Good morning! For over two years, I’ve been sewing K an outfit nearly every week. An important lesson from last year was that I failed to make her enough clothes that are appropriate for cooler weather. All my lovely linen creations and flimsy dresses sat unloved as temperatures dipped and poor K suffered through the rainy season (which, as you know in the Pacific Northwest, lasts forever) with nary a waterproof jacket.
I decided to rectify the situation this year and got some water-resistant nylon fabric for that specific purpose. Turning to my go-to book, I selected the “No Collar Coat” and added a hood from this coat’s pattern.
It became clear why I’ve avoided making a raincoat: the fabric is a nightmare. You can’t really iron it all that well, you can’t pin it, and when you make a mistake, the stitches permanently puncture the material, as you can see in the hood here:
Not only that, I slipped while cutting open a button hole, and momentarily thought I’d sliced through the whole coat — I nearly sobbed because this darn thing took so much work. Luckily, the damage was minimal and I was able to suture it decently enough and the button hides most of the ugliness.
I learned a few things from this coat:
– For nylon or nylon-esque material, use a microtex needle. Otherwise, the underside pokes through, which looks terrible when it’s white like mine. I switched needles after attaching the first pocket, and the difference was remarkable.
– Ironing is possible with a press cloth, but keep the iron at a pretty low setting if you don’t want the material to melt (I used my poly blend setting). Finger pressing is also helpful.
– For hand-sewn buttons, an extra sharp needle is highly recommended. It felt like I was trying to sew through cardboard with my less-than-sharp needle.
This was a challenging project, but if you don’t look too closely, it’s quite professional-looking. In fact, M was so impressed, he asked me to make him a rain jacket too. He never asks me to make him anything and I so wanted to accommodate. I really did. However, I had to put my foot down and say no, because man, this was not a fun project.
I love the way the hood looks with the coat, and I used a french seam to prevent unsightliness when the hood is down. The metal buttons look vintage, and are from my mom, and I can’t get enough of metal buttons. They work perfectly for the shoulder and sleeve tabs, I think, giving it a sort of militaristic feel.
I’m happy to report that the long-sleeved tees and denim loose pants were a breeze. These are also from the same book, and the pants are actually supposed to have suspenders but K ixnayed them, saying they looked weird. Oh, and I added 8cm to the hem so she wouldn’t outgrow them too quickly.
She’s besotted with both tees, though she complained that the pants are too baggy. I keep promising to make her skinny jeans, and am still looking for a good pattern. Not just for K, but for me as well…the search continues.
Smooth sailing, it wasn’t, but I was able to mutter my motto frequently: it’s not a mistake; it’s a design element. At any rate, bring on the rain. We’re ready!