Last week my mom flew out to visit and finally have a trip where we could get out and have fun instead of taking care of a newborn and helping me recover from surgery. And then we had some nasty weather and Charly had hand, foot and mouth disease and we spent most of the trip inside. Luckily she loves them grandbabies and enjoyed the trip anyway. We made the most of the bit of snow we got (Virginia doesn't handle snow well- a couple of inches closes down everything) and played with the girls outside. Charly's favorite was having a snowball fight. Of course her version of a snowball fight involves running at you with a hand full of snow and pressing it against your body, but still, she loved it. This was Caroline's first taste of snow- both literally and figuratively- and she enjoyed both.
Going out to play in the snow gave me the perfect opportunity to take pictures of the coat I finished for Charly a few weeks ago. I first saw the Figgy's Nituna Coat pattern nearly 2 years ago, and I loved it from the start. I love the silhouette, the lines, the shape of the hood; basically everything about it. I finally bought it when I bought the Sew Fab pattern bundle this fall and made plans to make one for Charly for winter. It was on my list for Kids Clothes Week but was bumped when I decided to make halloween costumes. In between projects for other people I managed to get this done in time for winter to finally set in here in Northern Virginia.
I picked up this herringbone wool blend coat at a thrift store for $8. Of course it smelled like a thrift store, so I cut a small sample from the hem and washed it twice to see how the wool (which is marked dry clean only) would react. It didn't seem to shrink and the texture change was barely noticeable and not unpleasant, so I washed to whole thing to remove the smell and ensure I could wash it if need be later on. Nothing like a dry clean only clothing item for kids to dampen a snow day.
Once it was washed I disassembled the whole thing and played around with my pattern pieces until I could fit them all without changing the grain of the fabric. I ended up having to cut the hood piece from two pieces rather than one folded over so it has a seam on the top of the hood where there otherwise wouldn't be one. It doesn't bother me.
The lining is a quilting cotton I picked up at Joanns. I chose two fabrics that coordinated with the wool and let Charly pick her favorite. I'm not one bit surprised she picked this cheerful print, and I love that it keeps the coat from looking too serious. And those red buttons... oh yeah.
The coat sews up beautifully! The raglan style sleeves are a breeze to assemble and make it easy to take on and off, even with bulky sweaters on underneath. The only hitch in the sewing process was the welt pockets, which, coincidentally, are the very first step. I couldn't for the life of me figure out what the pattern was asking me to do, so I consulted Google and found this fantastic tutorial at Coletterie.com that saved my bacon and my sanity. After that hiccup the rest went together without a hitch. Well, other than the meltdown that ensued when Charly awoke to find she could no longer use the lining to be Little Red Riding Hood once it was sewn in to the outer shell. Tears were shed, and she refused to wear the coat for at least a week.
The good news is, now she likes it! (and I've since made her a Little Red Riding Hood cape- but shhh! It's for Christmas!)