My youngest son loves football. As his third birthday approached, my husband and I decided that we should get him one of those little replica NFL football uniforms from my husband’s favorite team. After looking online, I informed my husband we were probably looking at about $50. So my husband shrugged and said, “Well, you could make one, couldn’t you?” And so I did… for about $15. Don’t tell the NFL, but over the next few days, I’m going to share with you the patterns and tutorials for everything from top to bottom: helmet, jersey and pants. Eventually, they’ll all be organized under this fun little button
But for now, if you click on it, it will just bring you back to this post. Come tomorrow, though, we’ll start adding to it.
Today, let’s talk helmets. The helmet design I came up with is for a soft, [don’t tell my husband I’m comparing it to this] bonnet-like cap. But it’s cute and great for pretend play
For a 3T sized helmet, you’ll need:
–Helmet PDF pattern
-1/2 yard costume satin (I used two different colors, but a total of 1/2 yard)
-1/2 yard jersey knit for lining and chin strap
-17-inch sheet of plastic canvas
-1/4 yard heavy-weight interfacing or cotton batting
-Snap or Velcro fasteners
Cut out all your pattern pieces.
Right sides together, lay the center strip so the straight edge’s corner meets up with the front of the helmet side pieceAnd sew all along to the bottom edge of the side piece. To sew on the curve: sew as long as the pieces meet, when the start to angle away, lift the presser foot with needle lowered, rotate fabric so that it lines up again, lower presser foot and continue on. Repeat as necessary.
Right sides together, attach the other side piece to the center strip the same way.You’ll notice, after both sides are on, that you have about a one to two inch area on each side where the center strip doesn’t reach (this is why you need to start at the front of the helmet when sewing). This is on purpose. I promise. Bring those unattached spaces, kind of puckering the end of the center strip in as you do so, and sew together, closing the gap, tapering the back, and finishing the top of the helmet.Make the helmet lining the same way, using a stretch stitch and stretch needle for the knit fabric.Right sides together (so one wrong side out and one right side out) place the helmet pieces inside each other, matching all edges.Starting about one inch inside the center strip, sew all the way around the bottom edges of the helmet, ending about one inch inside the center strip on the other sideSo you should have an unsewn gap at the center stripTurn right side out through this gap.Cut out the plastic canvas center piece (and I forgot to put this on the pattern, but you’ll want two pieces of the interfacing/cotton batting cut using this pattern piece, as well)Sandwich the plastic canvas inside the two pieces of interfacing/battingAnd sew all the way around, completely enclosing the plastic canvas.Slide the little canvas/interfacing sandwich into the center of the helmet, through the center gap.Fold the raw edges of the gap insideAnd top stitch closed. I also top stitched all the way around the bottom of the helmet while I was at it.Now cut your chin strap pieces out of the lining material (or I used a white knit)Wrong sides facing, top stitch the two pieces completely together, using a stretch stitch and stretch needle. The knit won’t fray, and sewing knit this small is kind of obnoxious when you have to sew, turn, top stitch. So yeah, just leave the edges raw. Grab your helmet, chin strap and fasteners (shown is Velcro, but then I decided to go with silver-colored resin snaps so that the helmet would look like it had rivets. fancy) Attach the chin strap to the helmet at one “ear flap” point. Because I used resin snaps, I didn’t sew this end. But if I were to use Velcro as fasteners, I would have sewn this side to the flap.Then sew your fasteners to the other end of the chin strap and the other ear flap. Decorate the helmet as desired and get ready for some football! And just for fun, and to explain why I took the extra artistic license of adding a white stripe down the center of my kid’s helmet; this was my first attempt, which used up very nearly all of the fabric
And I wasn’t even trying to go for the whole alien-battle-head look! It just awesomely happened. But for some reason my son still loves it, though he has to wear it backwards to actually keep it on his head.
If you’re in need of a giant alien-battle-head, I do have the pattern for this version! But I think I like this look better for my three-year old human running back.