WARNING: IMAGE INTENSIVE UNDER THE CUT! =O
I promised that I would make a pattern regarding how to make your own balaclava from scratch so here it is! Please let me know if anything is confusing to anyone so I can explain it more thoroughly. Alright here we go!
I attempted to color code the parts that are supposed to be sewn together. Where there is the color black, there is no sewing, as this will be the neck-hole for your balaclava. With this type of balaclava, the seams will be present on the sides and top of the head, away from the face because you will need that room to later add customized eye, mouth, and/or nose holes. Depending on the size of your noggin, you may have to make the pattern slightly smaller or larger than what is provided, so be sure to take measurements and adjust it accordingly. Also, do not forget to add seam allowance before cutting!
This pattern is best used with 2-way stretch material. If you are intending to use this for fursuit head construction, I would also recommend something that breathes well like stretch-cotton blends or lycra.
For your convenience I have attempted to provide four separate pieces of the above pattern so that it may be printed out and pieced together. You can find them here:Quadrant 1Quadrant 2Quadrant 3Quadrant 4
For best results, attempt to print them out fitted to a normal 8.5"x11" sheet of printer paper on the maximum printable area of the page. Piece them together with tape or staples until it looks roughly the same as the composite pictured above. Adjust the size of the pattern to your own measurements and do not forget to add seam allowance.
After you have transfered your pattern to the fabric, it is time to cut out the pieces. You will need to cut out two identical pieces for your balaclava. The fabric I have used is cased, so I cut out both pieces at the same time and one piece is on top of the other.
Now that your fabric pieces have been cut out, take one piece and fold it along the middle vertically. Sew together the two middle pieces (red colored on the pattern) so that a seam emerged along the folded side. Your piece should now look like the second picture below.
Next, fold the two outer segments inward so that your piece resembles what is shown below. Sew horizontally along the upper seam.
Your piece should now look like this:
Fold your piece in half vertically once again and sew the remaining seam. Your piece should now look like this:
Repeat these above steps for your second piece until both pieces look like this and are ready to be combined:
Combine them together to form a balloon-like shape and try it on to make sure it fits!
At this point your balaclava will not possess holes for your eyes, nose, or mouth, so it is up to you to decide what size of holes located where will best suit you. A technique I use to find out where I need to cut holes is to put the balaclava on straight and then mark the corners of the areas I need to cut into (I.E. Outer corners of the eyes, upper and lower edges of eyes, outer corners of the mouth). It may help to have a friend assist you. For safety reasons, I suggest that you only cut the balaclava when you have fully removed it from your head. ;)
Here is an example of a possible hole configuration and how it looks once it has been cut out:
After cutting the holes, you may want to sew back the edges to prevent fraying and make the balaclava more "professional"
Congratulations! You now have your own, homemade balaclava! Have fun! ;)
If you have any questions feel free to ask!
Special thanks goes out to my lovely boyfriend for agreeing to model the balaclava for me. Thanks babe! ;D