A balaclava or ski mask is a head-covered cloth that protects your head and face from tough weather, wind or cold. A ski mask shields most part of your head and leaves your eyes exposed only.
You might find quality ski masks at ski outfitters, sport stores and even online. You could even make one yourself by following some steps and using tools like sewing machines, fleece and also with measurements.
Here is the step-by-step guide for making a ski mask:
Making the pattern of a ski mask
- You have to measure the width and length of the wearer’s head by using a measuring tape. You should measure the wearer’s head width round the crown and length from top part of the head to the neck of the mask wearer’s. you have to decide how long a mask you want, to the bottom of your neck or chin and measure accordingly.
- Secondly, you would have to measure the two eyes distance of the mask wearer. It is important that the person could see things easily after wearing the ski mask. So, you should extend the distance outside of your eyebrows.
- For cutting holes for your eyes, you should measure from the head crown to the top of your eyes.
- You would need to add 2.5cm or 1 inch to the width and height measurement that allows extra fabric for sewing.
- Write the measures you have taken because you may forget the accurate measure while processing.
- You should buy 0.5m or ½ yard of fleece. This fabric is enough for making more than one ski mask but it would allow extra fabric for you in case of making mistakes. The thickness of the fabric would depend on the climate, for a colder climate, you would need thicker fabric.
- Take a piece of paper and trace a ski mask pattern on it according to your measurement. Trace the pattern on a folded paper so that you could draw the pattern on the left side of the wearer’s face.
For getting an exact pattern, divide the eye measurement and width into half. Mark a thin line on top of your paper that would indicate the measurement of height. You would cut the space for your eyes with these measurements. Shape the marks like the example pattern. Connect the marks with a curved shape for the back skull, domed top for your head, indent for neck and space for your eyes which marks the left side.
However, you should not dent the nose and mouth area because that could make breathing. After that, take a sharp scissor and cut the pattern with it.
Sewing the ski mask
- Fold your fleece vertically to the left side of your hand and stretch the fabric horizontally. You should try to fold it exactly according to the width of the pattern.
- For eliminating a joint down to the front of your face, fold the fleece and avoid cutting two sides.
- Place the pattern on the top of your folded fleece. You could directly pin the pattern on the fleece or draw with a fabric pen around your pattern. Cut the fabric with scissors and the part of the left side fold which you would cut, is the distance for your eyes.
- Turn out the fabric inside and fold with the front. Sew the fleece using a sewing machine and turn the fleece inside out.
- Before you would sew the back seam, pin up the folded fleece together the eyes and the bottom first. Create a ¾’’ hem in each area.
- Use a strong thread while sewing and set the machine to zig-zag stitch that would make the fleece fabric more stretch and less straight.
- Using a zig-zag stitch for sewing around the eyes and matching thread would look good for this.
- Pin up the edges together at the back of the fabric and give about ½’’ allowance for seam. This fabric would not fray. Thus, you could easily create a hat form in the polar fleece.
- Start sewing from the bottom of your mask at the back of your neck towards the head crown by using a zig-zag stitch.
- Turn it inside out and check if the ski mask is fitted according to your head.
Now, your ski mask is ready to use. It would be best if you wear the mask after wash because the fabric could contain dirt from the market. Wear the ski mask that you have made and enjoy the cool weather outside.
Salman Zafar is a serial entrepreneur, digital marketer, writer and publisher. He is the Founder of Techie Loops