Howdy friends! I’m back today with new make: my Kelly Anorak Raincoat! After I made my first Kelly, I knew I wanted to make a raincoat version. Apparently, I just love a sewing challenge. I get a huge satisfaction out of making something other people think you can’t make for yourself. I thought about this for a long time before I finally went for it, but I’m really glad I did.
Since raincoat fabric isn’t always the most fun next to your skin, I figured this was a good opportunity to use the lining expansion. I already had the expansion, and hadn’t used it the first time around. Also, it was a fun excuse to get a super fun fabric to make this raincoat even more “me”! It honestly took me a very long time to pick one. I wanted something fun, but it had to match okay with the crazy purple outer fabric.
Fabric choices & treatments
I scoured the internet for assistance on choosing fabrics for making a waterproof garment. I’ve never made anything “technical” before so I wanted to make sure I knew what I was doing before I started. I ended up buying my fabric at Seattle Fabrics while I was out there for a conference. I chose the 2-ply Ultrex waterproof breathable fabric. If we’re being honest, it was simply for the color. I also bought 10 yards of their iron-on seam-sealing tape. For the lining, I found the cutest cotton fabric that says “Rain, rain, go away” from Cotton + Steel. I lined the sleeves with a flannel-backed satin from Joann Fabrics for ease of getting on and off.
After quite a bit of research, I opted to prewash these fabrics with Nikwax Tech Wash. I didn’t want to use regular detergent and un-waterproof it before I even sewed it up. The Tech Wash was pretty easy to use in the washer. I tested it on the cotton lining and it worked fine. Since I finished sewing, I haven’t washed it again, but when I do, I will use the Tech Wash and wash it by itself. The fabric has stayed breathable and I haven’t had any problems with water seeping in (yay!).
When I ironed the Ultrex, I used a piece of parchment paper between the fabric and the iron. This seemed to protect it well. I didn’t end up with any melting problems and the seam tape stuck just fine. The Ultrex is not a fabric that likes to hold a crease. In places where I needed a crease, I made sure to use something heavy to hold it down until it cooled off. That seemed to help, especially in places like the hem and sleeve hem.
I didn’t really make many modifications to the pattern, just to the construction. To make this a truly waterproof Kelly Anorak Raincoat, after top-stitching each seam, I ironed on the seam tape. This was mostly done according to instructions/guidance from the Closet Case blog. Honestly, I struggled a lot with waterproofing the seam where the sleeves were inserted. It is honestly still a bit of a mess, but most of the problem is under the arms. No one sees that, so I’m not too worried.
The only place I deviated a lot from instructions was the drawstring casing. The instructions with the lining expansion tell you to put it on the outside and topstitch down once the lining is in. I didn’t like the idea of that, honestly, so I applied it more or less as instructed in the original instructions. It’s on the inside, but between the outer fabric and the lining. It works just fine this way, and I was able to waterproof those seams as well.
I also put the outer snaps inside the front placket again. On this one, I used a thin strip of leftover lining fabric to reinforce the snaps everywhere I placed them. So far, I haven’t had any problems of them wanting to rip through, so I guess that was good.
The result: A fabulous waterproof Kelly Anorak raincoat!
I am completely in love with this raincoat. Seriously. I wear it all the time, even when it’s not raining. And when it does rain, I park farther away and splash around with my hood up and grin because “MY RAINCOAT WORKS!!!” My friends tease me and inform me that their raincoats work as well, but they didn’t make theirs so I still brag 😉 Unfortunately, no one wanted to come out in the rain with me to take photos, so sunny day photos will have to do!
I get a lot of compliments on this, probably because of the color. I think anyone who sews knows the satisfaction of being able to say “Thanks, I made it myself!” Even people who have seen my grey Kelly Anorak are wildly impressed with this one. I’m incredibly proud of this make and so happy to wear it all the time. Until it gets too cold, then I’ll switch to the grey one for a bit 🙂
Have you made any waterproof/tech-wear? Do you have plans to? I’d love to hear from you in the comments 🙂