Hot! The ‘Famous Blue Raincoat’

The Facts

Fabric: Blue Laminate & Tangerine Polka-dots (Michael Miller) from
Pattern: Amy Bulter’s Raincoat
Year: Contemporary
Notions: Threads & Buttons
Time to complete: 5 hours
First worn: Today for pictures
Wear again?  Sure, with some tweaks here and there
Total price: $20.00 give or take a dollar

There was a time from middle-school to early college that I wouldn’t wear bright colors together. I didn’t want to stand out.  Thinking about it today, I find it quite odd, because as a kid I used to pair the brightest colors together all the time. I loved bright colors and the more the better.  That’s when I remembered my favorite outfit ever…a pair of deep blue soccer shorts and a tangerine t-shirt. It’s one of those outfits that I remember, I think because I wore it so damn much.  So damn much that I have this memory of my mom sighing or shaking her head each time I walked out of my room in bright blue and tangerine. I’m pretty sure this is something that I’ve since constructed in my mind; either way the memory manifested into something that seemed to keep me from pairing together bright colors.

Now that I am the master of my closet and could give two tootsie-rolls what people say about what I wear, I find myself becoming more and more acquainted with bright colors.  Since beginning to sew again, I’ve been purchasing more and more bright prints or solids that I know I will color block into something that my high-school self would have shuttered at.  Case in point, the pantone challenge.  When reviewing the color options for spring 2012, I was cool with idea of working with Tangerine Tango as long as I had something to compliment it with.  Out of all the rest I went with the Sodalite Blue.  Since Chicago is transitioning to spring, I figured that a raincoat would be perfect.  I could make the perfect blue raincoat with the bright tangerine lining. Thanks to, the idea came together without a hitch. Once the fabrics arrived home, I had crazy flashbacks of my childhood outfit–a summer day posing for a picture in front of my mom’s beige Buick before I ran off to play kickball with the boys. Gone was any fear of mixing the bright colors or prints!

Since I was going for a raincoat, I sought out Amy Butler’s raincoat pattern that I bought when I first started sewing. Her instructions are very detailed and images are easy to understand, which is a bonus.  The only problem I have with the pattern is that she has you trace onto the ‘right’ side of the fabric.  Then once you cut, you then transfer all the markings onto the pieces’ ‘wrong side’. I thought for a sec that I would trace onto the ‘wrong’ side by just flipping my pattern pieces over while tracing, but then I had this freak out moment where everything went wrong and I just followed the directions. I hated the inefficient nature of it all, but at least I knew it would all work out.

Even though the pattern worked out well, the fabric itself was not as great.  Being an amateur, I didn’t realize that laminate fabric would pose a problem while sewing.  I guess there are special presser feet for laminates that relieve the sticking, but I had a pretty solid deadline to meet and couldn’t be troubled.  To compensate, I put some interfacing on top of the laminate before sewing.  It was perfect, when it worked. I was able to sew without any sticking and then had fun ripping the interfacing from the seams.  You know the feeling…it’s like the tag on your couch that says not to rip, but you’ve have…don’t deny it!  So much fun!

In the end I was able to cut, sew, and take pictures for this challenge within the day.  I wish I could’ve had more time but my weekend was taken up with a ton of activities.  Thank goodness for spring break, else I would’ve never finished this challenge. The only thing I could have used was some rain to splash around in!  I guess I’ll just create a few indoor puddles as I youtube Leonard Cohen over and over and over.




Cheryl is a teacher, martial artist, crafter and sewer just trying to find balance in a busy world. Originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin she's now trying to fit into and explore the vast expanse that is Chicago, Illinois.


Comments are closed.

  1. You did an awesome job! The lining is rad! If you work with laminates again you can also use plain paper as a buffer to relieve the stickyness. Or as WhatsUpCupCake mentioned in her raincoat post, Scotch tape on the bottom of your metal presser feet.

  2. It is adorable! Good for you for “pressing” on. Just so you know, for future use, you can use tissue paper. This is how we do top stitiching on stretch patent pleather : ) Its thin enough you can see through it to follow a seam but it tears away easily in the end. You chose a pretty tough fabric and made it WORK!

  3. I’m loving all you pioneers making things out of and with patterns I’d never dream of trying. I WANT A RAINCOAT NOW! Yes, I’ll probably never wear it in Phoenix….but i could look at it and it would bring me joy and memories of splashing in puddles with my girls when they were toddlers back old Blighty (England). Loving the sodalite blue and tangerine tango. Now all we need is a tutorial for covering wellies/rainboots to match….

  4. I love your raincoat! Not sure how you’ll have to tweak it but I hope it goes well. I’ll be on the lookout for this bright beautiful raincoat if I ever find myself in Chicago on a rainy day!

  5. Love the color combination and your reasons for choosing them. It looks really chic! I want one.

  6. Rain coat is a great idea. I have one in my stash, this make me want to break it out and try it.

  7. I like this a lot – colour is great and the lining is fabulous

  8. I love the blue and orange together! What a great raincoat! It will be the perfect way to brighten a gloomy day.

  9. Gorgeous raincoat, I love the colors.

  10. Love it! Great colors, great work with the laminate. You definitely captured the happy kid feel.

  11. Well done, you have to do that double cutting thing with leather , so you can check the texture of the hide is ok under the pattern. Genius move using the vilene! Love the lining fabric.

  12. I adore this and would love to get caught in the rain with you…so we could fight over who’d wears the coat and who carries the umbrella ;-).