Monday, November 12, 2012

Look What You Can Make From 1 Yard of Polar Fleece

Did you know that polar fleece is made from recycled soda bottles?
Did you know that you don't
 have to finish the edges because polar fleece doesn't fray?
Have you seen all of the bright and fun prints?
I am sharing my method/pattern for making polar fleece hats, scarves and neck warmers en masse. 
Whether you choose to make these as gifts for your friends and family or use this tutorial to make them for the needy, you'll find this a quick and fun method.
 I designed this a few years ago for my quilt guild's community outreach
to make the hat/scarf sets to distribute to the local homeless shelters.
 It is also a wonderful kids sewing project and a wonderful charity sewing project. 
You can end up with 2 hats, 2 scarves and 2 neck warmers from 1 yard of polar fleece. 
You don't need a sewing machine to make the scarves or neck warmers. 
Only a few seams are needed to make the hats.
I have led workshops with kids as young as 10.
 In an afternoon, you can end up with lots and lots of hats and scarves.
I bought a one yard cut of this polka dot polar fleece from Joann's,
 and using a coupon, it cost me less than $5.00.
Yes, $5.00 to make all of those accessories.
Polar fleece is 60" wide.
 I do love this 30" plus ruler that I bought at a quilt show for cutting it.

With it folded in half, selvages together, cut 2 - 9 inch strips, a 13" strip and
straighten the edge of the remaining strip which should measure about 5".
 The 9" wide strips are for the scarves.
Trim off the bulky selvages.
 With the strip folded in half,
cut the fringes about 1/2" wide apart with a sharp pair of scissors.
I don't measure.  I just approximate.
 Give it a little shake.
Repeat with the other 9" strip.
 To make the hats, cut 2 pieces that measure 23" from the 13" strip.
Trim off the selvage.
Fold up  2 " along the long edge for the brim and pin.
Stitch 1/4" from the raw edge.
I use a walking foot for  sewing polar fleece.

 Pin the side seams, right sides together.
 Stitch with a 1/4"seam.
Adjust the hat so that the seam is in the middle, with the wrong side out.
 Place Pin A 1 1/2" from seam thru both layers of fabric.
Place a second pin in the right side fold.
 This is the only complicated step. 
Tuck in the edge so that Pin B aligns with Pin A.
Place a pin to hold the 4 layers together.
Repeat on the left side.
Sew across the top with a 1/4" seam allowance,
 taking a few back stitches at both the beginning and the end.
 Turn right side out and Voila! A hat.
Repeat for a 2nd hat.
For years I have had this 4-5" strip of polar fleece left over, which I often made into one "baby" scarf.
This was a semi-satisfactory way to use this "scrap".  But then I had a light bulb moment and designed this neck warmer that is easy to make.  What makes it possible is that the edges of polar fleece do not have to be finished.
 The leftover strip will measure anywhere between 4" and 5".
Cut the strip in half and remove the selvages.
There should then be 2 pieces, 4"x30" (about). 

 Using a ruler and a rotary cutter, cut a slit 3" long in the middle, 2" from the bottom edge.
And it's done.
To wear it, slip the end of the scarf through the slit.

 This is perfect as a non-bulky alternative to a scarf.
2 Hats, 2 Scarves, 2 Neck Warmers from 1 yd of polar fleece


  1. I love the polka dots!
    Great idea for the neck warmers too.

  2. Clever, clever, clever!
    Thanks, Cheryl!

  3. Should I admit I have a pair of PJ's with that same material and print, lol.
    My husband got them for me and they are so warm and cuddly;)


  4. Great tutorial! Love the idea for the neck warmers too! I am sure there will be lots of hats and scarves made this year for the needy since you posted this on your blog!

  5. Thanks for posting! Great instructions...

  6. Thanks for this informative tutorial. I will definitely be buying some polar fleece for projects!

  7. Oh thank you for the great tutorial. These are great little gifts for Grandchildren or anyone with the snow coming soon.

  8. thanks for tutorial. this will come in handy.


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