I had the brilliant idea to use oilcloth to sew rain jackets for my boys. Brilliant because they love them, but sewing them was…the opposite of brilliant. I’ve worked with laminated cotton before, so that wasn’t really the issue because I knew ahead of time what I was getting into. But oilcloth is stiffer than laminated cotton, and really wasn’t meant for making garments. So this post proves is can be done, but I’m not going to be the one who recommends you do it!
For the fabrics, I got 1 yard each of camouflage and black oilcloth fabrics. My first issue might not affect anyone else. But I’m hyper sensitive to smells, so I had to put this fabric out on a well ventilated porch for a few days to air out before I could work with it. After a week or so, it had off-gassed, and I had no problem with the smell anymore.
I mentioned that oilcloth is stiffer than laminated cotton, which makes it not that suitable for garment sewing. It would be PERFECT for outdoor furniture, tote bags, an umbrella, sunglasses case, and covering kitchen stools. But I had decided to make rain jackets, and used the Puddle Jumper pattern from Peekaboo Pattern Shop.
If you look in the photographs, you can see the stiffness around the boys shoulders and elbows. The raglan sleeves on the pattern I used did make it much easier to sew than trying to sew a pattern with a sleeve cap.
Another place you can see the stiffness is in the hood. It comes to a cone shape at the top instead of rounding around their noggins. But since this pattern has that elastic in the hood trim, it still grips to their foreheads and keeps them dry.
With any laminated fabric, it’s helpful to use a teflon foot on your sewing machine. Also, I used a heavy duty needle. It’s helpful to use clips instead of pins to hold the seams together before sewing.
Another thing you might notice is that there are not closures on the rain jackets. It was simply too thick to sew on buttons. So I decided to do hammer on snaps. But before I got to the store to purchase them, we had a rain shower that was too perfect NOT to photograph the boys in their rain jackets! But trust me, rain jackets without closures kind of defeats the purpose, so the snaps are forthcoming!
At least the lining worked out nicely! For one I used a soft CaliFabrics flannel (sold out now) and my son loves how soft and cozy it is. For the other I used some chambray leftover from making my chambray shirt. It really makes the rain jacket almost elegant!
I guess it all comes down to what my boys think since they are the one who have to wear them right? They’re absolutely, positively de-light-ed with their camouflage rain jackets. So all’s well that ends well, right?
Alright, now you tell me about your latest sewing fail…I need the encouragement!!!