DIY takes time, energy, and effort, but that’s what makes homemade coats so special. Anyone can go online and purchase something, and while you can easily find cute toddler winter coats your little ones will love, DIY gifts seem to mean a little bit more.
With that in mind, we are going to walk you through the steps on how to make a toddler puffer jacket at home. And what’s really cool about this tutorial is that it’s great for every skill set, from hardcore DIYers to beginners.
What You Will Need
- Sewing machine
- Pen and rule
- Sewing pins
- A toddler sweater or hooded jacket for the pattern
Materials for the puffer jacket:
- 1 1/2 yards of ripstop nylon (waterproof)
- 1 1/2 yards of fleece for lining
- 1 small pack of quilt batting
- Separating zipper (14-inch)
- Elastic band
Step 1: Create your Jacket Pattern
Use any toddler sweater or jacket you have to make a pattern for the DIY puffer jacket. You can choose any size you think will fit your toddler best. Start by folding the garments to the back then trace around the body. Repeat this step with the front and sleeves. For the hood, remember to fold it a haft before tracing around it.
Step 2: Cut into Different Pieces
Add seam allowance to all the pieces you just made. Follow these guides for each one:
- Front. Add a 1/2 inch seam allowance all the way around, including the front opening. Then, cut into 2 separate pieces like the image above.
- Back. The back pattern will be cut into one on the fold.
- Sleeves: Add a 1/2 inch seam allowance all around and cut twice on the fold.
- Hood. The hood will be cut into 2 pieces with the 1/2 inch seam allowance added to the front opening.
When it’s done, you will have 1 back piece, 2 front pieces (left and right), 2 sleeves, and 2 hood pieces. Do the same with your fleece lining and the batting (x4 layers).
Step 3: Create the “Puffer” Parts
Start with the back and 4 batting layers. After lining them together, measure and mark at a 3-inch point down the center of the jacket. Then, draw a horizontal line straight across each point you just made. Next, sew across each line to attach the batting and the fabric. Do the same with the front and add pockets if needed.
The batting for the hood is a bit different. With this part, you will need to measure and trace 3 1/2 inches down along the curve. Then, sew along those points. Next, attach the hood pieces by aligning them front-facing in and sew along.
Note: Remember to always sew your pieces front-facing in.
Step 4: Sew the Sleeves
Line the seam of the sleeve and the underarm seam of the jacket together and pin them right sides in. Next, pin the top half of the sleeve and the shoulder seam of the jacket. After that, continue to pin around the armhole. Sew around the pinned parts and repeat the same steps with other lining pieces.
Step 5: Add the Zipper
Separate the zipper. Then, take the left side and flip it over (right side facing down). Line the straight edge of the zipper on top of the left side opening then pin it in place. Make sure you leave 1/2 inch from the bottom and start sewing at 1/2 inch below the neckline. Do the same with the other side. When finished, zip it up to double-check.
Step 6: Install and Attach the Lining
Place the lining inside your jacket front facing up and gently pull the lining sleeves through the jacket sleeves. Take the edge of the lining at the opening and fold it 1/2 inch in. Place it right underneath the zipper teeth and pin that in place. Repeat that with the other side.
Continue to fold and pin both sides in place along the opening of the jacket. Then, sew a top stitch along the edge of the fabric with a straight stitch (stopping a 1/2 inch underneath the neckline).
Step 7: Attach the Hood
Turn it right side out. Next, put the lining on top and pin together in place (right sides facing in). Sew across and don’t forget to add a top stitch across the front opening of the hood. This will make sure the lining is tucked completely underneath.
Now, take the jacket and pin it at the center point of the back neckline. Flip it over and pin it with the bottom seam of the hood. After that, take the lining and the jacket and turn them inside out with the right side of the lining facing the other side of the hood.
Pin the lining at the center point of the neckline. Then, also pin it with the seam of the hood and jacket. When the 3 layers are pinned together at the center point, continue to pin then sew them together on both sides.
Step 8: Make the Cuffs
Make sleeve cuffs to complete your jacket sleeves. Fold the cuff pieces over and sew the sides down. Before attaching the cuffs, pull the batting out from the sleeve and cut off 1/2 inch straight across. Then, line the seam of the lining and the jacket together. Pull the sleeve through the cuff (lining raw edges at the opening). Pin together and sew around leaving about a 1-inch opening.
When it’s done, cut a piece of elastic (8-inches) and slip it in the cuff. Overlap the ends (1/2 inch) over each other and sew together with a zig-zag stitch. Then, sew the sleeve opening (1-inch).
Step 9: Finishing touches
Close the bottom of the jacket by folding and then pin 1/2 inch at the seam of the jacket and 1/2 inch at the seam of the lining. Finally, continue to pin and sew along the bottom opening to complete your brand new DIY puffer jacket.