Hot! A flurry of winter wear

The Facts:

  • Fabric:  Various polyester fleeces and poly-cotton knits kicking around the house
  • Pattern:  Free “scoodie” pdf here; some ideas from Pinterest; some freehand tubes
  • Notions:  None
  • Year:  Now
  • Time to complete:  About 3 hours for the scoodie; less than 20 minutes for each of the other pieces
  • First worn:  November 30th
  • Wear again:  Bien sûr.  It’s winter in Montréal.
  • Total cost:  $0

I had some beautiful Italian wool cut out and ready to sew into a winter dress.  Then the weather turned, and I realized that I waste too much time in the mornings trying to find a dry hat and cache-cou (neck warmer ) for my kids.  I also have two wool coats that are beautiful and warm, but don’t have hoods.  Those of you that live in the north of the northern hemisphere know that sometimes, even a hat and scarf just don’t cut it; The cold wind can cut right through the gaps and leave you frozen.  I just can’t hack the cold anymore, so I need to let fashion fall to the wayside and embrace the “scoodie”.

Yeah, we Canadians really know how to heat things up when the temperature falls.  Hey, sexy lady!


One scoodie, three cache-cous, two hats and one cat butt.

The scoodie is just a hood with a scarf attached, so it was super simple to sew.  The grey fleece comes from a promotional lap blanket I got from one of my alma mater (alma maters?  alma matae?) when I made a donation or something.  The purple lining is from my “Four strikes and you’re out” top made back in February but never worn.  I didn’t have enough of grey fleece to line the scarf section, but fortunately my two winter coats are grey and purple, so I can wear it with both of them.

The green swirly fleece is from a baby blanket I found crammed in the back of my daughter’s closet.  You end up with so many of those little blankets that aren’t much use after the babies grow up and choose their  favourite one, so this is a good way to recycle them.

The fleece gave my sewing machine a bit of grief this week, but we managed.  The feed dogs didn’t really move the fleece very well, so I had to pull the fabric through while sewing with a 3-step zigzag stitch.  It would have been better and faster to use my serger, but it needs an overhaul, and I’m fairly happy with the results anyway.  There is no doubt that these hats, cache-cous and the scoodie will be much used in the months to come.  Here’s a little taste of what we deal with every winter:



Vicki used to sew when she was young and free, but then raising young'uns and bringing home (some of) the bacon took up all her time. Now her closet is full of skinny clothes, maternity clothes and post-partum clothes, none of which fit properly. Maybe that's why she started sewing again in 2010.


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  1. Oh, my, goodness! That last picture! I’ve never experienced snow like that! We get excited at the slightest flurry! No wonder you need the hoods and neck wraps! I love the juxtaposition of your and Loran’s sewing being posted first – Loran’s so crazy and fantastical, and yours so eminently practical. There’s a place for both!

    Keep warm this winter!

    • That photo is from a few winters ago – so far this year, we’ve only had the few millimetres that you see behind me in the first photo. But I thought I would throw that in there for effect! The ironic thing is that we tend to consider the days that snow the warm ones, because once the temperature goes below about -10C, it’s actually too cold to snow very much. Only when it’s “warm” (between -10 to 0C) do we get nice big fat snowflakes. And then we get up to +40c in the summers. I think Montreal is one of the cities with the greatest temperature differentials in the world, because we go from -40 to +40C (somebody correct me if I’m wrong).

  2. Oh yes, as a Mid Westerner I can totally relate to the need for a scoodie! I have a few of those fleece blankets laying around that could get refabbed. Great ideas!!!

    • The green fleece blanket was only about 30cm x 60cm, and I got two hats and one neck warmer from it, so it’s pretty economical recycling. The scoodie took the whole 100cm x 75cm of the grey blanket, and I actually made the scarf section only 1/2 the length of the pattern, but it’s still warm enough I figure!

  3. So cozy and snuggly-looking! That last photo is gorgeous. (And cold, brrr!)

    • Thanks – we’ve been wearing them over the weekend, but the weather has turned again and it is +9C with rain. Ah, the snow will come soon enough.

  4. Oh my goodness that snow! That is crazy – I don’t know how people can function – I guess you adjust. I would want to be home the whole time with a Milo in front of the fire! Great that you are equipped for that weather now. I have made lots of neckwarmers for my whole family, and cute little hats (leopard print for me) for a couple of ski trips that we have done – so cheap and easy to make (but expensive to buy once you on the slopes!

    • People do tend to coccoon in the winter, but by about Februray, we’ve had enough. There are numerous cheap travel businesses that specialize in package holidays to Cuba / Mexico / Florida / Dominican Republic for winter-weary Canadians: for between $500-$2000, you can get an all inclusive week at a beach resort. Anyone who can afford it flies down for a beach break. And so many retired people spend the winters in the southern US that there are whole housing developments where the dominant language is French – we call them snowbirds because as soon as it gets cold, they fly south! ;)

  5. Such a great idea! I can make a version of this for my morning bike rides to BART, thank you for the inspiration : ) That snow shot is quite something, it would have been nice to take pics of my outift in that…for about 5 minutes, and then I’d want to be back in the house. LOVE the snowbirds! If I lived up there I’d probably be one as well : )

    • Ah, the first snowfall is always so much fun! Everyone goes out and plays in the snow and tries to gather enough together to make a snowman and has a snowball fight. By the time February rolls around and you’ve had 2m of it, you’re done. You’ve thrown out your back at least once from shovelling tonnes of it; you’re sick of having super dry skin from the lack of humidity; you’re sick of tracking snow into the house and having to mop it up and dry your outerwear every night and you get on a plane for somewhere warm! Myself, I’m preemptively planning another research trip to Africa for the last week of February and the first week of March.

  6. Very practical pieces for you and your kids. I love the fact that you were able to upcyle them all from previous items. Your kids look very cute and cozy in their cache-cous and I really like the idea of a scoodie. I’ve never heard those terms used for the things that you made. Must be Canadian lingo, eh?

    • I’d never heard the term scoodie until I downloaded that pattern – maybe the pattern maker made up the word too? Cache-cou is a Québecois word, which literally translated is “neck hider”. We also use “tuque” for a wooly hat, “des mitens” for mittens, “gougouns” for flip-flops / thongs / sandals….uh….I’ll try to think of some more. :)

  7. I’ve bookmarked this idea Vicki I think the scoodie is a clever and very practical idea. I can’t see why this can’t be fashion forward, wax prints for lining is what I’m thinking.

    Love that last picture, I know I’m probably not supposed to because shovelling snow wouldn’t be fun, I just don’t see snow like that here, that often.

    • Just to warn you if you do make that scoodie pattern – it is very large. It is cut so that you can wear a hat underneath. I have a big head (size large men’s hats!), and you can see how roomy it is on me. I would have made it more funky, but as I said, the only fleece I had was grey and utility wins out over fashion when it’s -20C!

  8. Wax print lining would look cool but not be warm enough. What if you quilted the lining or even the whole thing with batting? Uh oh, looks like I’m filing away a future project too.