Today I'm sharing a long awaited final make! I made this jacket at the beginning of the year and then completely forgot to post it online. It's the perfect jacket for rainy days because it's waterproof and so bright it looks like an instant ray of sunshine!
Simplicity 8843 is an easy to wear drop shoulder jacket with drawstring waist, 2 styles of patch pockets, optional hood and choice of zip front or snap button front. Watch the sewalong video for this pattern on YouTube. I chose to do a mix of views A and B – with the pockets in view A and the front zipper in view B. As you can see, I omitted the drawstring as I prefer a jacket square and I can wear big sweaters underneath.
My the beautiful fabric is a waterproof treated cotton from Rico Design available on Minerva.com. But this pattern also works with untreated cottons and even organza for a lightweight training layer. The last raincoat I made was ripstop, a water-resistant nylon fabric. And although I made it extra warm by layering it with flannel, it's not suitable for heavier showers.
This jacket/fabric had some really good splashes and totally held up, so I'm really happy. But I will say that the processing makes it a little stiff and prone to slight wrinkling. But if you stop me in the street and say, “Oh, your jacket is a little wrinkled,” I'll tell you to fuck off.
Treated fabrics can be a little harder to sew because the surface is a little stickier and drags against your machine and presser foot. Some people choose to invest in a Teflon foot but I don't think it's necessary. Two things that may help are: 1) sew with tissue paper above and below your fabric as you tear the seams after sewing and 2) add a little tape to the bottom of your foot. doe with a hole for the needle.
To avoid burning the fabric and removing waterproofing, use a medium iron and an ironing cloth with pressure on the reverse side. Always use a sharp or synthetic needle with polyester thread in your machine for waterproof/water resistant fabric. You will need a longer stitch length of at least 2.8mm to go through stronger fabric like this. I chose to add the internal version of a flat seam shown in my linked tutorial, which is strong and durable for outdoor jackets.
It is created by sewing the seam right sides together, then trimming half the allowance down to a few mm, then pressing the other half of the allowance to cover it. You cut the margin closest to the back of the garment, then press the entire length. Cut the seam allowance in half before ironing over the cut side. This creates a neat folded edge that you can topstitch from the right side of the garment. In case you're wondering, true flatlock seams are sewn to the outside of the garment by sewing the wrong sides together first.
I used a large 30″ open zipper in a golden yellow color. It took me three attempts to get the color to match, so I wish I had gone with white or gold! And I used two gold Prym anorak snaps for pockets. Snaps are so fun to install when you have a little stress to practice and you can use a hammer…or you can use the nifty pliers available if you don't want to make a fuss.
For the topstitching, I used my blind hem foot (as I don't have an edge stitching foot) with the needle placed 3mm from the edge for the bottom pockets and zipper edges. Then my 1/4″ foot to sew the flat felled seams on the right side of the garment and the pocket flaps. Finally, I used a stitch in the foot of the ditch to attach the hood lining to the right side of the fabric. I love having feet like this in my sewing toolbox and I 100% recommend you buy them or ask for them as a gift.
I made a size XS at the shoulders and a size M at the hips, staggering between sizes. The only other changes I made was to use facings for the sleeve and body hems. I cut my bodice before finding my zipper, so I needed the hem to create the proper finish on the bottom edge. Then I liked it so much that I added it to the sleeves. It gives the support of a cuff! Time to go out in the rain?