This is my entry into the "Sew Warm Contest"
What are warm things made of, made of?
What are warm things made of...?
Flannel and fleece, they make the cold weather cease
That's what warm things are made of!
This idea came to mind while trying to come up with an original idea to keep warm and it turned out to be a really inexpensive and cute set that is comfortable and keeps you very toasty because of the flannel and fleece combo. The arm warmers have a flannel outside and a warm fleece inside that covers both of your arms and is connected by a piece that goes across your shoulder blades, which is covered by a shirt of your choice each day. Then, there is also a cute matching scarf and hat that have a frayed edge. PLUS- I have included the patterns for you to print off, so you don't have to figure out how to cut the fabric, with the exception of sizing it to fit you! I like to give lots of [photo references] so it makes things that could be confusing, easier to follow.
I hope you have as much fun making these pieces as I did! There's a lot of room for customization and variation, so feel free to make it your own.
Step 1: Gathering the Materials and Printing the Patterns
Everything you will need:
For Most Steps:
Sissors and a rotary cutter (cutter is optional, but does make measured cuts easier with the flat edge)
A sewing machine or needle and thread
A straight edge quilting ruler (or something similar for cutting straight lines and measuring)
The patterns below printed out* (they are in PDF for your printing convenience), or make your own using an old tight long sleeve shirt and using my pattern as a guide for shape
Tape (or glue) for patterns
1 yard of flannel material for the outside
1 yard of fleece material for the inside
*all patterns are actual size when printed on 8.5" x 11" paper, unless specific dimensions are given
***When printing the patterns, be sure to print two of each of the sleeve pages, they are marked to do so***
4 colors of matching (or not matching if you roll like that) fleece material, each cut to be 6" x 60"
A dressmakers pencil for drawing a straight line on fabric
I used three different color fabrics, but you can choose whatever you like
Fleece Color 1 (top)- 23.5" x 3.75"
Fleece Color 2 (middle)- 23.5" x 9.5"
Fleece Color 3 (bottom)- 23.5" x 9.75"
Thick thread that can withstand some tugging (I used quilters thread)
*please note: my hat has been made to fit a 23" head with .5" of seam allowance, so you can change my 23.5" number to whatever size will fit you. Averages are 21"-23" for a female and 22"-24.5" for a male
Step 2: Mold It to Me Baby!: Cutting Out the Patterns and Figuring Sizes
Not everyone is made the same, so expect my pattern not to be exactly right for you. After printing out my pattern (on step one), you can adjust it so it can fit the way you prefer. The arm warmers are meant to be a little tight on your arms to help hold in heat; it should feel snug on the arms, but the back part shouldn't be so tight it makes you feel like Frankenstein either. I tried to make the patterns so that you don't have to know how to read sewing patterns to be able to understand how to put this together. Still, if you have any questions, ask. I'm more than willing to help!
Cut out all the pattern pieces and tape or glue them together, joining them where indicated. You will have two sleeve patterns and one back piece pattern
Step 3: Making the Cut: Cutting the Fabric
Lay out all the pattern pieces for the arm warmers and cut each shape out using the 3 different patterns.Take note of where the folded edges are marked on the pattern, and put them next to a folded edge of material. You do not have to use the pre folded edge from where the fabric was on the bolt, feel free to cut out pieces and make your own fold; I did... it saves fabric! Make sure the way you are placing your patterns will allow room for all pieces to be cut out of the fabric.
Pin each pattern down to the material in several spots to make sure that the pattern is secure. For the arm pieces you can cut the two flannel pieces at the same time, as well as the two fleece pieces at the same time, just don't cut the fleece and flannel together because the flannel pattern is a little longer to allow room for sewing a hem on the sleeve [image 4]. When you are done, you should have two fleece sleeves, two flannel sleeves (that are .5" longer than the fleece), the fleece back piece and the flannel back piece. Place each fleece cut out with the flannel cut out making sure to put the wrong sides together so that they are ready to be pinned.
Next, cut out the pieces for the scarf. The scarf is made of all fleece, no flannel. There is no pattern to follow, but each piece is 6" x 60".
Last, you will cut out the pieces for the hat. I made all three pieces using 3 different colors of fleece, but you may choose to use all the same color, or just two different colors. Decide what order you want the colors in from top to bottom, and cut the pieces as follows:
Fleece Color 1 (top)- 23.5" x 3.75" (this color will only be in the "pom pom" of the hat)
Fleece Color 2 (middle)- 23.5" x 9.5"
Fleece Color 3 (bottom)- 23.5" x 9.75"
You should now have cut out all the fabric pieces that you will be using to complete the instructable.
Step 4: Sticking to It: How to Pin the Arm Warmers Together
We will begin with pinning the flannel and fleece back pieces. If you haven't already, put the two back pieces together with the flannel facing down on the bottom and the fleece facing up on the top so that the wrong sides are together. You will notice that the flannel sticks out at the top and bottom of the fleece, and not on the sides. Fold the flannel over the fleece and pin down as shown in the 1st picture below. Repeat for the bottom flannel edge. Set aside.
Next, we will work on the arms. Put one of the flannel arms face down on the table. Add the fleece on top, facing up. Align edges from the wider side to the skinnier side and pin. There should be approx. half an inch of flannel that is hanging over the skinnier side, as shown below, if not, trim the fleece so that you do have half an inch of flannel showing. Fold the flannel over the fleece and pin down [image 2]. Repeat for the second arm.
