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Sep 24, 2014

Post-Parka Depression + So You Want To Sew a Men's Parka...



OK, so actually, I'm not experiencing post-parka depression but the title sounded intriguing.

If truth be told, however, I have been in a mild funk for more than a month now, and the parka project helped lift me out of it.  The challenge now is to stay out of it.  Sewing helps.

And speaking of parka projects...

All in all, I was very happy with my Daisy Kingdom parka pattern.  A minor quibble is that I would have liked the pattern to make clearer how much overlap there is on the center fronts (i.e, the pattern just labels the front center edges as "CF," when the actual front is roughly 1" wide, after the seam allowance is accounted for.).  But that's what a muslin is for, I guess.  I just never went further than making sure the basic fit was right.  If I'd been making this in a plaid, say, I would have had to carefully study exactly how much the left front overlapped the right.

The Daisy Kingdom pattern, which dates from 1983, is not easily available (UPDATE: a newer version, now dubbed DK Sport, can be purchased at Seattle Fabrics; see links below) but there are other parka patterns out there you might wish to consider if you're interested in making a coat in this, or a similar, style.

The Green Pepper "Men's Oregon Jacket" pattern (below) can be purchased on the the Green Pepper website here, as well as a few other places, including Etsy and eBay.  It looks like it only has two pockets (instead of nine, like my Daisy Kingdom pattern), but that might not be a bad thing depending on your comfort level with making pockets.  Plus you can always add more pockets on your own.  Or just carry a knapsack.



Another in-print pattern is Vogue 8842.  There's actually a BMV sale going on right now that ends tomorrow (Thursday).  I'm seeing a price of $5.99 here today.  The Vogue parka also is a bit simpler than the pattern I used, but again, that's not necessarily a bad thing.  It includes a version with a hood and without.



Canadian Jalie has an in-print parka pattern and it includes both child and adult sizes in one envelope.  You can find it for sale here, and there are user reviews on the site too. 



Finally, there's Burda 8855 which is out-of-print and doesn't have a hood.  Still it's cute pattern as these things go.  Not so easy to find...



If you know of any other men's parka patterns out there, let me know.  There aren't oodles of men's outerwear patterns but it isn't quite the wasteland I'd first thought.  You simply have to do some research.

You're likely to need notions like two-way zippers, velcro, gripper snaps and, occasionally, grommets.  I had very little experience with the snaps and none with grommets, but they were much simpler to install than I had expected, and no need to purchase expensive pliers: you just need a mallet and good aim.  I did most of my stitching on my Singer 15-91; the Kenmore lacked sufficient piercing power to handle multiple layers of my outer fabric.  But it handled the lining just fine.  I did the cuffs on my Bernina 930 since it's a free arm.

I don't know a whole lot about where to source authentic parka-type fabrics, so if you have some good sources you can share, please do.  I'm aware of Seattle Fabrics, but their website is not very user friendly.  However, they DO have a page on their website called "So you want to make a lined parka" with fabric and notions recommendations.  Check it out here.

UPDATE:  Another excellent source of technical wear/outdoor fabrics, notions, and patterns is The Rainshed Inc. in Oregon.  Their website is here.

And check out the extremely comprehensive Specialty Outdoors site, here.

And that's it.  Next up, I may try making a windbreaker for running.

My latest purchase:



Not sure if I'll tackle this next but it's in the queue.

Have a great day, everybody!

37 comments:

  1. Seattle Fabrics seems to have a current version of your Daisy Kingdom pattern.

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    Replies
    1. Excellent find! And they even recommend fabrics.

      http://www.seattlefabrics.com/dk.html#DK68%20Nine-Pocket%20Mountain%20Parka

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    2. They also have the beautiful matte black grommets. Of doooooooom (well, mine at least). We are all so very parka here in Seattle. It really is true. It's the one thing I have not sewn for myself. And never will. Bwahahaha!

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  2. Seems you are ahead of a trend here. There's a classic man's parka in the new (October) edition of Burda Style!

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  3. I’m still admiring your work on that parka! Regarding your funk, others mentioned before – and I agree --that the weather, or maybe the change of season from a short summer, after a long winter here in the Northeast, is doing a number on some people. The blog rolls aren’t moving as quickly as usual. I’m tired all the time. Plus, you’ve been sewing like gangbusters for quite some time. For inspiration, maybe you can try doing a search for “dior making of” for a YouTube video that I found fascinating … but I still haven’t done any sewing. Oh well… Hang in there. We’ll get over this soon!

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  4. The October Burdastyle Magazine has a men's parka pattern in it.

    The parka looks great–I'm inspired. I've had a different Green Pepper (half-zip) parka type jacket pattern for awhile. Maybe it help me get over my Fall anxiety...

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  5. I have seen outerwear fabrics at B&J in NYC. I love your parka - fabulous!

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  7. (* sorry- computer difficulties with that last attempt at commenting....)

    Your parka looks great. You picked a timeless style and executed it so well.

    Some other outdoor fabric sites are:
    www.rockywoods.com
    www.owfinc.com

    Sailrite.com mainly sells industrial machines, but they also carry a full line-up of outdoor (a lot of it is marine grade!) fabric and notions- great stuff for patio/home-dec and other out-of-doors projects.

