I made these before Christmas, but it still seems appropriate to think about balaclavas, since we've had the good fortune to get another snowstorm as we speak.
Scarves have a place in this world, but sending my kids outside without scarves this year has been a time-saving experience. No searching for and tying scarves. No one complaining the scarf is choking them. No one coming to have their snow-encrusted scarf retied. No one losing their scarf in a snowbank.
My boys quickly found the ninja side of balaclava.
The balaclava was fairly simple to sew once I wrapped my mind around which pieces went where, and my assembly-line method made subsequent ones go that much more quickly.
I used leftover fleece scraps. The main hat is one piece (partly cut on fold and partly stitched) connected to a double layer ear portion. The face mask is a separate piece attached inside to the hat's seam allowances. The binding, made from nylon-lycra (swimsuit fabric), was probably the trickiest part to sew, but was easier the stretchier the fabric used.
My stairsteps also got balaclavas.
And the facemask pulled down.
4 of the 5 kids have worn these all the time. I guess you can't win them all.
One kid asked me to sew him another one because he thinks his should be washed since he's breathing into it all the time. Hahaha. I agree.
The pattern is Green Pepper 550 and comes in all sizes from toddler to (large) adult head.