The last raincoat I made for myself a couple of years ago turned out to be more showerproof than waterproof. This turns out to be the case with most shop bought raincoats too, and I prefer a raincoat that actually keeps out rain, and lots of it, not just a quick shower.
To the rescue came a lovely fabric (originally Paul Smith I think) in Simply Fabrics. It is made up of two layers of cotton, sandwiching a layer of PU (polyurethane), so not just completely waterproof but breathable too, and as an added bonus, double sided. To make the most of the fabric I wanted an unlined coat and the Kelly Anorak by Closet Case patterns seemed a great match.
The pattern didn’t disappoint, I made a size 10 with no major adjustments (or muslins). I wanted enough room to layer over jumpers and the size turned out just right. The only change I made was to add about 2 inches to the length so a little bit more of me can stay dry in the rain. My fabric won’t fray but there were thorough instructions (which I followed) for flat-felled or faux flat-felled and bound seams throughout for a nice finish inside.
Although quite thick, the fabric was fairly easy to work with, stable but with a tiny bit of mechanical stretch, and as I mentioned, no fraying. The only challenge came from not wanting to iron it as I thought high temperatures might damage the PU layer. (not sure whether that is true but I’d rather play it safe) As a result I had to finger press the seams as I worked with them and the hem looks in need of a press.
The pattern comes with collar or hood options and an optional drawstring waist. The hood was an obvious choice for a raincoat (although I think the pattern would be lovely made up in a softer fabric for other occasions too) and I eventually decided to add the drawstring waist to counteract the effects of a fabric with so much structure.
It’s hard to tell from the these photos (which were taken in turns by my daughters, whose photography skills are improving to the point of surpassing my own!) but I used a thread colour that matched the grey brown of the underside of the fabric and contrasted with the grey blue top side.
By far the hardest part of making this coat was adding the poppers. It may be something I’ve now done many times, but it never seems to get easier or take any less time. The fourteen poppers needed for this coat must have taken about an hour (and a lot of noisy hammering) to add. I used hemline heavy duty snaps, but if anyone knows of an easier option, please let me know!