blue waerproof raincoat with blue lining and orange velcro

I’ve always wanted to sew a waterproof coat, just for me. I know what I want, and I have now accepted that I’m not going to find something off-the-shelf that ticks all the boxes. I knew I wanted something that had fairly simple lines but included with some elements of functionality, waterproofing and warmth.

My feature requirements are:
– Waterproof shell
– Thin, brightly coloured lining
– Hood
– Long front zip with placket cover

Sewing With Waterproof Fabric

The challenges involved in sewing waterproof gear are a-plenty. The material is slippery and unforgiving. You can only stitch once, because the material punctures. Often the pattern construction for hiking jackets and outdoor gear is quite complex involving lots of pieces, additions, and fixings. And then, there is the matter of waterproofing the seams.

The few times I’ve seen with waterproof materials has that impressed on me just how frustrating these materials can be. The last time I wrangled this shiny, pin-shy, beast was sewing kites in high school 20 years ago. The two pieces of rip stop would slide across each other, then they’d slide across the plate of the sewing machine, and once you had punctured the material with the needle those little holes were there for all eternity. When you’re making kites, or a waterproof coat, you don’t really want a bunch of holes popped along the face of the material. For a chronic re-doer like myself, this is a major concern.

Waterproof mateirals are:
– Slippery
– Unwieldy
– Stubborn
– Unforgiving

Pattern Selection

Option 1: Add a Zipper to the Papercut Sapporo Coat

The Sapporo jacket sewing pattern design is a delightfully simple pattern and is specifically designed to be oversized and worn open.

I’ve made the Sapporo a few times out of a range of fabrics. A lovely sturdy blue wool, a lighter blue nylon, and a very soft striped cotton. It’s a pleasure to sew. I’ve come to love cutting the big sweeping curved pieces. Constructing the neatly designed pocket. And poking through and shaping the simple standup collar.

Whether this would lend itself to wet weather gear is yet to be seen, but the one thing I know is that I’m comfortable making this pattern.

Option 2: Make a Waterproof Vogue Misses Coat

The Vogue Misses Coat design is loose fitting with raglan sleeves and a “red-riding” style hood, and under chin bow. The design could look a bit boxy when constructed out of thicker materials.

Having not made anything with this jacket before I’m excited and filled with trepidation to launch into a new style and new fabric.

Like the Sapporo, the Vogue Misses Coat also doesn’t have typical features of common waterproof design built in. No placket, no zipper, no toggles. Adjustments would need to be made.

Option 3: Buy a new raincoat sewing pattern

After reviewing my ever-growing stash of sewing patterns it becomes clear that it’s time to start searching for a proper rain jacket pattern.

In an attempt to avoid getting stuck half way with a modified Sapporo that never reaches completion, I’m hunting for a waterproof specific jacket sewing pattern.

The Hunt for Green Pepper Patterns

You don’t always remember the moments leading up to the very specific phrase that your brain and google refine together to locate that ‘thing’ you need in a beautiful dance between technology and human need. Each step forward and back sparking further inspiration. Further desperation. Moments of despair, unlinked Pinterest images, sites that won’t load, out of stock notices. The hunter grows weary. The flaring of nostrils when you feel it getting closer. When you know that not only does what you’re searching exist, but that an even remotely reputable e-commerce store has it in stock.

After a period of searching which could have lasted 30 minutes or 3 days. I came across The Green Pepper Inc. sewing patterns. Based in Portland, Oregon their very friendly support staff advise me that they don’t ship internationally, or sell PDF patterns. But That I can buy them from several online stockists based in Canada or Germany.