Thursday, 21 June 2012

Mac Thoughts

You may, or may not, be aware of the fact that it rains a lot in Ireland. There is a perfectly good meteorological explanation for the preposterous amounts of precipitation that fall here - we are the fire wall for anything nasty that heads east across the Atlantic - it breaks on Ireland; the first land mass it comes to and by the time the low pressures hit Great Britain and Europe they are all used up: the crazy Europeans get the sun, we get the rain - c'est la vie!

So it should come as no surprise that I've been thinking about making a summer raincoat.

I have exacting demands:

  • Not a traditional trench - don't want epaulettes and buttons and buttonholes - too fussy for what I have in mind
  • Must have one piece fronts and backs - no waist seams
  • Semi-fitted - not swinging like the 1950s or maternity wear but loose enough to close without having to suck it in
  • No Belts - sway back girls like me don't suit belted coats, we are forever adjusting the gathers and pleats at the back.
  • Buttons are OK but not a million of them
  • Double breasted - maybe
  • Pockets - without a doubt
  • Preferably just above knee length
  • Lined in a fancy quilters cotton type of colourful fabric
  • No zips - I have enough trouble putting in a 7" skirt zip let alone a 22" or longer coat one
And this is where you, dear readers, come in. I've done some research, searched the world, and found some designs I'd like your opinions on, furthermore I warmly welcome any suggestions of patterns that meet the above criteria.

Here goes:

First Burda downloadable. Problem here is the printing and tiling and adding seam allowances and so on and so on yawn......

1. The dreaded waist seams but maybe I could patch the pattern pieces together?

2. Good

3.  Eurofashionweb Also downloadable, would have to lengthen this and I'm concerned the back pleat will be too swingy.

Then I found a German site simply called Pattern Company. Absolutely gorgeous stuff, all the usual and some really unusual pieces too. I'm guessing the instructions will be in German though.

4. I know it's belted but if left off do you think the coat moves into swingy mode?

5. Too plain?

 6. Stunning, but as a raincoat?

7. Nearly there, but the belt is built in....and it's raglan sleeves so no easing required - yippee! Need to lengthen


A Danish company called Onion

8. Fairly traditional rain coat style, but the instructions are in Danish and that's a tad more difficult than German

9.  This one has a tie at one side so I'm not too sure what it would look like open.

My usual - Vogue

10. Sandra Bettzina - Kimono sleeves but lots of darts.

 11. I actually have this pattern and have made the dress but never the coat. It's reversible. Would it look good as a raincoat?

Lots and lots to choose from and maybe some others I haven't even found yet. However, I have failed to mention one thing..... I should be doing this......

No room for sewing for the next few weeks. Ah well, by the time this lot is marked and sent away I'll have my raincoat fabric, pattern and sewing room back - and then, only then, will the sun be shining!

Thanks for reading. Ruth


  1. I was in Ireland a few years ago for a wedding and a litle touring. It rained EVERY day that we were there. I couldn't believe it. I suugest something with a hood. See you when you return.

    1. When we holiday at home we pack for all four seasons!

  2. Well if its any consolation its seems to be raining as much in Essex too and the Hague where I am right now. For my 2p worth - I like no.7 and no.4.

    Now get on with your homework you naughty girl.

    1. I like 7 too - British summers huh?

  3. I love #2 and #10. I also love that you found 10 different Casablanca remake for you!

    1. I do like the Humphrey classic but just not for summer. I like 10 too it looks cosy.

  4. I like the more traditional, masculine, but not boxy shapes such as Lauren Bacall might have worn but they have to have a belt, though I think it's better to ignore the buckle and just tie it (which might make it settle at the natural waist so maybe no need for fiddly adjustments).

    My favourites are 4,7 and 8 (probably 4).

    A few years ago I saw the perfect trench in a magazine and have been waiting for my sewing skills to improve to that I could make my own. It's a D&G and the price was quoted as POA (so I didn't ask...). I have it filed away somewhere: it's beige with silk, leopard-print lining. Here's a black version I found --- which isn't anywhere near as nice - but will give you an idea of the feminine shape:
    Maybe someday it'll be mine.

    Sorry I'm rabbitin' and you've got work...

    1. Thanks Marianna good luck with your D&G wishlist.

  5. AlaskapsychJune 23, 2012

    Welllll . . . after careful consideration:

    #1 could work if you simply matched up the seams so that it was one solid piece front and back.
    #2 is ok, but I think you might want some buttons farther down if you're using it as a raincoat.
    #3 is good, but I'd want it longer.
    #4 works and you do have the figure for it.
    #5 works too and has the classic advantage.
    #6 has possibilities (I think the color is throwing you off)
    #7 I agree: needs to be longer
    #8 is ok too, but I think it would look better in a wool as a winter garment.
    #9 I think that tie belt would end up being a pain to wear.
    #10 I gotta be honest, don't like it in general.
    #11 could work but you'd have to lengthen sleeves.

    I think I like #11. It would give you the coverage and movement you are seeking without being too full and too plain.

    Have fun sewing!

    1. Thank you that's a detailed review! Your thinking seems to be in line with mine. Sometimes choice is a bad thing

  6. Raining here in Vancouver, Canada, too! Vancouver Island's west coast is our Ireland, we're kind of like Great Britain and BC's Interior is like southern Europe, grape vines and all. ;)

    I like #9 and #10 but personally my favourite raincoat is my Sewaholic Minoru (and not just because Tasia is local!) I've been wearing the heck out of it all spring. Unfortunately it doesn't follow some of your basic criteria because it's a longish jacket with an elastic waist and a zipper. Also a hood. Super-flattering on everyone I've seen in it though - including little old me.

    1. I've looked at the Minoru as everyone was raving about it but yeah, the elasticated waist and zip put me off. I think I prefer coastlines (rain and all) to interiors.

  7. Ruth! New candidate for you!

    1. Maybe if I was size UK6 and had the same bank balance and flew first class and had tanned legs and that loose button is driving me mad......

  8. Thanks for the pattern site links. I am in love with both!