shortly after becoming acquainted with my sewing machine, i checked out handmade beginnings, by anna maria horner, from our local library.  she is one of my favorite fabric designers and her blog provides endless inspiration.  many projects caught my eye (and i’ve really beat her reversible pant technique into the ground), in particular, the “baby in the hood” jacket.  however, she warns in the introduction that it’s more involved than the other patterns, and the thought of making a jacket just seemed too complicated.

but, i kept sewing and sewing and sewing, and quickly it seemed i might be ready to take on the challenge.  a quote by eleanor roosevelt always seems to pop into my head when thinking about sewing projects:  “what could we accomplish if we knew we could not fail?”  apparently, we can sew a jacket.

i cut the pattern several weeks ago on just enough leftover fabric to make the 18-24 month size, the largest available.  bean is now closer to 30 months, but the chest measurement seemed liberal and i added an inch to the length, thinking she’d have room to spare, as is often the case with patterns.  for some reason, i assumed the jacket would take days to sew, but really, it only took two sittings, i think in the same day.


i exercised more caution than usual, since it is, after all, a jacket, and who knows what kinds of traps and pitfallss awaited me.  i oh-so-carefully pinned, basted, trimmed, and pressed to make every last seam as perfect as possible.  i mostly averted disaster although setting in sleeves remains a precarious, mysterious world that makes me appreciate knitted raglans.  i even managed to sew the directional pattern the correct way on every pattern piece but one, and i bet you won’t notice it anyway :)

the next morning, with much fanfare, i presented the jacket to bean.  she eagerly put it on, and……..”mom, it’s too tight.”  and that was that.  in fact it barely just fit her, and seemed silly to force her to wear it when next week it probably won’t fit at all.  it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it fits reese quite well, seeing as he falls within the appropriate age range.  but, not incredibly masculine.

so, i resolved to give it to my future niece in a year or so, and after 4 seconds i came to my senses, because there is no way i’ll sit on that jacket for a year and have no other projects in mind for my future niece and nephew.  i know myself too well.  the only plausible option, then, was to send it along to join the rest of the baby shower trousseau.  which of course meant that a boy version was in order as well.  these jackets thus also serve as my death blow to anyone who thinks they’re in the running for favorite aunt.

overall, cute jacket and beginner friendly pattern.  i parted with the book, finally, after renewing it 3 times.  i’m sure i’ll return to it, but for now, a fresh perspective is in order!

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