I will start out this post to share a disclaimer, I adore Anna Maria Horner’s sewing patterns. The Quick Change Trousers pattern from the book Handmade Beginnings is my all time favorite sewing pattern for infants/toddlers. I have made many, many versions (both for my own children and as gifts). I will do a review of this pattern in the future as I have made some modifications to this adorable pattern.
I got to meet the lovely Anna Maria Horner in person a few years ago. She is such a sweet and wonderful lady! I’m hoping it make it to her shop, Craft South soon.
Now, getting back to the topic of today, the All Set Pattern Set: Jacket . I originally bought this pattern set due to my children growing out of the 24 month size of the Quick Change Trousers pattern. The All Set Pattern Set includes a jacket, pants, shorts, blouse and skirt patterns in sizes 2T – 8y. The bundled patterns together are quite a deal!
A friend of mind requested a special commissioned project, a rain coat for her child (in approximately a size 3T). I thought the All Set Jacket pattern would be a fun option to make into a rain coat. The fabric suggested in the pattern is lightweight to medium weight cotton (with an option to line in flannel cotton fabric).
For this project, I used the following:
Pattern: All Set Pattern Set by Anna Maria Horner
Outer fabric: Laminated Cotton – Sea Stripes in Aqua by Tula Pink
Bicycle Contrast fabric: Laminated Cotton – Bicycle Gray by Michael Miller
Lining Fabric: Quilting Cotton – Good Natured Timber in Orange by Riley Blake
Outer Buttons: Pictured on finished jacket
Backing Buttons: Jo Ann’s, (pictured on finished jacket)
Thread: Isacord 100% polyester thread, Orange Peel #0703 (pictured on finished jacket)
The fabrics, outer buttons, and thread were purchased from Let’s Sew.
I’ll share a couple of pictures of my sewing journal. For many years, I did not keep any records of my sewing projects. Over time, I’ve found that it is helpful for me to write down notes as I sew a pattern. This saves me a lot of time if I decide to sew the pattern again. I’ve also self-drafted a few bags and pouches so these notes are handy as well for repeat makes. Some of the notes that I make in my journal are the following; I write down what I would do differently the next time (if I sew the pattern again), what fabrics I used, the size that I made, what I changed in the pattern, notes clarifying instructions that I had challenges with, etc.
I have details at the end of this post for what I modified/changed to the pattern.
I spent more time with this project making notes and thinking through sizing changes on the front end. I made multiple modifications to the sizing to customize the raincoat for the recipient. I find with sewing, the more time I spend beforehand, thinking through each step (before cutting out the fabric, before sewing a seam, etc.) the less mistakes I tend to make. Of course, I still make mistakes often and the seam ripper and I have become quite close friends.
To lay out the pattern on the outer fabric, I pattern matched the fabric at front and back of the jacket.
The next photo shows the jacket in process. I practiced the button placket, button loop and attachment on scrap fabrics before cutting and sewing out the main fabric. This is always a good idea, test on scrap fabrics first (spoken from many personal mistakes and seam ripping requirements).
On most of the jacket, I used fabric clips to hold the seams. Fabric clips are super handy to use with laminated fabrics (to prevent holes in the fabric as happens when using sewing pins). Upon assembling the button placket together, I found it challenging to hold the facing of the button placket down. Fabric clips would not reach this seam and seam tape would not hold the laminated cotton (so I caved and used sewing pins sparingly along this seam, shown in the photo below). Thankfully, sewing pin holes were not visible on the finished garment.
The following are finished views of the jacket. On the inside of the button placket I added the backing buttons (as a reinforcement to the outer buttons). I learned about this technique through the knitting community. Here is a great post that shares more information on using backing buttons.
The recipient was very happy with the finished raincoat (and wore it right away). This was the first time that I’ve made a raincoat. Although a lot of time was involved for this project (from start to end) it was definitely worth it and I enjoyed this pattern, a lot.
The following are the modifications that I made to the pattern, to customize the size for the child and accommodate working with laminated cotton fabrics.
- I lengthened the brim of the hood. The stiff laminated cotton fabric does not flex the same way a soft cotton does. I enlarged the hood so that the brim would extend out past the child’s forehead and water would drip away from the face. I also eliminated the elastic and the elastic casing around the brim.
- I used a 3T body circumference but lengthened the arms to a 4T length + 2″.
- I wanted this to be more of a trench coat length, so, starting at the 4T length for the body, I lengthened the body of the coat an additional 3″.
- I sewed the size tag out of twill tape and free motion embroidery. I sewed a size “3TL” on the size label (for 3 Toddler Long).
- I sewed a pleat into the hood. I had a little extra fabric around the hood and with the stiffness of the laminated cotton, a pleat was a handy way to address that challenge. I liked this change, in the end, because the hood fit well and offered a little more room.
- To ease the sleeves into the shoulders, I gathered between the notches with a basting stitch.
- I added a hanging loop inside the jacket.
- I did not line the coat sleeves, the full length, in the quilting cotton. I shortened the length of the cotton and added the contrasting Bicycle print fabric in the sleeve lining. The bicycle print fabric is water resistant so as the child wears the sleeves cuffed, the fabric will not soak in the water (if it is raining).
If you have any questions about this project, please let me know. Have you made a raincoat for a child? If you have, I’d love to hear more about your experiences as well!