    Thanks for doing what you do and showing us, too.

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  8. Superb! I'm sorry to hear you've been in a funk - that is not nice for you. I hope it lifts soon, the black dog (or it's puppy) is not a great companion. I find your sewing so inspiring. It really makes me want to take my time and do things very well. Thank you! Rachel ☺

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  9. The parka came out Amazing! Well done, and you look terrific in it!

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  10. So glad that you are feeling better! It's interesting how sewing can help lift and stabilise the spirit isn't it? Something to do with repetitive motions( a bit like the effect of exercise) plus aesthetic enjoyment (a bit like the effect of art or music) plus the focus on the job in hand to the exclusion of debilitating self-talk (a bit like the effect of yoga) plus the transformation of a small piece of the universe into something nicer than it was (an effect all on its own). At least that's how I find it.

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  11. Oh, Peter, you gent of many styles! Only you could make a mountain parka look so dapper!

    I made one of the original Frostline kits (in exactly your colors) many years ago, and your travails inspired me to haul mine out and write a post about it (the URL is here).

    I loved that coat, and wore it nearly to death. At the time, it was an extraordinary opportunity to make (and customize) something that people rarely imagined being able to construct at home.

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  12. Peter, hotpatterns.com has a parka/windbreaker, it is a good pattern overall. Link is below

    http://www.hotpatterns.com/hp-2004-mr-h-p-hemmingway-windcheater/

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Peter,
      What sizes does your pattern come in?
      -Corey

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  13. You look so handsome in your new parka. And I love your clever lead-ins for your blogs. I hope the funk TOTALLY lifts soon.

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  14. This new Burda is minus the hood, http://www.burdastyle.com/pattern_store/patterns/mens-barbour-jacket-102010

    I really love your parka. Those pockets really set it apart from what's on the marked.

    And, I used the hot patterns to make my jacket and it was a big hit.

    I also think FabricMart regularly has waterproof fabrics:
    http://www.fabricmartfabrics.com/Water-Repellant/

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  15. Also, you're right on trend :) http://www.valetmag.com/personal-shopper/shop-talk/2014/fall-buying-planner-jackets-technical.php?rss

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  16. I swear this is my last post. The Burda jacket I posted isn't the one I was looking for. It's this, with a hood, from the Oct. 2014. It's just not on the English site yet. http://burdafashion.com/fr/Magazines/burda_Style/132_Parka_homme_Schema_du_modele/1270777-1000019-1812028-1812032-1812033-1812361.html

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  17. http://www.peakfabrics.com/
    A vendor in Calgary, Alberta, Canada for your outdoor gear consideration.

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  18. This is the ideal season to get all kinds of reflective tape (sew on, iron-on) on your outdoor gear because drivers really don't seem to notice pedestrians. Or like the model wearing Vogue's neon yellow coat, be so obvious that everyone will notice you waiting for the green light or pedestrian signal.

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  19. I will second the recommendation on the Hot Pattern Windcheater. Check Miss Celie's blog for her make of it. http://missceliespants.com/

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  20. Wow, this turned out great! I'm so impressed that anyone can make something so complicated. Great fit and a good style for you.

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  21. Hey... don't talk to me about being in a funk! I come to you to lift me outta mine! Ha! C'mon, Peter - you've got to give us a something to laugh about, although that parka does bring a smile to my face...

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  22. Peter, I've followed you for about two years now and I can't believe how your seams look so perfect from 6 years of sewing. You must have been a sewer in a past life. I've been sewing for what seems like forever and my work still looks so sloppy. I've been wondering for sometime now as to what you did before you got into sewing. I can't find the answer. I figure you must have been in print design or something like that. Will you share a bit of your past of what you've done for a living and what pushed you into sewing. (I find people's life stories interesting)

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    Replies
    1. He can sew full time all day everyday .. because .. he is a house husband with a hobbie called sewing ... i'm waiting for him to turn it into a business .. alterations .. or "a designer"

      and make some money ... don't you think if you had all the time in the world to only sew .. that you would be great at it ?????

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    2. I was a fundraiser, and before that, an actor. I can't even remember exactly why I started sewing: to shorten some thrift store jeans, as I recall.

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    3. An Actor! That explains all your charisma and dramatic funness. Peter keep being you cause I love the clothes you create and I love your blog.

      Delete
  23. That parka is a amazing and most important, get out of your funk! You are inspiring me to sew men clothes for my son so check this out, I need your inspiration! I'm getting ready to start on a bow tie for him of course to his standards and expectation. After all out of his own mouth he said I used to sew for him when he was little so I need to up my game now that he a grown man! So yeah he lurks you blog, lol!

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  24. I love that last pattern, the one in the queue. so cool.

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  25. Your parka is magnificent. Look forward to seeing the windbreaker soon

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  26. Hi Peter! I know you wrote this a while ago but I discovered another men's parka pattern - it is the Daisy Kingdom Men's Racing Parka from 1973. It has a real classic, slim fitting look.

    Thanks for all your inspiration! Ally

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  27. Of these patterns, I am only familiar with the Vogue pattern which has simple, one-piece sleeves. Good outdoor jackets I have worn have 2-piece sleeves with a curved piece running the length of the sleeve. Do you know any patterns with this kind of sleeve?

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