will take the fuzz right off your mat.
Happy to pose with us in our photos is Bella - a bear I made a long time ago and Little Boy just loves her! She is wearing a bead necklace one of my sisters brought back from Mexico for me, but Little Boy thinks it looks better on her than me! I guess I should get around to embroidering her nose with floss - she just has a cloth template glued to her face which is sure to peel off with all this extra loving she is getting! And of course, the ever present Elmo! And yes, Little Boy took my photo.