“The whole world is watching, so dress for it!”
The Radical Snuggie is a DIY Winter-Resistant Protest Garment.
Between raids and rain, many occupiers are struggling with improvised winterization. Why cover yourself in a garbage bag when you could model an eye-catching Radical Snuggie made with tear-resistant, fashionable shower curtains? Make your occupation comfy. Stay (quite) warm and (kinda) dry in a Radical Snuggie.
Special design features include:
* Elastic drawstring transforms your Radical Snuggie into a warm, dry sleeping sac at night *
* Or, simply sleep standing up in a mobile cocoon, avoiding those pesky new “park rules”
* Layer-look adds heft for burning off extra Occu-Pie and PBJ calories as you hoist this monster Snuggie about
* Plus, Velcro signage lets you rest your weary arms on marches *
* Built-in scarf turns your witty political statement into a jaunty fashion statement *
* More Special Add-Ons make your Radical Snuggie imminently customizable to withstand the authority assault weapons of choice in your locale *
This Instructable, The Complete Radical Snuggie, is a step-by-step guide for creating your very own Radical Technicolor Dream Snuggie, using basic sewing skills and inexpensive materials from your local dollar store. Make one today for yourself, for a loved one, or to donate to the cause.
TMI? If you prefer to improvise, check out Radical Snuggies in a Nutshell, a simple Instructable that walks you through the Radical Snuggie’s basic principles.
Ready for more? Try on our Radical Snuggie Add-Ons, a sampler of extra features for turning your Radical Snuggie into a Swiss army knife of resistance!
Step 1: MATERIALS LIST
All of the key materials for this project can be gotten for cheap at a dollar store.
- 4 vinyl shower curtains (Make sure you are using vinyl shower curtains, not plastic liners. Liners are too thin and the plastic will rip when you sew them.)
- Polar Fleece (We used 4 polar fleece throw blankets from the dollar store, but you could also use polar fleece fabric from a fabric store. Fabric stores sell polar fleece fabric that is 60 inches wide, just like our blankets. Our blankets were 76" long, that's about 8.5 yds for your whole project.)
- A toggle (You can take one off the drawstring from an old fleece or coat or buy one at a fabric store where they are usually two for a dollar.)
- Strong, water resistant tape (We used gaffers tape because it's yellow and fun, but duct tape would work just as well. Make sure whatever tape you use sticks to your shower curtain.)
- Sewing Machine
- Measuring tape
- Tailors chalk (Or a Sharpie would do nicely.)
- Velcro tabs (Optional)
Step 2: SEW BLANKETS TOGETHER
In this step, we're sewing our four small blankets into two big blankets. One pair will be used for the front and one for the back. The blankets will overlap in the center, creating an extra layer of warmth around your vital organs.
- Take two blankets and lay them out so that they overlap. You want the overlapping section to be about 32 inches wide. If your polar fleece is 60 inches wide, this will leave a single layer of polar fleece that is 28", a double layer that is 32", and a single layer that is 28".
- Pin the blankets together where they overlap.
- Sew in a rectangle around the edges of the overlapping section.
- Do this for both pairs of blankets.
Step 3: TAPE SHOWER CURTAINS TOGETHER
Next, we'll do the same thing with the shower curtains, combining the four curtains into two double-wide pairs, one for the front, and one for the back. Again, the overlap is crucial for the design, but in this case, it's for added waterproofing around our seams.
- Lay one of your double blankets on the ground to use as a guide.
- On top of it, lay out two shower curtains, again with a 32" overlap.
- Tape along the front seam where they overlap.
- Make sure that the overlapping grommet holes in the shower curtains line up.
- Flip the curtain over and tape the other seam from the back.
- Note: Shower curtains come in a standard size of 70" square (give or take an inch). You want to overlap about 32 inches in the center, so you will end up with some extra shower curtain on the side extending beyond the blanket. That's okay; we'll use it later. You'll also have some extra polar fleece at the top; we'll be using this too.
Step 4: NECK AND SCARF
Start this step by stacking the two blankets on top of each other, and the two shower curtains on top of those. You want the grommets of the shower curtains at the bottom, and you want all four bottom edges lined up. The non-grommet end is going to be the top, where the neck and scarf go. You will have some extra polar fleece stick out on this end.
- Using your tailor's chalk, draw a long horizontal line on the polar fleece, tracing the top edge (no grommets) of the shower curtain.
