About 25 years ago, give or take a few years, I couldn’t find a plain classic raincoat to buy. I decided to make one, bought a pattern and raincoat fabric and got so far as cutting out the pieces when I lost interest in the project.
“The Project” came back to life a year or so later when I took a course at a fabulous store in Los Gatos called Mountain Weaver. My favorite pattern — the Haori — is a loose, knee-length Japanese garment that resembles a coat. It seemed to be perfect for using the already cut pieces of my raincoat. So, I went to work.
The Haori is basically various sized rectangles sewn together at strategic places to form a coat. I was able to rescue enough pieces to make my coat; then the fun began!
I lined my coat with a colorful fabric and “Sunshine and showers bring rainbows and flowers” on one side gore — the only pieces that were not a rectangle. On the other gore I traced the flowers from the lining with machine stitching. I could have stitched the childhood chant “Rain, rain – go away! Come again another day” but I have a more positive view of rain.
To finish, I needed a rainbow. The soft blue lapel was just the place; not a single rainbow but a collection of rainbow colors. Now my raincoat was complete. Not quite, so my friend gave me a small silver button with a frog on a lily pad — exactly what my raincoat needed. It was an unexpected and perfect finish.