Monday, February 3

Kelly Anorak Gortex Ski Coat

You never know what this sewing hobby/skill might do for you, people. Never did I imagine that I would make myself a proper ski coat. Ever! So let me tell you how it came to be. Back in October we were gathering all our ski clothes to get ready for the upcoming season. I tried on my coat and instantly started complaining about the awful fit. (Now that most of my wardrobe is handmade I have no tolerance for ill fitting clothes, apparently). I continued complaining that my ski clothes couldn't be made by me and actually fit. #pearprobs. And my husband said, 'Why not? Why couldn't you make a ski coat? You make everything else?' I went off about not being able to make it waterproof and not being able to source proper materials, etc. And the conversation sort of ended there. 

But then I couldn't stop thinking about it. And looking up information online and doing some research. And I realized a regular 'ole person like me could buy Gortex! And I could buy seam tape! And I'm a pro patten hacker so I knew I could alter a pattern to get the fit and look I wanted. we are. And here's how I did it.

(FYI - Its a beefy post! Below are supplies used and their sources, sizing adjustments made, design features I included,  directions and info on applying seam tape, a mini tutorial on creating zippered welt pockets and creating flaps for pockets, and a cost analysis break down - in that order. Feel free to scroll to the parts you're interested in!)

1. Pattern: I used the Kelly Anorak. I've made it before in waxed canvas, I wrote about that here, and I knew it would work for this. 
2. Waterproof fabric: I used this three layer Gortex I got on eBay. If you look on eBay here there is a variety off Gortex to chose from. Seattle Fabrics often has some as well. I lined the body in a flannel that's no longer in stock from Raspberry Creek Fabrics but they have lots of good options here, and the sleeves in rayon bemburg from Joann. 
3. Water resistant zipper jacket zipper. I got this one from Wawak.
4. Seam Tape. This gets ironed on over all the interior seams so that no water gets through the holes created from the stitching. It can be hard to find a good, reliable one. I did a lot of research and ended up ordering this one. I ordered two rolls because I didn't know how much I would need and didn't want to run out mid project, especially considering it ships from Korea or something like that. I ended up needing both but I have most of the second roll left. Its nice to have on hand for repairs if I ever needed to.
5. Interfacing. SF101 is my go to woven interfacing, I get it from Joann and use a coupon. 
6. Spring snaps. I bought these from Amazon, but places like Closet Case Patterns sell a hardware kit in which the snaps are included. I didn't get the hardware kit because I omitted the drawstring and opted for a water proof zipper so I didn't need anything but the snaps, so I preferred to source them myself in a finish I wanted (I used gunmetal).

Extras - for my version I did a lot of zippered welt pockets so I used two 9 inch zippers for the outer pockets, two 7 inch zippers for interior pockets in the lining, and one 5 inch zipper on the sleeve for my ski pass. Also, 2 magnetic snaps for my pocket flaps. (Which I regret, wish I would have used something else. More on that later.)

(I don't know why I look pregnant here....I'm not haha)

Since this is a coat that will have layers underneath, I sized up everywhere except the waist. I did not do the drawstring but did want a little bit of shaping, and there is a lot of ease at the waist so I did my actual size for that. I think my coat ended up being a 16/14/18. I did a broad back adjustment to mine as that's a regular adjustment for me and I shortened it 3/4 of an inch, which was personal preference after making my first waxed canvas one. I also wish that I had lengthened the sleeves an inch. It wouldn't be necessary for a regular coat but for skiing and keeping snow out, I wish they were a tad longer.

Design Features
Although this is for skiing, I did not add any insulation. My old coat was just a shell with a removable insulated vest but I never wore the vest, just the shell. I like it like that. Then I can add whatever layers I like underneath and adjust as necessary. Although cold in the mountains, you often warm up a lot and with insulation in the coat you have less options. So I just lined it in a flannel. You could, I suppose, not line it all as the patten originally comes, but I didn't want to see all the seam tape in there. 

I like to have lots of 'storage' so I added interior zippered welt pockets to the lining. I like to stash my phone and keys somewhere safe, and its nice to have room for snacks, too (we're teaching our 5 and 3 year old this year). I also did not do the gusseted pockets that come with the pattern and did zippered welt pockets for those instead. Its a common pocket type found on ski gear. It leaves a cleaner silhouette and keeps everything safe and secure.  I then added flaps to the pockets to cover the zipper to keep the water and snow out, and magnetic snaps to keep them secure. I used regular magnetic snaps like you would use for bags and that's my only regret. I wish I used these sew in magnets that could or could not be visible depending on you chose to install them, and would just close on its own when the flap is down, instead of the actual full on magnet snapping in place. 

Lastly, in terms of pockets, I added one on my outer left forearm for my ski pass. My local resort has RFID chips that scan you as you go through the lift, so as long as its on you person, it reads. But I like having its own dedicated spot so it doesn't get mixed in with other things in my pockets and get lost. For some reason, when I sewed the pocket on to sleeve I put them zipper on the bottom, instead of the top. But really it doesn't make a difference. I never take it out. It just stays in there all season.

Applying Seam Tape
For the most part, applying seam tape was easy, but the curved seams were a bit tricky. After I sewed a seam, (or a few) I took it over to the ironing board, measured out a strip of the tape (which is not sticky at all, only once heat is applied) and used a press cloth to iron it directly over the seam. I applied the tape to every seam, even sleeve and hood seams. Those were the hard ones because of all the curves. Just go slow, be patient and use a tailors ham or sleeve roll to help.

Also - don't pull the tape tight as you iron it! It shrinks and pulls as it adheres to the fabric, therefore pulling the fabric in as it contracts. You can see it pulling on some seams in my coat. so make sure its really loose as you apply it.

Zippered Welt Pockets
If you've sewn a bag, (or any other pattern, like the Brunswick Pullover from Hey June that has one on the sleeve)  chances are you've sewn a zippered welt pocket and can follow the instructions from that pattern, just applying it to this one. If you have never done one before, here's a quick over view. Don't be scared it's actually easier than a traditional welt pocket because you don't have to form the lip part of the pocket. These are easy and once you get the hang of it, you can add them to anything you want. 

1. Mark a line on your fabric where you want your zippered pocket to be. Make it the same length as your zipper. On the back of your fabric where the zipper will go, adhere a strip of interfacing.

2. Figure out how deep and wide you want your pocket to be. Cut a rectangle as a wide as you want your pocket + seam allowance and twice and deep as you want your pocket. It will be folded in half vertically to create your pocket. (My pocket here is not a regular rectangle because these were for the main pockets on the front and I wanted the opening to be the same angle as the original pockets from the pattern. But my pockets in the lining are just regular rectangles with the zipper at the top).
3. Near the top of you pocket bag (rectangle you just cut), but leaving enough room for all edges to be sewn, draw the same length of line as you did for step one and match up the lines, putting the pocket piece right sides together over your main fabric.
4. Draw a box around the line where your zipper will be. The box will be your stitch line and inside the box will be open, and the zipper will be put inside it. Stitch on the lines of the box making it as precise as possible.

5. Cut down the middle of the inside of the box you just stitched. Stop a half inch from each end, and then snip in at an angle towards the corners without cutting through your stitching. 

6. Pull your pocket through the hole, to the back (inside) of the garment. Press the opening well to create a crisp clean box opening. 

7. Turn the garment to the front, and place the zipper centered inside the opening and pin place. From the right side, sew neatly around the zipper on your main fabric.

8. Turn your garment to the back, and fold up the bottom of the pocket bag to meet with the raw edge on top. Sew around all three sides. 


You made a zippered welt pocket!


Adding a flap to a pocket
I added a flap over my external zippered pockets to protect them from snow and water as I didn't use water resistant zippers here, and because I thought it looked good and professional:)

1. Create your flap piece. I used the Kelly Anorak flap piece as a guide to make mine. To cover my zipper, I needed to make it bigger so I just sort of eye balled it and drew one, making sure the size after seam allowance was big enough.

2. Cut out four pocket flaps. If you are adding a snap or magnet to secure these pockets, install them before you sew the flap pieces right sides together on all sides except the top.
3. Trim seam allowance and corners, and turn right side out.
4. Turn top raw edges to the inside and sew closed. Alternatively you could just serge the edge or baste it closed. 

5. Place the flap above the zipper in your desired position, pin, and sew in place. Then fold the pocket down, covering the zipper, and top stitch the pocket flap down along the top seam.
Cost Breakdown 

Pattern: $16 -I had already bought and sewn this pattern before so I don't really count the cost of it... but I will add it
Lining Expansion: $8 (again, had already purchased and used)
Large Format printing at PDF Plotting: $13.95 ($6.95 + $7 shipping)
 I had already printed it before when I made it the first time, and it was included with a bunch of other patterns I was printing at the time to make shipping worth it, but I'll price it out as if I was just printing this pattern +shipping
Gortex fabric: $56.97
Lining Fabric: flannel: $16 (rayon bemburg from my scrap bin)
Seam Tape: $40.95 ($17 a roll, bought two rolls, plus $6.95 shipping)
Water proof zipper: $6.90
Other zippers: $1.45 (.29 each on Wawak)
Interfacing: $3:49 (for it 50% off, usually $6.99/yard
Snaps: $10.99
TOTAL: $158.70

Not cheap maybe, but pretty amazing for a custom fit, fully seam taped, ski coat!
If you are easy to fit, you might be able to find a great quality ski coat for cheaper than this. For example, we live by a Patagonia outlet, and my husband scored an amazing coat for cheaper than this. But they just don't fit me. If they did, I would have bought one. You don't have to make everything just because you can, unless you want to:)

1 comment:

  1. Incredible coat and fit! Thank you for sharing all the juicy details!!!


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