Monday, January 9, 2012

Double layered neck warmer tutorial

[Update: 17-Oct-2016]

The last two times I tried to make a neck warmer I sewed the wrong seam first, and ended up with the tube running sideways! So, I made notes and took lots of pics …I’m not making that mistake again.

2012-01-08 020
This neck warmer is made from a double layer of lightweight fleece, so all the seams are nicely hidden.

Finished dimensions for the neck warmer, which should basically go over your head without too much ease (W x H):

Small Children, aged 4+ 10 in x 8 in 25 cm x 20 cm
Large Adults 11 in x 9 in 27 cm x 22 cm

Cut out a rectangle of fleece, with the maximum stretch running widthways, as follows: double the finished dimension, for both width and height, plus 1/2 in (1.2 cm). All seam allowances will be 1/4 in (6 mm).

Small 20 1/2 in x 16 1/2 in 51.2 cm x 41.2 cm
Large 22 1/2 in x 18 1/2 in 55.2 cm x 45.2 cm

2012-01-08 002With the rectangle laid out widthways, fold the top edge of the rectangle down to bring the long sides together; in the pic to the right the fold is at the top (this will be the top of the neck warmer):



2012-01-08 006 Using a 1/4 in (6 mm) seam allowance, stitch along the bottom using an almost medium width zigzag with a medium stitch length. The seam just needs to be stretchy enough so it won’t break when it’s stretched. Notice how the bottom layer is peaking out just a bit, this is just so I know where it is! It helped as I’m not using any pins to hold the layers together.

Put your arm through the tube, and grabbing the other end, pull it inside until it meets the other end, matching the ends of the long seam. Sometimes it helps to put a pin in at the top to stop the layers shifting around.

2012-01-08 007           2012-01-08 008

2012-01-08 009Starting just before the long seam, stitch the two round ends together leaving a 3 in (7.5 cm) gap so you can turn it right side out. I sewed the seam with the bottom layer peaking out a tiny bit again.



The pins in the pic below are only to show the opening, you can just eyeball it like I usually do, but you’ll need at least that much to be able to get your hand through and pull out the rest of the fabric.
2012-01-08 011             2012-01-08 012

Now the fiddly part, put your hand through the opening to turn it right side out with the opening on the outside (shown in the pic on the right).

2012-01-08 013           2012-01-08 014

[Update: start]

We’re almost finished. Next we close the opening on the inside side seam, this will be hidden. I forgot to take a picture of this, but it’s just an edge stitch along the opening using the same stitch settings as before, and making sure the seam edges are folded in.





2012-01-08 019

 [Update: end]

You can see here how it still lies quite flat (ignore the bottom edge for now! I did it in the wrong order.)



Turn the neck warmer right side out so the stitched opening is on the inside.

2012-01-08 015Last thing, topstitch the bottom, and you do it in one of two ways; I think I like the second a little better. Roll the bottom seam around a bit so it’s on top (on the inside of the neck warmer), and still using the same settings, stitch 1/2 in (1.2 cm) from the edge.


2012-01-08 021The second way is to roll the seam on top by 1/2 in (1.2 cm) and topstitch over the seam. If you fiddle with the seam allowance layers on the inside you should easily be able to open them flat and reduce a bit of bulk.


2012-01-08 023This way gives a nice round edge on the bottom, as you can see in the comparison pic at right. The one on the left is the first way, and the one on the right is the second way.



2012-01-08 020And voila! Here’s the finished neck warmer ready to wear. All you need now is to sew your very own label on it. This whole process took less than 10 minutes, that’s how fast they go.




You could make variations for different looks or for using different fabrics:

  • make a single layer with heavy fleece,
  • make a two-coloured neck warmer, with a different colour on the inside (this means a seam at the top which works very nicely too)
  • make it taller, in a single layer of lightweight fleece, so it’s scrunchy
Have fun with this! It’s too easy to not make these for yourself …and everyone else.


  1. Hi there! Nice to find your blog! I'll link to it if that's OK. Thanks for stopping by mine.
    I like the jeans you made. The flower pockets are very, very cute.

    1. Thanks Karin! Links are very welcome. I've really enjoyed reading your blog over the last year or so, it's great to connect with other sewists for inspiration. The jeans were a real challenge to fit, but I'm so glad I made them. The pockets were fun to make, and I'm happy with how they turned out. I don't have an embroidery machine, so this was the only way.

  2. The post is written in very a good manner and it entails many useful information for me. I am happy to find your distinguished way of writing the post.

  3. Thank You for this post I plan on using this neck warmer for a 7th and 8th grade sewing class I think the kids will like this project

    1. Hi Sheryll,
      You are absolutely welcome to use this! Thank you so much for letting me know.
      I really hope your students have fun making their neck warmers.

  4. Just made this! So fast an easy. Thanks!

    1. Thank you too! I love getting feedback, and I'm glad the instructions seem to be helpful.

  5. I cannot figure out how to machine sew closed that side seam so it doesn't show. Looks like you have to sew through all layers? I sewed it by hand, but wish I could understand what you mean by the edge stitch. Otherwise, good instructions.

    1. Sorry about this, and it's the one step for which I didn't have a photo. I'll update today with a new photo.

      But in the meantime, the way to sew it closed by machine is to bring the folded edges together along the seamline. An edgestitch is sewing about 1/8 inch from the edge along the opening. You probably don't want to catch the other side of the neckwarmer, it would be a pretty thick seam. This closed edge seam will then be turned to the inside, so it's against the skin, and not visible.

    2. OK, this post is finally updated! 4 new pics to show the edgestitching for closing the opening. I'll try to get to the PDF this week.

  6. Have you ever added a flap to front and back to add extra warmth for the chest and back k??

  7. Have you ever added a flap to front and back to add extra warmth for the chest and back k??

    1. I love that idea, but there's already a great pattern for this:

      Check it out, it's free. Even though it's written for a knit fabric, I've just made one in fleece and it wears nicely.

  8. Love this! I made one for each of my kids tonight; thanks for sharing your instructions!

  9. My fleece has a slightly lighter pattern on one side so I am calling it the wrong side. With your pattern..are you sewing it at the start with wrong or right sides together?? Thanks bunches!!

    1. P.S....With the measurements as is...can yours be rolled or folded down, or is it left as is when its on.

  10. Hi Steph - would like to thank you for this tutorial. I spent about 2 hours sewing various ways and could not get a 'tube' the right way round! Through the magic of the internet up popped your tutorial which was exactly what I needed! I sewed a piece of fur for the inside to a piece of knitted material for the outside, with the fur slightly larger so it made a furry edge. Very happy with the results - thanks again! Caryn