There are a couple of issues when you are creating a zip-out lining for a raincoat.
1. How are you going to be using this garment? Going to work? A child’s garment for going to school or play? Casual wear?
2. How much movement is involved? (more…)
There are a couple of issues when you are creating a zip-out lining for a raincoat.
When you are making a zipout lining, the facing with the zipper attachment is where ‘the rubber meets the road’. I’m sure there are other methods of doing this, but this is what works for me. What you will need is what is in the top photo: a finished coat facing (this is a separate back collar facing and front facing, sewn together at the shoulders), a separating zipper as long as you can get it and some wide bias binding. Now, you don’t have to have the zipper or the binding match the facing –you can make the bias binding out anything you’d like – more raincoat fabric, contrasting fabric, the fabric you are using for the raincoat lining itself and so on. Fold the zipper in half and mark both sides of the tape with a pen for your center. Also fold the back neck facing in half and mark that one with a pen for THAT center as well; you’ll want to do this so that you can match up the center points on the zipper and the back neck facing.
Step one: Attach the binding to the outside edge of the facing.
What we are doing is attaching something on the outside edge of the facing (which is where the zip out liner is going to attach), which is studier than the raincoat fabric is by itself, in order for the zipper to remain stable. So, what you do is unfold one side of the tape and do it ‘right side to right side’ on the edge and sew it down. Then fold it over, not quite in half – all you are looking for is to cover the raw edge of the facing. You should end up with something that looks like this.
Step two: Match up the center of the binding with the center of one half of the zipper.
Unzip the zipper and lay the binding on one half of the zipper so that it just covers the teeth on the zipper tape. One of the functions of the bias binding is to do this so that you don’t have the teeth exposed when you are wearing the coat without the zip out liner. It should look something like this.
Step three: pin the zipper tape through the binding.
After all the ‘don’t make any more holes in the raincoat fabric than you absolutely have to, I’m breaking my own rules here. This is inside and so the whole waterproof-ness of the outside is not compromised by this and it helps hold the whole thing together because you are going to sew the zipper tape to the binding by hand. Yes, I know there are folks who hate, hate, hate hand sewing. As I said, I’m sure there are people who do this by machine, but I do not.
The way I do this is that I go back to the center match up and pin there and then work to the left and right pinning until I get to either end. Sounds crazy, I realize, but with something as long as this, I want to make sure I don’t end up with ‘crawling’.
Step four: Baste down this half of the zipper. Again, just as with the pins, I start basting in the center back point and baste one half side down to one end and then go back and baste down the other half side all the way down to the end. This will prevent the zipper ‘crawling’ out of synch. Now that I have this firmly attached to the bias tape at the edge, I will pull out the zipper foot on my machine and sew that half of the zipper down.
In Part Two, I will make the zip-out liner itself and attach the other half of the separating zipper to that and put the facing into the coat.
One of the things about making outerwear is having the ability to customize. Want a purple ski jacket? You can do it. Want a jacket with a ‘poachers pocket’ in the back? No problems. Want a jacket with vertical chest pockets with zippers so that you can put a bottle of penicillin and keep it warm if you have to doctor sheep out in the barn in January and it’s 0 degrees F out there? Yep. You can do that too (speaking of which, I used to have a lovely jacket from Woolrich, unfortunately colored pink, which ended up as a barn coat for precisely that reason. Trying to draw liquid antibiotics out of a bottle through a rubber stopper with a syringe when it is under 30 degrees is like trying to suck roast beef through a straw (more…)
Unlike other sewing posts here on KCE, I’m not doing this coat in chronological order — we’ve all got our ‘big sewist panties’ on and I don’t think we need that. What this series is all about is the very specific items or skills which make working with something like a raincoat or water resistant fabrics different or new. It will all come together at the end, I promise.
There are, as I’ve discussed before, several different ways to seal the seams on raincoats or other outerwear made with waterproof or water resistent fabrics:
Seam sealer which is squeezed out of a tube and painted on the seams with a brush (with which, to be honest, I don’t have any experience);
Seam sealing tapes, which is the point of discussion here. (more…)
Unless you know otherwise, the fibers are man-made and will MELT at temperatures used to iron. Period. (more…)
Now, after I posted the last bit about what I’d do next, I realized that I didn’t have the proper zippers to do the demonstration, so I ordered them (I use Wawak because they have the largest collection and selection of zippers that I’ve ever seen and their service is really fab) and while I’m waiting for those to arrive, I’ll cover a couple of other issues and items that I think you might find useful.
First – if you have never worked with waterproof or water resistant or DWR (which stands for durable water resistant) fabrics before, this is totally new. I remember the first time I did this, all I could think of was that everything I ever knew about sewing in terms of pressing, laying out and so on was utterly useless with these fabrics. Why? Well, first of all, they are made of manmade fibers – polyester or nylon usually and they have a very low melting point which means that ironing the seams down except for when you are doing ‘seam sealing’ (which you WILL want to do), is a no-no. Secondly, there are a couple of different ways that fabrics are made water resistant/waterproof: coatings on the top (which usually makes them shiny, like laminated cottons) or coatings/waterproof membrane layers on the inside, which depending on the fabrics, can also require that you use a lining on the inside to protect them from abrasion from what the person is wearing inside the coat. There are 2-layer systems (which usually require some sort of inside lining of nylon taffeta or mesh), 3-layer systems (which may or may not require some sort of inside lining). There is even something referred to as 2.5 layer (which does not require a lining). I’m still trying to figure out what half a layer is. (more…)
One of the clothing items that I think is really in the ‘must have’ category is a good solid raincoat with a removable liner. This is something that will carry you basically through most of the year except for the heat of the summer, when frankly, if you are caught in the rain, you are more likely to use an umbrella than a coat. So, from a ‘cost per wearing’ this is a terrific investment piece with a great return. (more…)
Now, when you have major ‘fabric and craft’ retailers literally offering, brand by brand, patterns at 5 for $5.00 on a monthly basis, it might seem a bit of a formal exercise to talk about all the different styles that you can get out of one pattern in order to limit the number of patterns you need to have in the stash, but bear with me here. Once you get the feel for doing this, not only do you start to recognize the ‘bones’ in the patterns (and the fact that there really are not that many different styles out there), but also realize what you can do with the patterns you’ve already made (and worked out all the fitting issues with). This is a big time-saver versus buying a new pattern, making and tweaking a muslin and so on. (more…)
So, the last time I looked at this, wardrobe thingy I was analyzing how one ready-to-wear designer put together a wardrobe of separates. What they did was they had two prints and a number of single color items which matched some of the colors in the prints. Now, what they did in particular might not meet your needs (I mean now really – print pants are not my thing, but they might be yours).
