Double trouble


I am not sure what I got myself into. <More than> a year ago I bought some fabric at SewExpo because I thought it was super cool, AND because I thought it would make such a distinctive coat for our rainy PNW days. The fabric is double cloth – one side is a slightly heathered, black sherpa fleece, and the other side is a water repellent <probably> nylon.  

Have you ever sewn with double cloth? I thought it would be really easy to whip up a coat with simple design lines, but evidently I know how to make any project more complicated.  The pattern is simple enough — Vogue 8539 —and I am making View A so no buttonholes or hood.  Simple, right?

Vogue 8539

Let me just say this is my first double cloth experience. One way to work with this kind of fabric (and my choice for the garment)  is to create a lapped seam so there are no exposed seam allowances. The theory is that you stitch a seam wrong sides together, trim one seam allowance very close, and then pull the fleece away from the nylon on the other SA and wrap it around the trimmed seam and topstitch it down.  Sounds simple, right? Basically a felled seam. Except…..the glue used to adhere these 2 fabrics is FREAKIN’ strong. And I have arthritis in my right hand! So after for about 1 minute of pulling my hand was killing me and the 2 fabrics hadn’t budged an inch. Enter the scissor solution. I decided to trim the fleece very close with small, sharp scissors instead of pulling apart. Almost as good. Problem solved. Then I started to topstitch the lapped seam. Problem number two surfaced. I had lengthened my stitch to almost 5mm, and the stitches were uniform and consistent on the inital seam join. At this point the wrong sides (fleece) were together, and the presser foot and feed dogs were both against the nylon side of the fabric. But when I was topstitching the wrapped seam allowance, the fleece was against the feed dogs and the presser foot was against the nylon. Ruh roh. Those stitches were no longer as consistent….ugh. I ripped. I tried pulling from the back as I stitched. Maybe I should have tried a walking foot? All I can say is, this garment is not going to be an example of my best stitching. I am hoping no one driving down Aurora at 60 miles an hour will notice the wonkiness. Oh, and please notice I thought 2 rows of topstitching would be better than one. 🙂 


Here is the coat so far – shoulder seams stitched, back darts done, and sleeves attached. Next up are side seam pockets and then the collar. I plan on making the collar fleece side out so it feels warm and soft against my neck. And I am going to have a AWESOME time cutting all that fleece off the front facing turnback. Why did I think this was going to be a fun project? Oye!!

Black double cloth raincoat

Happy sewing!

Maris Olsen


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