One of my favorite things to make for my children are animal inspired clothing and especially coats. (I’ve made a puppy coat and a wolf coat which both of my girls fit into this year!) I think they are just so fun and perfect for imagination and childhood. My kids love dressing up so it’s fun to make them something they can enjoy everyday. I was planning on making this outfit, but had so much going on I didn’t know if I would get to it. I needed a break from everything else I was sewing and working on, so I just pushed everything aside to make this coat.
I was deciding what to do with this green and black buffalo plaid for Project Run and Play. I knew I wanted to make a coat because the fabric is coat weight and since boy fabric is hard to come by I knew it had to be for my son. I almost made a simple wool coat to show off the plaid, but I didn’t want to have to buy a pattern. So I started looking through my PDF patterns and then remembered that I had this Simplicity raccoon/fox coat pattern* in my paper pattern stash. I’ve used it once before and although there’s lots of pieces and lots of steps, it’s not too hard to put together. I know that the Little Goodall animal coats were one of the first pins I ever pinned on pinterest years ago, so it’s really fun to be able to recreate my own animal coat!
I made a straight size 6. My son is thinner than most patterns are drafted for, so I often lengthen a smaller size to fit him. But I wanted him to be able to wear layers underneath so he needed the extra width.
The only changes I made to the pattern were to construct the sleeve lining differently. It’s hard to explain, but I made it easier on myself and had the exposed seam at the shoulder instead of halfway down the arm. I also didn’t use felt like the pattern recommends, I used coat weight plaid, flannel, and faux leather. I also made the ears much smaller and pointed them in a different direction to look like lizard horns or small ears instead of big raccoon ears. I also flipped the piece that’s behind the eye upside down and switched sides so it wouldn’t look like the raccoon mask.
I used a faux snakeskin leather fabric* (similar) for all the lizard parts: the front stomach, the front pockets, the face pieces, and the claws. I used green and black buffalo plaid* (similar) for all the outer coat pieces. I had such a small amount that I couldn’t really plaid match. Luckily, the front and back match, and the sleeves ended up matching too! It was a miracle. I used black felt for the pupils and green leather for the eyes. I also lined the coat with green plaid flannel fabric* (similar) that I got from the remnant bin at Joanns. They all work perfectly together. I also underlined the coat body and sleeves with some remnant fleece I had to make the coat extra warm.
I used giant black buttons I had it my stash which is easier than the toggles I did in the past. The buttons don’t really make sense with the rest of the coat, but I loved how easy they were to add. My son is happy with the coat and has worn it a lot since finishing it which makes me happy. I love wrapping my family in loving, handmade items.