My Little Red Raincoat
Do you ever find yourself needing a garment, but you can't find one out there that suits your style? This is that garment. I have a few hooded coats but, they're wool or fleece. Not really a raincoat per se. And, I have two obsessions: coats and shoes. I need all the coats and I need all the shoes. Ha!
I think coats and jackets are the best accessories because they add warmth- especially if you're always cold, and fabulous-ness to your outfit. Imagine yourself wearing a t-shirt, jeans, flats, and red lipstick. A normal little everyday outfit, right? But, then add a black velvet coat with a faux fur collar and your outfit gets a major upgrade!
That's what coats and jackets do for me. I guess they're my jewelry. So, when Gertie came out with her Princess Coat pattern, I had to grab it. Then, a month later she rolled out her Patreon expansion pack to make a raincoat. I was sold! I needed a raincoat.
Fast forward 2 years and I still hadn't made my beloved raincoat. First of all, rainwear fabric was something I had zero clues about. And, second, I sew on a budget. I didn't have hundreds of dollars to drop on fabric for a coat I would wear maybe twice a year. Thanks Southern California for never raining. Living in the desert, we don't get a lot of rain but, when it rains, it pours. Hello flash floods. And, hello Little Red Raincoat.
"It never rains in Southern California"
This post isn't a How-to because it's an expansion pattern for Patreon only. Gertie is gracious enough to spoil her Patrons with all her marvelous patterns. If you're interested in making a vintage style raincoat, Grab the pattern here. Then, join her Patreon here. It's definitely worth it. We get a new pattern each month and honestly, it's too many for me to keep up with. But, I pick and choose which patterns are "need to sew now" and which ones are in the "someday" category.
Anywho, I did have a few little areas I ran into trouble with so, I'll share my input on those. But, other than that, enjoy all the photos of my Little Red Raincoat. Yes, I named it. :D
Why did I start sewing the raincoat after 2 years you ask? Well, remember this post on January Jeans? My sewing friend on Instagram was still talking with her jeans sewing group. They decided to do a #JacketJanuary. I was invited and thank goodness for those ladies! They welcomed me and I made new sewing friends. Yay!!
One gal finished her jacket on time and a few were waiting for the last touches by the end of January. We met every Monday for a fun Zoom call. the group kept me going and I was finally able to get my coat finished. It wasn't finished on time because I was undecided on whether to use buttons or snaps. In the end, I decided on snaps. Buttonholes and water don't go together so nicely
Snaps are usually easy but not this time. I put the first one in upside down. Cried (not really but, I wanted to). Then, put another one in wrong. Ha! I don't like snaps (anymore) or buttons. Face-Palm!
Let's Talk Fabrics
One of the ladies in the sewing group told me about trench coat fabric. We had a quick chat about that and I had an a-ha moment. It was mind blowing, believe me. I ended up buying trench coat fabric and it was wallet friendly too. I found some beautiful red polyester twill from Mood Fabrics. They shipped quickly too. According to my measurements, I needed 8 yards. Well, technically I needed 7.5 but, when you order online, you can only order in whole amounts. Fun story, I ended up with almost 4 yards leftover. So, no clue what to do with all that leftover rain resistant fabric. Ugh! I think camping table clothes and bench covers?
The fabric itself is nice. It was a dream to sew with but, it wrinkles very easily. When I'm running through a hurricane looking fabulous, I probably won't mind my wrinkled mess of a raincoat, though.
The lining is poly china silk I found online from Wholesale Fabric Direct. It's a blush pink color and I ordered 8 yards of that as well because... well measuring. I have tons leftover, over 4 yards. The leftover lining fabric didn't bother me because I can use it to line wool pants or anything else in the future. Plus, it only cost $2 a yard. LOL! No tears were shed over that. The rainwear fabric was a different story though. ;)
Notions & Potions
No potions except coffee. Lots of coffee.
The thread and needles I used were simple and nothing fancy.
Issues I Ran Into
Okay, when it's time to hemm, be sure to let your outer and inner hang for 24 hours before you hem them. Fabric cut on the bias is no joke. My outer didn't stretch out but, the lining did need a little trimming and evening up.
