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Making a raincoat with a removable liner

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.

The only problem is a) the good ones are super expensive (I did a quick and dirty search and the good ones – that is, the full length raincoats made out of good solid materials, waterproofed, with a wool zip-out liner, are in the $200-$300 rang). And second, frankly, they also are boring and somewhat frumpadelic. From a fashion standpoint, they basically scream, “This is your grandma’s raincoat.”

Not good enough, people. (oh, and for the guy readers, this is an item that you should use as well)

What to do? Well, we can sew and we can find waterproof or water resistant fabrics and a long zipper and some nice warm wool fabric for a lining and we can make out own. And it will look fashionable and chic and hip and all those wonderful ‘crunchy’ fashion sorts of words.

Now, at the moment, MY new raincoat with a zip out lining is hovering around number 173 on the ‘sewing to do’ list, but my eldest grandson needs something like this (and being smaller, this will take less time). So, we will do the drill with this raincoat with a zip out lining and anyone wanting to do something similar can copy the steps and make your own.

Now, from an engineering standpoint, what is going on in a coat with a removable liner is this:
You have a coat with a facing that runs all the way around the inside of the coat that has an extra flap of fabric sewn in where the facing meets the regular lining (of whatever fabric you so choose). There is a separate lining (made out from the same pattern as the lining of the coat) usually made of some sort of warm fabric – some sort of wool or wool blend flannel or in the case of commercial coats, usually acrylic flannel or acrylic plush. The edge of the heavy liner is bound, usually with bias binding of some sort, all the way around the edge and the right-hand side of a long separating zipper is sewn along that side. The left-hand side of the separating zipper is sewn at the edge of the facing, underneath the flap. The flap is there so that when the coat is worn without the liner, the zipper teeth are shielded from snagging on clothing worn underneath. But, from a theoretical standpoint, this is not a hugely complex project.

Now, the first task in front of us (for this post) is to answer a couple of questions:
First, does the pattern we are using even have a facing?
Second, how do we go about ‘getting’ a facing if we don’t have one in the pattern?

Since the EG (Elder Grandson) is a very little boy, I am using a jacket pattern from Ottobre that I have lengthened a bit. But it is a zipper jacket, and has no facings, so the task at hand is to make facings for the inside of the coat and a lining pattern.

What we’ll need:
Tape measure or ruler
Drafting curve
Tracing paper

1) Trace the pattern pieces for the front and the back onto tracing paper, reproducing any identification marks.

2) Decide how wide you want the facings to be. In adult sized coats, facings are about 4″ wide, so in this, I’m making them 2″ wide. Taking your ruler or tape measure, measure in that distance from the front outside edges and mark all the way from the bottom to the area where the top corner is. Then start again from the shoulder seam and measure down that same distance and mark from the edge to where you stopped before. Draw a straight line up from the bottom to where you stopped; do the same from the shoulder seam to where you stopped.

3)Using your curve, connect those two lines and draw the curve to connect them. You’ve now creating your front facing and your front lining piece.

4) Take your tape measure or ruler and using your back pattern piece, measure down from the neck edge the same amount you did for the front, all the way from the shoulder seam to the center back. Mark this as ‘back neck facing’ and the part below is your back lining.

Don’t forget to mark which places end up being attached to what at the shoulder seams and any other identification marks. Also mark on both sides of the lines you drew what seam allowances you are going to add. In my case, it’s 1/2″. Make sure to label the pieces and mark any other changes or directions you wish to do in the facing or lining, such as ‘put pocket here’, grain lines and so on.

5)Cut along the facing lines and separate. So, moving left to right in the photograph, we have the front facing, the front lining piece, the back lining and the back neck facing.

What I will do now is cut out the facings and the regular linings, the flap, and the warm lining and we will move on from there.

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