Handmade 1980s Ski Suit!

I was looking for my next big project and planning my next trip and thought - if I can make a bathing suit, jeans, and a wedding dress, why can’t I make my own snow clothes? This one took a lot of research and was a bit intimidating to start, but ultimately is not much more complicated than making a lined jumpsuit.

  • Ski Suit: DaisyKingdom mash up of Ladies’ Alpine Suit 75, Ladies’ Zippered Overpant 72, and Men’s Exhibition Suit 98
  • Mittens: Jalie Mimi Mittens
  • Fanny Pack: Proper Fit Clothing DIY Fanny Pack
  • Balaclava: Katrin Schubert Matching Balaclava
Fabric: 2-ply waterproof breathable fabric from Peak Fabrics with a Radiantex insulation and ripstop lining
Cost: ~300 for jump suit, mittens, fanny pack, and balaclava

My tips for making a snow/ski suit: :
  • Get the right fabric: I bought 2-ply waterproof breathable fabric from #peakfabrics with a radiantex insulation - store owner Agnes was a big help! Also check out Discovery Fabrics and Seattle Fabrics
  • Don’t forget notions: I used waterproof seam sealing tape, 10 zippers, a buckle, yarn… Matching notions from Harts Fabric and yarn from Yarn Shop Santa Cruz.
  • It’s all in the details: Things like zippers at the leg opening, pit zips, pockets, ski pass holder, and a fanny pack for my water bottle made this really functional
  • Test the fit: I made two muslins and sewed my lining first to triple check the fit and movement
  • It’s not cheap: All told, I spent just about $300 for a suit, mittens, balaclava, and fanny pack. But that’s less than a @tipsyelves suit + hours of entertainment (aka sewing time) for me
  • Have fun! 

Pattern notes:
  • Ski Suit: As I drafted/hacked this myself from a combination of patterns and made two muslins, the fit was pretty great. I worried about mobility on the slopes, but really had no issues. I was careful to make it a little looser to account for the insulation, but it really didn't need to be too bulky. My one wish is that I had made the sleeves a bit longer to account for mending the elbow. But it's really not any different than drafting a jumpsuit. 
  • Mittens: Jalie always has well-made patterns with excellent instructions. This one even came with a video! I wish I had given a bit more reinforcement at the thumb joint, but otherwise these came together really nicely. 
  • Fanny pack: Unlike Jalie, with this pattern I took a chance on a new-to-me designer and was a bit disappointed. This pattern came ONLY with video instructions, which I found really obnoxious. I also did not like the technique for the lining. While it is supposedly fully lined, in reality it was actually interlined, meaning in most places the lining was sewn together with the outer fabric and the raw edges were finished with bias tape. I made a few modifications (once I understand the pattern by watching the video 100x) and was able to easily fully line without needing bias finishes. The pattern was only $2.99, so I guess I got what I paid for. On the plus side, it was a nice big size for my water bottle. 
  • Balaclava: It was fun to add in a knitted piece to this outfit. I didn't realize the pattern was brioche when I originally bought it, which is a new technique for me despite knitting for many, many years. And you know what? Now I'm hooked on it! I am currently starting my third brioche project since finishing it. Overall the pattern was solid, though I did make a mistake and used a wool blend that isn't as water-resistant as a 100% wool yarn. 
Final notes:
The skiing conditions were perfect. It was relatively warm (40F), and I was able to unzip the pit zips and the front zip and feel great. We took it easy the first two days and I really loved getting back on the slopes after not doing much skiing. Unfortunately, at the end of the third day I fell on some baby moguls in the Ditch of Doom and recently learned that I completely tore my ACL. I guess I sew better than I ski! Luckily I am healing up nicely without surgery and hope to wear this out again next season. 

1 comment:

  1. I love this ski suit so much! it looks so professional and the colors are fun. Sorry to hear about the injury and glad it's healing!


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