Tag Archives: waterproof

Magic Softshell Bag – take two

I started a Magic Softshell messenger bag earlier in the year, almost finished it, then realised the dimensions I’d used for the pocket weren’t quite right. After some (unwise) unpicking, where I ended up making a small hole in the lining, I shelved the bag in the depths of my UFO pile.

Then I made the mistake of going for a 3 mile walk in torrential rain…. which came through the waterproof bag I had taken with me. So I realised I was going to have to make a replacement waterproof bag before the winter, as being England it’s likely to be quite wet!

Luckily I had enough of the Magic Softshell left over to cut a fresh bag, and armed with some patterned polycotton which I had left over from a previous project, I set to work cutting out a fresh bag, using current favourite bag pattern from Crazy Little Projects.

It’s not the easiest thing to get a photo of (the original softshell colour I was after, didn’t get enough interest to make the preorder, so this one was my second choice), but when the fabric is wet, the pattern of clouds and stars appears.

I’m sticking with my previous ‘hack’ of the pattern, to include a patch pocket with flap on the front flap, rather than messing with a zipped pocket. This actually makes it a lot easier to open, and there’s less things that can go wrong (like the zipper pull coming off when I try using the pocket!).

All the seams are sewn with a triple straight stretch stitch for strength, and I also zigzagged the curved corners just for ease of mind if I put anything heavy into the bag. The main seam stitches should be fine without that, but I like to be certain.

Just the lining to sew, then I can start putting it all together!


Pattern: Messenger Bag by Crazy Little Projects
Fabric: Magic Softshell from Mibs Fabrics

Eden jacket – a work in progress

I purchased some navy softshell fabric earlier in the year, with the view of making the Kelly coat. Since then, Tilly and the Buttons released the Eden jacket pattern, which looked like it would be more forgiving on the sizing. The sleeves on the Kelly look quite fitting, whereas the Eden has a much more boxy shape.

Decision made, I set about cutting out my pieces, and also decided to use the same topstitching thread I had picked out for my denim Fashionista jacket.

Sewing softshell is pretty easy, as long as you have a ‘sharps’ needle – a regular needle won’t have the right strength or sharpness to pierce the fabric cleanly.

So far I have the pockets and pocket flaps attached – eventually these should have poppers, if I can find some in the shop!


Pattern: Eden Jacket by Tilly and the Buttons
Fabric: Navy softshell from Fashion Fabrics

Waiting for the rain….

….or in other words, I’ve finished my Showerproof Softshell Fashionista jacket! I still haven’t finished my denim version of the Fashionista*, but this softshell jacket has come out looking fantastic.

I found some buttons which fitted well with the blue, and was planning on using some smaller ones on the cuffs. Unfortunately the bulk of fabric on the cuff meant that my sewing machine thought the one-step buttonhole was meant to be a lot smaller than I was aiming for. Rather than trying to unpick one line of stitches, I cheated and added a popper to the cuff instead. It’s not quite what I was aiming for, but it’s better than risking making a mess with the buttonhole!

I’d already decided I wanted to have a label on the back, and assuming the neckline would be sewn as a regular facing, I added the label and some bias binding around the edge as I didn’t fancy sewing a narrow hem on the curved edge. Then I read down to the next line and realised that the neckline works more like binding than a facing. I really didn’t want to scrap my neckline piece, so I skipped the proper instructions and just attached it as if it was a facing, then topstitched around the bias bound edge to hold it in place.

This has made the neckline slightly lower, but that’s not a problem for me. I’ll have to remember that when I get to that point on my denim Fashionista though, as that bit will come after I’ve added in the lining.

I obviously wasn’t going to try ironing the softshell, so the waistband isn’t quite as crisp as you would expect. But overall, the jacket has a great look, the buttons and buttonholes all line up, the pockets work, and the jacket fits!

Now where’s that rain so I can test out how waterproof this softshell is!



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Pattern: Fashionista * by WinterWear Designs*
Fabric: Softshell from Fashion Fabrics
Tag – ribbon from The Makery, Buttons from Sew + Sew

Showerproof Clovelly Cap

Having cut out the fabric for my Showerproof Fashionista Jacket, I wanted to use some of the left over fabric, but wasn’t too sure what to make. I liked the idea of making some kind of showerproof hat, especially as the jacket doesn’t have a hood and as luck would have it, that day I was browsing on Instagram and discovered that From the Studio (Jamie Kemp) has just released the Clovelly Cap pattern!

Whenever I go outside, I always wear a baseball cap so I don’t get caught with the sunlight, but the caps I’ve been wearing are looking past their best now. I don’t know about you, but I’d always thought that baseball caps would be really complicated to make, involve a lot of additional hardware (which no doubt would be hard to find in local shops), and wouldn’t be worth the effort.

I was intrigued to see how Jamie’s pattern instructions compare to some of the other Indie designers’ patterns I’ve been using. The most noticeable difference is that Jamie uses a more traditional style of line drawings rather than photos to illustrate each step.

