Fleece hood and balaclava

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We’ve had frigid temps in our area, and sounds like most people across the US are having the same conditions.  While staying indoors is a great way to stay warm (unless your power is out) dressing for the weather good also.

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My oldest son has one of these, and loves it, so he and I copied it and made, I believe, seven of them for Christmas gifts.

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Flurries                                 Snow Showers                     Blizzard

This is a quick project, and is very practical with many options of how to wear it.

You need 3/4 of a yard of fleece.  You will also need a nice boot lace, a piece of parachord or some such for the hood tie.

The three pieces needed are easy to draft off a rectangle, and you don’t have to be precise, close will do.  You can grab some tissue paper and make a pattern of the 3 rectangle pieces you will need, or you can just cut the rectangles right out of the fleece.

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Here is my low tech drawing of the pieces you’ll need.

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For the hood you need a rectangle 15″ X 13″.  Then you just round off the upper corner.

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For the scarf piece you need a rectangle that is 11″X13″, placed on the fold.  (The paper on the fabric piece marks the folded edge)

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The neck cover is a little more tricky, but again, this doesn’t need to be exact!!  Close will do.  The rectangle is 11″X14″, placed on the fold again.  First you angle in the back, cut edge of the piece so it is 1″ narrower, the same width at the top as the scarf piece, 13″.  Then remove about 2″ across the bottom back half, with a little bump up to go over the shoulder, then down for the front.

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Everything should be sewn using a small  zigzag stitch, or surged (where possible).

Starting with the scarf piece: with right sides together,  stitch the 11″ sides together, making a tube.  Turn it right side out and fold it in half so you have a tube with both the raw edges even (see photo above).  Set aside.

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Sew the back of the hood together (right sides together), up and around the curve and across the top.  Fold about 1″ toward the inside and stitch in place.

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For the neck warmer piece, sew it into a tube, right sides together.  Turn the bottom edge up once and sew a small hem.

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Now it gets a little tricky to get everything in the right place- I’ve done it wrong more than once!!  First, with the hood inside out put the neck warmer (right side out) inside with the seams matching in the back.  You want the edges to be even along the bottom.  Pin the front of the hood shut with a slight overlap, put a few pins in around the bottom.

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All of that goes inside the scarf tube, all raw edges lined up at the bottom and all the seams lined up in the back.  Pin that in place also.

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It will look something like this from the bottom.  Lots of layers!!  If some seem bigger than others- no problem, just stretch it a little as you sew.  This is too thick the surge, plus you might catch a stray pin, so stitch this on the regular machine.

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Turned right side out it should look like this.

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I just snipped a little hole for the string to go through.

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Using a safety-pin, thread the chord through.

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You can just knot the ends together, then the wearer can easily adjust the fit by pulling the knot down.  If you leave the ends loose, I’d suggest sewing through all layers at the top of the hood so the chord can’t be pulled out.2014-01-03 09.58.38

For a child’s size, take one inch off the rectangles that you start with.  I even took about 1/2″ off the original size for women’s size.  The original is big, but there is room for a stocking cap underneath, good if you’re going to be out in the elements a lot.

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25 thoughts on “Fleece hood and balaclava

  1. Hello! I love this hood, and would like to try to make one for myself right away, but am not sure I understand the instructions – I’m not much of a seamstress, sorry to say. The “low tech drawing of the pieces you’ll need” seems important but no photo is showing. (Same thing with the “Blizzard” photo.) Also, is the hood piece folded before you trim the curve? Or is it 2 pieces? Sorry to have all these questions, but I can’t afford to waste fabric and hope you won’t mind me asking. I really, really want to make one of these! Thank you 🙂

    • Hey! Just found your comment in with the spam! Yes, the low tech drawing had gone away, but it is back there now. The hood is 2 separate pieces, then sewn up the back (you could do it on the fold though, about the same… with the layout I used it is easier not to place the hood on the fold) Hope that helps!!

  2. Is there any way you could make a pdf of the pattern? I love it. I have been looking for something like this for my family. You are awesome.

  3. I love this! Here in high Colorado, we are surely freezing our ***** off!! Tho I got a nice warm coat for Christmas, my head and neck are still so cold due to the awful, seemingly constant wind. Thank you for sharing! The directions seem a bit hard to follow but I think once I have the fabric in front of me, I will ‘get it’ 🙂

  4. So easy! Just made two of these for my kids and I’m so happy with how they turned out. Thank you so much for these instructions!

  5. Just a suggestion. Using a bright color vs black is easier for our “older” eyes to see. Love the pattern and am trying one soon. Thanks

  6. Thanks so much for sharing this!! These seems to be a small issue once you line up the hood with the neck warmer. Since you folded the hood back 1″ (for the string), the hood is now only 12″ (folded), while the neck warmer and scarf are both 13″. I will remedy this by making the neck warmer and scarf both an inch smaller, but just thought I’d mention it. Or you could make the hood an inch wider..

    • Also, I figure out how to make a “lining” for the hood and neck warmer to make this even warmer. Just use fleece of a complementing color (or same), and make another piece for the neck warmer. Then, instead of making a small hem at the bottom of the neck warmer, I sew the 2 pieces right side together. Then flip it, so the right side it out. For the hood, just make another hood that is a little less wide, and when you roll the 1″ to make the casing for the drawstring, you can sandwich the lining fabric into that. (hood pieces wrong side together).

  7. I certainly could have used while shoveling snow this past weekend. I tried to make it, but got tripped up that you have to cut 2 pieces of the hood. Also, the black fabric doesn’t make for a good right side/wrong side visual. After reading it a few times and walking through it, I will try it again this weekend.

  8. Thank you for the tutorial 😃. It was super easy and I whipped up quickly this morning for my eldest son. Cheers

  9. Thank you so much for this tutorial. I was able to follow your instructions and they stitched out beautifully. I used a cover hem for the hem on the hood and the neck warmer. I made the hood 1 inch wider so that all the pieces lined up. I also made the bottom of the neck warmer straight, without the curve, so that was easier to cover hem. Mine does not look as classy as yours, but it looks and feels great. This tutorial is a keeper. Thanks again

    • I have difficulty breathing our cold New England air in the winter. This will look much nicer than the surgical/looking mask I have to wear. I agree that the black is difficult to see but I think I can figure it out. Thank you for this pattern!

  10. What a great pattern. It worked great on my 7 year old, but I’ll need to add quite a few inches in each direction for my 22 1/2″ head! One thing that might help less-experienced readers is what direction to orient the stretch if you have 2-way stretch fleece (as I did). So, Hood=parallel to 13″, Scarf=parallel to 13″ and neck cover=parallel to 11″. Also, the hem on the face cover is on the the 14″ side.

  11. This is exactly what I am looking for. My son’s school is approximately 1 mile away and we have had very windy and cold weather. The other day he mentioned he needs something to cover his face. I have not tried to cut this and put it together yet. Are there directions for the face cover and how it is attached? Is it something that can be worn when it is really cold and then go without it when it is not quite as cold? A recent note states the hem size on the face cover but I don’t see anything other that that. Please help. I will go ahead and start.

  12. Hi there, thanks for the pattern! Just for anyone who might be serging this project together, you might want to suggest that they sew the tubes and hood together first. If you’re serging you’re going to want to blind hem those finished edges and that’s somewhat of a pain to switch back and forth on my serger because it involves dropping/reinstalling/threading the right needle everytime I go back and forth. Other than that this is super easy and a lot of fun. Thanks for doing this!

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