After hemming 4,000 yards of fabric and removing approximately 300 wonder clips, your hem will be done. Gertie preferred a narrow hem for the raincoat. The way she does it is nice too. Sew along the raw edge with 1/4" seam allowance, flip it up and under, sew again. Super easy. It is also nice for a circle skirt hem, you don't have to worry about any puckers. ;) I hemmed the outer and lining before I put them together. I liked hemming the outer and lining separately. Easy and no stress.
I went back and shortened the lining hem length another 1/2" inch. I didn't want to get caught with my lining hem showing. Could yo imagine!? Gasp! If you read this before you make your coat, hem the lining 1" shorter to begin with.
The sleeve hems were easy to do too. I didn't attach them how Gertie recommends. Hand sewing, no thanks and on rainwear fabric especially. I prefer the bagged out sleeve hem method. You take the sleeves and pull them inside out, fold over the lining cuff 1/2" or so, match seams up and then sew. I didn't take photos but, here's a website that shows you how. It is my favorite way to sew sleeve cuffs and if you look at your RTW coats and jackets, they probably did it this way.
You can see ripples in the bodice in the photo below. The water resistant fabric didn't take well to interfacing. I decided to leave it but, might rip it out later in life. We'll see.
I'm so happy with how my Little Red Raincoat turned out. It was such a fun sewing project. Thank you to the #JacketJanuary sewing group, you ladies rock! I can't wait to sew up a few more jackets and coats using The Princess Coat pattern from Charm Patterns. Gertie, you really outdid yourself with this beautiful pattern, as usual. If a hooded coat scares you, don't let it. The hood was the easiest part. It's a nice roomy size so my vintage style hairdos will fit inside without getting messed up. Yay for that!
She gives quite a few sleeve choices. I want to make a mustard yellow coat next. I need some fun tweed to make a cropped jacket with a dare I say, faux fur collar! Perhaps some light pink boiled wool with a black fur collar too. Hmm...
I have no clue what to do with almost 4 extra yards of red rainwear fabric. Any ideas? Share them in the comments below, please. I need ideas. LOL
Scroll down to see more photos of my glorious coat without rain.
Thanks for following along with my coat journey. Now, if you could all send some rain my way so I can try it out, that'd be great.
Recover your ironing board, yourself!
There's one thing almost every sewist says, "I only iron when I sew." That rings true for me 95% of the time. I'm not a big fan of wrinkles so, I do iron the occasional laundry basket of clothes. However, my ironing board lives in my sewing space. Unless we have people over, it hangs out in sewing land.
There's nothing fun about pressing open seams on a musty crusty ironing board, amiright? I've bought countless pads for my board over the years. They've worked fine enough until they flatten and get ugly. It was time to make my own cover.
After going down the rabbit hole that is Google, I discovered people using felt blankets on their boards or Insul-Bright. You're going to use both for your new cover! No more wimpy covers that leaves board indents on your project or, dare I say, laundry.
Your new board will be thick and lofty, oh and it'll look cute too. Yay for pretty things. :D
Are you ready to re-cover your ironing board? Let's do this.
Items You'll Need:
Ironing boards come in all shapes and sizes. 2 yards for the fabrics should be more than enough. Measure your board length to be sure, don't forget you'll need extra for the seam allowances.
This whole project takes about an hour. You'll be pressing those seams open on a pretty new cover in no time.
Let's get Started
Start by removing your old cover and after you've washed it, stuff it inside this floor pillow. ;)
Use the thin foam piece as a cutting guide for the wool and Insul-Bright layers. If you don't have one, just eyeball it. This is an easy project, and it's all about winging it here.
Place the 2 wool layers onto the board, then the Insul-Bright layer on top. Iron over the layers to smooth them out. Look at those wrinkles. Yikes!
Drape your cotton fabric over the board. You'll want it to hang 4" all around. Give everything a good press, sliding your iron back and forth over all the layers.
Cut your fabric, it doesn't have to be perfect but, make sure your edges are smooth and not jagged. I'm speaking from experience. ;) Haha
Take your fabric cover to the machine. You're going to sew with a 1/2" seam allowance. Use a 2.5 or 3mm stitch length. It doesn't have to be perfect, the seam will get covered.
