MYOG Fleece Balaclava with Eye Mask

I have the whole process recorded — modeling/stencils/patterns, cutting supplies, prep, sewing it all together.  For now, though, please just enjoy some images of the finished product.

Materials:

  • 100wt PolarTech Fleece (under 1/2 yard)
  • 1/16” elastic shock cord
  • tiny cord lock

It’s 53 grams (1.87oz) finished weight including the elastic and cord locks.  It functions absolutely perfectly.

I wanted to add a super functional eye mask for sleeping at night.  I’m a terrible sleeper and while the moon lighting up camp is sweet for a midnight pee, it ain’t sweet when I need that sleep really badly to recover.  An eye mask solves that problem.  A eye mask also really helps with heat retention.  

This design ended up perfectly.  I can close the balaclava all the way closed so just my lips and nose are breathing.  Or I can wear it like a beanie if I want and not look totally ridiculous. I can even wear it like a beanie and still have the eye mask working!

I wanted to address the question: why a balaclava instead of a beanie?  

1) Warmer.  1b) Using a hoodless top layer and I love a hood. 

2)  On the hottest nights, a balaclava comfortably covers my pillow, giving me a soft warm surface.  When it’s cold, I’ll be sleeping with the balaclava on, performing the same result.  Sleeping on just a plastic pillow ain’t comfortable.  Flexibly solved the problem.  

Here it is!

Beanie Mode:

Balaclava Mode:

Eye Mask Sleep Mode:

Notice the cord lock is designed to be to the right back of my neck, an area that for me is away from any natural toss or turning spot. I don’t notice the cord lock at all.
Cord lock offset on the right side, not the center or left size, to avoid being a pain when sleeping.

Beanie and Eye Mask Mode:

Pillow Cover Mode:

MISC:

There is one main panel and then the back long panel is sewn from the forehead back to the back of the neck. You should start your fabric at the forehead part to make sure it’s even but mine ended up pretty damn perfect. I learned a few things sewing fleece for the first time too. What I need is bonding tape!!!

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