- Measure to find the center of your garment and draw two short vertical lines to mark the neck hole, each 8" away from center, 16" apart. Extend these lines 4 inches under the edge of the shower curtains.
- On each side, cut the top edge of the polar fleece along the horizontal line, moving from the outside edge toward center and stopping about ½ inch away from the short lines you've just drawn. This is makes long strips for the scarf.
- Pin and sew the polar fleece on the two short lines to make the neck hole.
Step 5: SHOULDERS
This is the tricky part. You have a lot of material so this works best if you have a friend to help. It will also help you to look at all of the pictures in this step before you start so you can envision where this is going.
Again, you'll start this step by stacking the two blankets on top of each other, and the two shower curtains on top of those.
- Cut all four layers along the neck seams you just made, continuing at a right angle from the scarf cut, and leaving ½ inch seam allowance from the neck.
- Now, lay out the materials again. This time, start by putting the back shower curtain good side down on the ground. On top of it, place the fleece, with the back down and front up. On top of everything, put the front shower curtain, good side up. Line up the cut edges around the neck.
- Holding the two top layers together (the front shower curtain and front half of the fleece), flip them over away from the back, folding the fleece over between the short neck seams. This step works best with a friend!
- Now, leaving the neck folded, slip out the notched edges of the front half, un-tucking them so that they to rest flat on top of the back half. The notches will create an 8" overlap, extending horizontally out from the neck, for the shoulders. Starting with the bottom, the layers should be: back shower curtain, back fleece, front shower curtain, front fleece.
- Stitch along the edges in two parallel lines to make the shoulders. The reinforced shoulder seams help with waterproofing, and help to distribute the weight of the garment to keep the vinyl from ripping.
- Note: It helps to roll the material into a log to feed it through your sewing machine.
- Flip everything over so that the fleece is on the inside and the shower curtains are on the outside.
- Use your tape to join the front and back neck seams of the shower curtain.
Step 6: SLEEVES AND SIDES
The hard part is over! Now we want to finish off the sides and sew the armholes. Begin by laying your Radical Snuggie out flat. We are going to fold the extra shower curtain on the sides in around the fleece, to keep any wetness from seeping in.
- Start with the bottom layer, folding the back shower curtain around the back fleece.
- Do the same for the top layer for the front.
- On each side, draw a horizontal line from the edge of the garment to the taped seam of the shower curtain overlap. This should be about 18" from the shoulder seam. Pin it. This will be the sleeve. Note: the exact placement and length of your line will depend on the size and shape of the person who will be using the Radical Snuggie, but these measurements should fit most people.
- Pin the side seam from below the sleeve line down to the hem (the grommet edge).
- Sew the sleeve and side. Your stitching will be in the shape of an L.
Step 7: DRAWSTRING
- Thread the elastic through the grommets at the bottom hem of the shower curtains.
- Thread on the toggle, and cinch as desired.
Step 8: SIGNAGE & CUSTOMIZATION
The Radical Snuggie's roomy design offers plenty of room for customization. For example, the back panel provides an excellent surface for protest signage.
- To add signage to your Radical Snuggie, we suggest Velcro tabs.
- Stick two (or more) Velcro hook tabs to the back shower curtain and affix matching Velcro loop tabs to your sign.
- Connect the Velcro, and you're ready to take your message to the streets.
- Note: Signage is one way to customize your Radical Snuggie, but there's no reason to stop there. Why not add patch pockets or hand warmers? Personalize your Radical Snuggie with your own ideas! See Radical Snuggie Add-Ons for more ideas.
Step 9: SNUGGLE UP 'N GO (STOWAWAY MODE)
The Radical Snuggie is meant to be worn—all day, all week! Think of it as a nomadic anarchist snail shell that offers the cozy comforts of home on your back. However, if for any reason you want to shed your Radical Snuggie, it's perfectly easy (although a little heavy) to pack and carry.
- To stow the Radical Snuggie, just fold and roll it, using the drawstring to secure it.
Step 10: SNUGGLE DOWN 'N STAY (SLEEPING MODE)
One of the primary benefits of the Radical Snuggie is that it transforms into a (quite) warm, (kinda) dry sleeping sack.
- Come nightfall, snuggle down into your Radical Snuggie, tuck your feet in, and cinch the drawstring closed to seal out cold air.
- In the morning, you'll be refreshed and ready for more radical actions!