Sooooo, today I would like to share with you a project which was, for me at least, quite a big project, and one I thought would be the hardest so far - I was right.
This is the rain mac I have made myself for Spring, should it ever make an appearance. My old mac, which I loved loved loved, finally gave up the ghost and was unsalvageable last Autumn. Not a problem with our cold winters, where I could just wear my giant winter coat. Now that it is starting to get slightly warmer (although I wouldn't yet call it Spring), I needed something a little lighter.
So, I remembered an old issue of Sew which had a rain mac, and I had already downloaded and printed the pattern eons ago - I just needed to stick it together. I then spent ages trawling through the back issues of my magazines looking for the instructions, not realising that I could have just looked them up on the Sew website, so for ease of use for the rest of you, download and instructions can be found here. I went for the cotton mac version.
However, as I never like to make it easy for myself, I decided not to make my coat out of cotton, but instead I wanted it truly waterproof and made it out of some ripstop, which I bought from The Little Fabric Bazaar. And just to make it that bit harder for myself, I thought I'd line it too. I used a bright pink habatoi, which contrasted beautifully with the black and I thought would be silky enough to make getting the coat on and off easily. The pattern instructions didn't include a lining, so I made this up as I went along. The lining did have its advantages, as I decided to use that as a working toile to get the fitting etc. correct before cutting and sewing the ripstop, as any mistakes in that would show terribly.
I also decided to change the design a little too. I wanted the fastening down the centre, rather than at the side, as the illustrations showed, but this was easily achieved, and by easily achieved, I mean it happened by accident, when I decided to add some shaping in the form of darts. I also added some invisible pockets in the side seams.
The construction was pretty easy. I decided to omit the adding of any interfacing - 1) because the fabric is pretty stiff already, so it would be pointless, and 2) I feared for the melting of the ripstop. This was my first ever attempt at a collar I think, and I am pleased to say that I think it went quite well. just a minor little bit where I didn't get it quite right, and of course it would have to be where I intended the lining might show, but hey hum pigs bum, I'm hoping that only those looking for flaws (for example, my mother) will notice.
Despite the easy construction, it did take my four weeks in total to make, as I was tres busy at that time and I was sewing in bits at a time. It took me a week to sew the buttons on after I had done everything else! And lovely buttons they are, black with little white spots to match the fabric.
So, now that it is finished and I have worn it a few times, there are a few things I would change: I would add some extra button holes, which I will do eventually, and add two extra buttons for extra security. I have enough buttons, so why not. the three I have on there just seem a bit too spaced out. I would also shorten it a bit. My general shortness means that the coat comes down to my knees and for me, this is just a bit too long. I will hopefully get round to hacking a few inches off the bottom. Finally, I will do a large bicep adjustment. The arms do fit, but they are a little snug, and a little extra room would not be horrendous.
Despite these little bits, I do like this coat, and I have worn it a few times now, even if I do have to keep going back to my winter coat when the cold gets too much again. That said, I don't think I would make this pattern again. I think other styles suit me better. I now need to make myself a Summer jacket, but that is at the back of a long long line of other projects I already have the fabric and the patterns for, which I will share with you, eventually.