I tentatively say that I think this garment is perhaps the best thing I have ever made – or certainly I am the proudest that ‘I made it!’.
I’ve been living in Edinburgh for over three years, and for some reason I have never bought an anorak – or anything waterproof. Remedying this, I decided to make the Kelly anorak in a classic green waxed cotton. I found some on a fabricuk.com – I’ve never used them before but at £8.99 p/m it was a bargain. The fabric was a real challenge to work with – you only had to breathe on it and it marked. I started off really trying to keep marking to an absolute minimum but quickly gave up. After seeing the awesome tutorial by Heather-Lou, I also underlined it with some cosy flannel I bought in Ray Stitch earlier in the year. I sourced all my additional supplies from either Minerva Craft, or Merchant and Mills.
I made a toile as there were a few things I had never made before and I wanted to check the fit. Everything fitted really well apart from the width of the sleeves, which were a little snug. As I was adding another layer to the final garment I widened them by 1cm. Once again, Fit for Real People by Marta Alto and Pati Palmer came to the rescue.
So first off, tracing and cutting the pieces – this was a marathon in itself, there were so many different pieces and of course I made it more difficult for myself by adding flannel into the mix, it took a whole lazy-slightly-hungover-post-Christmas day to get everything ready to go. After this the general construction was quite time consuming but really wasn’t that difficult – with a few exceptions. I was really worried about the zipper placket and the Hemline snap fastenings. Although this turned out to be a waste of energy. Thanks to an online tutorial provided by Heather-Lou for the placket, I quietly knocked it up after work in a couple of hours, it was a complete doddle. I completely messed up installing a Hemline snap fastening in a dry run and got really worried that the same would happen when I came to finish the garment. But I quickly found a tutorial on Youtube from Hemline and installing them on my hard hall floor (rather than my wobbly sewing table) sorted them out completely – in the end it was quite therapeutic.
Ironically, I didn’t give the construction and setting of the sleeves any thought at all. Over the years, I’ve never had any trouble with setting sleeves, but MY GOD it was an absolute nightmare! Here I feel I should thank my boyfriend James for making me breathe and not give up. My first mistake was my determination to do flat-fell seams on the entire sleeve. The result was a complete mess. I should have heeded the advice on the pattern to just serge and press upwards. I had no choice but to give up and make up another sleeve – thank goodness I had enough fabric. But my problems weren’t over, setting the sleeves was even worse. I had to use about 50 pins, and hand stitch the sleeves (no easy task with up to 5 layers of fabric) – even then there were still unwanted gathers and nicks. It took about 4 hours – no joke. To add insult to injury I ran out of thread half way too.Having said this, I think my problems were caused by the difficult fabric rather than the pattern, which at the end of day is absolutely awesome. This is the second pattern I have made from Closet Case Files, and like The Ginger jeans it is beautifully put together, clearly written and wonderfully supported with online material. I’m tempted to make another in a less challenging fabric – but might need a wee break!
Many thanks to my colleague Kenneth for taking time from his lunch break to help me with these photos.