This is a very special project for me.. It’s part of Sewing Around The World organized by Schnittschen, an independent sewing label.. If you’re not familiar with them, go and check it.. Every month they present one of the sewing bloggers who chooses one of their patterns to sew.. When Nadja approached me I was so happy to be part of their project, along with other great sewists.. When it was time for me to pick a pattern, I thought an outerwear could be nice challenge for me.. I rarely sew jackets and coats.. These items take more time to complete, so I always delay starting them.. I also got to choose a fabric, and I have to admit, this was my first time doing it online.. I wasn’t sure which pattern to pick, until I stumbled upon this gorgeous raincoat fabric at Lillestoff.. I was blown away with this cute and cheering raindrops print.. And the fabric is water-resistant!! Perfect for a raincoat.. The idea was there – I’ll use their new pattern Amy parka to make a raincoat.. I’m glad Silke and Nadja liked this idea, and made possible for me to finally make a raincoat.. In this post I’ll write about my first make using Schnittchen patterns and my experience with sewing raincoat fabric from Lillestoff..
Since this was my first time to sew Schnittchen pattern, I wanted to make a test version to go through all steps and see if there is a need for the adjustments.. With raincoat fabric there’s no unpicking, which means no room for a mistake.. Amy parka is a pattern for an oversize coat, with hood and huge deep pockets.. It comes in two different lengths, and it has lining.. Sewing my test version went without problems.. Although I don’t like when seam allowance is included in a pattern, here it’s only 1 cm so it didn't make me problems.. Instructions are very clear.. This was one of those rare times I actually read it.. Looking at my finished test version, there was only one minor adjustment I had to make to the coat – shorter sleeves.. This pattern has dropped shoulders, and the sleeves were too long for my arms.. I had to make them shorter for 3-4 cm..
When the raincoat fabric arrived I liked it even more than when I saw it on the photo.. The fabric is basically organic cotton coated with polyurethane.. Before I started cutting the fabric and sewing, I was afraid the coating could peel off easily.. I was wrong!! On one scrap of this fabric I tried stretching, twisting, crumpling, and tearing, and nothing could damage it.. Heat is the only thing that can ruin it.. With this fabric one must be very careful while ironing the fabric and pressing the seams.. If two right sides of the fabric, previously heated with iron, touch, they will stick together, and the coating is ruined.. To make pressing of the seams possible, I used baking (parchment) paper.. Baking paper I use regularly for ironing fusible interfacing.. It’s just perfect because it can take high temperatures, it has non-stick surface, and it is semi-see-through.. That's how I always have clean iron.. For working with this fabric, I had one piece of baking paper always on ironing board.. I didn’t want to risk sticking the coated side to the cover of ironing board.. The other piece I used to place between the fabric and iron.. Pressing the seams was a slow process.. I always had to wait for the fabric to cool down before moving it.. With this arrange, I didn’t have any problems with pressing almost all the seams.. I couldn’t do that only to the sleeve hems, and some parts of the seam between the yoke and the hood.. I wasn’t up for experimenting more and making a complete mess at the end.. Positive side of sticking right (coated) sides of the fabrics are sealable seams.. I pressed all seams together, and they are all kinda glued together.. Coated sides are stuck together, which (hopefully) makes them waterproof..
There wasn’t a problem with ironing fusible interfacing to the wrong (cotton) side of the fabric.. I used a thin needle and regular thread for sewing this fabric.. For pining this fabric I didn’t use pins.. I borrowed clips from a friend (hvala Borise!!), and I’ll have to remember to buy a pack for myself.. Who knows when will I need them again.. Also, using a standard presser foot wasn’t a problem until I got to the topstitching.. Even then I managed to get everything right, but I think it would be easier with a teflon foot.. When I tried topstitching on a scrap, it went smoothly.. I did topstitching only around the zipper and the hood (the longest seam on this raincoat).. Probably because there were more layers of fabric, they would stuck under a presser foot for a bit, and then continue normally.. Having this experience I decided not to sew a pattern part that covers the zipper (pattern part no 10).. I think the raincoat would look better with it, but once again, I didn’t wanna mess everything at the end..
I mentioned that this fabric is an organic cotton from the inside.. That is very practical if you’re making a summer raincoat.. There’s no need for sewing a lining.. Since I wanted to make this a spring/autumn raincoat, I decided that padded lining was the best choice.. My idea was to use pink lining.. When I go fabric shopping with an idea, in most cases I don’t find what I’m looking for.. The best one I found was this white padded lining.. I like how it looks with raindrops fabric.. It makes a nice combo.. I couldn't resist adding a pink plastic zipper, just for a pop of color..
I picked the longer version for sewing a raincoat.. My changes to the pattern started with the adjustment to the sleeves, making them a bit shorter.. I skipped sewing facing that covers zipper, only because of the fabric I used.. I also cut the back piece of the parka on fold.. That seam doesn’t have any function, so it’s best to have one seam less with raincoat fabric.. This was the first time I remembered on time to sew a loop for coat hanging.. I’m very happy with that.. The inside pocket is also not the part of the pattern..
It’s hard to express how happy I’m with the outcome! I love how this raincoat looks.. It’s very comfortable.. With this oversize coat I can even wear bulky sweater if it’s colder outside.. Raindrops give the coat fun look for gray rainy days.. The fabric is not too colorful, just right.. The white lining and pink zipper balance it all well.. I felt super special wearing this coat, but I still haven’t tried it on a rainy day.. I guess I’m the only one hoping for bad weather.. I’m so grateful to Nadja and Silke for this big challenge.. This project is definitely in my top 5.. If you haven’t guessed by looking at photos, the hood is my favorite part of the raincoat.. There you can see the lining, and there are different directions of raindrops.. All in an interesting right way..
Behind the camera - мој Матија