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It looks like this today in Denver:

Our first official snow of the year! It’s cold!

I bought a fleece remnant months ago at Joann’s:

Cute smiley aliens! The number of fleece patterns is endless at Joann’s alone. Crocodiles on skateboards? Yes! CU Football logo? Yes! John Deere? Yes!  Before you tune out, there’s lots of work-friendly, fashionable fleece too. Ty Pennington has a line of fleece (which is on sale right now at Fabric.com), and I recently bought the honeycomb pattern to make a stadium blanket:

Have I made the case that fleece is cool? I hope so.

Drumroll… my very first tutorial ever uses fleece! It’s so simple, a perfect project for a beginning sewist. Let’s make a neck-up! Also known as a neck gaiter, a neck warmer, etc. but I’ve always called it a neck-up, so here that’s it’s name.

You’ll need:

1/4 yard of fleece

Coordinating thread

A sewing machine & scissors

*I recommend measuring your own neck and trying this on for size before finishing. The one I made fits my neck, but it’s unlikely to fit, say, a broad-necked man.

Cut a piece of fleece 22 inches x 12 inches long. Fold along the 12-inch line, with right sides facing (your fleece may not look like it has a right side, so don’t stress about it if you can’t figure it out! just keep going!). Sew along the 12 inches with a zig zag stitch, back tacking at both ends, using a half inch seam allowance.

Here’s where you can try on the tube for comfort. Do you want it scrunched around your neck a lot or a little? For mine, I like a little scrunch, so I turned both ends over about 1.75 inches. There’s no hard and fast rule here, so do what’s comfortable!

Sew around the fold using a zig zag stich, with a half inch seam allowance. I’m assuming that since you’re a beginning sewer, you’re likely using a regular sewing machine foot. And if so, you’ll need to start stitching from about a half inch away from the hem you already made on the 12-inch side (see picture below); this will keep the fabric from getting bunched up and stuck under your machine. Multiple layers of thick fabric = bad news for a low-shank machine with a standard foot. But this method works!

I used a zig zag stitch here because it’s going to be visible on the outside of the neckup, and I think a zig zag is cute. But maybe you think it looks messy – you can use a straight stitch or any stitch on your machine.

Sew both ends of the neckup and turn right side out. And you’re done! Now, try it on:

Or, try it on your pug!

Actually, I recommend keeping black fleece away from your fawn pug, since he sheds and makes a horrible mess.

I’m still wearing the fleece in my 65-degree house, and it’s cozy and comfortable. I’m going to get this fleece next and make a more fashion-friendly neckup to wear to work. This fun neckup is reserved for evenings and weekends.

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I want to include a quick note about writing this tutorial – I made this neckup from scratch and it took some trial and error to get it to be comfy and good enough to share online. Even this really simple neckup! It took time and work. So what did I learn? Doing a tutorial isn’t easy! I want to give lots of respect to all the bloggers who write amazing tutorials every week. They provide us all with inspiration and the drive to keep learning!

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