DIY Rain Jacket

8:28 p.m. on April 28, 2011 (EDT)
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Has anyone on here ever made their own rain jacket? I think I'm going to take on the challenge, not only because I don't want to pay an arm and a leg for a nice one, but for something to do. I'm fairly skilled on my sewing machine. I've been looking at patterns. So far I think the Rainier Wind/Rain Suite by The Green Pepper (I may make pants later on) looks pretty good. I also like the Fairbanks Pullover by The Green Pepper. It looks to me like the only difference between the two are the cuffs on the sleeves and stitching on the hood. The Fairbanks looks a little easier (less stitching). Does anyone have any other suggestions for a good pattern? I might make some alterations and add Velcro cuffs.

Then there is the fabric. I live an hour and twenty minutes from The Rain Shed and I've looked at their fabrics and e-mailed back/forth with one of their employees. Of their fabrics it's between the Avalite and Supplex. Has anyone worn anything made out of either of these fabrics? Quest Outfitters has Stormshield, Dry-X, and other WPB. I'd like to stay under $12-$13/yard and I'm going to go with a green color, earth-tone, not a bright/lime looking green. I'm fairly small, so I should be able to make the entire jacket for under $40-$50.

Some fabrics require a liner too. That will make it more work and cost more. Anyway, any thoughts or suggestions are appreciated.   

12:03 a.m. on April 29, 2011 (EDT)
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I envy you, Jessica.   Sewing seems daunting to me.   Men just have this "thing" about sewing, I suppose.   I should try, though.   I do have a kit, with various needles, and various thread.  Even one of those leather-repair awls,  for repairing boots, heavy denier fabric (tents, backpacks, gaiters, tarps, etc.).   Used it but once.

Getting back to your question ... I would scour the local / regional thrift stores.   Find (or try to) a cheap / reasonable rain jacket ... can even be a mens's size small, or an X-Large in youth's sizes.  Use that as a guide ... or, even a pattern, if it fits good.

Can't comment on the liner.   As I said, sewing seems daunting to me.

Perhaps (?) someone else will chime-in, with a good suggestion.

Yogi Robt

1:07 a.m. on April 29, 2011 (EDT)
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hey a fellow oregonian. the rainshed is a great place, i have bought a few things from them over the years.

of all the rain jackets i have used i really like the one i have from moonstone the best. it is lined with a material that looks like the old fishnet underwear that we used to get. i think the reason they did that was to keep the water from wicking through the coated nylon. it really works better than any other coated fabric i have used.

the way the hood is constructed on the moonstone is the best i have seen. the hood is a separate part that can be removed when you don't want it. when you don't need the full hood and visibility is important you can open up the area that closes around your neck and fold it in back of your head and snap each side behind your head. that way it covers the top of your head and leaves the neck and sides open for great visibility and ventilation. this is my favorite bicycling rain coat. hope this makes sense. if you would like to see some pixs i can email a few off to you. just let me know. check out this link you can see the three snaps that close the hood.

i am not really familiar with the fabrics that you are asking about. the only rain gear that has worked day in and day out for me in oregon is the heavy filson waxed cotton. boy is that stuff heavy and stiff. the people at the rainshed should tell you pretty straight about fabrics.

when you get yours done i just want you to know that i prefer yellow...haha

best of luck

7:31 a.m. on April 29, 2011 (EDT)
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do you mean this Supplex?
I don't know anything about this fabric but Invista is a good make...what about the seams? are you thinking to tape them? and you are right about the liner - stay away from it if you can. 2 ply membrane need a liner to protect it and I would stay away from it if possible.

6:07 p.m. on April 29, 2011 (EDT)
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trash bag and a rain hat

8:34 p.m. on April 29, 2011 (EDT)
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Ha-ha, thanks for the input Callahan. Not quite what I'm looking for, I think the bag would be shredded by the time I got out of some of the brush I walk through.

Nir, I don't think that's it. Unless it's the same material except with a laminated coating. If you go to and click on their waterproof breathable fabrics they have some they call "2-ply supplex," but since it's 2-ply I'm crossing if off of the list along with the Avalite, because I don't want to hassle with a liner. They have some that are 3-ply that don't require a liner. I'm thinking about them, but they're $16/yd, which is more than what I wanted to pay. I think I should tape the seams. I don't think sealing them would be a good idea. That's another reason I'm looking for the simplest pattern that requires the least amount of pieces of fabric. Or whatever the correct term is. 

