Sunday, November 16, 2014

Free Tutorial - Fleece Ear Warmer with Bonus Ponytail Hole

Just in time for Christmas gifting! I'm going to show you how to make these great ear warmers. They are great for any type of cold weather and especially great for active pursuits. They are easy to make and take very little fabric! And as a bonus for those ponytail wearing girls (or guys, that's cool, too) in your life, I'll show you how to make an extra hole to hold that ponytail. For those without a ponytail, you can skip that step.


Make one for everyone on your list this Christmas. Ear warmer for you, ear warmer for you - everyone gets an ear warmer!

Here's how you do it. Be sure to read through all the directions before you start.

SUPPLIES

First, you need to gather your supplies. You will need:

       1. Fleece fabric. My favorite fabric for these is microfleece. It is a little lighter weight and stretchier than other fleece, which is particularly nice for workouts and such. This is the fabric I am using here. Any fleece should work, though. You don't need more than a quarter of a yard and you can probably even get two or three of these out of that. Scraps work great if you have some!

        2. Scissors or rotary cutter

        3. Matching thread

        4. Marking pen (optional)

        5.  Pins (optional)

        6. Glue stick (optional) - just a regular old school glue stick. (Keep reading to see my super special trick!)

        7.  Sewing machine


TIPS FOR SEWING WITH FLEECE
  • Don't use an iron on fleece. It can melt. (Did you get that? That means you don't even have to iron this project! Yay!)
  • Fleece doesn't fray, so you don't have to finish the seams if you don't want to. Yay again!
  • Be sure to cut in the right direction. The cross grain of the fabric will have more stretch than the straight grain. We want this ear warmer to stretch around the head.
  • Since it stretches, we want to use a stitch that will stretch when sewing with the cross grain.
  • Usually there is a right and wrong side, but sometimes it is hard to tell which is which, so check carefully.


MAKING YOUR EAR WARMER

1.    Cut a rectangle of fleece 5 inches by 20 inches.  Remember to cut your rectangle so that the        stretch is across the width of the fabric. Try stretching the fabric in both directions and you should be able to tell which is the cross grain. We want the stretch to go around the head.         (This is a "one size fits most." Remember, it will have some stretch. If your head or your recipient's head is very large or very small, you may want to adjust the width. You can wrap the fabric around your head to check.)

2.  Fold your fabric in half along the long side. Be sure that the right sides are together.


3. Mark the ponytail hole. (Skip this step if omitting).  Using pins or marking pin, mark the short edge of your fabric 1.5 inches from each edge.


4. Sew short ends of your fabric together with a 1/2" seam allowance. Begin at the marks you made in step 3 (or from the middle if you skipped that step) and sew towards edges (This helps prevent the fabric from getting stuck).  Be sure to backstitch and the beginning and end of your seam. You can use a straight stitch for this part, since the fabric does not need to stretch in this direction. If you are omitting the ponytail hole, just sew straight across. Fingerpress the seam allowances to either side.

5. If you left a hole for the ponytail, topstitch a rectangle around the hole to secure seam allowances. 

6. Fold the raw edges on each long side 3/4" towards the wrong side. Secure with pins if desired. Or, use my super special basting tool - your school glue stick! Fold the edges over and secure with glue. (If it won't stay you can use a pin to hold in place until glue dries.) Hem  the edges using a zig-zag stitch (or whatever stitch you prefer that has some stretch). The glue will wash out in the washing machine, leaving you with a perfectly hemmed edge.

7. Try it on and admire your creation. Then go and make some more!



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