Get Ninja’d

It needn’t take more than 5 minutes to make a Ninja mask.  Just cut an aperture into a square of opaque fabric.  You don’t even need a sewing machine.  But if you do decide to upgrade the mask with some stitching that makes it neater and more permanent, you can solve the eternal problem of what to sew for an almost teenage boy (you know: the one too old for dinosaur print, too young for Hawaiian shirts).

Worn with black at Halloween, the mask makes an instant Ninja costume.  Come winter, it’s an original stocking filler and if you make it from cotton jersey, it’ll keep the nose super-warm during long walks in the snow! 

You need: an 80cm x 80 cm square of a fabric that’s opaque but easy to breathe through.  Thread.  Bias binding  or ribbon for finishing the peephole (optional).

Making up:

1. Measure the size required for the peephole.  This tends not to vary much from person to person so measure your own if you’re making the mask as a surprise.  12cm x 3cm should suffice.

2. Turn your square so it’s on the bias and mark the peephole in the middle. 

3. Stitch along the marking.  Cut out the peephole, keeping as close to the stitching as possible.

4. If you wish to finish the peephole with a narrow strip of bias binding, then pin and stitch, trimming peephole close to the stitch line before flipping the binding to the right side.  

Alternatively, reinforce the peephole with a row of zigzag stitching.

5. Sew a narrow, hankie-style hem on all 4 sides, using the rolled hem foot.

Putting on the mask:

Place peephole over eyes and tie the “wings” at the back of the head, over the back flap.  The knot gives the mask its characteristic Ninja appearance.

And what if you’re dressed up as a Ninja with nowhere to go on a rainy day?  

Here a couple of ideas:

Learn how to make origami shuriken: “blades hidden in the hand“.

Watch as a hapless Ninja takes on John Goodman in Speed Racer.

P.S.  One of my readers suggested making the mask out of fleece.  This would be super-warm (possibly too much for summer) but it does have the advantage of not needing stitching.