Now that it's summer, I'm sewing a coat.  A raincoat.

I would have liked to have it finished ready to leave tommorrow, but that is not going to happen.  I will show you some pictures though, because I took photos of some of my construction methods today.

I bought a beautiful waterproof fabric from EmmaOneSock.  At least, they said it is waterproof.  I haven't tested it with anything more than a sprinkle yet.  It looks too pretty to be cyclone proof, but that is okay, because I have already have a Gore-tex parka.  This raincoat is going to be more of a fashion item.  An about-town sort of raincoat more than a battle-raging-flood-waters sort of raincoat.

It took me a lot of quality time with my magazines to decide on a style.  Eventually I settled on this Burberry Prorsum cape, as styled by Vogue Australia.  So it is not actually a coat, but a cape.  The cape has never made it to my list of must-haves before, but the more I thought about it, the more it seemed like the way to go.  Where I live, it rains in summer.  When it is hot.  When I am mostly wearing sleeveless garments.  When I don't want to put on a sweaty raincoat, but I am sick and tired of feeling damp all the time.


The fabric I bought is very lightweight, and my cape will be unlined, and I can stick my arms out, so I'm thinking it will be a lot cooler than a traditional raincoat.

I took home the whole stash of Burda mags from my library to find a pattern (and I apologise to all the other Burda readers in town...they are back now).  The Burberry cape has raglan seaming details, so I used Burda World of Fashion 02/2009 113 as a starting point.

I eliminated the underarm shape on the sleeves and side pieces and sewed the sleeve edges to the front and back sides.  I reduced the centre front from double breasted to single breasted.  I shortened and widened the front flappy bits (not sure what they are called).  I extended the collar stand to to make the collar and ties.  Instead of cutting the collar stand on the fold, I put the ties on the straight grain and put a centre back seam on the collar stand.  This centre back seam is on the bias.  I lengthened the whole thing.  I reduced the curve on the centre back piece (essentially reducing the back darts to make the coat less fitted).

I decided to use fell seams, because the coat is unlined and I didn't want water dripping through the seams.  I used a fold and sew method to do the fell seam, which is a little different from the standard method, so I thought I would show it to you.

I cut my pieces with 1.5 cm seam allowances.

I pressed a 1 cm fold on one length, RS (right side) showing.  I used a Weet-bix template to help me do this.

After burning my finger several times with the steam from the iron, I made a denim finger glove to make this task a little more enjoyable.

Then I sat the second length of fabric inside this fold, RS up (so you can see the RS of both lengths of fabric).  The second length butts right up against the fold of the first length.  I use the right-hand guide lines on my sewing machine presser foot to stitch almost 1 cm from the fold.

I press this seam, first flat and then I open out the seam and press the seam allowance to the left, encasing the raw edge of the first length.  Stitch the seam again, this time using the left-hand guide on the presser foot to stitch close to the folded edge.  I use my hands to pull the fabric horizontally in opposite directions as it is fed through the machine, to ensure that the seam remains flat as it is being sewn (not shown in photo because I needed one hand to hold the camera).

Press again.  This next photo is really just to show off the lovely clapper that Peter made me for Christmas.  I have been using this piece of jarrah for a while, but now it has smooth, rounded edges and a groove to hold it.

This is what the seam looks like from the RS.

And lastly, a shot from the WS (wrong side).

I have just noticed that my tense changed partway through those instructions.  Which is okay, because I started this raincoat in the past, am still working on it now and will be finishing it in the future.  The instructions are just zenning with my process.  I hope that my English teacher never reads this.


  1. Oooh, I can't wait to see it finished! I love your inspiration cape and your felled seams look really sharp.

  2. Oh wow! The fabric really is beautiful. I tried to make a raincoat last year, but it was with a rubber backed fabric and it was the bane of my existence until I rolled it up into a ball and threw it out. Kudos to you for finding ways to get your fabric to behave (I esp. like your little finger glove!)

  3. That is going to be one hot rain coat/cape! I love that fabric.

  4. That is a terrific felled seam. Your cape/coat is going to be marvy!

  5. I had my eye on that fabric but passed it up, so it's nice that someone I know is sewing with it. :) Can't wait to see the finished cape. Wonderful tutorial too!

  6. I love watching your posts in a nice calm temperature while it's colder than cold elsewhere...it's so refreshing.

    Ouch- burnt finger!!! Been there done that!!!!

  7. This is looking good. Lovely seams and the fabric is gorgeous

  8. That looks like it's goin to be one stylin' raincoat. Love the fabric you chose for it.

    I also must make me one of those denim finger gloves...been there too!

    I hope you're having a great time away.

  9. 愛,拆開來是心和受兩個字。用心去接受對方的一切,用心去愛對方的所有。..................................................

  10. What?! Your local library has BWOF magazines? How lucky are you? Great idea on the denim finger glove too, I'm gonna add that to my 'why didn't I think of that' list and make one before I burn even more skin off my fingers

  11. I have been looking for a single breasted trench coat pattern with raglan sleeves and never looked at this one in all my trolling old Burda.
    How long did you make this, and what do you mean by you eliminated the underarm shaping? I have had the Burberry fabric sitting in my stash in search of a pattern for 2 years now! This is really what I was looking for, just longer. Thanks for finding it!

  12. I enlarged the picture and re-read your post and I realized that you made it into a cape. I need a coat and this will work for that too.

  13. I like the design of the rainwear. It looks comfortable and cool to wear.

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