A few years ago on vacation in Ottawa, I was wearing this VERY cute rain jacket I’d made. It started pouring rain and I told my husband I’d need to buy a rain jacket for the rest of our trip. He said, “Just pull up your hood.” Me: That’s not a hood. It’s just an enormous collar.
Never have I seen such a derisive look. It’s FASHION!
Anywho, in the ensuing years, it’s been very clear to me that I need a rain jacket with a hood. Enter the 2014 Burdstyle. I was always interested in making this beauty, but just needed the right fabric. I picked up this Resort 2015 DKNY “leathertex” for $5 a yard while in Dallas in 2018. The fabric is 20% polyurethane on one side and 80% cotton on the other. I have to warn you though, it’s totes not breathable. But, for what I need it for, it’s more than fine. I plan to wear this to walk my dog Linus and run errands. I won’t be camping in it! Now, I did make one big mistake sewing the poncho. I’ll try my best to explain, so please feel free to ask me any questions if it isn’t clear.
The lining is the exact same pattern piece as the front. You do not need to remove or allow for a seam allowance to attach facings. The facings (front and sleeve) are attached to the lining ON TOP of the lining fabric. They are not seamed together as you might see in RTW. In fact, they are sewn on top of the lining and top stitched in place.
I didn’t realize this and traced / cut the lining, minus the facings. Because I did this, the lining is too narrow for the poncho by four inches. I’d already sewed everything in place, so to remove the lining and redo it meant leaving dozens of little holes in what I can best describe as a yellow plastic bag.
To move on from this, I decided to just let the lining hang free. This allows for enough ease of movement and the lining not to pull and tug at the garment. It is sometimes visible at the sleeve and inelegant. But, my jacket keeps me dry and it’s 85% okay.
Snaps: I had them set locally here in Baltimore by a place called Sew Lab. They charged $20 (I think too high by half). But, they are set very well and made me consider black which I hadn’t before. The only qualm is it’s taken a few opening and closing for them to work easily.
Zipper: I used instructions from the Reader’s Digest Guide to Sewing. I have a bad habit of leaving a bit too much fabric available for the zipper teeth to catch.
Toggles: The pattern calls for rope in the bottom casing. I actually used a stretch nylon / elastic with toggles from my stash. I LOVE this. I can cinch the bottom of the poncho for shaping, but the elastic gives plenty of ease for movement. 10 / 10 would recommend.
Hood: I changed the hood interfacing a bit by adding several more layers at the brim. For the interfacing, I went with a fusible buckram from Joann fabric. I also added it well past the line that Burda suggested for putting in interfacing. I wanted to make sure it would stand away from my face so water wouldn’t dribble down.
Reflective tape: I added reflective tape to the back to make myself visible. Our neighborhood isn’t well lit.
Welt Pockets: I used the Kenneth King’s “Cool Couture” book to sew the pocket welts, and the “Readers Digest Guide to Sewing” for the reamaining construction. I’ve done a bit more detail in my Instagram post above. Using fabric like this, it’s very important to interface, interface and interface. The interface helps support the pocket so it won’t droop, but also provides stability since the fabric would tear if stressed too much. I really like the added pocket facing, it gives a nice clean finish.
Waterproofing: I used iron-on waterproofing seam tape on invisible seams. Where there was topstitching, I used tent repair waterproofing brush on sealant from the US outdoor store REI.
Voila! There you have it! I’m really happy with my poncho and have loved wearing it already. While my mistake stinks, I’m thrilled to still have a wearable garment that plugs a wardrobe hole. I really wanted a Stutterhem rainbow raincoat, but this should hold me off hold me off for at least five years.
Also, look! I have a deck! I’ve gone on this deck like five times in the last year. I’m not an outdoors / sit outside and read person and we don’t have deck furniture. We got our house “softwashed” and without the green and black gunk on the brick and deck, turns out it’s quite a nice little spot for taking photos outdoors.