For a Rainy Day

raincoat-7474
Here is the result of all of my waterproofing experiments! It’s a trench coat made from waxed silk taffeta. I’ve been wearing it in light rain for 2 days now, and it seems waterproof. I have not yet tried it in a downpour, though, so I’m not sure how it would behave in extreme conditions.

As you can see, the wax is rather uneven. I blotted up some of the excess wax by ironing it with brown paper between the jacket and the iron to absorb the wax, but it is still blotchy. I think I can live with it, though. In fact, the blotchiness is kind of growing on me.

The fabric kind of has the consistency of a Hefty bag, but in a good way. If you can imagine that.

The pattern is from Ryuichiro Shimazaki’s coatmaking book. It is probably called something like “Book of Mens Coats”. I can’t tell exactly what it’s called because I can’t read Japanese.

I left the jacket unlined. Originally, I was planning on lining it, so I used whatever fabric I had lying about for the pocket bags. They would be covered with the lining anyway, don cha know. Then I changed my mind about lining. The fabric is so lightweight that it would make an acceptable summer raincoat, but a lining would make it harder to wear in hot weather. So I spent an hour replacing the pocket bags with self fabric. Yes, I am a lunatic with far too much free time.

I added a button-on hood that was not called for in the original pattern. This way, it will keep me dry even in situations when I can’t carry an umbrella, like when I’m riding a bike.

For some info on my waxing process, please look at this post.

Buttons under the collar for the hood

Buttons under the collar for the hood

Here is the inside of the coat, with pocket bags that are the same color as the outside of the coat!

Here is the inside of the coat, with pocket bags that are the same color as the outside of the coat!

closeup of the waxed fabric.

closeup of the waxed fabric.

hood

hood

pocket

pocket

back view

back view

I like the sleeve .

I like the sleeve .

Hood

Hood

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20 Comments

  1. akismet-21b053fec805c8711a1f608da8cdd26a
    Posted October 12, 2013 at 1:28 am | Permalink | Reply

    It looks fantastic!!! Love it. I like the unevenness of the wax. It looks super cool.

    Elizabeth
    http://www.sewnblog.com

    • Posted October 12, 2013 at 8:48 am | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks! I’m thinking it looks super-cool too, but I was wondering if I was just being delusional.

      • Posted October 13, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

        Oh I agree, it does look cool!

  2. Posted October 12, 2013 at 3:08 am | Permalink | Reply

    That is such a cool jacket!

  3. Posted October 12, 2013 at 3:44 am | Permalink | Reply

    Awesome as per usual! Pretty impressed with you waxing your own cloth.

  4. Posted October 12, 2013 at 7:27 am | Permalink | Reply

    “The fabric kind of has the consistency of a Hefty bag, but in a good way. If you can imagine that.”
    Ha ha! Love that!!

  5. Posted October 12, 2013 at 9:22 am | Permalink | Reply

    Very excellent result, Claudine. You should be rightfully proud to wear this in all seasons. I love the texture and look of the fabric.

  6. Posted October 12, 2013 at 10:49 am | Permalink | Reply

    wow, amazing! love the looks and the idea!

  7. Posted October 12, 2013 at 5:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks for posting about this waxing process and the great looking result.

  8. Posted October 12, 2013 at 6:25 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Wow! The coat is just awesome!

  9. Terri Verret
    Posted October 13, 2013 at 10:39 am | Permalink | Reply

    Absolutely beautiful. I love the wax effect … Pretty impressed by the very professional looking construction. Congrats!

  10. Posted October 13, 2013 at 11:22 am | Permalink | Reply

    Super cool! I love the effect with the wax. Only, how do you care for a waxed garment?

    • Posted October 13, 2013 at 11:30 am | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks! You just wipe it down if it needs it. The wax finish last several years, but every once in a great while you need to re-apply the wax. Barbour makes really lovely RTW waxed coats (the Queen wears them), and those, too, need to be re-waxed occasionally.

  11. Posted October 14, 2013 at 2:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I’ve only heard of waxed canvases before. Waxed silk is such an interesting idea, and the finished coat looks fabulous. I love how cool and slightly sinister black waxed fabric looks.

  12. Posted October 16, 2013 at 8:01 am | Permalink | Reply

    This coat looks amazing. The waxing is awesome. Love the finish. The inside of the coat is soooo impressive. Looks as good as the outside! Great job.

  13. Posted October 17, 2013 at 5:16 am | Permalink | Reply

    Wow! I am totally blown away with your fabric handling skills. I started reading some of your posts, but you are so prolific, it will take a while. Excuse me if you have blogged about it, but . . . where / how did you acquire such an impressive skill-set?

    • Posted October 17, 2013 at 10:21 am | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks! I really should update my “about me” page.

      Let’s see, first of all, I’m not young, so I’ve had a lot of time to spend developing my skills. In addition, I have taken classes at FIT and Parsons in New York, and I trained with a teacher from the Royal School of Needlework outside London.

      I took this series of classes at FIT: http://www.fitnyc.edu/2960.asp. Kenneth King teaches most if not all of these classes now, but I had a different instructor. These classes really upped my game.

      The Royal School of Needlework was amazing because it is one of only 2 schools the I know of where one can acquire professional handwork skills (the other is run by Lesange in Paris). My instructor was really mean and would not let me get away with anything short of perfection.

  14. Posted October 31, 2013 at 2:38 pm | Permalink | Reply

    This is very cool. You are so adventurous!

  15. Posted December 6, 2013 at 5:34 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Love this project of yours. Really love the uneven effect on the wax and desperate for more detail re waxing your silk taffeta. Do you mind sharing your recipe/details for waxing the cloth.? Would love to try it. Your jacket looks like an authentic Belstaff or Barbour – yet Silk! Too funny, too fantastic. Want one. šŸ™‚

3 Trackbacks

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