Thursday, December 01, 2005

Making gear -- Balaclava

Using the #403 Tunturi Hat with balaclava add on pattern from Shelby -- a Finnish outdooor gear pattern company, I made a balaclava (not to be confused with baklava!). I used the fleece that I got from Malden Mills. From the description and the way the fabric looks and acts, I'm guessing that it's a remnant of Polartec Thermal Pro with the velour surface.

Shelby's pattern printed out, taped together Posted by Picasa

I took pictures of the process, but since the material I used is black, the pictures turned out pretty crappy.

Shelby's pattern was very easy to follow. On a pattern rating of very easy to difficult, I would rate it "very easy". I made it a little on the large side because I thought I was going to put lining in it. In the end, the fleece is so warm that there was no need for a liner. I think making it slightly larger gives me a bit of a conehead, but it's not that bad.

I modified the pattern because I'm going to be damn cold and want to cover my nose, too. I was inspired by this balaclava called Seirus Hoodz, which has a nose cover with a drawstring to cinch it down. Figuring out how to do this took some experimentation. I cut out a rectangular piece large enough to cover the face opening of the balaclava and long enough to be sewn into the balaclava itself. I folded the top of the rectangular piece over (about 1 inch) and sewed it to create a tube so that I could slip in a drawstring.

After a lot of trying the balaclava on and adjusting where I wanted the nose guard insert to fit, I drew lines with a blue piece of chalk. On the right side of the balaclava, I cut out a button hole were I would run the drawstring. I attached the nose cover simply by using straight stitches that ran on the sides and bottom of the rectangle, gathering it at the bottom.

I also double stitched all of the seams on the balaclava for durability.

Here's how it turned out...

balaclava with nose guard down Posted by Picasa

Balaclava with nose guard up -- can double for a ninja mask, too! Posted by Picasa

- remnant Polartec Thermal Pro? -- about half a yard -- about $1.30
- drawstring from a leftover rope -- cost was probably a few cents
- drawstring pull -- about $0.50

Total cost of project: less than $2
Time: approximately 2-3 hours (off and on, I made this in two nights)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damn that's a nifty item. Ninja rules the night!


9:24 PM  
Blogger marisa said...

Now I just need to complete my ninja outfit...

9:30 PM  

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