Caroline's Kelly Anorak

Caroline's Kelly Anorak

I wanted to take on a bit of a more involved pattern for my next Blog post and thought the Kelly Anorak would make a good choice. This is absolutely a challenge - a very interesting pattern to make with lots of new, sometimes daunting, techniques for me. The end result is completely worth it, and the sense of achievement and pride from sewing something more technical than I usually do is fantastic. If you are looking for something to focus and really work on, this would be a good candidate.

The Closet Core Kelly Anorak is a coat which can be made with a few variations. It can be made with an optional waist drawstring (which I used because I like a bit of shaping at the waist), a collar or a hood. There is also an expansion option if you want to line it. I went with the unlined version because I wanted a raincoat that would see me through the British spring and summer and I always have the option of wearing a jumper underneath if I’m cold.

The fabric is an Ex-Barbour Water Resistant 100% cotton that had caught my eye on Jenny’s website. It is the most beautiful bright red and will definitely stand out on a dull and rainy day. It handles really nicely and is great to sew with. I tested it when I started the project to see how waterproof it was and found that it was water resistant on both sides. Jenny selected the notions and hardware for the coat in a contrasting black which looks really smart. It was really handy to have everything in a ready-to-go package of all the bits and bobs I needed to make the coat.

I started the project by toiling the jacket front and back to check I had selected the right one for fit. I was a bit concerned about the lack of bust darts on the smaller size range and that I would need a full-bust-adjustment but by checking the fit first on some plain fabric I was able to confirm this wasn’t required.

Because the waist drawstring channel gets added later on during the project, the placement of this can be checked at the time rather than committed to before cutting out. I was also able to assess the length of the jacket and that it didn’t need shortening or lengthening on me either. I probably should have also toiled the sleeves but I was very keen to launch into the project so I left them as they were and cut out the fabric.

I used my rotary cutter to cut the pieces and I labelled each one on the wrong side using a chalk pencil. I’m really glad I did this because the fabric looks the same on both sides, and there are a lot of pieces to keep track of during the make (18 pattern pieces!). I also kept a scrap piece of fabric handy for testing the thread tension and practicing the snaps before installing them on the coat.

The instructions for the coat are very detailed, but I would recommend also following the Sew-Along on the Closet Core website for different views and some additions which aren’t covered in detail in the instructions that come with the pattern - such as adding a hanging loop on the inside. Some of the steps are more straightforward than others, and having a mixture of the diagrams in the instructions and photographs online was helpful.

I love the pockets - they are so roomy and the gusset method of installing them worked well. The waist drawstring is also a great feature, and the way the pattern has been designed means that it is just as pretty on the inside as the outside. It uses Flat Fell seams which gives a really neat finish, and bias binding to hide the hood seam, armholes and hem.

I would say that I definitely went through a love/hate relationship and rollercoaster with this project. At one stage, I did more unpicking than sewing!  Building up to installing the hardware took me a long time - this is the final piece that happens on the coat and I was worried about putting holes in the wrong place and making a mess. However, when I finally sat down to do it, I had them all installed in the right places within an hour!

For installing the hardware, I didn’t have an Awl, so I used a revolving punch on a small setting to make the holes and a set of Prym Snap Pliers which were very handy. I used a small tray so I could see all the pieces that came in the snap packaging and easily find the parts I needed. I would recommend doing a test on a scrap of fabric if you haven’t done this before, so you can check how it comes together and make sure you press hard enough on the pliers.

The moment I put the final hardware onto this raincoat was fantastic. I am so proud of this make. The end result is absolutely fab, I’ll be wearing this a lot.

Inspired to make your own version? Here's what you will need:

Pattern : Closet Core Patterns Kelly Anorak

The sew along that Caroline also used can be found here:

Fabric : Ex Barbour Water Resistant 100% Cotton

Anorak Snaps : 15mm black, also available in copper and silver

4mm Draw Cord : Red

Eyelets : 5mm Black

[Disclosure: Caroline was provided with the materials for her project free of charge and received a gift voucher in recognition of the time spent on her project.]

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Great make. Great insight. Gathering tips for my own version

Crystal Clovis

Really love the jacket. Looks great. It’s really useful to see all the materials you used.


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