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.
Have you ever dreamed of floating around the house in a 70's caftan? What about your beautiful backyard? I vote yes to both! Way back in high school, I borrowed a caftan from my mom's friend to wear to a dance. The 70s wasn't the theme but, I wanted to wear it. It felt so silky and soft while I wore it and danced all night long, with friends.
When I saw this pattern via an Instagram friend, I knew I had to snag one for myself. She looked so fabulous in hers, and I knew I needed that pattern in my life. I hope you grab the vintage reproduction pattern and make a caftan, too.
I ordered the Simplicity #8505, 1970's caftan pattern from an Etsy shop. And after searching my local sewing shops for the perfect fabric, I decided to order that online too. If you make this, I recommend looking at fabric in person first, to give you ideas. It's fun to feel the drapey fabrics. Who doesn't love touching all the fabric? Are you ready to make the comfiest dress ever?
Let's get started.
Here's what you'll need. I also wanted to share a few tips and ideas for you to try, if you want.
Supplies: View B
Tips for making this pattern:
Measure yourself and write your measurements down. Read the finished measurements on the pattern tissue to help decide the correct size for you. The big four pattern companies usually give a ton of ease in their patterns. You want a caftan, not a tent.
Cut out the pattern pieces. Trace the pieces onto fabric and cut them out. It's a lot of fabric so, a nice big workplace such as the floor is great for this part.
I usually trace onto pattern paper but, this style is very loose and I knew I wouldn't need to make fitting alterations.
**You will have to tape the front (5 and 5A) piece to an extended piece. Match the stars and tape together. You'll do the same for the back piece (8 and 8A).
The pieces were very large so, I used pattern weights and cut the fabric without tracing. Gasp, I know! Trace the neck-facing piece though.
Time to sew.
Attach twill tape ties and sew reinforcing stitches at the corners of the front pieces. Clip to the corner but, not through the stitching.
Sew the front center seam.
Gather those tiny ruffles.
Sew 2 rows of gathering stitches using a 4-5mm stitch length, between the notches across the front. Pull the bobbin thread to lightly gather the front. It helps to leave long thread tails to pull the gathers.
Press down along the fold line on the front. This will become your front V neckline.
This is where I had the most difficulty. Gathers are easy but can be a pain in the you know what. So, go slowly, check twice, then sew.
Pin the yoke to the front pieces matching all the notches together. Sew and press the seam downwards.
Serge or sew the edge 1/4" under on the midriff pieces. Press along the fold line.
Pin the front midriff and yoke piece to the front pieces.
Make sure to match the center seams. Sew the bottom part of the yoke to the gathers first, then sew the sides. I didn't do this and found it a tad difficult to fit. Again, make sure you line up the center seams.
Do you love the vintage pinup look but, don't know where to start? Grab some peddle pushers, a black fitted top, and this sewing pattern! You're about to get your vintage style on.
This pattern is the straw that broke the camel's back- in a good way. I have quite a few patterns I want to share but, I lacked the technical know-how to get them to you. This is the pattern that made me search the interwebs, far and wide on how to create a PDF. And, here it is! Finally a downloadable pattern that was made just for you!
This wide hair scarf is made for good hair days, bad hair days, and for the curly haired gals too! I see you (I am a curly girl). Toss your hair up in a messy bun, and you'll be cute as a button when you wear this retro inspired hair-scarf. This isn't a lifesaver but, it's definitely a hair saver.
If this thicker style headband isn't your cup of tea, I have a post on a narrower one, over here. It can be worn with your hair up or down. You can tie it around your neck, wrist, or use it as a purse accent when tied in a bow. The size is completely customizable too, lengthen or shorten it to your desired size
Okay, lets get started on the Wide Hair Scarf Pattern.
What You'll Need:
Let's get sewing!
Download the PDF pattern, print it out (*do not scale or resize), and tape it together. This will now be your pattern piece. Make sure to match up the star points. Cut out the pattern along the lines and set it aside. It will resemble a plague mask at this point. Haha, perfect for the year we've had. ;)
*The pattern will print out on 2 horizontal pages. They are made to overlap a bit to create the pattern. Match the star and you'll be good to go. No scaling or anything is necessary. If you'd like to trim off a thin sliver of paper to match the star up perfectly, you can. That's what I did.
Next, wash, dry, and iron your fabric if you haven't already.
What fabric(s) did you choose? Did you go with a solid color or a fun novelty print?
If you're using a chopstick or pencil, poke the blunt end into the pointed fabric corner. Slowly pull the fabric down around the chopstick until you can easily push it through to the gap opening. Repeat for the other side.
It should look like this once it's turned out! Huzzah! The rest is downhill from here.
Back to the sewing machine to topstitch the gap closed.
To wear the scarf:
Place the wide part at the back of your head just covering your hairline. Pull the pointy ends upwards, covering the tops of your ears, and tie in a knot on top of your head.
This is perfect for messy hair days and curly-haired girls too. To make it into a more formal look, pin curls on top of your head, tie this scarf up, and wear it with a pretty dress.
If you're going for a 40's style, you can pair the scarf with wide-legged trousers and a boxy button-up top. This hair scarf is for anyone looking for a quick and easy retro hairstyle!
So, what do you think of the pattern? It was easy right? Do you plan on making as many as you can for the summer? I wear my hair up most summer days and this thicker style is what I've been yearning for! Easy & cute hair... yes, please!!!
If you make one or ten, please tag me on Instagram. I want to see them aallll! Use the hashtag #sewingtothemoonScarf
Let me know in the comments below if you've made this or plan to. I seriously can't tell you how overly excited this whole process made me. :D
Thanks for all the love and support on social and here! Sewing people are the best people.
My mama gave me a small bag of vintage sewing things she found while rummaging through the garage. She thought I might like them, and she was right! So, I had to share.
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.
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