Saturday, October 16, 2010

How to Make a Fleece Overcoat for Babywearing

I have been looking over some friends' great jackets that go over baby while baby is in a carrier (quite frankly, everyone I know wears an Ergo, so let's just say Ergo).  One friend has a jacket that is a fleece layer that she can wear when it's chilly but not dead-of-winter-in-Alaska, then there's a waterproof cover she can wear over it.  It has slits in the front and back for baby's head to pop out.

I'm cheap, and a bit crafty (I own scissors), so I decided to raid my closet and see what I could come up with.  First, I considered cutting into a very nice, very warm jacket that my husband got me for Christmas a few years ago.  Luckily, I wasn't drunk, so I didn't have my scissors handy.  Next, I started looking at all my husband's fleece jackets.  They aren't super-warm, but they sure do the job.  If you had a tiny warm body pressed to your back, they would be even warmer...  Again, I thought better of mangling one of his jackets also.  Then, in the back of my closet, I found a fleece jacket that I haven't warn in years, and that I got for free when I taught at a middle school.  It's really big because that's the only size they had left when I made it to the office to pick up my free jacket.  Perfect.  A large sweater/jacket fits over a baby and me quite easily.  Hmmmm...

So I put on the sweater, then the Ergo, then the baby.  Once the baby was secure, I asked my husband (who was just happy I wasn't eyeing his favorite jackets with scissors in my hands anymore) to pinch the fabric right at the base of the baby's neck.  He held on while I took off the jacket and I cut a slit about 7 inches long where he had held.  I didn't worry about slits in front, because if I'm wearing my daughter in front I can just wear a zip front jacket and not zip it all the way... Not rocket science here, but somehow I have now saved hundreds of dollars and spent ZERO dollars.  If you count the cost of the scissors you are ridiculous.

We tried it out on a very crisp day when we went hiking in Glen Alps in light snow.  I was sweating like an animal that sweats a lot (most people say pig, but pigs don't sweat- that's why they hang out in the mud).  The baby was so cozy she slept for the entire hike, including some serious scrambling up a mountain when I was literally on all fours at points.

Hands and feet were tucked in snug as a bug in a rug.


  1. Horses SWEAT...i used to see it when i was a kid and my parents took me to parades...

    Anyways, good job on thr fleece jacket! Not only was it a thifty choice but you are now using something that would not have been used instead of buying one new and using resources! Yay!

  2. Sweating like a horse is perfect, since I had my little jockey in her saddle while I galloped up the mountain!

    And I do love finding new uses for old things. Reduce, resuse, recycle- in that order!