When I sawFive and Ten Designs Volume 2 was all about jackets, I was so excited.
I have been on a bit of a jacket-making kick lately. I made four other jackets for my kids in the past three months: a 3/4 sleeve swing coat and a spring bomber jacket for Hannah, and a lightweight zip up and knight hoodie for Jayce. But there is a major void in my kids' outerwear, and the need for it in London is no joke.
They need rain gear.
I decided to sew up Look 1, a classic rain jacket by Delia, and I loooove it.
There are two great things that you need to know about this jacket.
First, the construction is very straightforward. The instructions are clear, the photos leading you through the process are detailed, and you end up with a quality looking garment, inside and out.
Second, the fabric for this jacket? It's a table cloth.
A few thoughts on making a rain jacket from table cloth material.
It is not the easiest thing in the world, but it is not the hardest. I don't know if I would say that I recommend it, but I wouldn't discourage someone from doing it if they really wanted to.
For me, I wasn't in love with my rain gear fabric options, and when I saw this it made my heart go pitter patter. And it was only three pounds for a meter. Three pounds!!
Wrestling with it/ sewing with it was not always easy. Around the curves of the armscye I had to remind myself that sewing is a hobby that I do for fun. When I was trying to topstitch the hood, I pretended like I was on Project Runway in the "Unconventional Challenge" episode to make myself push through. Except that we all know that the judges hate when people use things that are fabric-like for the unconventional challenge, and table cloth certainly would have fallen into that category. Oh well.
I love it so much.
If you decide to follow in my footsteps with a beautiful yet semi-cooperative fabric such as this, I have a few suggestions.
First, tape and wonder clips can work wonders (ha!) in place of pins, and a leather needle is your friend. Second, in sewing this, it helps to take on the mentality of a boxer: go in, throw your punches, then retreat to your corner for a break and to re-hydrate. Third, just do it. Sewing wouldn't be fun if it wasn't also some chance-taking every time.
A few thoughts on Five and Ten Designs Volume Two e-book.
One excellent thing about this set is that you get one pattern block, five different designers, and ten different ways to construct that pattern to get ten different outcomes. As you read through it you will feel like your mind is a whirring slot machine - so may options to choose from, so many different combinations, you will be planning out multiple garments, I guarantee it.
However, the pattern block is very basic because it will be modified, so be sure to read the instructions that each designer has listed with their pattern because they tell you how to use that pattern for their design. Don't just cut out the pattern block as it's printed and try to just wing it, (which I'm sometimes guilty of) because it is a little different each time. For this design, I cut out the pattern in the outer fabric, then cut out the pattern with the inner fabric and then modified it because it was the lining and should be smaller, and then accidentally cut out the facings with the original pattern piece instead of the lining piece as instructed. (Insert forehead in hand.) Luckily it was no big deal, I just re-cut the facings in the right size and I still had plenty of fabric to do so, but now I know for my next jacket.
I guess what I am saying is, pay attention to the pattern when you are cutting out your pattern pieces. :) Also, I printed out the instructions for just for Look 1 so that I could make little notes to myself as I went along, and I will do that with the other looks I make as well.
Another thing I loved about this pattern set? The pieces all fit together PERFECTLY. The bodice back and front matched exactly, the hood centered easily, the plackets were perfect, the sleeve pieces matched up with the bodice just right. This is not always the case with patterns and I just love when it happens. :)
The fit is perfect on Hannah. It is exactly how I want a rain jacket to fit: A little loose but not huge, slightly long sleeves but she still has use of her hands, a good sized hood that she can still see out from underneath of. I kicked out the bottom hem a few inches to give it a slight A-line shape, and only used two buttons instead of the recommended four-five because once the material was secured at the top it didn't really move a lot, and I never take on button holes unnecessarily. :)
I have two more coats planned from this volume, so stay tuned. The other two won't be rain jackets or made from table cloth, I promise.
At least I know the coat will clean off easily, right?! :) Unless she gets chili on it, that is. We all know that chili always stains your table cloth...
**I was provided with the Five and Ten book with no strings attached, but just had to try it out and share because I loved it so much.**