What is it? Some of you may already know, but for those who don't, read on to find out how I am a slave to my childrens' whims.
Like many children, my son does not enjoy bundling up for the cold. The hassle, the constriction, the immobility - all are just cause, in his three year old mind, for a good bout of whining. So I've become one of those parents whose child has a very unfashionable, but wholly functional, winter wardrobe.
I mean look at that hat! We actually received the cutest GapKids Fairisle knit toque from his aunt for Christmas... and he refused to wear it. So we had to return the hat and pick another from the limited post-Boxing day stock. This was one of the few left by the bargain shoppers, but for him it was love at first sight. Only a boy would pick a hat like that! He calls it his "skull giraffe hat" (said in a menacing tone). His mitts are equally uncute. But they are black and white swirly (like a teenager's) and have a "Spyder" on them.
So you can imagine that getting him to wear one of my lovingly handmade, merino wool, cable-knit scarves was a next to near impossible task..
He did like wearing my plain white fleece neck warmer though. Which was fine for most of the winter... but I did want it back for myself for our upcoming trip to Vermont. So how to get him to part from the scarf that he had decided was his?
That's right. I pandered to his desires.
My husband picked the colour of fleece - dark brown. And from there on out, it was clear what had to be done to make this neck and face warmer wear-worthy for a monster/dinosaur/dragon obsessed little boy - Domo kun.
The construction was easy enough and the project was quite fulfilling as it is definitely beginner sewer level and took only about a half hour to complete (including entertaining-a-bored-toddler time).
I made a fabric tube with a strip of fleece (approximately 22 inches by 8 inches) which I closed with a flat-felled seam. I made sure that the stretchiness of the fabric went around the circumference of the neck, as opposed to up and down, to make for a better fit when stretched over his head and face. Then folded down the top and bottom hem and closed them with a zig zag stitch to keep the stretchiness of the fleece intact... nice thing about fleece is that it doesn't really fray, so there's no need seal in the edges of the hems.
Made the signature mouth from red fleece and white craft felt. Zig-zag stitched the teeth onto a rectangle of red fleece (only on the tooth edge... the top and bottom tooth/mouth edges will be sewn altogether in the next step).
Placed the mouth in the appropriate spot on the tube and attached the whole rectangle to the neck warmer with a slightly tighter (i.e. shorter length, wider width) zig zag stitch. Another nice thing about fleece - it sticks to itself, so no need for pinning! Although who am I kidding? I'm pretty lazy, so I pin pretty minimally even when I should be pinning.
The hardest thing about sewing with fleece? It's thick, so if you have a walking foot, take advantage of it! Otherwise, go slow, make sure you have a nice sharp needle and keep an eye on everything lining up and not slipping.
And ta-da!!! Replacement neck warmer finished.
Did it meet with the young man's approval? You be the judge.