One of the very few gaps in my wardrobe is a lined raincoat. I have many North Face style waterproof jackets, but they aren’t very elegant and I wanted something a bit nicer for travelling. I also prefer to wear things I’ve made for myself.
I have this Vogue pattern from the 1990s in my stash and thought it might just do the job.
However, have a close look at the model’s pose – she’s clearly pulling the back tight to give the coat a more fitted look. I took the pattern off to my pattern making class and Sarah and I checked out the pattern pieces. Turns out that there is more than 30cms of ease in the upper body – 30cms! This would absolutely swim on me! It also became apparent that the sleeves are large batwing numbers and I’m not sure that that is what I had in mind. (And, as an aside, how is that jump suit with the stirrups – remember them??)
Again, the line drawing doesn’t really make the shape of the sleeves obvious. So, I was faced with a choice – to grade this pattern, making some changes as I went along, or to start again and design the raincoat of my dreams. A no-brainer really :)!
A whistlestop tour of Pinterest and I had a collection of ideas which manifested themselves into this design
We started with Winnie (Winifred Aldrich, Metric Pattern Cutting for Women’s Wear), and chose the basic shirt block.
and then chose the hood I wanted, which was a combination of these two below.
We then started the drafting process, which I always think is totally fascinating. We start with sheets of A0 paper and draw the pattern on, following Winnie’s step-by-step instructions
Lots of rulers are necessary for this step!
Then the pattern is traced onto tracing vilene and seam allowances added
It’s nice to be able to put the pattern together to get an idea of construction.
One of the things I love about my pattern making class is the fact that we practice anything that might be tricky. Here is my pocket example, all beautifully made so I can follow the steps should I need to.
This is the fabric that I’m using. The dark fabric is the lining, which I bought at an op-shop. Three metres of magnificent wool for $3, bargain! The red is ripstop nylon. This wasn’t my preferred fabric but was all I could find. If the coat turns out the way I expect, I am going to make one from oilskin.
So, I have a pattern, I have fabric, now all I have to do is magic it all together!!