Now, grab your elastic. You're going to sew a zigzag stitch over the seam you just sewed with the elastic on top.
Pull the elastic taught with one hand while gently pulling the fabric behind the machine with the other hand. Use a zigzag stitch and sew. You want to pull the elastic tight enough so it will make the cover fit nice and snug over your board.
You will have something that looks like mine up above. If not, grab that seam ripper, grab a cup of tea, and start ripping.
If your fabric doesn't fit snugly enough, clip a piece of elastic and attach it on the underside along a long edge. Clip. Then, pull it toward the other side to get a snug fit. Clip or pin. Take it to the machine and zigzag over both ends. You may have to slide it on and off the board a few times to get a perfect fit.
My old cover came with elastic straps that fir like this, except they had a button. That's where I got the idea. I added two elastic strips under the cover. One at the nose and one at the bum. ;)
Yay!! You just made a cute ironing board cover and it will work much better than any store-bought one.
I've wanted to recover my ironing board for a while, and I'm so happy I finally did it. With the multiple layers, everything presses nicely and quickly too.
Are you excited to make your ironing board cover? Or is it something you'd rather not make? I'm curious, so tell me in the comments below if it's something you're excited to make.
Thanks for hanging out with me today. Now go sew something fun. :D
Looking for something else? Read below
Have a ton of fabric scraps? Want to use them up? Sew a floor cushion.
New to sewing and want to jump right in? Read this Budget-Friendly sewing post here.
Is your machine not working properly? It might need a quick cleaning session, find out how, here.
Do you love vintage style and want to incorporate it to your everyday wardrobe? Grab this easy free pattern for a vintage headscarf.
Do you have chickens? Yes! Well, you need an egg apron. Grab the free pattern and tutorial here.
Do you save every fabric scrap you've ever cut in hopes of using them for something? If you're like me, you don't save them all but, you do save pieces big enough to use for a pocket. Because... pockets! Right? I've discovered the best fabric-busting project of all time. It uses all your fabric scraps up. Okay, it doesn't technically "use" them but, it does put them to use. You're going to sew a simple floor cushion and store all your scraps inside!
You'll want to plow through that list of sewing projects so you can cut into fabric and have more scraps to fill the floor cushion. Whew! Trust me, I'm speaking from experience. ;)
Cozy Meets Functional
The floor cushion itself is not a good scrap buster. You might need to buy fabric to make it. But, it'll free up space in your sewing area, I promise.
I was lucky enough to have leftover grey chenille from my pop-up trailer makeover, so I used that. You'll want to use an upholstery weight fabric or something similar. This cushion is going to take a beating.
If you have upholstery thread, you can use it here. If you don't, good ole polyester thread works fine. This whole project takes 2hrs give or take. It's a quick sew and gives a huge reward!
If you're still on the fence about making one, think ottoman, pet bed, kid's seat, etc.
My cat claims it as his bed when my son isn't using it for his feet. It gets carried from room to room and makes a great coffee table game chair as well. I'm surprised it hasn't been involoved in a pillow fight yet.
Wash your fabric if you want. I didn't. When I need to wash it in the future, it'll shrink a little and be fine.
You're going to sew a large cube and fill it with your fabric scraps. Hooray!
1. Cut 2, 21" squares. Cut 4 rectangles measuring 15.5" by 21". Serge or zigzag over the raw edges. Upholstery fabric loves to fray.
2. Clip or pin the rectangles together along the short sides, right sides together. You're making a loop. Sew up the short sides using 1/2" seam allowances, backstitching at the beginning and ends.
3. Lay one square right side up on your table. Clip one side of the loop you just made from the rectangles, onto the square, RST. It's easiest to clip the corners of the square to the side seams first. Then, ease the side seams in. Your upholstery fabric might have some stretch in it but, you tell it who's boss!
If you don't want to insert a zipper, sew along the edge using 1/2" seam allowance.
4. Here's where you'll insert your zipper if you want one. This is a little different than inserting a zipper into a bag so, bear with me.
Clip/pin one side of the zipper to a rectangle edge. Sew the zipper with a zipper foot.
Open the zipper and clip the zipper tape to the square bottom edge. Sew using the zipper foot. You might have to sew one side of the zipper tape facing down which feels awkward but is totally fine.
