I am really excited to share my latest make. I’m so proud of this rain jacket. I made a waterproof utility style jacket using the Kelly Anorak sewing pattern. I’ve needed a rain jacket for a long time, and I finally made one for myself. When I was almost done making this jacket I told my husband this jacket made me want to cry. Not because it was particularly difficult, but because I felt so accomplished that I could make a waterproof jacket for myself. I wore this jacket a couple of days ago and got stuck standing outside in the rain for half an hour and stayed dry the whole time. I didn’t have any problems with the seams leaking water even though I didn’t seal them.
Almost simultaneously the Kelly Anorak Jacket sewing pattern and the Lonetree Jacket pattern were released, and this is the style I wanted. I had a really hard time deciding between the two patterns. They are similar styles, but have unique details. I eventually decided on the Kelly Anorak mostly because it had the zipper flaps (I can’t remember what those are called?) and I only wanted to sew on two patch pockets instead of four patch pockets. I decided on the PDF pattern because I didn’t want to wait for the paper pattern to come in the mail.
I had purchased 3 yards of this navy trilobal DWR nylon waterproof fabric 18 months ago in anticipation of making a waterproof jacket. I ordered it knowing it was waterproof, but not really knowing what it was like. Well, this fabric is like 80’s swishy track suit fabric. It’s waterproof and synthetic, but thin and drapey. It is completely opaque. It was easy to sew and easy to work with.
The Kelly Anorak calls for heavier fabric so I was making it harder for myself from the get-go. I read about underlining the Kelly Anorak and decided to do that with a slippery but warm fabric. I didn’t want the underlining to be stiffer than my outer fabric, so I decided to go with some Blue Bubbles on cotton silk from My Fabric Designs. I had ordered 3 yards of this fabric about a year ago with the intentions of making a dress. I even bought some white lining for the dress. I didn’t think I’ve ever make a dress, but loved the idea of using it as lining. (I rarely use expensive fabric for lining, but I couldn’t forget this pairing.) Also, My Fabric Designs sent me a duplicate yardage because they weren’t happy with their first printing,, so I had a total of 6 yards. I used a little bit for the sleeve lining of my Ikat jacket and then used some for my muslin. The rest I used for the underlining, and I have about a yard left.
I printed, taped, and cut it out the pattern. I added one inch at the lengthen line near the waist, and then I made my first muslin. (If you want to see process photos check out the hashtag #feathersflightsrainjacket on instagram!) I made it out of the cotton silk that I would underline the jacket with so I could get a similar drape. I realized that it wasn’t long enough so I added another inch above the bust and through the sleeve cap. I thought my sleeves were long enough and didn’t add any length to the sleeves, but I wish I would’ve added 1 inch. When my arms are resting the sleeves are long enough, but when I reach forward I feel like my sleeves are a tad too short. Or maybe I need a little more width across my upper back. I should use this tutorial to lengthen the sleeves of a jacket.
I cut out my navy fabric with the pattern, and I cut out the hood, back, front, and sleeves out of the underlining fabric. Then I cut more navy fabric to interface all the pieces that needed interfacing. I decided to use the same fabric because I had some extra and because I didn’t want the interfacing to be too stiff. (And because I didn’t want to drive to the store to buy some.) I ran out of navy fabric so I did a couple pieces from the cotton silk. I am happy with how drapey my interfaced pieces are, but I think they could have been slightly stiffer for strength beneath the snaps. I wish I would’ve used fusible interfacing.
Constructing the jacket wasn’t too difficult. I struggled with the gusseted pockets, but reading the post how to sew gusseted pockets for the Kelly Anorak cleared up any questions. The construction took a long time because there are so many steps and details. I love the flaps on the front of and back of the front zipper. It looks so professional. I used a navy double pull zipper and a navy drawstring. Learn how to fix a zipper if the pull came off. I wanted it to be all navy. I had navy metal snaps that were perfect but I forgot that the other pieces of the snaps were silver so some silver would be showing. I probably should have used silver details all over instead of navy.
I dropped the drawstring 2 inches. The lengthen line was below the drawstring so I had to move the line once I could try it on and see where my waist was. I let out the sleeves once it was all finished, since I felt like the sleeves were a little tight. I did use two layers of fabric for the sleeves, but my fabric was so light I didn’t think I’d have a problem with this.
I think my zipper ended up being too long, but it’s hard to know without making it with no alterations. I lengthened the front by 2 inches so I bought a zipper 2 inches longer, but I kind of feel like my front is stretched to fit the zipper. Or maybe my fabric stretch out. It’s hard to know. I like the length in the front and the back, but my zipper peaks out just under the zipper flap. (It’s hard to see in pictures.)
I really, really struggled with the snaps. I didn’t have a problem using them on my Ikat jacket which is much thicker. I’m wondering if this fabric is too thin, but that doesn’t really make sense. I just feel like if I snap them they might come off of the fabric when I unsnap them. So I might never be actually using the snaps.
Overall, I’m really happy with my jacket. It makes me want to cry, remember? I love the color and the fit and the length. I love wearing it. The cotton silk underlining is so soft and luxurious. It’s warm but not too warm. I can wear a bulky sweater underneath for more warmth if I need. I’ve never had a hood that fit so well and I love the part that comes under my chin. Everything about this jacket is me, and it fits in my wardrobe perfectly. I was really careful on this jacket, so I hope I can wear it for years to come.
Learn How to Sew Your Own Clothes
- If you want to learn how to sew your own clothing you need to start somewhere. These are the Things I Wish I Could Tell Myself Before I Started Sewing. They will help any beginner who wants to learn how to sew.
- Then you can read some Tips to Start Sewing Clothing.
- Once you start you’ll get better at using a sewing machine, but you’ll make clothing that you might not wear or love. I made every mistake and this is How to Sew Clothing You’ll Love. (Avoid my mistakes!)
- As you get better and better you’ll need to learn How to Choose Fabric for Sewing Clothes and the Best Fabrics for Sewing Clothing. I recommend fabrics that I love, but you’ll find the fabric you love the best.
- You can use paper patterns which are great to buy on sale or you can use PDF patterns which are great for instant gratification. There are lots of Different Ways to Assemble PDF Patterns so you need to find what works for you.
- Lastly, when you are sewing your own clothing and you are drawn to lots of different printed fabric, you need to learn How to Make a Versatile Handmade Wardrobe + Free Printable so that all the items in your wardrobe can coordinate with another item of clothing and be worn!