They are inexpensive, easy to make, and best of all KIDS LOVE THEM!
I got the idea for making these as an attempt to get my three boys to wear something to cover their face and neck while skiing. They do not find neck gators or balaclavas hip enough. Bandanas are popular with skiers, snowboarders and snowmobilers. Many snow sport manufacturers provide free bandanas as advertising giveaways. However, regular bandanas (which are thin) do not provide enough protection from the wind, snow, and cold. This is a new version of the old western bandana. They are specially folded, and a medallion of fleece is added for warmth. In addition, as the bandanas are glorified handkerchiefs, they are great for those unavoidable cold-weather runny noses!
1 bandana (or a 22”x22”finished-size hemmed handkerchief-weight square of fabric)
9 ¾” x 12” fleece
Note: 5 bandana linings can be made from 1/3 yd. of fleece. Bandanas can often be obtained for free or for a couple of dollars.
Cost: under $3
Step 1: Step 1: Making the fleece lining
Make paper pattern in the shape of a pentagon (5-sided medallion). This medallion looks like a house with side lengths 7”, 7”, 7”, 7”, and base of 9 ¾”. The distance from the middle of the base to the highest point is 12”. Once you have cut out the paper pattern, pin it to the fleece and cut out the fleece medallion to be used to line the bandana.
Step 2: Step 2: Folding the bandana diagonally
Fold the bandana diagonally until the points are ¾” apart.
Since not all bandanas are perfectly square, your bandana sides may not be ¾” apart on all sides. (Neither is mine!)
Please note that the side you see is the BACK side (the side that will be against your face). Hold this up to a mirror to make sure that any pattern on the FRONT side is aimed in the correct direction. (I made one upside down and had to rip out all of the stitches!). Once you have decided that you have folded the bandana correctly, iron the fold (using a low temperature iron if there is screen-printing on the bandana).
Step 3: Step 3: Folding the top band
Fold diagonal edge (made in Step 2) down 2”. Press.
Step 4: Step 4: Placing the fleece lining
Center the fleece medallion (from Step 1) on the bandana so that the 9 ¾” base is under the 2” band fold (from Step 3).
Step 5: Step 5: Stitching the fleece lining
Stitch through all layers ¼” from the edge of the sides of the fleece medallion. Once you reach the 2” band, you will stitch across the top of the diagonal side of the bandana and along the bottom side of the 2” band.
NOTE: For simplicity and appearance, I only stitch the band the width of the medallion. I do not stitch the band all the way across the diagonal side of the bandana.
Step 6: Step 6: Fastening to head/neck
Simply tie in an overhand knot to the back of the wearer’s neck or head.
Step 7: Variations
Use quilting-weight fabric
If you would like to use quilting-weight fabric (like I did in the football team version), you will not want to have a double layer as it will be too stiff. Instead, cut and hem the quilt-weight fabric to a finished triangle of size of 22”x22” by 31”. Before you cut the triangle, hold the fabric (with the 31” side on top) up to a mirror to make sure that any pattern on the FRONT side is aimed in the correct direction to the rest of the world. Follow all of the directions above skipping Step 2.
Use Velcro instead of a knot
My boys prefer the sizing flexibility provided by a simple knot. However, younger children may find Velcro more convenient. Simply sew Velcro to the ends of the diagonal band.