Red Velvet Secret Squirel

Yes!  I can finally post my secret squirrel project!

The Secret Squirrel series is a year-long sewing journey created by An from Straight-grain and Suz from sewpony. Read all about it here.  December accorns were: St. Basil Cathedral, snowflakes, buttons, Harry Connick Jr. and "a long time ago." I had so much fun with these acorns :) 

I'm going to go a bit out of order here, so bear with me...

For "a long time ago" I decided to make a vintage inspired garment and finally settled on a swing coat for the little daughter.  I had first thought to make it out of a lovely grey wool or perhaps a cream, but when I went shopping for the fabric, I walked past the velvet and was hooked, so I bought a red velvet for the outter fabric and a snowflake pattern on black cotton for the lining.  So there's two acorns: "a long time ago" and "snowflakes."  I also used a small black pom pom trim for the collar and a single large faux button for the closure.  It's actually a snap.  Getting the little one into and out of anything is a feat in itself, so I went for the easy closure.

small black pom pom trim on "peter pan" collar
faux button - it's actually a snap closure
The swing coat was so cute, I decided to use the other acorns in an accessory - a muff! So I used the left over velvet scraps and made a muff with a black fuzzy center and feathers to trim the edges.  On the face of the muff I used the first two measures in one of Harry Connick Jr.'s most famous songs, "With a wink and a smile" from the movie "Sleepless in Seattle." I made this with marker and cotton fabric.  I added black lace to make a boarder.  The buttons on the other side of the muff are the "blueprints" to the St. Basil Cathedral in different colour buttons - which amazingly make a snowflake!  Reading up on the Cathedral was really interesting.  The Cathedral is built along the NSEW compass points and on the NW, NE, SW and SE directionals are smaller cathedrals, and at the center is the largest cathedral.  The outer buildings are octagonal while the smaller interiors are cuboid. It's all quite fascinating.  I initially tried to find octagon and square buttons but couldn't so I just used larger buttons for the outer and small buttons to mark the interior cathedrals.  For the central cathedral I used a large gold button - I thought I was pretty and made a nice center to the Cathedral/Snowflake.
first two bars in "A wink and a smile"

St. Basil Cathedral "blueprint" in colourful buttons

"A wink and a smile" by Harry Connick Jr.

The coat falls just below her knees

Plackets on the back

I had a ton of fun with this project.  I seriously can't wait to start the next secret squirrel.   Here are the new acorns given by Asmita at "Elephant in the Study."

colour pencilslong journeysearch-1search-2images-1
colour pencils. a long journey. pomogranates. stripes.  paisley.

Asmita created such a lovely ensemble for the December Secret Squirrel, check it out here.


  1. This is gorgeous! I love the red coat! I want one, for me and my little girl. And all those details are so clever. I love that you've actually studied the cathedral architecture and that it makes a snowflake.
    You must post these photos on the Secret Squirrel flickr group! And perhaps make them larger so we can see all those fantastic details better! So much work!

    1. Thanks so much :) I had so much fun with this one. The cathedral was such an interesting read. I hadn't even known about it before the project and the snowflake that developed on the muff was such a neat surprise! I will work on posting better photos on the flickr group - thanks again :)

  2. Wow - very impressed Meloney! You have done a fantastic and very creative job with all 5 acorns. Thanks for linking up - I'm still working on this months Secret Squirrel outfit, hope to have it done this week :)

    1. Thanks so much! I stayed up way too late last night finishing up my ideas on the acorns this month - all five and I am so excited! Today I'm off in search of fabric. I look forward to seeing your creation soon :)

  3. Melaney, what a wonderful outfit! I want it in my size (I may have not mentioned it, but red is my fave colour). Love all the small details on the outfit. Just fabulous :)

    I have not started my new SS outfit yet - still busy having fun with mum. I think mine will be a very late entry this month! Will you sew with SS again?

  4. Thanks so much - I"m really happy with how it turned out and my little one has worn it so much! She calls it her "princess" coat. She even uses the muff, which was a huge surprise to me. I am indeed sewing along again. I am having way too much fun with the SS and even started to sketch out a project to sew with the Take One Dress sew-a-long at As it Seams! I look forward to seeing your January SS project :)


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