Today I'm sharing a project that's been a long time coming: Our Homemade Snowsuit. I actually finished it a while back, but due to Mother Nature acting crazy (with weeks 50 degree weather, followed by weeks of single digit temps) it took FOREVER to be able to do a winter-white photo shoot. But here it is now, in all it's snowy glory:
For the past two winters my little lady wore a snuggly fleece bunting that we loved. It kept her warm and covered up in our harsh Michigan winters. Yet try as I might, it was nearly impossible to find something similar now that she is a 3T. And forget fully waterproof for playing out in the snow (which she was itching to do this year). The few I found were for serious ski folks and around $100, and neither of those fits this mom's lifestyle.
Since I'd had such success with my DIY Snow Pants, I thought about how I could modify that concept to make what I wanted: a one-piece, zip up snowsuit that could have a built-in hood and mittens. Oh, and it had to be made at a price I could handle (under $35). And I figured it out!
First I had my sweetie try on the too-small bunting we had. That gave me a starting point for the piece shapes and determining how much extra room was needed (slightly longer torso, legs and sleeves, widened middle, etc.).
Then I flattened and traced each of the sections (back, sleeves, hood, front & zipper flap) and used my handy french curve ruler to re-draft larger versions onto tracing stabilizer and added in seam allowances. Using those I cut the necessary pieces from some micro fleece for the lining, thermal fabric (the stuff used in hot pads) for the insulator and PUL for the waterproof outer.
I kept the thermal & outer fabrics layered together and started sewing up the zippered front pieces. Then added on the fronts of the raglan sleeves, followed by sewing those to the back and, last of all, sewing on the hood. I repeated all that with the lining, but left a gap in the side. I sewed both inner & outer together along the front & hood, pulled it right side out and sewed the gap closed by hand.
And the coordinating mittens (tutorial for those here) were made from the leftover fabric.
Being on a string looped through the sleeves ensures that they never get lost and the overlap between the sleeves and mitten tops means no snow sneaking in.
It took a bit of time to figure things out as I went, but it felt great to have it all come together and really work. I really love the fabric print & it's unusual color combo - it's so much cuter than the pink-on-pink coats that seem to be the only girly look in the stores these days. We've gotten so many compliments on it when we've been out and people look stunned when I thank them and say I made it!
And what does she think? As you can see, she loves wearing it:
She wasn't even phased when she got snow on her face! The snowsuit keeps her cuddly & dry everywhere else, so she can frolic away like a little polar bear. And it brings a huge smile to my face seeing her running around in it. Definitely worth the effort!
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