When I can find a few free minutes in my day I love to sew. Creating little accessories for my girls is one of my favorite things to do. It’s almost like a form of therapy, a time when I can clear my mind of all other thoughts and concentrate on one little project. In order to achieve my this zen like state I choose simple projects because anything too hard would quickly put me out of meditation and into “throwing the sewing machine” mode. Just kidding… well, not really.
My toddler is precocious, and we spend much of our time outside. Our daily schedule bounces between trips to the park, zoo, aquarium, hiking trails, and of course our own backyard. We climb, dig, roll, jump, and in general just make a mess out of ourselves.
When it comes to outdoor play little is off limits.
So with that in mind I decided that I would create for her an “exploring vest”. With an emphasis on pockets, this vest would be a fun accessory that she could wear outside to aid in our outdoor exploration.
I decided on this boy’s vest pattern, from the Mother Huddle. The tutorial is picture heavy with clear directions. It was easy to sew but challenging enough to keep my interest. I substituted the faux pockets with real ones. It was adorable.
But this post isn’t about her explorer vest, and here’s the reason why: Despite my initial assumption that I wanted something gender neutral, I decided that a vest just wasn’t right for my little girl. While we are not the girliest family I know, my children do have an adorable wardrobe and their accessories should match accordingly.
So what do you create for a beautiful tomboy who loves to explore? The explorer capelet! Where you can look savvy and coordinate while still being functional.
I started with this pattern from Simple Simon & Company. It’s called the Audrey Cape– maybe the resemblance to my name had something to do with why it was chosen? It didn’t take long and I made it with the scraps left over from my initial vest sewing project.
I used her original pattern but before stitching the two fabrics together I added many pockets to the inside of the vest. The perfect way to store acorns, nuts, leaves and twigs!
The heavy fabric also acts as a camouflage so the capelet doesn’t look too bulky when the pockets are being used. The busy design ensures that I don’t have to hover over her all of the time, trying to prevent her from getting dirty.
This capelet has been a huge success. In fact, the other day while out for breakfast my husband overheard the waitresses discussing the little girl wearing the “explorer cape”!
Want to make your own exploring vest? Check out the tutorial that I used. (You can find my Pinterest board here, which also links to the tutorials that I use) Adding your pockets isn’t a difficult task, but here’s a tutorial on how to do that as well– just be sure to add them BEFORE stitching your fabrics together so that your finished product will be seamless. Leave us a comment and let me know how your sewing project came out!