Having flogged my black-white-red wardrobe into the ground over the past 5 years, I had to decide whether to stick with those colors and replace items as they bagged, sagged, and got long in the tooth. I’ve gotten a lot of wear out of all of them but a couple of items just don’t stand up and say ‘hey there’ much any longer, which is one of the problems with prints. It’s easy to get tired of them. The other thing is that your dear Aunty is getting to any age when black is not, shall we say, kind to me anymore in terms of my complexion, so I wanted to weed things out, spruce things up, and get a bit of color in my wardrobe. What I need on a daily basis is also changing – I no longer have to go into an office on a daily basis and I have a lot more casual and different activities to do. I also like to wear skirts and tops rather than dresses. So I need to think about that.
In terms of colors, I’ve got a couple of really hard and fast rules about color:
– If you don’t already love a color, adding it to the wardrobe because Pantone(tm) or someone else in the clothing industry says it’s ‘in’ is not going to be a good investment. People wear colors that they actually LIKE. Pantone(tm) says that emerald green is this year’s color (I think last year’s color was tangerine orange), but I think that’s not a color that will be kind to me, either. I like all sorts of greens, but the ones I like the best and which look best on ME are colors that have a bit of blue in them (just like the reds that look the best … are those that have a bit of blue in them). So, I’m basing my wardrobe work on teal and raspberry, two very jazzy colors but both of which have some blue.
– Over a certain age, black is draining. If you want to go in that direction, try midnight blue, which is my favorite for formalwear which usually would be black. It’s classy, unusual and it’s not black.
– Yellows are hard to wear for anyone over the age about about 15, especially yellow-greens.
My first ‘put together’ for the wardrobe is a two-piece dress made out of ponte knit, and a blouse and skirt made out of a coordinating print. With that, I get four outfits:
– Teal top and teal skirt
– Print top and print skirt together, making a dress-like look
– Teal top and print skirt
– Print top and teal skirt
This is the pattern I used for the teal top and skirt – it’s an early 60s pattern. I made the top with a plain neckline, but as you can see from the photo above, I made a scarf out of the print fabric too. I sewed on snaps on the scarf and inside the corresponding spots around the neckline of the teal top. That way, when I wear the teal top and the print skirt, I have something that ties both halves together.
Now, my next step ordinarily would be to go to the pants end of the spectrum, but I am still mulling that: teal pants or one of the coordinating colors in the print? That print has the following colors in it:
Now, I’m definitely not going to go with a print pair of pants – I don’t have any more of the fabric in any case and print pants are really not ‘me’ (well, at least I don’t think they are). My ‘matchy-matchy’ side wants me to go to teal pants, but the pragmatist in me wants to go with brown.
How do you vote?
But I can still get snagged. I still buy fabric the same way I did when I started: Grab the bolt, take it to the cutting counter, tell the cutter how much and off I go. And it hit me today when I was working on a very simple blouse that I really do need to change this, at least with places I actually walk into.
I really need to make the cutter open the fabric up so that I see the stuff I’m buying.
How many times have we started to pin and cut fabric, only to find a flaw…or a stain…or a misprint?
And there you are (cue music from “Psycho”).
Well, there are more organized methods to deal with the procedure: Open up the fabric before you even pre-treat it so that you can, maybe, get more or take it back. But most of the time we buy for the stash and then it’s all gone at the store, right? I’ve never had the luck of finding more just sitting there waiting for me.
So, here I was with the front all cut out and I went to do the back of the blouse and there’s a misprint, right where, if I kept on cutting the back pattern piece the same way, it would locate itself right in dangerous territory. How about a cartoon sign next to it with a giant arrow, right? Jeeze.
OK. So here’s the fix. The trick is to make more smaller pieces of the pattern that you can space around the fabric, so that you can miss the stain, flaw, misprint, etc. In my case, what I did was I folded the pattern vertically, matching the center ‘cut on the fold’ line to the side seam line. I cut the pattern apart where I folded it and then I marked ‘add 1/2″ here’ on both pieces where I’d cut it (because otherwise, I’ll never remember and then the back would have been too small). I also did some judicious pattern matching so that the pattern matched horizontally as well.
So, lessons for tonight: Make the cutter at the fabric store unfold the fabric so that you get a good look before they cut it. If you buy on-line, open the package immediately and do the same thing at home so that if you have to send it back for replacement, you’ve got a fighting chance the merchant still has some of that fabric. And second – if you’ve got a small ‘woops’ perhaps with some clever new style-lines cut into your pattern, you can still get what you want out of your not-so-perfect fabric.