Dan, that jacket looks pretty nice! A little more challenging, but the pockets on the front and the removable hood would be peachy. I know the netting you're talking about. I've found it in bulk as well, and I was considering using it as a liner if I went with a 2-ply fabric, but I would probably end up making a mess of the project dealing with a liner. Filson's stuff is great! I have one of their wool coats. It's awesome in the winter time. This jacket I'm making I want to be lightweight and packable. I'll primarily use it for running, hunting (no yellow ha-ha), and just out and about in the rain during the warmer months. I might make it a half-size too big so I can put it over a base layer and a fleece if it starts to rain while hiking/backpacking. 

Robert, that is a good idea for a pattern. I actually have a light weight jacket I don't wear much (it isn't waterproof) I might use. It doesn't have a hood or any pockets though, but I might be able to figure something out using a hood off of a different jacket and just slap some pockets on there somehow. Basic sewing isn't that difficult, you should give it a whirl. I was kind of intimidated at first, but I just went out and bought myself an intermediate sewing machine. My first project was a round bottom stuff sack. There are "how-to" videos on YouTube. Now I'v moved onto shooting bags, dog beds for my dog, added straps to packs, and I can repair most of my clothes. Plus, I'm interested in the field of custom saddlery and leathercraft, so I kinda have to know how to sew. 

Thank you all for your feedback. 

5:06 a.m. on April 30, 2011 (EDT)
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Jessica ~~

Do you have / use a heavy-duty sewing machine?

I recall when I used to get jeans ('dungarees') altered to hem the leg-bottoms (cuffs).   The seamstress-lady had a 2nd machine (aside from her 'regular' one) that was a commercial machine, and was set-up to handle heavy fabric like denim and light canvas, with heavier needles and so-forth.

Yogi Robt

10:32 p.m. on April 30, 2011 (EDT)
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I have this machine, except a year or two older:

It's not an industrial strength sewing machine, but I can use heavier needles in it. I have sewn jeans, utility fabrics, Velcro, and nylon webbing with it and you can sew in buttons and zippers. It couldn't handle 6oz. or heavier canvas and thick materials like that.

I'd like one like this someday:

5:57 a.m. on May 1, 2011 (EDT)
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Good Grief !!

$4200 American dollars !   Shipping that thing would run about $100-to-$150.

Not much that it wouldn't handle, I suppose.


Yogi Robt

7:25 p.m. on May 1, 2011 (EDT)
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Argh come on, I thought that was a good one, damn.

8:19 p.m. on May 3, 2011 (EDT)
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Capaw- saw the site you listed and took a look at the pattern you mentioned and the material..It seems the Raineer is like an anorak jacket and pullover..

They do list a cobalt blue at 8.50 a yard and black at 8.50 a yard in the sale corner..Have you checked seattle fabrics site? It never hurts to look also they sell you the pattern and the material together..might be something to look at. Love to try this myself when I am done hiking this summer and create some patterns myself..Although I would have to get MikeMarrow lend his expertice in Mad sewing skills and Kite design...


8:25 p.m. on May 3, 2011 (EDT)
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LOL. I'm a novice.

10:52 a.m. on May 4, 2011 (EDT)
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Thanks Denis, I did see the pattern/material at Quest Outfitters. I have ordered some nice fabric from them  before. I think I'm going to go to The Rain Shed so I can feel the fabrics and see the colors in person. Then, if I decide on something a little more pricey I might do some price shopping. Hopefully I'll be able to put the jacket on when I'm done. Ha-ha. I think it should be fun. 

10:25 p.m. on May 4, 2011 (EDT)
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1,878 forum posts

Well when you start and pick the material give us some pic's along the way..It would be cool to pop online and see how your project is comeing along. So I can ask you for advice..

11:46 a.m. on May 5, 2011 (EDT)
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I will be sure to do that. Hopefully I will be able to provide more "how-to" tips than "what not to do."

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