Oversized old coat….
New Babywearing Coat :)
I have seen instructions online, but like many things, I like getting the idea and rolling with it my way. The main thing that I saw in other instructions was to buy a coat a size or two bigger and cut a panel out but not all the way down to the bottom.
My coat was a bit snug on me so cutting all the way down to the bottom and adding some material made it fit perfectly. It also gives more space for her growing…
So… my first step was to put Wilhelmina on my back and see where her head was… then draw a line on the coat were I thought it should be and check it in the mirror… The width of the opening was about 10 inches and then the panel extended all the way down to the bottom of the coat.
This is an important step: sew two parallel lines around the panel and cut between the lines so that the coat and stuffing and all the layers that may be in the coat remain intact.
This coat had a bottom drawstring and a waist drawstring, so that I could keep on using the drawstrings to cinch the bottom and waist, I sewed over the string at the back a few times to secure it. In the hole that the drawstring passed through in the bottom panel, I took out the cut string and replaced it with an elastic… That way there would be no air going up the back of the coat when it was done.
In the opening that was on the coat at the top I put in a double layer of a thick ribbed knit (same as with the side panels) this small panel is just to make the opening warm and comfortable for Willa… It is about two inches high (folded) and sewed in and topstiched. I stretched it a bit while sewing so it closes the opening slightly so that there are no drafts that can get in…
Now, working with just the panel itself that has been taken off the coat, I figured I needed about 4-5 inches of material on each side to make the pouch, so I cut out 4 pieces of ribbed knit, about 5 inches at the top and then tapering down to about 2 inches at the bottom. The length is a bit longer then the length of the panel (so that you can hem the bottom).
I then put 2 layers together and serged the edges, finished the bottom and lined them up with the bottom of the coat panel and sewed them to the sides of the panel and topstitched.
For the last piece (the top of the panel) I cut out another two pieces of the ribbed knit about the length of the panel + the width of the side panels… and about 5 inches high (so that it would end up about 2 inches when folded and sewed in) I serged the raw edge and then sewed it to the top of the panel, stretching it slightly as I sewed. Then I finished it by topstitching.
The last step was to sew the finished panel to the coat. Starting at the bottom, I sewed each side. The top part of course extended past the opening so I sewed it down and then folded it over and topstitched it so you could not see the rough edges.
I also added a elastic so the panel behind her neck would be more snug and again, protect from any drafts… it also helps keep her arms in the coat.
This is the finished back….
The bottom and middle drawstrings are still usable from the pouch forward. The elastic at the bottom keeps out drafts and the top pocket is all warm and soft for Wilhelmina…
I just put her on my back in the carrier of my choice, slide the coat over both of us and we will stay warm together. This will definitely last for at least two winters of growth if not more…
Not bad for a 15$ thrift store find, about a .5 m of ribbed knit and about 3 hours of interrupted planning and sewing… :)