Putting them together:
Now we will attach each of the sleeves to the back piece. First, it is important to know where the top and bottom of the back piece is. The top will be the side that is curved more, and the bottom is straight all the way across [image 1]. We will begin by placing one pinned sleeve on the table with the flannel side facing up. Place the pinned back piece on top of the sleeve with the flannel side facing down, and making sure that the bottom corner of the straight edge side of the back is aligned at the bottom of the sleeve [images 4, 5 and 6]. Begin pinning the sleeve to the back piece at the bottom and curve with the edges of the sleeve and back piece. The top of the back piece will end somewhere in the middle while going up the sleeve. It is not intended to go all the way around [image 7]. Do the same with the next sleeve, beginning at the bottom of the back piece. You should be able to see the sleeves start to form around the "shoulder" area [image 8].
Step 5: Sew It Begins- Sewing the Arm Warmers
We will now start sewing the sleeve part of the arm warmers. Begin with the free edge at the skinniest part of the sleeves. This will just be a straight stitch to hold the edge of the flannel over the fleece [image 1]. Repeat with the other sleeve.
Next, start sewing the sleeve part to the back piece. Begin at the bottom corner, where we first started pinning [image 2], and go up to where the back piece ends. Repeat for the other side.
If you look at the wider part of the sleeve, you will notice that part of it has not been pinned [image 4]. Fold the edge so that the flannel comes over the fleece. Either pin this area down, or just begin sewing it down [image 5]. When you get to where the back piece joined the sleeve, make a connection with the three pieces of fabric, but keep going down the folded edge of flannel at the top of the back piece [image 5, again]. Continue until you reach the end of the back piece. End your stitch there [image 7], and start at the other side of the un-pinned sleeve and sew the couple of inches back to the back piece, where you will join the fabrics again.
Remove all your pins where you have sewn at. Now, pin the sleeves together where you will make your long seam to go down the length of the arm warmers [image 9]. Repeat the pinning with the other sleeve. Start sewing at the skinny end of on of the sleeves and make a continuous stitch across the bottom part of the back piece, where flannel has been folded over the fleece [image 11 and 13]. When you get to the end of the back piece [image 14 and 15], stop, end the stitch, and start sewing the other skinny end of the opposite sleeve until you meet up with the back piece again where you ended your last stitch.
Breathe... you are done with the hardest part!
Step 6: Backing It Up- Making the Scarf
This scarf is so cute and easy to make, it could be a first sewing project. Get your 4 pieces of 6" x 60" fleece fabrics and decide what fabrics you want to be next to each other. Stack them on top of each other, in your chosen order [image 3]. Next, using your dressmakers pencil, draw a line straight down the middle of the length of the fabric [image 4]; this will be where you make your stitch. After drawing your line, insert pins through the middle of your layers of fleece [image 5 and 6], securing them all together. Sew a straight line down the middle of all the fabrics [image 7]. Remove the pins.
Now all thats left to do is make the cuts. Start at one end of the scarf and, using your sissors, make cuts approx 1/2 inch apart all the way down the scarf, leaving about 1/4 inch uncut by the seam [image 9]. Repeat for the opposite side.
Give your scarf a good shaking to help fluff it, and it's all done!
Step 7: The Matching Head Gear
As I said before, use whatever color fleece materials you would like. For simplicity I will give the instructions using the fabric number and using lots of [photo references]!
Fleece Color 1 (top)- (flowered multi-colored)- 23.5" x 3.75"
Fleece Color 2 (middle)- (purple)- 23.5" x 9.5"
Fleece Color 3 (bottom)- (white)- 23.5" x 9.75"
Place fabric 2 on the table, right side up. Place fabric 1 on top of fabric 2, right side down. Align the top edge, and pin [image 2]. Sew 1 to 2 [image 5]. Then, fold the sewn piece in half, right sides together, and sew the side seam [image 6].
Next, fold 3 so that the wrong sides are together and sew the short edged end seam together [image 7].
Place 3 over 2, right sides together [image 7, again], making sure that the sewn seams are aligned with each other. Sew them together.
Fold 3 in half, turning to the inside [image 9] and sew the raw edge of 3 at the seam of 2 and 3 that we just completed [image 10].
Turn the hat right side out and turn 1 completely to the inside and top stitch [image 11 and 12]. The stitching will be close to the middle of fabric 2.
Next, make sure the hat is right side out and using your needle and strong thread, we will gather the material where we just made our topstitch. Start by inserting your needle and thread from the inside, to the outside. Then, go back to the inside, and through your two pieces of thread [image 14], to make a secure hold. Then, continue weaving in and out of the fabric right along the stitching line [image 15] until you get back to where you began hand sewing. Pull tight [image 16]and secure your thread with a knot.
Lastly, fray the top of the hat similar to how we did the scarf. Cut strips approx .5" wide from the 1 and 2 seam and cut down close to where we joined the fabric at the topstitching [image 17], being careful not to cut through any of it. Now shake it to "fluffitize" and you are all done!
Step 8: Enjoy Your Warm, Snuggly Outerwear!
That's it! Your all done. The arm warmer may seam awkward to put on, but its not. You can put it on like a jacket, or do it the way I do it: Put both of your arms into the sleeves with the back piece in front of you. Then, grab the back piece and put it over your head and to your back. A little straighting and your all done. Put a short or long sleeve shirt on over top of the arm warmers, place the hat on your head and wrap the scarf and your all dressed up to be warm! Enjoy the fun and toasty set! I had a lot of fun making and designing it!