I’m a huge fan of babywearing in general, but in the winter, it’s going to be the main way we get around. We don’t have a car and so right now, we bus and walk every where. If you know anything about Ottawa winters, you know that they can be brutally cold for extended periods and can yield massive dumps of snow all at once. This poses particular problems for stroller-pushing families – no amount of bundling is going to be enough for an infant when we need to get across town in -35C for a mandatory doctor’s appointment, nor will I be able to push a stroller (even our huge-wheeled Bob) down un-ploughed sidewalks after we’ve gotten 40 cm of snow over night. A baby-wearing jacket insert is a necessity. I also realized that I may be pregnant again in the winter and the thought of wearing the awful, terrible, stupid maternity coat I wore last time makes me shudder, so I made the insert reversible so I can accommodate my baby bump warmly and in style next time.
This jacket was both a long time coming and an impulse make. I have been watching just about everyone make a Kelly Anorak by Closet Case Patterns. I initially thought that I didn’t have time to sew one, and, when I first looked at the pattern, thought it was exclusively available as an unlined jacket (which is essentially useless in Ottawa). On a recent fabric shopping trip to Montreal, I told myself I would “keep an eye out” for fabrics and hardware that might be suitable for an eventual Kelly. Obviously, I found awesome fabric and obviously I had to power-sew it before I would need it. It also became evident that I would need something cozy and dry to tuck the baby into on the rainy, cold days – it’s hard to push a stroller and hold an umbrella.
This past winter, I made a maternity insert for my favourite fleece so I could continue to be active outdoors during my pregnancy. Then, I made my husband two babywearing hoodies (a lighter version and a heavier fleece) using a unisex pattern which I planned to make up for myself.