Introduction: How to Sew a Cozy Neck Warmer for Winter
I designed this neck warmer (or neck cozy) the first winter I lived in a yurt in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.
It provides an extra layer for your neck, shoulders and upper chest, and keeps the snow, rain and wind from sneaking down the neck of your jacket or parka.
This pattern can be altered in many ways. I wear a longer version during the coldest months. The long top end scrunches up for extra insulation and I can pull it up over my mouth, nose and ears. And the longer and wider bottom half covers more of my shoulders and torso. To alter the pattern all you need to do is extend the pattern on one end, and/or the other. It's also quite easy to omit the drawstring.
For this drawstring version you will need:
- 1/3 yard of fleece in each color(If you plan to cherry pick the designs you want to show, like the beetles or Jack shown above, you will need 1/2 to 2/3 yard of the novelty fabric and 1/3 yard of the solid color. If you lengthen the pattern, you will also need more fabric, so plan according to the length you desire.)
- 1 yard of elastic cord
- 1 cord lock
- 1 cord end
- 1 large safety pin or similar tool to thread cord
- a printout of the pattern (the pdf is in the next step)
I've only used polyester fleece to make these, but you may want to try cotton or wool.
Good quality plastic hardware and cord can be found at Button and Buckle.
For the drawstring I used:
Step 1: Cut Out the Fabric
- Download the pattern and print two copies, one for each half of the pattern.
- Cut the two pieces out and tape them together at the line indicated.
- Cut 8 pieces of fabric using the pattern: 4 pieces in each color/design.
The pattern includes a 1/4" seam allowance.
This is where you could redesign the pattern if you wish.
Step 2: Sew the Inside and Outside Pieces Together
For each inside and outside layer, sew the 4 pieces together along the sides to form a flared tube, right sides of the fabric facing each other, using a 1/4" seam allowance.
With all seams, make sure to start and finish with a back stitch to lock the stitches in place.
Step 3: Sew the Inside and Outside Together at the Top
- Pull one tube inside the other, making sure the right sides of fabric are facing each other.
- Sew together at the top end.
- Then pull the inside tube through the outside tube so that the right side of the fabric is on the outside.
Step 4: Place Button Holes for the Drawstring
- Decide which side or images you'd like to see at the front.
- Place two button holes, about 5/8" in length, 1" apart, and about 3/4 to 1 inch from the top seam. Refer to the pattern for the placement. You can place the button holes lower if you want more of a ruffle effect at the top.
Omit this step if you're not adding a drawstring.
Sometimes it's difficult to line the seams up exactly. This will correct itself if you are careful lining up the side seams in the next step.
Step 5: Finish With a Zigzag Stitch and Trim
- Fold in along the top seam and pull one side through the other making sure the wrong sides are facing each other
- Align the side seams (If the side seams are slightly misaligned at the top, you can keep them slightly misaligned at the bottom, too. This will not show in the final product.)
- Adjust the fabric until the bottom edges line up with each other -- make sure there is no fabric to bunch up as you're sewing
- Use a zigzag stitch to sew the bottom edges together. (I like using a zigzag because it makes the seam less bulky than a regular seam, as well as easier to tuck the fabric under a parka -- not to mention easier to make!)
- Trim along the bottom edge of the zigzag to remove any excess length.
If you're making a plain neck cozy without a drawstring, you're done!!
Continue to the next step if you're adding a drawstring.
Step 6: Sew a Channel for the Drawstring
- Stitch a seam parallel to the top edge and about 1/8" above the button holes, about 1/2 to 3/4 inch from the top seam. Be careful to follow the seam guides on the right. If you want, you can use a quilting marker attachment to guide your seam.
- Stitch another parallel seam about 1/8" below the button holes.
Don't forget to start and finish with a back stitch to lock the stitches in place.
Step 7: Thread the Cord Through the Channel
- Attach one end of the cord to a large safety pin or threading tool.
- Thread the cord through the channel you've created -- in one button hole and out the other.
- Make sure the cord is pulled evenly through the channel.
- Bring the ends together in the front, tugging slightly on the neck to even out any bunched up fabric. You want to be able to fully open or tighten with the drawstring when you are done.
- Trim the cord to about 4-5", or to the desired length.
When using a safety pin, tie a knot at one end of the cord, pin the knot with the safety pin, then slide the safety pin carrying the cord through the channel.
Step 8: Attach the Hardware
- Pinch the cord lock so the hole opens up.
- Thread the cord ends through the lock.
- Attach the cord end as shown.
Congratulations! You've created a cozy neck warmer for winter!