I’m a pretty active person in the winter and a transit commuter, so a functioning snowsuit is a must for me. I’d seen maternity parkas and jacket extenders, and knew there was no way I would pay that much for something I could easily make.
Luckily, the internet is full of tutorials and I found this one pretty quickly on Pinterest. I didn’t follow her directions exactly, but more or less used her template as a pattern.
I have a North Face snowsuit with a down-filled shell and a fleece liner that zip together. I decided to use that zipper to attach my insert instead of adding an additional zipper (I like this snowsuit and I didn’t want there to be any trace of my maternity extender on it after). Georgia at More Like Home, uses two zippers to allow the insert to be turned upside down for baby wearing. I figure I can just whip up another set if I need this jacket when using a carrier.
I was lucky to find zippers that matched in size and length (and colour!) and had no problem making the extender zip in. I was also lucky to find fleece that matched almost exactly to my sweater. For the jacket, I settled for grey Gore Tex (for wind and- water-proofing) and used some lining I had left over from a wool winter coat I made this fall.
For my pattern, I used the template from More Like Home and simply extended it to be the same length as my jackets. After making the first extender for the fleece, I altered the pattern to have a rounded hem as I found the elastic pulled the fabric up on my belly a bit.
I also decided to sew in simple elastic instead of using an elastic cord with pulls, mostly because I didn’t want to deal with that fussiness, but also because I knew I would not be reversing the insert for baby wearing.
For my snow pants, I found velcro suspenders at a local outdoors shop for about $20 to hold them up when I wear them unzipped. Because these snow pants don’t have any kind of belt loop, I sewed little Gore Tex tabs into the inside of the waist band.
I’ve worn the snow suit many times (back country snowshoeing and snow machining to boot!) and I can definitely say that it gets the job done!