Saturday, November 26, 2011

Pink Ninja Mask Tutorial

It's cold up here in Montana!  We've had a few inches of snow fall, turning the world around us a nice clean white.  Much to my disappointment, the snow fell over a few piles of leaves I hadn't bagged up yet.  But that's life, right?

In lieu of hats and scarves this year, I'm trying out these "ninja masks" for my kids.  They have hoods on their coats so hats are a bit redundant.  Scarves are nice, but difficult to manage and wrap around properly.  So far these ninja masks are a hit.  Plus, they're reversible and that makes them even more fun!

Below you can see that the opening is sized to allow varying degrees of face exposure.

This is the pattern I used for my kids ages 5 and 7.
I probably made the top a bit too high, causing
too much wrinkling of the fabric at the top of the head.

Step one:  Drafting a pattern.
  • I just drew the above shape onto a sheet of freezer paper.  I would suggest tracing one of your child's stocking caps as a reference for size.  You could also trace your child's actual head to get a good idea about where to place the face opening.  
  • Resist the urge to cut in under the chin.  That will make it too narrow to slip on over the head.
Step two:  Cutting the fabric.
  • If you have two-way stretch jersey, use it as I think that would be ideal.  I used one-way stretch jersey, which worked just fine.  I folded the jersey so the stretch went around the head.  
  • Cut one pattern piece for the liner and one for the outside.  The mask is reversible, but for sanity's sake, I'll refer to outer fabric and lining fabric for the this tutorial. :-)
Step three:  Sewing.
  • It would be ideal if you could use a walking foot and a jersey or ball point needle on your machine.  I used the jersey needle, but haven't invested in a walking foot yet.  
  • Keeping your outer fabric folded in half, stitch along the outside with a .5" seam allowance. (see dotted yellow line in the diagram) Don't sew around the face or neck openings or across the fold.    Repeat for your lining fabric.  
Step four:  Attaching the lining.
  • Cut some notches (triangles?) out of your seam allowances along the curves on top of the head.  I just used some pinking shears and trimmed from the forehead to the back of the head.  This will help ease the curve and allow your child to appear less pin-head-like. ;-)
  • Turn your outer fabric inside out so the seam allowances are on the inside.  Don't turn your lining fabric.
  • Slide your outer fabric inside your lining fabric.  Take some time to match up the seams and openings.
  • Pin and stitch around the face opening using a .5" seam allowance.  
  • Make some cuts into the seam allowance around the face opening being careful not to cut the stitches.  
  • Pull the lining up from the bottom and flip it inside out.  Shove the lining into the face opening.  
Step five:  Finishing touches.
  • After you have everything straightened out and lined up, you can top-stitch around the face opening.  I top-stitched using a straight stitch on the pink ninja mask and it worked great.  The top-stitching on my son's mask broke after a few uses so I re-did it with a zig-zag stitch.  That allowed the stitching to stretch and not break under rough handling.  I'm sure if you consult your sewing machine manual, you'll find a list of stitches that will work well for seams that require some stretching.
  • The last step is to pin and stitch around the bottom of the neck hole.  If I had a serger, I'd have used it here.  Alas, I don't so I zig-zagged all around the bottom very close to the edge.
  • If you stretch your fabric as you zig-zag the edge, you'll get the ruffled/wavy effect visible in the pink ninja mask.  

And that's it!  Hopefully you find this tutorial useful.  Everyone in my house is very pleased with these masks.  I am even thinking about making one for myself for skiing.  :-)

Happy crafting and big hugs from Montana,


  1. The kids would love them, Rikka. I'm thinking I could adapt your pattern and make a not so warm version for the kids' dress up box.

  2. The masks are super professional and look very cute and cozy. Did you use fleece? BTW your daughter's eyes when she smiles in the top photo look a lot like yours :-)

  3. Cute, warm and you made it look easy once more! Great job, Rikka!

  4. I still haven't made this, Rikka, but I AM going to.

  5. I can not thank YOU enough for putting this pattern, instructions AND pictures on your blog. My grandsons live an 8 hour car trip across two states. The youngest is having a Lego Ninjago theme for his 5th birthday next weekend. My daughter asked if I would make Ninjago masks for both of them. Without being able to measure them and repeatedly try it on as I construct one I didn't know how I would possibly make them. Plus I didn't even know what they looked like. I googled and pinterest Ninjago Mask and found a number of examples. Yours was the absolute best first because you said they fit your 5 & 7 year old kids (my other grandson turns 7 in 3 months) and also because it is a reversible pattern. I was then able to make two colors of masks for each boy. I just finished making them - serged all of it except for the top stitching and LOVE them! I can't wait to see their faces when I give them these! They don't know I'm making them so it will be a surprise. Thank you so much for sharing your talent with others. You have no idea how your blog may help or touch others.

    1. Miss Kelly I am just blown away by your review! Thanks so much!!!


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