This diy lion hoodie and Very Shannon Sally dress are two of the projects I’ve made for my kids of late. The dress was for Easter, though I’m just getting around to writing it up now, and the lion hoodie is the result of a challenge a sewing friend gave me.
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DIY Lion Hoodie
One of the ladies I sew with insisted I turn this rtw jacket into a lion costume for dress up for my kids. Happily I will oblige! #creativesewing #upcycledclothing #refashion #isew #sewingmama
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One of the women that I sew with monthly had this beautiful brown knit jacket. It’s by a better knitwear designer that you’d buy at Nordstrom, so I’m going to venture a guess that she originally spent a fair amount on it. It features this elaborate wool yarn trim on the collar and the cuffs. J is in the process of a home remodel and in need of downsizing her closet. She remembered this jacket and challenged me to make a lion costume out of it for my kids. My boys generally go around the house roaring at people, so it seemed a natural project for me.
Ottobre 6-2009-8 Zipped hoodie
I pulled out an old Ottobre and found a basic hoodie pattern to start my refashion. This is 6-2009-8. It’s a basic zipped, lined hoodie. The biggest size was a 92, and my son needed a 98, so I graded it up. I was able to save the old zipper.
One of the things I really enjoy about refashion projects is that they force you to be creative with your materials. The collar became the tail, and all the outer jacket pieces were easily cut from the original jacket. The zipper facing became a neck seam binding, and I used scraps from the sleeve to make the fringe on the tail. To make the jacket a little more wearable and a little less costumey, I opted to line it with a patterned knit. I found a nice turmeric striped XL rtw tee while thrifting. Just the sleeves were used for the hood because I wanted to have enough leftover to make this tank.
I lucked out in trying to find the right faux fur to line the inside of the jacket. A golden wheat minky blanket found its way to me on the same thrift trip that produced the striped tee. I say minky because I’m not really sure what it is. It’s not precisely faux fur, it’s not really minky, but it is soft and cuddly and very warm. I bagged the jacket, but I left the sleeves unlined.
Knitwear hem and squirrel pockets
The jacket is knitted, so it has a machine finished edge. Because I was dealing with heavier materials, I kept this edge as the bottom of the jacket and hand sewed the lining rather than turn up a hem. I couldn’t resist adding some fun to the welt pockets in the way of squirrels on the inside.
The trim for the mane was sewn onto the original jacket with little hand overcast stitches, so it was really easy to deconstruct. The used all of the trim from the collar on the top of the hood, centering the trim with the CB of the hood. Zigzag stitches hold it down flat. I also made ears for the top of the hoodie from the blanket. The ears are sandwiched between the lion trim and the hood seam. Rather than disassemble the trim for the sleeves, I treated them as cuffs. They’re not as fitted as a normal sleeve would be, but they were much easier to deal with.
Very Shannon Sally Dress
This was the first year that I got to make an Easter dress for my daughter! She has a little friend who’s just a month younger than her whose mom gifted me with Very Shannon’s Sally Dress. She had hoped to make it for her daughter, and it was really sweet of her to think of me. I sewed mine up in some bits of Cotton + Steel fabrics I had from Hawthorne Fabrics. The skirt piece was too big for my narrower fabric, so I added a panel of white/yellow voile on the sides.
This pattern has got some really cute features. There’s big pockets on the sides of the gathered skirt and there’s a sweet square neckline. The smallest size is a 2T, so I graded it down a size. I do have an issue with the neckline. The front is the same as the back, so it doesn’t fit on the shoulders the greatest. Also, the shoulder seam comes to a weird point at the neckline edge. You can see that weird point on some of the modeled photos on the Very Shannon site.
A good pattern for beginners
Weird neckline point aside, this is a good pattern for beginners. There’s clear instructions that are unbelievably detailed. You can’t mess this one up. I know my friend is anxious about having to sew zippers or buttons. She was excited to find a pattern that just fits over baby’s head without fuss. It’ll be a great pattern for her.
Plus, the overall cute factor of this dress makes up for my annoyance over the fit. I had a good time adding some extra embroidery too. I won’t be sewing it again, but my daughter loves it, so it’s a win.
Elizabeth Farr is the writer behind the Elizabeth Made This blog where she shares helpful sewing tips, step by step sewing tutorials and videos to help you explore your creativity through sewing. She has written sewing Eguides and patterns, been a featured teacher at Rebecca Page’s Sewing Summit and Jennifer Maker’s Holiday Maker Fest and her work has appeared in Seamwork and Altered Couture magazines. She also created a line of refashioned garments for SEWN Denver. When her sewing machine isn’t humming, she’s playing and teaching violin, and hanging around a good strategic board game with her husband and 4 kids.