paddington bear

when my sister and i were tossing around ideas for maya's halloween costume last year we had a lot of ideas, one of which was paddington bear. so my sister dug out our old stuffed paddington and read her a few books.

then this happened...

and this...

and we knew it was meant to be.

i used the school days coat pattern by oliver + s. since i was making a size 2t and only needed about a yard of the main fabric i was able to get by with just a remnant of imported red italian wool that I picked up from britex for a steal. 

finding the right lining fabric was tough, last fall none of my usual places, local and online, had anything paddington themed i was about to give up and do something london themed (close enough right?) when vic's mom suggested i try ebay (thanks lois!). jackpot. i found the perfect fabric from the nicest seller. (she sells fat quarters and i messaged her about the possibility of doing a continuous piece and she got back to me so quickly and was able to accommodate.)

since maya lives in my hometown of ann arbor, michigan, i knew the coat would need to be warm to get any use. (sidenote: growing up 40 minutes from canada gives you a seriously skewed perspective on weather. never ask me what it's like outside, it could be a monsoon and i would say something like "i mean it's a little rainy, but you have a hooded coat so you'll be fine.")

back on topic: for warmth i interlined the coat with fleece, (two layers in the body and one in the sleeves). i had never interlined something before so i took the craftsy 'underneath it all' class on linings, underlinings, and interlinings. it was helpful but if you're experienced it's not particularly groundbreaking. between the interlining, wool, and lining the entire thing ended up being really thick and i used my walking foot for the first time. 

let's take a minute and admire this perfect lining fabric.

i made two minor alterations to the pattern: first i lined the hood with the wool as opposed to the paddington fabric, which would have gotten cut off since the hood was done in three pieces. second i added a loop to hang the coat by. 

when i make this coat again (and i will make it again!) i'll likely line the pockets in the wool since the lining fabric peaks out the sides.

the tag was the product of a scrap of muslin, some interfacing, a sharpie, and a few beers (hey when inspiration hits, it hits). i expected it would come off after halloween, but she kept it on all winter.

the suitcase was my own 'design', made with brown felt, stiff interfacing, and the same paddington fabric for the lining.

on the outside i added a peruvian flag patch from etsy on one side and a scrap of muslin reading 'wanted on voyage' on the other.  

on the inside took the opportunity to try my hand at a double welt pocket (i used this craftsy tutorial). the pocket wasn't just an opportunity for me to learn a new skill, it can also be used to hold a marmalade sandwich. since we were out of marmalade I slipped in some peruvian currency left over from vic and my 2011 trip. 

the hat was the reversible bucket hat pattern from the little things to sew book by oliver + s. i used some blue fabric leftover from the fan of her peacock costume the year before.

the end result was definitely perfect...

and of course maya was thrilled.

the best part about this costume was that she wore the coat all last winter (and will likely do so again this year).  

including to the paddington movie premier!

so glad you like the coat maya!


aunt maggie