At the behest of Malcolm’s awesome Pre-K teacher, Miss Sue, I worked up some simple fleece collars for the upcoming Dr. Seuss themed “Week of the Young Child.” I maintain that every week around here is “of the young child,” but any excuse to make something.
The fact is, I will never be a mom that makes cookies or cupcakes or any such thing for my kids’ classmates. I can think of no torture more exquisite than being forced to bake. Frankly, even cooking is something I do out of strict necessity and my fondness for eating. But if I could get away with it, I would just leave a box of cereal and a bucket of soymilk on the floor for me and my kids to graze on all day. But I digress.
The collars requested were inspired by a lesser known Seuss work. Beft are a sort of species that apparently only ever go left. And these Beft sport fuzzy, high necked collars. So, I set to work replicating this aspect of Beft.
To make a Beft collar, get yourself some absurdly colored fleece. Fleece is ideal because it will not unravel when cut, and it also has some structure to it. You can usually pick up a piece of remnant fleece at your local fabric store for cheap money. Once you have your fleece, measure around your kid’s neck and add an inch or two. Cut out a rectangle of the fleece that wide, and about 8-10 inches high (this need not be precise).
Now, cut a sawtooth pattern into both long edges of your fleece rectangle. (The pile of little triangular fleece bits generated from this snipping can be used in some later project. Or, as my son Simon suggested, “Feed it to spiders for spider food.”)
The last step is to sew on two little squares of velcro, which you can also get at your local fabric store. If you are totally sew-phobic, I suspect you can get iron on velcro or something like that. Cut about a 1.5 inch long piece of the loop side of the velcro, and an identically sized piece of the hook side of the velcro. Using a zigzag stitch, sew one of these at the edge of the fleece, just at the base of the sawtooth pattern you cut. Then, flip the fleece over and sew the second velcro piece at the base of the sawteeth at the opposite edge of the fleece.
Once you’ve done that, just fold the row of sawteeth above the velcro out towards you, and fasten around your Beft’s neck. If you wanted the collar to sit a bit higher, you could easily reinforce it with a bit of fusible interfacing, or even cardboard. But I had to make 13 of these, and it just wasn’t going to happen.
If you would like to learn more about the elusive Beft, please watch the following short film: