Yes, I finally did it. I made the raincoat I’ve been promising to make myself for years (I’ve had McCall’s M6517 in my stash for years too!) It’s definitely a much needed item in Somerset, and I’ve been struggling with just a pac-a-mac and a brolly these last few years, since I got rid of my fancy technical raincoat when I decided powder blue really didn’t suit me.
My raincoat dreams finally got a kick up the arse when I found this gorgeous metallic snakeskin raincoat fabric (affiliate link) on offer as part of the Minerva Brand Ambassador programme. I figured having a deadline would really help motivate me to get going on this project at long last, and I was right! You can find my post on the Minerva site here: https://www.minerva.com/posts/1073665
I covered most of the making and fitting of McCall’s M6517 in that Minerva post, but I just wanted to go into a bit more detail on a few points here. Firstly, if you decide to use a thinner waterproof fabric like this, it would definitely be much easier to either leave it unlined (the back of the fabric is dark brown, so looks great) or line with an actual lining fabric. I’m glad I used the fleece as it’s going to give me some warmth for dealing with those chilly showers we get round here. However, sewing stretchy fleece to totally unstretchy oilskin was not easy. I ended up having to staystitch and easestitch many of the fleece edges when attaching the two different fabrics together.
I also think I made a mistake using the lining to fit this. I failed to take into account that fleece is more stretchy, and ended up deciding a 14 was too big and sized down to a 10 at the top (grading to 14 at the hip). As you can see from the finished article, it looks fine when unbuttoned at the top, but you can tell it’s a bit too small when I do that top button up. Ah well. I can still move fine in it, although certain movements do make me aware there isn’t quite enough fabric across the back. Will have to remember not to make those movements in heavy rain!
As to the finished coat: I love it! Yes, the sizing is a little off at the top, but for the first time ever I have a waterproof hood that I can use with my hair up. It’s really annoying having to take my hair down whenever it starts raining. And usually it rains pretty often here in Somerset, although strangely not since I finished my coat. Well, it rained yesterday but I was inside at the time and didn’t much fancy heading outside purely to test the coat. I have used it once to pick some kale from my veggie garden while it was snowing/hailing (honestly, not sure which!) and it was great, so there’s that.
I really love the fabric and I think I’ve done a great job with stitching it up. I think I still have a need for a more structured winter raincoat using a thicker fabric, and I reckon I might use this pattern again. McCall’s M6517 is a great little pattern with lots of different options and opportunities for hacking. Once I’ve nailed the sizing at the top it should be perfect. I’d also be tempted to make the hood a proper pixie one by giving it a point at the top!
Most of all, I’m so proud to have finally ticked this one off my MakeNine list. I’ve had it on there for four consecutive years now! (2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021). It always feels great when a long anticipated make finally comes to fruition – especially one that was a bit of a challenge. It’s definitely got me thinking more about tackling the next slightly daunting projects on my wishlist: underwired bra, jeans and a proper winter coat. Ooh, exciting!
Pattern: McCall’s M6517 (out of print)
Size: 10 (graded to 14 at hips)
Fabric: Lady McElroy Oilskin Metallic Raincoat fabric (Dolton) – affiliate link and Summit Teal Microfleece from Croft Mill. Also some poly lining fabric for the sleeves.
Modifications: added lining, extended hood, lengthened sleeves 2cm.
- Pattern: £4.99 on eBay
- Fabric: £17.85 for the microfleece, rest free in return for review
- Notions: £9.34 seam sealing tape on eBay, 15mm snaps and eyelets from my stash
- Total: £32.18
That’s not a bad price for a lined raincoat. I’ve also got plenty of seam tape and fleece left, and I reckon I’ll get more use out of the pattern too.
On the Sewing Table:
I’ve managed to find time to trace out the next size up of my TNT, the Knit Sweetheart Top from Gertie Sews Vintage Casual. I’m hoping to cut out the fabric this aftenoon and make it next week. That said, we’re also ripping up our threadbare carpet and installing engineered wood flooring in our large living/dining room next week, so whether I actually get any sewing done is debatable. Considering my sewing area is in the dining area I seriously doubt it.
But hey, I won’t have to struggle to vacuum up sewing fluff in the future. It will all be easily swept away. Yay! I’ll also be getting a new storage unit to house all my sewing supplies. Ikea Kallax, naturally. I think it’s probably illegal to use any other kind of shelving for sewing supplies. Shh, don’t report me for using a vintage Ikea unit up until now! Late 90s counts as vintage now, doesn’t it?!
So, next week I expect I’ll be blogging my Me Made May pledge rather than a finished item. We shall see…
Happy sewing, peeps!
Disclaimer: some of the products linked above might use affiliate links, meaning if you follow the link and make a purchase I will receive a small referral fee (at no added cost to you). Any extra income to help fund my sewing habit is greatly appreciated, but rest assured I only recommend products I love and think you might find useful too 🙂