Stormtrooper Neckwarmer

Can you not hit the broad side of a starship with a snowball?  Have you ever said “These aren’t the snowmen we’re looking for.”? If so, then this cozy Stormtrooper neckwarmer is just the thing to keep you warm while you’re hunting down enemies of the Empire on a crisp winter night.  Read on for instructions on making your own.

Required materials:

  • Stormtrooper neckwarmer pattern, printed (49KB PDF)
  • 3/4 yard of white fleece
  • 1/4 yard (or less) of black fleece
  • 1/4 yard (or less) of gray fleece
  • 2 black buttons, approximately one inch diameter
  • white thread
  • black thread

Cut the white fleece into a rectangle 22″ wide by 20″ high. Fleece has more stretch in one direction than the other, so make the stretchy direction the width since it’ll need to fit around your big head.

Print out the pattern for the mouthpiece and the—whatever the other thing is. A little bit of research tells me that fans call it the “frown,” so let’s go with that, even though it looks more like a mustache to me. Cut them out of the paper and pin them onto their respective pieces of fleece, black for the mouthpiece and gray for the frown. Make sure that they both have the stretchiness in the width rather than the height. Cut each from the fleece.

Fold the white fleece in half the long way to make a 22″ x 10″ rectangle, with the right side out. To figure out which is the right side, stretch the bottom edge of the fleece and see which way it curls. It’ll curl toward the wrong side, which should be on the inside of your fold right now.  Now find the left-right center, either by folding it in half or by measuring 11″ to the middle. The frown will go at the top, near the fold.

Pin the frown into place (only through one layer of white fleece), then unfold the white fleece and carefully sew around the edge of the frown. Tie off the ends of the thread on the back side, which will eventually be inside the folded fleece.

Now pin the mouthpiece into place and sew as close as you can around its edges, then tie off the ends of the thread.

Sew straight lines down from each mouthpiece corner on the top to each corner on the bottom, illustrated by the dotted lines on the pattern. This is to give the mouthpiece some contours, just like a real Stormtrooper helmet.

The buttons should be sewn on even with the edges of the frown and about 1/3 of the way up the mouthpiece. See the pattern for placement. Line them up carefully—it’ll look goofy if they’re not even—and sew them on.

Fold the fabric in half the opposite way you did before, outside in, so you’ve got an 11″ wide x 20″ high rectangle. You should only see thread, not a mouthpiece and frown. Sew down the edge with white thread, about 1/4 from the edge. Backstitch or tie off the ends of the thread.

Now comes the tricky part, because if you get this wrong you’ll end up with everything going sideways on your neckwarmer. Lay flat the fleece tube you’ve created, still inside-out with the seam centered on the back. Fold each end upward toward the center so the seams meet.

And here’s a picture:

Starting about an inch from the seam, you’re going to sew each end to its matching point on the opposite end, leaving approximately a 1/2″ seam allowance. Take care that you don’t sew the tube shut. In the diagram I’ve illustrated this by coloring each section. Red is sewn to red, orange to orange, around to blue, then green, being sure to leave an inch before you get to the seam on the other side. Backstitch or tie off the thread ends.

Now you’re going to turn the whole thing right side out through the hole you left. Fleece is stretchy; it’ll fit. Roll everything around so the seam is on the bottom and the mouthpiece and frown are facing out. Close the hole you squeezed it through with a ladder stitch.

With white thread, sew through both layers of fleece from one corner of the frown down and around one button, across the bottom of the mouthpiece, around the other button, and back up to the other corner of the frown. This quilting (illustrated below in red) will give your Stormtrooper’s face a little bit more depth. You could do more quilting around the mouthpiece and buttons for additional detail, or add the rows of stripes along each side with embroidery floss. If your sewing machine has a stretch stitch, you could sew around the sides in order to approximate the tubes on the side of the helmet, but doing it without a stretch stitch will keep the neckwarmer from expanding when you pull it on and you may break the threads.

That’s it! Add a blaster and you’re ready to go.

Thanks for checking out this tutorial, but please don’t ask to buy the one I’ve made. It’s not for sale, and making any for sale would likely lead to a visit from George Lucas’ legal droids that I would rather not have. I do have other fun neckwarmers for sale, though, at www.stachewarmers.com.

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