Note: writeup of the pattern used for the hood can be read here
Finally filled the warm weather rain jacket gap in my wardrobe. Of course since it was (and still is) POURING outside today I couldn’t do a nice outdoor photo shoot. Got good use out of the jacket though! It is my second bagged jacket.
Worn open, with hood removed
Hood up. Note that I used the Cold Weather Hood from The Green Pepper instead of the included hood pieces.
Back view, hood down
Back view, with the hood up
He’s so handsome I forgive him for being a pest
I decided to make a coat after looking online and finding nothing suitable that would fit me (tall sizing with extra hip room) and be within my budget (under $100). My major requirements for my raincoat were a hood, front zip, inner pockets, and the ability to be easily lengthened to roughly mid-thigh level. The two suitable patterns I had were the Sewaholic Minoru jacket and the Style Arc Safari Jane. I went with the Safari Jane. The styling seemed very similar to the Land’s End Rainstop Parka.
The fabric is a water-resistant nylon faille from Gorgeous Fabrics. It is a really brilliant beautiful blue that I’m totally in love with. The lining is the Misty designer lining in True Blue from Gorgeous Fabrics. The metal grommets and front zipper (a 30″ #5 plastic zip) are from Cleaner’s Supply. The toggles, pocket zippers, zipper cord, cord clamp, and 1/8″ shock cord were from The Green Pepper. All topstitching was done with Gutermann Mara 70 thread.
I basted in the label Ann included with my Gorgeous Fabrics order. 90% of clothing tags make my neck itchy so I wanted to test drive it before permanently sewing it in.
Pattern measurements for size 8 are:
- Bust: 37″
- Waist: 35.5″ (this is before cinching it in with the elastic cord)
- Hip: 42″
- Sleeve width: 12.5″
- Back waist length to waist seam: 16″
- Back waist length to top of drawstring casing: 15″
- Shoulder width: 4.75″
- Back of neck to hem: about 30″
First, I lengthened the hem 5″ to make it more mid-thigh level. My zipper doesn’t reach to the end of the coat but I’m not sure if/how you can shorten a molded plastic zipper. My Land’s End down coat also has a 30″ zipper that doesn’t go all the way down to the hem. I think it gives a little bit more walking room this way.
Second, I ended up using snaps instead of the suggested buttons and elastic cord for the detachable hood. Snaps were easier and seemed more secure. I used the size 16 snaps in Sport Blue (an online only color) from Snap Source. Can you believe how perfect the color match is?
I skipped on the side seam pockets due to concerns about water dripping in, and instead added two inner lining pockets – one on each side for my wallet and my phone. For extra security I used a zipper instead of velcro for the closure. I’ve never done this type of pocket before, only the double welt kind. It wasn’t hard and I love how the zipper stabilizes the opening. One thing that helped a LOT was using Wash-Away Wonder Tape to secure the zipper in the pocket opening before topstitching it in place.
The zippers are the 7″ pocket zips from The Green Pepper. The pocket zips have both ends closed and a pull that hangs down nicely even if the zipper is inserted horizontally instead of vertically. They have the coil of a normal zipper but the elegant, tapered pulls of an invisible zip. Also, instead of making buttonholes for the corded elastic in the waist casing I used metal grommets (size 00). I reinforced the back of the lining where the grommets were inserted with two layers of interfacing.
You can also see the black & white shock cord and ball toggle I used for the drawstring
I’m not sure what the proper name is for it, but I made what I call a hood tab.I attached the snaps to it so that when the hood is down it will pull on the tabs and not the collar. I got the idea from my Land’s End down coat. I drafted it by tracing the bottom 3/4″ of my collar piece, then rounded off the edges (trimming it away from the center front) and added seam allowances with my SACurve ruler. I attached it by pinning it to the outer collar and then sewed all of the pieces together at the neckline edge.
Underside of the hood tab
I wasn’t happy with the look and fit of the two-piece hood Style Arc included. Too pointy in the back and I wanted better coverage in the front, especially when I wear my hair up. I think this is a common issue with two piece hoods though. I do have a slightly larger than average size head (about 23″) so many that has something to do with it. I replaced it with the Cold Weather Hood from The Green Pepper. The Cold Weather Hood is a three-piece hood and has an front close tab and an inside elastic shock cord drawstring – great for windy weather! As I mentioned in the beginning I used snaps instead of velcro to attach it. Since it is a separate pattern I wrote about it in a another post.
I also made corded pull for the zipper and secured the end with a zipper clamp. Fancy!
I used the lightweight Pro-Sheer Elegance for the sleeve and body hems and also the front edges where the zipper is attached. I used the medium version of Pro-Sheer to reinforce the grommets in the lining, the inside zipper welt pocket openings, and the hood tab. I also used it for the collar.
- Lengthened directly above the waist casing 1″
- 1/4″ broad back adjustment
- Added 5″ width at the hip level. I ended up taking some of this extra width out (2.5″) as this fabric has some body to it and I thought a slimmer hipline was more flattering.
- Lengthened sleeves 1″
- Added 1″ width to the sleeves
- Added 1/2″ to the front of the sleevecap
I only added 1/4″ of ease to the back shoulder seam as the waistline offers extra fullness.
I felt like the sleeves ran narrow on this, especially the bicep, and the armhole was a tiny bit tight when worn with a sleeved top. Even with the extra width I initially added there was still only 1.75″ ease. (As drafted I believe there’s about 1.25″ ease.) It is cut more like a blouse than a jacket. I think my Stella sleeves had 2.5″ ease, plus they were two piece so there was some shaping built in. I had some extra fabric so I recut the sleeves and added an another 1″ of width to them, giving the sleeves a total of 2.75″ ease. I also lowered the armhole 1/4″.
If I made this again I would do a 1/2″ narrow shoulder adjustment for the front. I thought it would be ok but I’m getting a little bit restricted when reaching toward the front.
I like how the style is simple enough to provide a good “canvas” for modifications. I also liked the trim fit, which is so rare for something with a drawstring! It makes a great summer jacket. Of course I recommend it as a rain jacket.
In general I feel like this pattern is best suited for lightweight fabrics, and you should go up a size if you want to use a medium or slightly heavier weight fabric.