Season Greetings, Sew Chibi visitors! I am so pleased to not only be a part of the amazing Pattern Anthology's Winter Wonderland Tour but to a part of the final day as well! I take that as a responsibility to make something memorable; something that will inspire you to get creative with these terrific patterns!
Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links. And while I did get the pattern for free, all the opinions are completely my own.
It basically never snows here in Portland. We get what is known as "the rainy season" which lasts from October to May. With that being said, a proper raincoat is a high priority! After having worn the last raincoat I made her almost to pieces, I knew it was high time I made Azriella a new raincoat!
I had in my arsenal of holiday sewing ideas, one particular idea to make up something that would be a shirt made of different colored vinyls, pieced together on a diagonal to emulate a candy cane.
So considering my needs (a raincoat), my inspiration (candy cane vinyl look), and the Pattern Anthology Winter Patterns Remix, I designed this incredible (if I do say so myself) Candy Cane Raincoat, using Shwin&Shwin's incredibly versatile Bonnie Top Pattern!
Remixing the Pattern
First and foremost, I needed to acquire a minimum of half a yard of each color vinyl to make a looooong, diagonally pieced width of fabric.
Cut into dozens of 2" wide bias strips, I sewed them till I felt I had enough to accommodate all of the pattern pieces and extra elements I wanted to add. Then I went back and top-stitched all the seam allowances to one side, using matching thread. If you don't do this, then your vinyl pieces won't lay flat (even with ironing, trust me), and it won't look as finished. Then, I went and cut out all my pattern pieces, keeping close attention to the grainline since it was tricky without a selvage to follow. I highly recommend doing it this way anytime you're using a technique that involves adding in a lot of seam allowances or tucks (like diamond tucks). Yes, you will have some incredible scraps you may not be able to use, but it is way more reliable than trying to figure out the math and following your seam allowances exactly to make sure your pattern fits in the end. I tell no lies; I have learned this the hard way (in the past).
Since I decided on making this a raincoat, the main things I needed to alter was adding a full length zipper to the front (not the back, like the pattern is made), a full lining, and adding length to the overall pattern.
I have a hard time fitting things to my darling little beanpole, so for this remix, even though her width dimensions put my 6 year old in the 2T category, I went up to a size 4T and lengthened about 5-6" (to fit my detachable zipper length).
Using an older raincoat as a guide, I noted and added a back zipper lap down the right side of the coat, behind the zipper. I made it fully lined in a soft flannel with all seams hidden, down from just above the cuffs of the sleeves to where I added a hem binding to the coat's edge. This makes a surprisingly warm raincoat! Beyond that I moved the pocket down to waist length, enlarged, and duplicated it for the opposite side of the coat so she could shove her little hands into them when it gets cold. The only thing it doesn't have is a hood, and that's because I didn't want to take away from the Peter Pan collar of the pattern. The way I see it, she always has her little umbrella with her when it is raining so, her noggin won't be getting wet anyway.
And I just think it's cuter this way!
And it wouldn't be much if I just made a raincoat, so I had to put together an ensemble that would keep my Christmas theme going! We aren't a hugely religious family (we try to follow some Buddhist practices), but we celebrate the pants off of all the holidays!!! I challenge anyone's Christmas spirit to go against my husband's! He gets excited for it all year long; he's that guy blaring the Christmas station on the radio as soon as he finds one! He's my holly jolly elf! ^_^
I loved the look of the pleated Holly Trousers by Andrea from Andrea's Notebook as shorts (which is a feature option in the pattern itself)! I knew as soon as I set my mind on the raincoat that I wanted to make a pair! I had hankering for gold pleather shorts and confirmed I wasn't completely insane by checking in with my partner in crime, Max California (who was also on the tour!) I liken her to being my South Eastern Hemisphere twin since we have similar aesthetics and love of fantastical geeky things. She put my mind at ease that I was not insane but that now she wanted to make herself some gold lame' leggings for herself now! I hope she does!
To pull the whole outfit together, I decided to recreate another Bonnie top, in almost an opposite way from the raincoat. I made it a halter top in a white snowflake printed white cotton broadcloth with a custom vinyl Peter Pan collar with glitter and cutouts! I omitted the sleeves, turned under the seam allowances of the armholes (serging them first, of course) and top-stitching them, and took the width in from the armscye all the way down at an angle to make the top not gape anywhere. I changed the zipper back to a button and loop closure, mainly because I realized I didn't have a tiny metal zipper (as the pattern uses) and because I wanted to make a little matching button of my own to show off! I added a hook and eye at the top of the collar so it stayed in place appropriately as well, considering I couldn't use the facing with the sleeveless option.
It was super easy to make the holiday "confetti" mixed textile collar. Applying them to two white vinyl collar pieces, I cut out Christmas shapes from the coat scraps and bits of gold vinyl triangles, and lightly adhered them with Mod Podge to stay in place, then sprinkled a little snow glitter. After that, I learned a quick trick (by trial and error) to finish the clear vinyl to the collar by just using a pressing cloth and applying my vinyl collar pieces directly to the fronts of white decorated vinyl pieces. The heat from the iron melds the two together, only be careful not to leave the iron in one place for more that a second or two, otherwise you'll have a melty mess on your hands! Then, I just cut some gold pleather bias binding strips to cover the edges of the collar, top and bottom.
I thought it needed a couple more splashes of gold, so I made a hem binding and the pocket out of the gold pleather as well.
As an almost afterthought, I whipped up a pair of matching shoes for Azriella an hour before we did the photoshoot. I love them so much but her feet have apparently grown in the last month so next time I'll have to go up another size! She has sprouted up so much this year! As a mamma who sews 95% of her wardrobe, I don't even want to talk about it.
So that covers it!
My super smiley girl! We were discussing an elephant's birthday party!
Outtakes! Stink face shots and Totoro photobomb.
I couldn't have done it without my newest bestie:
A Christmas-y outfit made entirely from these amazing patterns designed by the Pattern Anthology girls (Melly, Kate, Shauna, and Andrea) that's not only festive but comfy and functional too!
Check out the rest of the tour here.
Thanks a million, ladies, for inviting me to be a part of the tour!!! It was a blast!
Season Greetings, everyone!!!
P.S.) For those wondering the gender of the newest little critter in my belly, it's... another girl! Can you believe it!? More wacky dresses!!!