My daughter needed a raincoat - this is Ireland after all! With the weather forecast promising wet and mild weather here for April, I finished it just in time.
This has been on my to-do list for a while, but needed to be sewn because I only had a metre of the green polka-dot coated cotton from Westfalenstof, barely enough for my 6 year old. As I planned to make a raincoat, keeping the number of seams to a minimum to ensure it would be waterproof was a priority.
This all led me to choose a raglan coat because I love that vintage style and thought it might use less fabric than a coat with regular sleeves.
|Raincoat with hood (colour is washed-out in this pic|
Perhaps I was looking in the wrong places, but finding a modern pattern for a child's raglan-sleeved coat proved impossible. I resorted to Pinning images of vintage raglan-sleeved coat patterns and eventually decided to draft my own. Using Cal Patch's book and my daughters measurements I had no problem with the front and back pieces, but got stuck on the sleeves. Should they be in one or two pieces, should I draft following Aldrich or Armstrong? ...... Stuck .... until I saw that Sew Magazine (April’13, issue 46) had a pattern for a child's raincoat, age 2-4, with ...... raglan sleeves! The magazine also has 2 pages, 38-39, of helpful information for sewing with waterproof fabrics. It took a bit of work, but grading up raglan sleeves, proved easier than drafting from scratch.
Of course the sleeves are not perfect, but it's a wearable raincoat, and I really couldn't wish for more than that with a first effort at drafting, and not even sewing a muslin!
With all my emphasis on the sleeves, I nearly forgot to mention that I drafted the hood from scratch, using Aldrich. It could be a little bigger, but fits and I was so pleased that I had enough fabric left for it.
There is a general theme of nearly running out of fabric throughout this post, and so it is for the green cotton lining fabric that I bought locally - didn't have enough for the sleeves, so I used a different cotton for them.
This is a picture of the inside, which also shows the zip cover/placket at the centre front which I drafted separately. I used a zip from an old raincoat of my daughters and the Velcro was leftover from my Minoru.
Not having consulted with my daughter on the design or the fabrics, I asked her if there was anything she wanted to add - her request was for pockets (for what is now an obvious reason!). So after checking my Pins for inspiration, I went with patch pockets.
She also picked the ribbon type and colour for the hanging loop and the zipper pull - details that are so tiny hat they could be missed, but are important to her. The colour of the ribbon came up blue in the picture, but is a purple stitched ribbon from janemeans, which picks up a purple in the lining. (And most recently seen threaded through lace by Ann on The Great British Sewing Bee!)
Unlike my Minoru, I didn't tape any seams in this coat so it remains to be seen how much rain it will keep out. Of course I don't intend to let my daughter out in a downpour to test it out, much as she'd probably love that!
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