Baby-wearing in the cold is an interesting thing. On the one hand, baby is snuggled nice and warm next to your chest, cozily wrapped in your baby-wearing coat. On the other hand, your jacket is kind of open, leaving your neck and collar bone kind of exposed. If you’re like me and favour v-neck tops, this is a real (chilly) problem.
I knew this would be a huge issue when I wore our daughter to a frosty football game and realized that I couldn’t wear my fluffy alpaca infinity scarf without suffocating the baby. I also realized that any neck warmer I had at home was also a simple tube that would do nothing for the bare patch of clavicle my husband and I nicknamed “The Triangle of Death.”
I knew it would be pretty easy to remedy this problem, so I set to work as soon as I finished my baby-wearing Kelly Anorak. I knew I wanted this neck warmer to be reversible, and had planned on buy two different lengths of fleece. I happened upon this neat, fuzzy double-side black-and-check fleece so I didn’t have to! If you are new to neck warmers, make sure you get something stretchy (so it makes it over your head), thick and not cotton. You need a neck warmer made out of some kind of synthetic so it doesn’t absorb moisture. When it is cold and you have the neck warmer pulled over your mouth, you don’t want it to get any soggier than it has to!
The design is super simple. My neck warmer is a single layer since the fabric was so thick. If you are using regular fleece, I recommend doubling up the layers. I had to serge around the raw edges because the black, fuzzy side sheds like crazy. If you do double down, you can either sew everything right side together, leaving a small gap, and turn it right side out, or just stitch together two layers of fabric. Fleece is amazing because it doesn’t fray and doesn’t need to be finished.
I basically traced my favourite existing neck warmer and added an extra triangle of fabric extending from the front. The longest part is on the fold and the shortest is stitched together. With a 1/2 inch seam allowance, your neck warmer should be 11 1/2 inches wide and about 17 inches long at the longest part. The shortest part measures 9 inches long cuts straight across for 3 inches before the bandana part extends downward.
I serged mine because I find it easier, but you can absolutely do this on a regular machine. Because you need your bandana to stretch a bit to get over your head, you may want to choose a zig zag stitch. If you use a straight stitch, you risk popping seams when you put it on. Don’t worry too much if you have never sewn with fleece before – it may look like it’s difficult to sew with, but it is probably the most forgiving fabric out there.
This took me less than a half hour to make, even having to go back and refine the shape. Even if you are an absolute beginner, you can totally do this!