Week 1: Winter Wonderland in San Francisco

Week 1: Winter Wonderland in San Francisco
If you have arrived from Project Run & Play, a warm welcome to you! Today’s post is all about the romance and sparkle that comes with winter. Although it’s been sunny and mild in the San Francisco bay area, there are many ways to celebrate a magical Winter Wonderland! What better way than ice skating outdoors at Union Square?

I started my design process by selecting colours and finding fabric for a collection of layering pieces. I chose soft winter whites with pops of contrast in black and gold to provide visual interest. Here’s a mood board of the fabric and trim samples that I used:
Froo & Boo: Winter Wonderland Mood Board
For my style inspiration, I went with Kate Middleton again. She can pull off the coat dress like no other and I thought it would be the perfect starting piece for a winter wonderland outfit. I took bits and bobs from each of the following dresses to create a version of my own.
Styles of the Kate Middleton Coat Dress
The top of this coat dress is pretty much a mash-up of two of my favourite oliver + s patterns! I started with the Music Class Blouse pattern to get the basic shape and redrafted my pattern pieces to create a simplified, fitted bodice. The 3/4-length sleeves were narrowed and I borrowed the sleeve cuffs from the School Photo Dress pattern. Then I added a couple of faux darts (inverted pintucks) on the front and back, that are centered on inverted box pleats to give it a tailored fit, yet full A-line skirt.
Froo & Boo: Winter Wonderland Coat Dress
Matching mother of pearl buttons give the dress a delicate touch. A narrow black velvet ribbon “belt” hides the seams and draws attention to the waistline. Flannel in-seam pockets were added–leftover black & white polka dots from Froo’s School Photo Dress. I took extra care to finish the seams with bias binding to give the inside a professional look (great tutorial from things for boys).

The fabric is AMAZING. It’s a heavy-weight stretch cotton twill with a soft flannel-like feel on the inside. The coat dress is more champagne than ivory, with flecks of silver to give it a metallic sheen. The fabric really sparkles in the sunlight, giving it a magical feel, which is quite hard to capture in photos.
Froo & Boo: Winter Wonderland Coat Dress
The 3/4-length sleeve ballerina top is based on the Flashback Skinny Tee pattern. I made the pattern in size 5, omitted the neckband and cuffs, choosing to hem with a double-needle instead and lengthened the shirt by several inches. The fabric is a light-weight knit cotton with raised gold polka dots. I purchased it from Girl Charlee, but it looks to be out of stock. I made sure to buy 3 yards when I had my chance–I used it in 3 of the 4 pieces I made! The gold sequin ribbon was hand stitched to the shirt afterwards to create a faux Peter Pan collar. The fit is spot-on and the pattern is so versatile–every version I make is completely different. I LOVE the Flashback Skinny Tee!
Froo & Boo: Winter Wonderland Ballerina Top
To give the dress more volume, I made Froo a tutu. I lined it with the same gold-dot knit fabric, so Froo can also wear it as a stand-alone skirt. Two different types of ivory lace were used to hem the lining and one of the four layers of shimmer tulle. In order to hide all of the seams, the layers are sandwiched between black sequin elastic and plain black elastic on the inside. I was surprised at how easy it was to sew over sequins–although, black is a very forgiving colour and the thread remains undetectable, even with squiggly stitching!
Froo & Boo: Winter Wonderland Tutu
Finally, the outfit is completed with a warm, fuzzy vest. To draft my pattern, I traced Boo’s H&M vest onto Swedish tracing paper, made some modifications and stitched it up to make a muslin. The quilted cotton Sherpa was a bit of a splurge, purchased in Vancouver, at Dressew for $19.99/m. But I just had to buy it and I’m so happy I did! By cutting pattern pieces on the bias to get a diamond-shaped grid and adding gold hardware, it began to resemble an iconic Chanel handbag. The lining is the same cream gold-dot knit. I used fusible fleece (ironed on low heat with a pressing cloth so the dots wouldn’t melt) to back the knit for stability and extra warmth.
Froo & Boo: Winter Wonderland Fuzzy Vest
The shape of the vest itself is rather simple. I chose some design elements to give it a fresh and updated style: a rounded hi-low hem, overlapped front pieces and offset placement of the closures. I attached the collar using the Wiksten Tova method and finished it with hand stitching because the layers were really thick. I found the ornate golden hook closures at Dressew for $0.99 each and I can’t imagine the vest with any other buttons!
Froo & Boo: Winter Wonderland Fuzzy Vest
That’s it! Four coordinating pieces that can be worn layered altogether, or mixed and matched to create multiple looks.
Froo & Boo: Winter Wonderland
Froo was pulling faces while getting dressed. Hence, no face:
Froo & Boo: Winter Wonderland
I took oodles of photos of Froo at Union Square in downtown San Francisco. You’ll notice that the buttons on the coat dress are undone from the waist down. One of the buttons popped off in the car and I didn’t have an emergency sewing kit. Yikes. I still took some photos, despite our minor wardrobe malfunction. The next day, we took the kids to the San Jose Christmas in the Park to take some more photos of the coat dress. Froo & Boo are thoroughly enjoying their winter in the San Francisco bay area!
Froo & Boo: Winter Wonderland
Froo & Boo: Winter Wonderland
Froo & Boo: Winter Wonderland
Froo & Boo: Winter Wonderland
Froo & Boo: Winter Wonderland
Froo & Boo: Winter Wonderland
Froo & Boo: Winter Wonderland
Froo & Boo: Winter Wonderland
Froo & Boo: Winter Wonderland
Froo & Boo: Winter Wonderland
Froo & Boo: Winter Wonderland
Froo & Boo: Winter Wonderland
Froo & Boo: Winter Wonderland
Froo & Boo: Winter Wonderland
Thank you for visiting my blog! I’ve loved every moment of designing and sewing up each piece of my Winter Wonderland collection and it’s an honour to share it with you. I would love for you to vote for me, over at the Project Run & Play website!

