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.
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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