You might have seen it coming….but with the release of the women’s Trailblazer and nestledown add on, I now have a whole family of matching Trailblazer vests!
I’ve made matching items for mommy and me, or the kids before, but never had an opportunity to create something for everyone out of the same pattern, and it’s been a real treat to see the project take shape, one piece at a time.
I hadn’t initially planned on making all five items- but one thing led to another, and how could I resist the opportunity to have matching me-made items feature in our family Christmas photos?
The latest addition- the women’s Trailblazer and Nestledown add on for maternity and baby wearing, has been getting non stop use since it was finished. I love to wear my kids for a long time (the snuggles!) and my sons even have a carrier that they fit into. I’ve been wearing Princess since the day we brought her home from the hospital- for workouts, hikes, the grocery store and simply around the house so I can have a free hand. It works well for both of us, and even at 22 months, she prefers to be worn on be front (three guesses why?!), so the Nestledown add on was perfect for our lifestyle. (There’s also a hack for back carrying if your baby prefers that though).
I used a quilted red flannel fabric from Joanns for the outer part of my vest, and a quilted lining from Knitpop for the lining- so it’s super warm.
Since I had only scraps of the plaid fabric left after creating my vest, I used a black sherpa from Joanns for the babywearing insert, and lined with with a fleece backed wool flannel. Super thick, but amazingly warm!
They key to getting the Nestledown to work with your vest is to use EXACTLY the same zipper- I had to go back to the store twice to return mine because they were a slightly different brand of fashion zipper, so be careful and test it out before you buy!
I also have an add on for the Mens Trailblazer cut out- but my zipper had to be special ordered to match so it hasn’t been completed yet. I do love to see hubby baby-wearing though, so that’s next on my list! I added a hood for those times when baby wants to nurse, using size 24 snaps, which were easy to install (check out the video I made here). I chose the option without a wind flap, since like most toddlers, she prefers to ride “arms out” most of the time- but you could choose the higher flap option for a younger baby or colder weather.
What sets this pattern apart are the details- I spent extra time making sure I matched up the plaids across the princess seams of my vest, and added piping in the back to accentuate the curves.
I love the back yoke and cozy collar, and the pockets are constructed in a special way that makes them look much smoother than your average in-seam pocket. If you’re lining with flannel or something that frays, I would highly recommend finishing your edges on the inside- and if your baby tends to chew on things, you might want to get a plastic zipper instead of a metal one (see my tutorial on shortening nylon coil zippers here)
The fit of my vest is perfect- and the Nestledown add-on will continue to fit Princess for another couple years. If your “baby” is older, you can always slash and spread your pattern for extra width- making this super versatile and a good long term investment for extended babywearing. In fact, all future vests and jackets of any pattern will be constructed with this same type of zipper- so I can zip the Nestledown into them as well!
I’m feeling super accomplished right now- family photos done, 4 vests plus a babywearing insert sewn, Christmas cards on the way. No guarantee they’ll actually get mailed out though- that’s where it always falls apart for me. Last year I actually got them addressed- but forgot to mail them!
Funny story: We went into the forest to take these photos at 9:30AM. Right after we got all set up, an ENTIRE SCHOOL on a field trip cam tromping through our spot- so we had to quickly re group and find a new location! It’s easy to feel like this spot is “ours” because it’s so rare to see groups there- but it was hard to be mad when we saw the joy on the children’s faces!
If you want to make some Trailblazers of your own, Twig and Tale is having a very rare sitewide sale for Black Friday- use code “BLACKROBIN” for 20% off your order. The new vests are included too!
Here are some links (affiliate) for your convenience.:
I also plan on picking up some of the other twig and Tale patterns on my wishlist- I’m really impressed with how well these are drafted and how easily they come together!
Happy Thanksgiving from my Trailblazer family to yours!
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