A while back I was at a fabric store getting buttons to go on Annie’s leather coat, when I had one of THOSE moments. (Or am I the only one this happens to?) I was innocently standing in the checkout line with a package of large white buttons in my hand when this bolt of fabric on the clearance table JUMPED out of the pile and grabbed my eyeballs right out of my head!
I gasped and exclaimed aloud, “Wouldn’t that make the cutest little girl’s rain jacket?” The ladies around me looked where I was pointed, and agreed that I was absolutely right, it was perfect for that. But I maintained my place in line and my grip on my wallet, and left the store without buying any of the laminated cotton that I knew would be perfect for a girl’s rain jacket. I told Allegra and Aria about the fabric as soon as I saw them, and a few days later was browsing Elegance and Elephant’s blog when I saw the spring parka pattern she made and is thinking about developing into a pattern for selling. (Heidi has now released this pattern! Go buy it!). The details on the parka were so adorable, that I was convinced! I knew the next time I was in town, I was going to have to go back and get some of THAT fabric! So I walked in to the store and of course there was none of that fabric left. I searched through the entire clearance table, but that’s the way it goes with clearance fabrics sometimes. So on a final, desperate whim, I asked some of the sales ladies if they happened to have any left, and their eyes lit up, they ran to the back room, and brought out the laminated cotton for me with (Bonus!) some contrasting print too! Apparently they’d been holding it for someone who never came to pick it up, and had forgotten to put it back out; lucky me (it was now 90% off!)
So then the planning began. I knew it needed to be made into a rain jacket, but since Heidi hasn’t released her spring parka pattern yet, I started searching for inspiration. Allegra is really good at drawing her own designs, but my art skills leave a little to be desired! So I printed out several different jackets I liked elements from, grabbed a pencil and started planning.
Project Run and Play has released their themes for the next season and they are fantastic. I was going to sit this season out and not sew along since we are going to be very busy with Challenge Create: Adult Edition during that time, but the themes were so inspiring, they wouldn’t let me go, so I made a plan! I am going to sew the themes ahead of time (novel idea, not to save things for last minute, I know!) and link them to PR&P as they come up. So I decided to use this rain jacket for my signature style piece for several reasons. 1: See above fabric story. 2: I currently seem to be in jacket phase. 3: I designed this rain jacket to have all my favorite details, a ruffle, bold floral patterns, a hood, and matching accessories.
I started with peek-a-boo Pattern Shop’s puddle jumper rain coat because it had many of the elements I wanted to incorporate into the jacket, and seemed the best starting spot. You can make either a boy’s or girl’s rain jacket from this pattern. I modified it by reducing the pocket size, changing the bottom band to a ruffle, placing a black band across the top of the pockets, and adding a contrasting button tab across the back, and adding decorative buttons on top of the snaps.
I adore the way this jacket turned out, and Annie wants to sleep with it at night! It was my first time to work with laminated cotton, and it went pretty well, with only a few glitches. I made sure to read all peek-a-boo Pattern Shop’s hints for sewing on laminated cotton before I started, and was really glad I did!
For the boots, I turned a pair of black rubber farm boots into a pair of matching girly splash boots by cutting out enough fabric to follow the design on the side of the boot, and glueing it down in place.
The lining of this girl’s rain jacket (it is fully lined!) is cut from a skirt. A (short) story about this skirt; it was the very first skirt I ever bought from a thrift store. I wore it, and wore it, and wore it out, until the back slit was ripped beyond repair & the hook and eye at the waistband were missing.
The pattern explained the (optional) procedure for making each seam look professional and lay down flat, and I’m so glad I took the time to do this, even though no seam is exposed because of the lining.
One other slight modification I made was to place the pockets so they are wider than long, thereby wrapping them around the sides of the coat and tying in the contrast on the back button tab a little better.
A detail of this girl’s rain jacket that I kept the same and Annie loves is the stay put hood! It has a little elastic sewn into the black trim around the hood, and never falls off! I think it echoes the ruffle around the bottom too!