Cold winter weather calls for some very warm accessories. Last year I made a neck warmer out of two layers of thick, warm fleece. Even though I have a variety of store-bought scarves - that one always keeps me the warmest! So, I decided it was time to modify that idea (as it was too plain) into something cuter - a big bow neck warmer!
This is pretty easy to make and doesn't require a lot of time or material! I think it's a great gift for a little girl or older ones as well! This fits adults and children and the bow is very large - about 8-9 inches long!
Step 1: Materials for Big Bow Neck Warmer
- about 1/4 yard of fleece material
- about 1/8 yard of a contrasting fleece or snuggle material for the inside
- sewing machine
- scissors, pins & measuring tape
- either elastic & a button or Velcro (Velcro worked best for me)
- hand-sewing needle & thread
- small amount of embroidery thread (to tie around bow) - or whatever you have on hand (I used braiding cord)
Step 2: Cutting the Pieces for the Homemade Neck Warmer
I I cut one main piece (not on the fold) and one side was 5 inches wide - horizontally it was 18 inches long and the right-side tapered down to 2 1/2 inches. I hope this makes sense. I prefer one end being 5 inches wide as opposed to both edges tapering down to 2 1/2 inches because that one end that is 5 inches wide will attach to the bow - and it will be about the same size as the bow and I think it looks cuter this way. I'm sorry for any confusion but in some of the images, I show the material being cut on the fold and tapered on both ends to 2 1/2 inches - either way is fine.
After cutting the main piece, then cut out the material for the inner lining. I like to use a contrasting color for this or even a softer cuddle material. I cut the lining piece out the same as the main fleece material but about 3/8 an inch smaller on all edges. I do this so the main material is more visible when the person is wearing the neck warmer.
Lastly, you can now cut out the main bow material. This will require one piece of fleece that is 16 inches long by 11 inches high.
Step 3: Sewing the Main Neck Warmer Piece
Now you'll need to take the main fabric piece and pin it along the edges to the lining piece - both should have the wrong sides of the material pinned together. You'll want to sew around 3 of the sides - leaving one end as an opening so you can turn the material right-side out.
After you've turned it right-side out, then take the open edge and fold it in about a half an inch and pin it - then topstitch across that to close that end off.
Once that's done - we can then make the bow!
Step 4: Making the Big Bow
The bow you're about to make is quite large! It's not only large, but it's very thick because of the material. If you want to change the size - feel free to do so. You can first cut it out according to my measurements - then make any alterations you like. I think the huge bow looks really cute and is super warm.
Now you'll need to take your piece of material that was cut out for the bow - and it should be 11 x 16 inches. Please refer to images for clearer instructions on doing this part. Basically, take the 11 x 16 piece (with the 16 inch area set out horizontally to you) - and fold it up once. Be sure to have the material inside-out when you do this (wrong-side facing out). Then sew a seam across the top edge. Then turn it right-side out.
After turning it right-side out, then you'll want to center the seam horizontally. Then fold the material in half so the raw edges meet up (with the sewn seam facing out. Then, sew that edge together and turn it right-side out and be sure to have any visible seams centered in the back of the bow.
In the next step, we'll finish constructing the bow.
Step 5: Finishing Big Bow
At this point you'll want to take the bow and try to find the center of it. Then use your hands to try to fold the center material inward and shape it as you want it to look - then put some pins in it. Then take the embroidery thread or whatever thick thread material you have to tie several knots around the center of the bow - to keep it stable and in place so you can finish sewing the little band around it.
Then get a needle and thread ready to go. Cut out a piece of material for the band. My band was approximately 6 inches long by 2 1/2 inches wide. I basically folded the band inward into thirds and pinned it so it would stay in 3rds (alternatively, you could sew it). Then, I flipped the bow over so the wrong-side was facing up and I began to secure my thread there and attach the beginning of the band to it. I also carefully pushed the needle through several areas of the center of the bow and knotted it numerous times to make the bow extra-secure. Then I pulled the band material around so the end of it would meetup with the first part which I secured onto the back of the bow. Then, I sewed that on and trimmed off any excess threads.
Step 6: Attaching the Bow
For this step, you'll need the needle and thread ready again. I tried two different methods here, and I believe the best one is to use Velcro. I'm not a hug fan of Velcro, but it has worked really well for these neck warmers. I am making a handful of these for my nieces, and I needed a way that they could quickly and easily get these on and off - without fiddling around with a button. So initially I made on that attached with a button and thin piece of elastic material. I'll show pictures of that here, but I don't recommend it as it's hard to get on and off - either the elastic is too hard to get on or else it seems to slip right off if you don't make the band super small. So, if you'd like to avoid all that - Velcro is a great solution.
Now take your bow and lay it down with the wrong-side facing up. Take the main piece of material and lay it out also with the wrong-side facing up. Lay it out (just like the first image in this step) so the side that you top-stitched - that seam is set on top of the bow. Pin it to the wrong-side of the bow at about the center of the side of the bow. Now hand-sew that end to the bow at that spot. Also
I cut out a piece of Velcro about 1 1/2 inches long. On the right-side of the fabric's main neck warmer piece, I placed the start of the Velcro at about 2 1/2 inches in from the end and pinned it. I then hand-sewed around it to secure it.
Next, on the wrong-side of the bow's left side (as you're facing it and its right-side already has the main body piece sewn in place), about 1/2 inch in from the edge of the left side you'll want to pin the other half of the Velcro in place and sew it on. That's all it takes - and you are done!
These neck warmers fit well on both adults and kids alike. But, if you want it a little smaller without modifying the pattern, you can add more Velcro or use a longer piece for more flexibility on the size.