The Making of a Raincoat – Part 1

I’m nervous.  I’m nervous because I have never made a raincoat before.  I’m nervous because I’ve never used a fabric quite like this before. And while I’ve made some t-shirts, skirts, vests, things like that, I don’t consider myself much of a garment sewer.

But there’s a time for everything I guess. And I plan to learn.

This particular pattern is in the current issue of “Stitch” magazine. The fun part about getting a pattern online is that you get to print it out one page at a time and piece it together. This pattern was 66 pages…nice round number. But a heck of a lot of sheets to get in perfect registration and piece together!


It’s impossible to work from a pattern that’s taped so the next step is to trace the master and create solid pattern pieces — both lining and main fabric.




Next comes the task of sewing out a “muslin” or a test pattern.  My muslin is of the outer fabric only.  I just want to make sure it will fit properly.

I have a “body double” which I used to work on the assembly.  So far so good.








Once I got the main pieces sewn together, it was obvious that it was too long.  The rest of it seems to fit OK for a jacket. I wanted it to be roomy.



Muslin is complete, but I’ll have to lop off about 3 inches from the hem–I am slightly vertically challenged.  Stay tuned. Ready to start with real fabric!  It’s supposed to rain for the next two days.

Maybe that’s a sign.


Finally.  It’s done.








I wish I were able to follow a pattern without making modifications and adjustments and tweaking in different ways.  It might all be easier.  Then again, it might not be so much fun.  On this pattern, I doubled the amount of ruffles (because once I started with the ruffler, basically, I couldn’t stop).  The bag has nine yards of pieced and bias-cut ruffles ON EACH SIDE.

Of course, it made the pattern bulkier, but very touchable. Really. Whenever I walk past the bag, I just want to run my hands over all those delicious ruffles.  And sometimes I want to hug it.  (Possibly because it’s stuffed with a pillow).  I worried it would be too heavy, but turns out it’s just fine.

If you want to see it in person, stop by Sew Generously in St. Charles – any time after Tuesday Oct 9.

You may want to hug it too.  Or make one of your own.  The bag is modified from a pattern created by Kay Whitt in her book Sew Serendipity Bags.

I see a pillow in my future.