But the instructions are really well written, and after holding the pieces together and reading the following step, it made sense what was being sewn where – I didn’t even need to unpick any stitches!

I wasn’t brave (or reckless) enough to iron my softshell, so I stitched the seam allowance down instead. Because those stitches were then stitched over to attach the bias binding, that did leave a few extra stitching lines on the crown. If you don’t look too closely though, you wouldn’t notice them.

As for the supplies needed to make the cap, I already had the softshell left over from cutting my jacket. The lining is a black polycotton I had in my scraps box, I bought the bias binding and velcro, and surprisingly enough finding the square buckle-like piece for the back wasn’t as challenging as I’d thought!

The only potential struggle was the brim stiffener – while my local sewing shops have a good range of items, I had a feeling this would be something too specialised for them to have in stock. I had a rummage through my sewing box, and came across some clear vinyl (pvc) I’d purchased for a different project. I cut two brim stiffener pieces from the vinyl, stitched them together around one edge, and used that inside the brim pieces. Even with the heavier weight of softshell as the underside of the brim, those two layers of vinyl seem to be the perfect choice.


Pattern: Clovelly Cap by From the Studio (Jamie Kemp)
Fabric: Softshell from Fashion Fabrics

Showerproof non-denim Fashionista Jacket UFO

I fully admit I’m already starting more projects than I’m finishing this year, but having spotted this softshell fabric in my local fabric shop for £8 a metre, I couldn’t resist getting enough to make a showerproof Fashionista* jacket for the spring!

At the moment, my Denim Fashionista is semi-shelved while I figure out where I went wrong with the lining – I’d already sewn the denim sleeve to the neckline by mistake (don’t ask how I achieved that!), and in sewing the first part of the lining together, I had more pleats and tucks than I should’ve done. So that’ll need unpicking and some careful pinning to try and resew that.

But rather than plough on through a project that wasn’t going all that well, I decided I needed to feel I could successfully make something. Softshell fabric has a waterproof outer, with a fleece backing – perfect for spring, and also perfect because it doesn’t need a lining!

Now I know this jacket won’t be 100% waterproof, because at the moment I’m not planning on using any tape or anything to seal the seam lines. That means that water could seep through the stitch holes along the topstitching. But really, I think for my first attempt at sewing a proper showerproof jacket, I’m happy with it being 95% showerproof rather than aiming for 100%.

I didn’t want to try colour matching the pockets, so I picked out some ‘natural’ patterned cotton for the pocket bags – if I get them sewn in correctly, they won’t be visible from the outside so it won’t matter that they don’t match!

The back is all sewn and topstitched – I’m beginning to wonder if I should have made an attempt to fussy-cut the foxes, but I think this was the most realistic use of the fabric. If I’d fussy cut or tried matching the fox heads across each piece, I think I would have wasted a lot of the fabric.

The neatest front yoke I’ve stitched so far – yes there is a slight catch where the yoke joins the front panel top stitching, but it’s much better than my denim jacket’s front yoke! I did have a bird’s nest of bobbin thread on the pocket topstitching (I hadn’t realised I was sewing that with the pocket flap upside-down), but I’m hoping I can unpick that without too much hassle.

So far so good, although I’m not looking forward to adding in the sleeves – that’s where my denim Fashionista started to go wrong!



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Pattern: Fashionista * by WinterWear Designs*
Fabric: Softshell from Fashion Fabrics

Sleeveless jacket for the allotment

It hadn’t ever dawned on me to try making a showerproof jacket to wear on the allotment, but each time I’m working there, it’s almost guaranteed the weather will be either blazing hot sunshine, or showers. I had considered buying a showerproof coat, but after looking at the prices, they all seemed way too expensive for something which would most likely end up covered in mud after the first time I wore it, and no doubt would get snagged on the raspberry thorns!

I didn’t want to attempt a sleeved jacket, as non-stretch fabric potentially wouldn’t allow me the range of movement I would need to be gardening. However, I’d had my eye on the Aspen Fleece Vest* from 5 out of 4* for a while, and after asking if it would work in a non-stretch fabric, decided that I would try making my own showerproof gilet.

I was advised I could go up a size to allow for the lack of stretch, but after making this one, I think I’d be tempted to actually go back down a size for my next one, as this seems roomy enough.

I used ripstop for the outer, so in theory if it gets snagged on the thorns then the hole won’t spread. The lining (which isn’t part of the pattern itself, but was just made to the same size as the outer, then stitched together at the armholes, neckline and base hem) is a plain microfleece. I used the fleece for both sides of the collar, so it makes it more comfortable to wear.


The stitching isn’t perfect (the lining seems a bit big compared to the outer on the side seams), and I know I messed up trying to sew the armhole seams…. I really need to learn the burrito method! But the jacket is perfectly usable – it’s really comfy, and all I need to do now is go out in the rain to test out how waterproof it is!


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Pattern: Aspen Fleece Vest*
Fabric: Ripstop and Microfleece from Sewing Studio