Saturday, May 8, 2010

Is it too late for April showers?

We had a fairly glorious April here in Maine.

Now we are experiencing a little stormy weather.

It's pretty easy to take the rain in stride when you have a few 80+ degree days under your belt.

And bad weather is always a good excuse to go shopping at your favorite fabric store and to then stay inside and sew.

It's also a great time for me to tell you about the School Days Jacket and Coat pattern from Oliver+S which, when made from one of our great new laminates, becomes a most fabulous rain coat.

We made our shop sample from this bright and sunny Kaffe Fassett print: just what is called for on a rainy day, don't you think?

These new laminates from Free Spirit and Westminster are really rocking my world.

Some of the other fabric companies have come out with their own versions of laminated cotton, but most of them are quite stiff.

There may be a time when you want a good stiff laminate (tote bags, anyone?), but probably not when you are making a raincoat (All I can picture is Ralphie's little brother from A Christmas Story in a raincoat his Mom made for him saying "I can't put my arms down!").

The Free Spirit and Westminster laminates are very soft and supple and great for making garments with.

Amy Butler has a slew of patterns coming out that use her laminates, including an adult raincoat pattern, one that is sized for children, some tote bags with grommets and there are free directions here for covering an umbrella with laminated fabric (must try that someday: suspect this is much easier to do than it appears and the results look FAB: not unlike covering your own buttons).

But enough about the laminated fabric: let me tell you about the pattern.

The School Days Jacket and Coat pattern is rated 4 out of 4 for difficulty, but not because any of the steps are hard: they are more time consuming than anything and no one step is individually hard in and of itself.

I would even go so far as to say that this pattern could be very easy.

So easy that I don't really have any good words of wisdom to share with you...

The hood was quick and went together smoothly which was a nice surprise because I have never made a hood in my life.

I probably wouldn't recommend the pattern to someone who was a beginner: if you have some garment making experience and are patient this would definitely be do-able, though.

You don't need to insert a zipper and if you choose to use toggles, you don't even have to make buttonholes.

I know there are those of you out there who are still intimidated by zippers and buttonholes and I don't blame you.

I always dread when I see them in a pattern but they are really not that hard at all.

(Still, it's nice to know you can skip them if you aren't feelin' it!)

There are so many great laminates to choose from now, as opposed to this time last year when there were only a couple that were suitable for garment making.

You can choose a fun cotton print to coordinate with your laminate for the lining and send your little one off to puddle jump in style!

The Oliver+S School Days Jacket and Coat pattern is available in the shop here and the laminates are available here.

See you again soon and Happy Mother's Day to all of you mothers out there!



The new Oliver+S patterns are in the shop now, too. They will be online soon and we are hard at work making samples to share with you!

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