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48 responses to “Week 1: Winter Wonderland in San Francisco

  1. Oh goodness Irene.
    This is simply stunning.
    My favorite this week.
    Great work!!

  2. All the little details on this outfit are so great. Especially that gold sequin collar on the shirt. Great job!

  3. Really, this whole outfit – every detail – is amazing! Your commentary for this outfit made me miss living in SF. I remember the rain & fog, wonderful winters in my opinion.
    http://xoxograndma.blogspot.com/

  4. I love every piece! My girls all loved them too and were oohing and ahhing over them!

  5. Creating garment pieces that are so interchangeable makes your outfit so versatile. I am giving you high marks for the finished seams inside your dress. I’ve done that technique myself and I know the effort it takes. The tutu is special too with the combination of knit and tulle. Lastly, thanks for making your post so educational as I like to learn new techniques that are featured on the garment. Outstanding job.
    Deborah
    sewmuchtogive.blogspot.com

  6. What a lovely outfit! All of those pieces are stunning and I love that they can be layered. Well done!

  7. This is divine!!! I love the entire look but my favorite is the quilted sherpa vest. FAB! Great job.

  8. So cute, and way to incorporate wintery fun in our lovely Bay Area!

  9. I love the vest!! The asymmetrical look, collar style, and fabric choice make such a unique look.

  10. This is amazing – I want to make for my teenage daughter.

  11. I’m in love with the coat dress, personally!! The neutral colors are great, and the fact they are interchangeable is such a bonus! Great job, Irene….

  12. She looks like she could be in a Macy’s catalog! OH MY GOODNESS I just really love this whole look. I cannot put into words how much I love it! I love the lace under the tulle skirt and the gold polka dot fabric that ties everything together. The coat-dress on top of the tulle is already adorable but then you add the vest (which is AMAZING! I want one and I’m 22 haha) which makes everything perfection! I voted for you–AHmazing job!!

  13. The most adorable outfit for ice-skating and the best thing is that it’s all sewn by mummy! I can see the subtle shimmer on the coat! Love the sequined collat on the tee and the lacey underlayer of the skirt. And the quilted vest and those gorgeous buttons! I’m sure she’s in love with the outfit! Agreeing with Kailee above, my daughter is 21 and I’m sure she would love this outfit too!

  14. thecrazytailor

    I want this whole outfit! Beautiful, classic, very Chanel.

  15. Each piece is absolutely amazing!!! I love how they mix and match or can stand alone. Great job!!

  16. So gorgeous!! Love all the pieces separate and together – very well planned. And the colors you chose are so simple yet rich and beautiful! Glad you guys are enjoying the Bay Area “winter” 🙂

  17. I love all of the textures, especially the tulle and lace layered with the metallic coatdress! Your finishing on the inside of the coatdress is impeccable! Great work!

  18. So fun! Thanks for sharing your mood board and Kate Middleton style inspiration. The finishing touches on the inside of the dress coat are superb!

  19. I really love the ivory and gold- you totally went beyond with so many great pieces. The mood board was such a great idea! I feel like we were kindred spirits this week with the soft textures. So beautiful!

  20. Wow.
    Everything about this is stunning. Very couture, very Chanel.
    It was saved from being too stiff and formal by the sporty skating shots and the Ugg boots! Although I much preferred the other footwear at the end. More Middleton-esque!

    • Haha! Thanks Shelley! I didn’t even realize my daughter was wearing he uggs (not the real ones, the Costco ones) until we were already in the car! I’m terrible at planning photo shoots. I much prefer the empty wall approach.

  21. Ali

    Wow this is so cute! Delighted to see you are on project run&play, since I started following both sites last year. I really want to make this same outfit for ME to wear now! You are very talented.

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