Recycle an old sweatshirt to make an eco-friendly fleece bandana. This square pattern accessory, generally made of printed cotton cloth with a recognizable paisley pattern, can also be made from cozy fleece. Constructed of polyester blends, fleece fabric is known for its soft napped texture. Since fleece types differ -- polar, microfiber, performance, berber and faux-sherpa -- surface textures vary. Snowboarders as well as other cold-weather outdoor athletes often wear fleece-lined bandanas for added warmth, keeping their printed cotton on one side and the fleece on the backside. Choose a solid or printed fleece to make this versatile accessory part of your wardrobe.
Things You'll Need
- Brown paper bag
- Gift wrapping paper
- Pattern paper
- Paper scissors
- Fleece-1 yard
- Fabric scissors
- Anti-fraying adhesive
- Serger machine
- Polyester thread
- Wooly nylon thread
Recycle a brown paper grocery bag or old gift wrapping paper. You can also use your pattern paper. Fold the paper in half.
Position the folded paper horizontally on your worktable. The fold line will be closest to you. Place your ruler vertically and draw a vertical line 11 inches in length. Standard bandanas are 22 inches by 22 inches. You can adjust the measurements to make a larger size bandana.
Position your ruler horizontally, using the vertical line as your starting point and draw a horizontal line 11 inches in length. Finish the square pattern by drawing another vertical line 11 inches. You will have a half square. Cut out with paper scissors.
Open the paper pattern and pin to your fleece cloth with pins. As an alternative, fold your fleece and pin the folded pattern to the fabric. If you are recycling an old sweatshirt, pin the pattern to the front side if you want to include the top's graphic or use the back for a solid color bandana. If you are working with fleece fabric, you will need approximately 1 yard.
Cut out the fleece with fabric scissors. Depending on the fleece blend, if the corners begin to fray, dab the corners with anti-fraying adhesive.
Thread your serger machine with polyester thread for its naturally elasticity. If you are working with polar fleece, thread one of the needles with wooly nylon thread for extra stretch. Refer to your manual for the recommended looper -- upper or lower.
Adjust your serger machine to a rolled hem setting -- this hem type rolls the edges under for a professional finish. Read your manual to adjust the width, length and tension settings. Machines generally have an "S" for standard and an "R" for rolled hems. Set the dial to the "R" setting. If your machine automatically adjusts the stitches, make sure you turn the stitch selector to "D." Since machine types vary, check your manual for needle removal. For example, a 3-thread machine that has a left and right needle generally requires the removal of the left needle. Leave the knife cutter in the machine to cut away any uneven edges. Since most fleece has stretch, adjust the differential feed -- controls the movement of the fabric as you feed it into the machine. Refer to your manual for the correct setting, which is generally the lowest on the machine.
Run your machine to make a thread chain 3 to 4 inches long. Serge each side from top to bottom, leaving 4 thread chains -- one per each corner. Although you can snip away the thread chain, you can also make a small knot for each chain, pushing the knot as close as possible to the corner of the bandana to secure the end corner stitches. Cut away the remaining thread chains from all four corners. You can also dab the corner threads with anti-fraying adhesive to prevent unraveling. Once dry, you can wear your fleece bandana.
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