How to Make a Fleece Balaclava

Written by jessica cook
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How to Make a Fleece Balaclava
Some balaclavas expose the whole face. (le mannequin à la cagoule image by cris13 from

A balaclava, like a ski mask, is a warm, close-fitting winter hat that's designed to keep your head and neck warm in winter weather. Balaclava-style hats can be worn underneath military or bicycle helmets. With basic sewing skills, you can make a fleece balaclava to keep you cosy this winter. Make one for every member of your family to stay warm for this winter's snowball fights, trail hikes and skiing adventures.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • Fleece fabric
  • Fabric marker
  • Straight pins
  • Scissors
  • Needle and thread or sewing machine and thread

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  1. 1

    Measure the length from the top of your head to the top of your shoulders. Call this measurement A. Measure the circumference of your head, around your forehead; this is measurement B. Measure the width from your right temple to your left, and call this measurement C. Now measure the height from your cheekbones to just above your eyebrows; this is measurement D. Measure from the top of your head to the top of your eyebrows; this is measurement E. Record the measurements on paper.

  2. 2

    Lay out a piece of felt fabric and fold it over on itself so that you have two layers in front of you, making sure to fold the right sides together. Use a fabric marker or crayon to measure the fleece and mark it in a rectangular shape with a height to match measurement A and a width of half of measurement B from step one. The width will be doubled to equal measurement B when you sew the two layers of the fleece together to form the hat.

  3. 3

    Pin the two layers of the fleece together, lining up the pins just inside the markings you have just made. Cut the rectangular shape out of both layers at one time.

  4. 4

    Arrange the rectangle so that it is tall and thin like a door. Round off the corners on the top of the rectangle to represent the shape of a human head. To do this, cut off the corners in a rounded shape.

  5. 5

    Use a sewing machine or a needle and thread to sew the two pieces of felt together, approximately 1/4 inch in from the side edges. Leave the bottom sides of the rectangle unsewn to leave an opening for your head.

  6. 6

    Lay out the sewn fleece in front of you. Measure from the top centre of the rounded edge, straight down in a line the length of measurement E. Place a small mark to indicate this spot. Use your marker to draw a horizontal line in that spot that matches the length of measurement C. On either end of this line, make vertical lines the same height as measurement D. Draw another horizontal line to finish the rectangle you have created, and cut this rectangle out of one layer of fleece only. You have now made an opening for your eyes in the balaclava.

  7. 7

    Turn the balaclava right side out and put it on your head. It is now ready to wear.

Tips and warnings

  • Wash the balaclava to remove the extra marker markings from the inside.
  • You might the balaclava as you go and not cut the face hole until you are sure your measurements are accurate.

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