Will is a big fan of raincoats, and since he was still wearing one sized 2T, I decided I either needed to bite the bullet and buy one at retail or hurry up and make him one. After poking around Google and Flickr for a couple of days, I settled on the Oliver+S School Days Jacket pattern.
Will and I looked over laminates on Fabric.com. He had several that he liked ok, and although it wasn't his final choice (he wanted a rainbow apple chevrons print I wasn't crazy about), I decided to go with Michael Miller's Dino PUL. We'll see how the PUL holds up. Will hasn't been terrible rough on his rain jackets in the past since there's not that much opportunity to wear them here, so hopefully it'll be OK. I'm not sure it'd be any less sturdy than other rain slicker material, which is always a little more fragile than regular fabric.... For the lining, I pulled several coordinating quilting cottons at Hobby Lobby, and Will immediately chose the chevrons. He's so on trend!
A little review of the pattern:
PDF Pattern: I've assembled quite a few different brands of PDF patterns, and Oliver + S is now my favorite method. Each page has a light grid printed behind the pattern piece that makes cutting out and matching so much easier than most PDF patterns. The only downside is that there were a lot of pages--71 or so. And no, those weren't mostly instruction pages you could leave on the computer! I did not print the instructions (I leave them on the iPad), just the pattern pieces. I definitely might consider taking it and getting it printed at a printshop next time (they include 2 pages at the end with all the pattern pieces intended for that purpose).
Pattern Instructions: Fabulous. Now I know why everyone raves about the Oliver + S patterns. They were really perfect. Although this was rated a 3/4 scissors, I did not find anything confusing or difficult about it. I did attach the front yolk to my front pieces incorrectly and didn't realize until I'd already trimmed the seams, so I ended having to recut the yolks, but it was entirely my fault for not studying the pictures carefully enough (although I suppose a notch at that join might have prevented the mistake?).
Ease of Sewing: I only did the jacket portion (not the insulated lining), and I did not use the tabs, but I felt this pattern was very do-able even for a beginner. The only "difficult" thing is that there are a lot of pieces, but putting them together is very straightforward. I probably spent around 3 hours on the machine-sewing portion of this. Since I was sick most of the week, it took me almost the entire week of a few stitches here and there to tack down the lining.
Fit: Right now the fit's quite big and baggy on Will--not shocking since he's still definitely wearing 3Ts. I see no reason why this won't fit him perfectly in 6 months to a year, and it will do for now with the sleeves rolled up.
Definitely a bit baggy right now.
Alterations: None really. Left off the tabs and skipped the buttons/holes in favor of resin Kam snaps I had on hand for diaper-making. The BG-matching butternut color was a perfect match to the yellow-orange in the PUL. I think the snaps will hold up ok, and should be easier for Will to do up himself than buttons would be.
Recommend: For sure! I foresee getting a lot of use out of this pattern for future coats and jackets. Next up will be a winter coat for Will.
I had a terrible time getting action pics. Will was not feeling cooperative, and the (bribe) umbrella was casting a weird haze over my pictures.