Thursday, December 16, 2010

well duh...

two words: rectangular construction

I have been putting the raincoat construction project off for months and months well more than a year, dreading the multiple muslins needed to get something that will deal with my bitsy shoulders. Last night, while riding the #75 on the way home from visiting L, it occurred to me that a way to stop being all weird and stressed about it, would be to make the primary construction rectangular construction and to use the "pretty" details from useful patterns as just that, added details.

Rectangular construction* preceded shaped pattern pieces, and while not suitable for all modern garments, should work without trouble for a semi-shaped (but loosely) fit rain-over-coat. Now that I've both a nifty rainhat, and my Keen boots of awesomeness, it is time to have an actual raincoat. I vaguely remember my friend K suggesting just this solution months ago, but I'd my heart set on a particular shawl collared swing coat pattern instead. Now it is mid December, and just maybe before winters end there will be a new raincoat, the right size to fit me, long enough to wear with dresses, and the shabby worn Goretex jacket can be retired.

I'll be documenting the project, once started (There are a few studio projects that need finished first). By using this construction method, it should be possible to entirely bypass the frustration of shoulder fitting*. After all, my Goretex jacket doesn't even have an armscye seam.

My idea is for mid-calf coat with a flared skirt, a zip front with a snap wind-flap, a tall cowl-ish collar lined with polartec, pockets (maybe with single welts), and a Goretex shouldercape for additional rainproofing. I have the fabric already, the black London Fog fabric (bought when I lived in Seattle years ago) so all that is needed is notions, a sturdy separating zipper, some snaps, and possibly some lining fabric. Not sure what raincoats get lined with?

* making clothing from cut to measure rectangles and triangles. (pre-renaissance, viking, and earlier clothing was often made this way)

** I still really want to come up with a button up the front shirt with shoulders that fit me.


  1. One of my raincoats is lined with wool, the other is lined with a pretty heavy fleece. They're both cozy, but the wool does better when it's wet, obviously.

  2. I have itty bitty shoulders too but have found out how to alter patterns easily and successfully. There is a perfectly simple way here:
    and here: alteration&criteriastring=simplesearch%3Dpattern%20alteration

    These two files changed my life (or at least my clothing) drastically for the better! Good luck.