Sunday, 4 January 2015

Simplicity 7715 Rainjacket (and a bonus Grainline Scout!)

This is one of those creative projects that was so wrong in loads of educational ways...I had the idea of a little hooded rainjacket.  I found this pattern based on my idea (there is this one review of it.)  I knew I would shorten the hem and raise the pockets, but I planned to basically follow the pattern other than that.  However because it's quite loose, I figured I should muslin it, and I did, using a bedsheet.  That wasn't helpful at all.  The real question was whether to line it, and how it would look in coated fabric, and a bedsheet couldn't approximate that. 

I got the idea to make it for a friend as a muslin.  She's smaller than me by about one size, and said she could find a use for a baggy rainjacket.  I got pink Gore-tex-like fabric and wasn't sure what to use as the lining (it ended up being part of another bedsheet.)  When I was browsing blogs ages ago, I came across a post discussing the different types of Gore-tex-like fabric.  I can't find the original post, but the gist was that there is 2-layer and 3-layer.  Two-layer is a layer of nylon on the outside, and a Teflon inner side, which is white and gummy.  Three layer does not have that gummy feel, because the inside has also been treated (or there is a membrane sandwiched between two layers of nylon.)  The 2-layeris what I had, and was reported as being notoriously difficult to work with, because the Teflon sticks to everything and since it is rubber, it also stretches and will lose its shape.  Therefore I can admit I was warned.  

The things that were bad:

1. 70% fail: the fabric.  Sewing coated nylon when it was the pink side (not the Teflon side) up, and when it was against the lining, was not terrible.  Sewing two layers of coated nylon together was terrible.  I made no attempt to avoid all that shirring, because I didn't have the equipment for it, I had no teflon or walking foot.  I found that masking tape didn't help. I occasionally put pins in the seam allowance, which is also a pain because the fabric is rubbery and doesn't accept pins very willingly.

2. 30% fail: the pattern.  It's not a bad pattern, but it's a very oversized, kind of shapeless hooded jacket.  I probably needed to actually shrink the pattern about 6 sizes before it would have matched my hopes.  The finishing touches, which are always the most difficult for me, were done freehand and are particularly bad -- how do you attach the bottom of a separating zip, when the little lower panel of the zip is hard plastic?  My sewing machine needle won't go through it.

The only reason I continued:
I thought despite everything, my friend might still find it hilarious enough to wear.  For a little while, anyway.  The finishing is not very good, especially along the zipper bottom, and so I'm not sure whether the zip will pull loose.  

I lined the body but not the sleeves of the jacket, and folded elastic into the cuffs and hem - I just folded it over and sewed it down.  It's not a very neat job.  The pockets are lined with geometric rayon geometric scraps, which made them easier to sew down to the front of the jacket.  I was considering putting a string into the hood, but I left it out because the hood doesn't seem that deep (I am not sure it's very functional) and my string was too short...

Here, also for my friend, is a bonus Scout.  It's such a relief to make a really simple, easy project!  This is a size 0, and I used store-bought bias binding and french seams.  The only seam I left open is the sleeve attachment, although there is a Grainline tutorial that says you can french seam the armhole the same as the body.  The quilting cotton was easy to work with so I practiced my iron skills by actually using the steam - generally it scares me and I avoid it. 

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