Introducing the Lou Raincoat: Best Name Ever!
Who would have thought that almost exactly three years after beginning my sewing adventures, this milestone moment would be marked by a new raincoat pattern release named the Lou Raincoat!
I love circles for their symbolism. They represent a completeness, a journey. Mine began with Seamwork. I found the Seamwork website online when I was looking for support to learn how to sew. It truly began with learning how to download a PDF pattern so I could sew a garment during lockdown. Three years later after many wonderful Seamwork makes, I am a Seamwork ambassador with a pattern named after me. I couldn't be more honoured and thrilled by this wonderful surprise dedication, especially as the Lou Raincoat is Seamwork's 200th pattern!!
It turns out that my sewing ventures are a perfect example of Seamwork's purpose. Through tutorials, YouTube videos, sewing articles and the Seamwork community I have continued to grow and expand my sewing repitoire. Over the last 3 years I have built my confidence and sewing skills to slowly evolve into a creative, passionate sewer. My goals for 2023 continue to reflect my progress and the drive I feel to keep sewing. The fact that I even have sewing goals combined with how I plan and design seasonal wardrobes is also a reflection of what I am continually learning through Seamwork's mentorship. Thank you for everything you have done for me Seamwork Team-mission accomplished! Thank you for being the foundation to a world of sewing filled with joy, creativity and design.
The Lou Raincoat truly is a classic. It is the quintiessential coat needed for living on the West Coast. It is a multi-season jacket that will be used throughout the year and for travelling. There is nothing better than having a Me-made Raincoat for feeling warm, dry and stylish as you head out into the rain and wind.
Lou is a fully lined hooded jacket with an A-Line fit. It has several details that make it a classic. It features a three-piece hood, shoulder yoke and large patch pockets with an angled flap; perfect for storing anything you need and designed to keep the weather out. The sleeves have adjustable tabs that you can cinch in and snap closed.
Your biggest decision will be which fabric and lining you want to choose. This jacket is best suited to medium or heavy weight fabrics such as jacketing, canvas, denim or twill. It has been specifically designed so that it doesn't have to many extra seams, making it a great project to sew in a water-resistant fabric. No matter what your fabric choices you will have a fun, stylish raincoat for rainy day adventures. If you are interested in learning more about how to sew a raincoat, check out this article from Seamwork for choosing fabrics and how to seal your seams.
For my raincoat I wanted a fun colour to brighten rainy days that wasn't necessarily a typical yellow. I was overjoyed when Minerva Fabrics agreed to collaborate with me as part of my Lou Raincoat celebration and my work as a Minerva Brand Ambassador. They sent me this wonderful terracotta poly-cotton water resistant raincoat coating. It is available in 15 different colours, all of which would make wonderful raincoats. The fabric has a crisp poplin—like finish. It is shower resistant and has great breathability. The weave is quite dense which makes it perfect as windbreaker. If you are dashing out to run errands or going for a walk in drizzly rain it will wick the rain away, but still breathe well so you won't feel clammy or sweaty. I absolutley loved it the minute it arrived.
I choose to add some faux leather to my raincoat for some textural detail. I choose this tone on tone deep terracotta. I used it for the facings, pockets, pocket flaps and the sleeve tabs. The pockets and sleeve tabs are traditional places to highlight rain gear with leather or corduroy. As there was no collar I chose the facings as my third area of focus. When the jacket falls open you get a sneak peek of the leather in an area closer to your face which then brings the eye down towards the highlighted pockets and sleeve cuff. I think that it adds a traditional touch to the coat.
I made a size 12 jacket graded down through the hips. There is a lot of ease through the chest so I sized down one size which still left plenty of room for layering over thicker sweaters or even a gillet. The jacket pattern originally had a much wider A-line design. As I prefer a straighter cut I simply straightened the side seam. I lengthened the sleeve be 3 inches and lengthened the coat by 3.5 inches, making sure to add exactly the same extra length to the lining so everything would sew up perfectly.
The coat itself is a more complicated sew, but taken one step at a time you won't find it too challenging. Most of the sewing skills that you use will be familiar to you. Placement of the snaps is important as they are very difficult to remove, but using Vario pliers really helps. They do everything you need from punching holes in the fabric to attaching any one of the four pieces for the snap. I choose a bronze antiqued finish to blend more into the terracotta of the coat. This style of snaps looks polished and adds a nice detail. They are much easier to install then the “hammer” into to place snaps and more durable.
The lining for the coat is a bagged lining. The instructions and illustrations are excellent. Take it one step at a time to ensure the right fit and finish for your raincoat. I love the sneak peak of the lining in the hood. There is nothing better than slipping on a lined coat, it is well worth the extra effort. It somehow feels more decadent and finished. For my lining I wanted something fun and bright. I came across this silky fabric in the bargain bin of my local fabric store. The orange in the print coordinated perfectly with the raincoat fabric and I thought it was a really fun print to hide inside the coat. Why not have high heels, pearls and crowns tucked away inside a raincoat. Its a hidden jewel of a lining with a Gucci vibe!
The Lou Raincoat is a classic, memorable make for me. It will always symbolize a speacial milestone moment and I will enjoy wearing it for many years. It is a fantastic style with fun fabric choices that I can wear to create outdoor/travel adventure memories. I am already thinking about a heavier faux suede version with duffle coat ties for colder weather.
After all... There is Sew Much To Design.
Happy Lou Raincoat sewing!
PS. Special thanks to my daughter Syd for crocheting these matching fingerless gloves.