Lauren's latest make

Closet Case Patterns Kelly Anorak
Part 2 - The finished article!

Blog / 8 November 2017

I’m really excited to share my finished Closet Case Patterns Kelly Anorak with you guys! It’s be a really fun project to chip away at and if you missed my first instalment of the construction phase then do check out this blog post to see more details of my lining, what needles and threads I used as well as other tips that helped me.

I’ve made a new Vlog to show you it in real life, or read on for lots of close up images and links to all the different fabrics and supplies I used. 

To recap, where I left things in the last post, I still had to attach the zip, insert the sleeves and attach the hood. This is designed to be an unlined anorak but you can get a PDF lining expansion pack on the closet case patterns site (link here) and there is also a tutorial on their website that shows you how to underline it for added warmth (link here)

I’m interlining the bodice pieces and hood with some thinsulate quilted to this gorgeous cotton lawn. The extra bulkiness this interlining added made a few stages a bit trickier and I had to deviate from the pattern instructions slightly.

Attaching the hood

As I had underlined the hood pieces as well as the main bodice, when it came to attaching the hood on, things got quite bulky at that seam. The instructions say to machine sew on a piece of twill tape to conceal the raw edges of that seam but I decided it would just be too hard to get that to look neat. So instead I used a bit of woven jacquard ribbon I had in my stash and hand sewed it on. 

There was loops of thread on the back of the ribbon due to the way it had been woven, so I did a ladder stitch between that and the lining fabric. It was much easier to control the ribbon when hand sewing with all the layers in the seam allowance and I think it finishes off that section really nicely.

I also deviated from the instructions when it came to sewing the facing of the hood in place. You are supposed to machine sew through the hood facing and the outer hood at the same time but I just knew it would be hard to get it even on both sides, again due to the extra thickness of the lining.

Instead I hemmed the hood facing and then hand stitched it with a ladder stitch to the lining fabric so you don’t actually see any stitching from the outside of the hood.

I really like the shape of the hood and it feels very cosy! I’ve not often got a free hand to hold an umbrella so a hood is perfect for me!

Attaching the zip

I had to be in full concentration mode for putting the zip in as it’s the first time I’ve installed an openended zip. I used the tutorial on the Closet Case site (link here) as there are lots of pictures and I personally find that easier to understand. I just took one step at a time and it wasn’t as scary as I thought. I was having some issues with skipped stitches doing the top stitching down the side. I tired a new needle in case mine had blunted quickly from working with stiff fabric, but still no joy. Then I tried a stretch needle which seemed to improve things.

The eye of the stretch needle is very slightly higher so it means the loop that formed when the stitch is created is a big bigger and this means the stitch can cope with going through more layers or fabric.

When I put my zip in place onto the zip facing, I positioned it 1cm from the edge of the fabric. This distance will vary as the width of zip tapes can be different, but you just need to remember the ultimate aim is that your stitch line is 1.5cm from the edge of the fabric and at the same time the stitching needs to be just on the inside of the zip teeth.

Inserting sleeves

This ended up being one of the more challenging parts of the construction as there just isn’t much give in the waxed canvas and trying to move the rest of the anorak around while I stitched round the arm hole felt like a bit of a fight against the fabric. I used the little grips I showed you in last weeks video but in hindsight I wish I had hand basted it in. It all worked out anyway and luckily I didn’t get any tucks in the sleeve head which is always a relief when you turn it round to the right side after sewing!

The sleeves themselves aren’t lined and I was worried they might look a bit limp compared to the sturdiness of the bodice that has my underlining, but I think they look great and I’m not sure I’d actually be able to move if I did underline them in the same way!

Attaching studs and using simflex

Putting studs or press snaps on always gives me mixed emotions! On one hand I’m excited to be almost finished making the project and on the other the pressure to get it right is huge as it’s pretty hard to take the snaps off once they are on!

I used these Prym 15mm brass studs and attached them on using my vario pliers. To get the positioning right I followed the distance markers on the pattern piece and matched that up with my simflex gauge. The simflex only opens so wide so instead I made it that every second spoke of the simflex matched up with a marking.

I then held that position and marked the level of the studs on the anorak with a pin. I made the centre of my snaps 1.5cm from the edge of the zip placket and made a little pen mark at the points.

Using my hole punch I made a little hold for the snap to go though and then used the pliers to fix the stud in place. The hole punch helped a lot, especially on the side of the zip where you have to go though the lining as well! Then using the little tool set that came with the snaps, I used my vario pliers to actually set them in place.

Drawstring or not?

There is an optional drawstring in this pattern and I’m being a bit in decisive as to whether to add it or not. When I pictured the finished coat before I started, I did want to add it, but now I’ve finished I’m not so sure.

I had been waiting for the little eyelets to arrive, which is why I didn’t put the drawstring as I was actually making it. My choice of lining has defiantly given more structure to the bodice and I’m just not sure it will work to have it bunching up. Anyway,  I’ve decided to just leave it off and wear the coat for a month or so then decide what to do. What do you guys think?

Overall fit, sizing and details

As I’ve mentioned before, I made a size 6 and didn’t make any changes. I’ve had success many times with that size in Closet Case Patterns so trusted that it would be fine and I think it is. The type of lining I used has added a bit more bulk and probably made it slightly more snug that it otherwise would be across the shoulders but I can still move around fine and pick Sophia up so it works for me.

I really like the other little details in the design as well...the top stitching at the front yoke, the flap at the back yoke which helps the rain to run off a bit easier and the cuff too!

Washing and caring for fabric

I’ve been asked a few times about washing and caring for this fabric. The instructions that came from the manufacturers say that you can machine wash at 30 degrees. I didn’t pre wash my fabric, and if you bought a coat in the shops like this it wouldn’t be prewashed either. And truthfully, I will probably just spot clean and sponge mine and hang it out to air to freshen it up. In the winter I usually wear a scarf too and this helps to prevent a build up of make-up around the collar.

Fabrics and notions

If you’ve made it to the end of this post, THANK YOU! I know it’s a long one, but hopefully if you decide to give this project a try, you’ll find my experiences with it useful.

Here is the (quite big) list of all the things you’ll need to make it depending on what version you do and if you add a lining as well!