It’s the end of a very soggy July and after a month of what’s seemed like never-ending thunderstorms, it’s made me realize two things.
1. I really enjoy a mid-afternoon rainstorm as long as I’m comfortably inside with nowhere to go.
2. I desperately need a raincoat.
While umbrellas are great, there’s nothing like a raincoat to help protect when the wind and rain combine to attack from all sides. Luckily, I received this Rico PVC Cotton Vinyl Fabric from Minerva and knew I had to use it to make a Seamwork Francis raincoat. The fabric, which is also known as oilcloth, is waterproof on the outside, so I used a jade polyester lining fabric for the inside. It’s a great weekend project and I learned some new skills, including how to install heavy duty snaps. It’s been a while since I made a coat and this was my first time working with oilcloth, but other than a little confusion while reading the instructions, it was a breeze to sew!
Since this Rico PVC Cotton Vinyl fabric is slightly thick and slick, I was a bit concerned as to how it would work in my sewing machine. I picked up a walking foot, used it instead of my regular sewing machine foot and had zero issues. The fabric was easy to work with and the jellyfish print is so freaking cute! Make sure you use heavy duty metal snaps and a larger size needle. Also, I normally launder my fabric before working with it, but this fabric does not go in the washer or dryer. If it gets stained, you simply wipe it clean. When I cut out the pattern pieces, I very lightly and very gently pressed this fabric to remove most of the wrinkles. You have to be VERY CAREFUL doing this though because it’s easy to melt the vinyl coating.
Okay, first the positives about this pattern. For reference, I used the member bonus to add a hood and patch pockets with belt loop extensions. The design of the pattern is stellar. The darts are so flattering and, because the coat is fully lined, the end result has a professional look and feel. Now for the negatives, which aren’t serious but a bit annoying. The hood is quite large and really oddly shaped. I’m not sure if it’s because I used a stiffer fabric, but the hood is slightly pointed (yikes). I think the shape can be easily fixed by just adding a rectangular pattern piece between the hood pieces. My biggest issue, however, are the instructions. I’ve made Seamwork patterns for years so I’m pretty comfortable with their instructional style, but this was so confusing! The instructions said to understitch in spots that were either impossible or aesthetically displeasing to understitch. The hemming instructions didn’t match up with the pattern pieces and it was so bad that about 75% into the project, I abandoned the instructions and went my own way. It worked out in the end, but it was incredibly frustrating and would probably cause a beginner sewer to abandon the project. Even with all those struggles, I’m glad I powered through because now I have this adorable raincoat!