Projects: coat extender for babywearing, and vest

When Lily and I go out in cold weather, it’s a challenge to get the right number of layers for the transitions (warm store to cold street, t0 medium subway station, to crowded warm subway, to cold street, to warm bus, to cold street, to warm house.)

I bought my coat a size big last winter—big enough to zip over a pregnant belly but not over me and a seven-month-old in her carrier.

I saw a design for a commercial coat extender and decided to make my own.

My coat has both snaps and a zipper. I sewed a double layer of fleece to one edge of my coat. I found some extra snaps on the cuff of the coat and cut them out. I sewed them (by the severed fabric) to the other edge of the fleece.

snaps

The original zipper and snaps are all still there, so I can tuck the fleece inside and zip it as normal when I don’t have Lily.

highchair

Lily helping

I can wear her in her carrier as normal:

carrier

The coat goes over both of us. When we go from a cold to a warm place, I can open the snaps to air her out. I tried it out, and I think it keeps her quite warm, but it’s draftier for me because the front of the coat isn’t next to my legs. I also need to figure out a way to keep the front of my neck warm.

coat

With some of the other fleece (from a cut-up blanket), I made a vest for Lily. Our house is pretty cold, and I wanted another layer for her that wouldn’t impede her movement. The fleece doesn’t need hemming, even for the buttonholes, so it was a quick project.

vest

A basic pattern. Sew the sides and shoulders together, sew a button or two to the front, and snip buttonholes in the other side.

vest pattern

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