The New Year’s Day Puffer


Good morning! Over the years we’ve perfected the last-minute micro-vacation, and this past weekend we drove out of Seattle to a small mountain town called Cle Elum. I snagged the last room at the Snowcap Lodge (aka Best Western), and though K declared that it was no Comfort Inn, we thoroughly reveled in the rare experience of snow everywhere.


It was beautiful up there – frigid but serene.  But I’m not here to regale you about our budget trip just outside of the city. Do you see it?? A puffer jacket?? I did it, friends.


After browsing through the various options available (thank you for the suggestions!), I ordered the Puperita Tiger Hoodie. I liked the basic shape with a full lining, and the simple zipper insertion seemed entirely manageable. I figured it would be easy enough to make it into a puffer.


I started by cutting out the size 10, and meant to add several inches to the length, but K said she wanted it “short-ish”. So short-ish it was. Then I proceeded by quilting the water-resistant black fabric layered atop generic poly batting. The front pieces have diagonal lines; the sleeve and back piece have horizontal lines. This step was a piece of cake. The velour/minky-esque aqua lining fabric was a shedding monster, though. It was as though Elsa let loose in a Frozen fury in my sewing area, and I spent far too much time cleaning up the aqua fluff.


I attached knit ribbing for the sleeve cuffs as per instructions, but made a bunch of other changes: instead of the cool pockets that came with the pattern, I drafted my own and made them inseam. K sighs with happiness every time she slips her hands in the pockets. “So soft…” she murmurs. I also added faux fur trim to the hood, and thankfully the faux fur didn’t shed nearly as much as the lining fabric. As for the hem, I was supposed to fold the outer fabric over to the lining side, but I skipped that extra effort and simply sewed the hem right sides together (I left an opening of course, flipped it around, then topstitched across the entire hem).


I realized that separating zippers aren’t all that difficult to install — what a revelation! I believe I’ve installed one before, but sewing for me is a constant relearning process. By the way, the shot above was taken in the adjacent town of Roslyn, which we love. How awesome is that mural? I think it’s James Dean, but I could be wrong.


I spent a good chunk of the first day of 2016 finishing up the jacket. The level of excitement that K displayed when I showed it to her the next day was deafening. It was such a relief to finish it just before we left for our trip…I’m a lot of things, but a non-procrastinator is not one of them. And I’d like to highlight those crazy ear muffs. K bought them with her own moolah (well, money from grandparents for Christmas) and she’s insanely smitten with them.


Thank goodness that she finally has a warm jacket again. It was 7 degrees Fahrenheit in Cle Elum/Roslyn, and the puffer kept her toasty. And because it’s water resistant (though not entirely waterproof), it’ll be good for the ensuing months of Seattle rain.

puffer-jacket5 summit1

We had so much fun this weekend, and it was well-worth the 2-hour delay we stoically sat through due to icy conditions on the way back. Snow fights! A cozy family movie night, which involved gathering around M as he held his ipad (there was a regular TV in the hotel room, but there was something extra silly and delightful about watching Kung Fu Panda 2 on a tiny screen). A fun dinner at a diner with pull tabs — have you ever heard of them? M calls pull tabs the most boring gambling game ever. The food was surprisingly good and the pie was excellent.

I’ve been pretty sick these last couple of weeks, and this getaway was exactly what I needed. We’re back in Seattle now, refreshed and ready to get this year started!



21 thoughts on “The New Year’s Day Puffer

  1. Happy new year, Sanae! The pictures are so beautiful. I love this jacket, maybe even more than K. I’ve searched high and low for a decent fully lined jacket last winter but didn’t come across any. This is perfect. Wish you all the creativities in this year.

    1. Happy New Year, Jing! I want a jacket like this for myself too :-). I hope 2016 is starting off wonderfully for you!!

  2. I am so impressed with the puffer jacket! I’ve been intimidated to try making one- you did a great job! And those pictures of your trip- my children would be jealous! We don’t get snow here, nor do we live close to any place we could drive to that does get snow. Happy New Year!

    1. I’m from Los Angeles, so snow is always exciting for me — M hails from the midwest so it’s not as magical for him, but we all had a great time frolicking in the snow :-). Thanks for the kind words about the jacket, Kelly! I had all these mental blocks about making it, but once I started, it was a lot of fun!

  3. What a great start to the year, Sanae! The coat was obviously a huge hit. It’s always a wonderful feeling when the recipient of your handmade squeals! I love that last snowy scenic shot – the colours remind me of your paintings lately.

    1. K’s been wearing the jacket non-stop – it’s the best feeling to see my efforts so well-loved :-)! And you’re so right about that last shot. No wonder I like it so much :-). Thank you, Melissa!

    1. That lining fabric IS unbelievably soft – K kept petting the fabric while I was constructing the jacket, and then asked if I could make a blanket out of the fabric. I don’t have enough of that color, but if I can get over the shedding, I just might make her one…Thanks Hannah!

  4. Puffy coat, fluffy pockets, and a weekend get-away – what a perfect beginning to your 2016, Sanae! Sorry to hear that you’ve not been feeling well; may this weekend respite give you the energy and returned health that you need. And if K’s positive reaction to the coat is an indication, sewing for your tween is not yet a thing of the past! Yay!:)

    1. I’m actually 90% better, but you know how coughs like to linger in me. M actually had a terrible case of the flu/stomach poisoning and the only one who’s been unscathed is K. Whew. I’m shoring up all my tricks to make things for K that she’ll like (that also doesn’t make me want to sigh in distress) – we’ll see how the rest of the year goes. 🙂 Thank you, Lucinda!

  5. This is superb. Love the colour of the lining, the faux fur and the fluffy pockets to keep K’s hands cosy. I have a winter jacket with faux fur lining that bears a disturbing resemblance to one of my cats – I love stroking it on cold winter’s days!

    1. Ha! I suddenly had a vision of a cat on the inside of a jacket :-). Everything came together nicely for this jacket, which is a good sign, I think! Thanks, Marisa 🙂

  6. Hi! Love the stuff you do. Your baby girl is getting big, will turn into a beautifull lady.
    And it’s Marlon Brando back there.

    1. Marlon Brando!! I knew James Dean wasn’t quite right. Thank you for your kind words, Silvia, and I’m looking forward to seeing what I’ll manage to sew up this year :-).

  7. Just catching up, wow I love the coat, it looks so snuggly! My daughter could do with a warmer coat, she would love this, I probably wouldn’t get round to making one til it was too warm to wear it though! Belated happy new year xx

  8. Like the puffer jacket! I may try this too…the mural is Marlon Brando…maybe rebel without a cause?? Don’t think james Dean ever wore a hat like that…I may be wrong, that’s who it looked like to me.

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