Switch back to your regular sewing foot to sew around the whole square. Start at one end of the zipper and end at the other end of the zipper. Open and close the zipper to make sure it's lined up, if it isn't smooth, unpick one side and resew it.
*It's easier to sew with the flat piece down and move the rectangles out of the way as you sew.
To get the seam and zipper area to match up nicely, sew an extra 1/8" inside the zipper seam allowance when you get to the zipper.
It's a little trick that's used when inserting invisible zippers.
5. Now that the hardest part is over, it's time to sew the top square on. Clip the top the same way you did with the bottom square. Start with the corners first, then clip the sides. Sew all around using 1/2" seam allowance.
This might look tricky but, take your time. Go slow and make sure you're only sewing over the 2 layers.
6. Turn the cushion right side out and pop out the corners. You don't have to worry about trimming the corners unless you want to. I left them alone. Press the seams open as well as you can.
Ta-da! You've made a floor cushion, bean bag, floor pouf, or whatever you want to call it. You made one!
7. Stuff it with all those fabric scraps inside. It's very therapeutic. If it feels empty still, toss some extra yardage inside if you'd like. I had yards of fleece, minky, and faux fur from my baby gift making days and that really helped to fluff it up.
You can even fill it with those random pieces of interfacing you're probably saving. ;)
All that's left to do is use it. Who gets to use it first? The kids, your kitty, or you?
Read Below for Extra Tips:
You can make a set if you have buckets and buckets of scraps laying around. Oh, a set would be great for a kids room or game room as well.
Now I'm off to tackle that sewing to-do list. I need more scraps!!
So, are you ready to put all those scraps to use? Well, store them in a fun way at least? If you do, tag me on Instagram @sewingtothemoon so I can see them all.
Still, have the sewing bug? Make some easy things for your home below.
Fabric Baskets are great for storing things on the counter and inside drawers. Make one here.
Sew the easiest dress ever, here. It's also the coziest dress. Here's another cozy dress.
Want to organize your sewing space? Here are pattern organization tips.
Want an easy Vintage sewing pattern to up your style game? Grab your Downloadable PDF here.
I have found the holy grail of bags and I'm shouting it out from the rooftop!
This bag is the biggest-little bag I've ever laid eyes on. It's a game-changer for sure and everyone needs to have one or two! It's honestly the best travel bag I've come across! You can fill it with everything except the kitchen sink. This day-use crossbody bag is perfect for walking around museums, theme parks, concerts, national parks, etc.
I'm not getting paid for this post, I am just in love! Haha!
I've always carried my regular handbag whenever we ventured out and after a few hours, my shoulder would hurt something fierce. I eventually bought a tiny crossbody bag from a big box store for $5 because it was $5! Oh, and it was in the shape of cherries. Super cute!!
Well, my newest phone is too big for the cherry purse. So, I searched Pinterest high and low for a crossbody sewing pattern and nothing came up. Is it me or is Pinterest extremely lackluster nowadays?
I wanted pockets and the bag shape to be more horizontal than vertical. My next stop was Etsy. Thank you Etsy, for coming through. I found the best pattern and I'm sharing it with you today. Hold on to your teacup because she's a doozy.
This bag has so. many. pockets! It's comfortable to wear (aren't all crossbody bags?) and will hold allllll of your things. I'm not sharing a step-by-step tutorial in this post because the bag creator has Youtube videos and an extremely detailed PDF that comes with the pattern. This post is more of a pattern review.
I made this one for myself so, it is full of bright colored fabrics. If you know me, I'm the opposite of a neutral person. Ha!
Clarendon Crossbody Wallet
Hi there, I'm Annette and I love eating and sewing. I usually have a cup of coffee or tea with me, but not next to my machine because I'd probably spill it. I am the reason we can't have nice things.
All Beginner Sewists Butterick Pattern Fabric Storage Garment Sewing Gertie Patterns Holiday Sewing Machine Cleaning Me Made May Sewing For The Home Sewing Hack Sewing Machine Sewing Organization Sewing Swimwear Sewing Thoughts Simple Sewing Simplicity Patterns Vintage Notions Vintage Patterns Vintage Sewing