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  • Writer's pictureMingMakes

Kelly Anorak

By now I had made a few outerwear garments with a lot of help on classes or workshops (Heather Blazer, Sienna Maker Jacket and Eden Coat) and started to feel like it wasn't quite so scary. I saw a workshop on Claire Tyler's website for the Kelly Anorak by Closet Core Patterns, and was ready for another new challenge. My Barbour jacket was falling apart so I was in need of a new waterproof.

I chose to make view A with the hood and drawstring. I also bought the lining expansion pack and used the sleeves from this instead, which are slightly wider and without a cuff.

Workshop studio and location

This is the third time I have attended Claire's sewing studio, and have written about this in a previous blog post which also includes details about the area and where I stayed. On this occasion, I booked a lovely one-bed cottage via Airbnb called The Cowshed, just minutes away from the studio. The owner was so friendly and had clearly poured love into this place. It was very comfortable and homely, with a table perfect for setting up my sewing machine on.


Having already fitted the Sienna Maker Jacket also by Closet Core Patterns, I already had a headstart on some of the fitting. I cut the same size 6 and knew I wanted to try an upper rounded back adjustment. I have written a separate blog post about this with photos of my toiles, and comparisons to the fit of the Sienna Maker Jacket.


I used dry oilskin in yellow from Merchant & Mills having seen Claire's own jacket in the black colourway. I ordered the swatch cards to help choose and was originally looking at the classic darker colours of greys and blues which I'm always drawn towards, but felt I wanted to brighten up my wardrobe and the gloomy rainy days.

Since the fabric creases easily they offer to send it rolled for an additional cost of £20. I had asked Claire whether having the oilskin sent folded would be an issue. She reassured me that creases would appear with the handling of the fabric during sewing so this wouldn't be a problem, and also that it could be pressed if desired. She recommended a pressing cloth to prevent any oil from ruining the iron, and to press the pieces before interfacing to avoid 'setting' any creases.

Having now finished the jacket, the folds weren't an issue on the jacket at all with it's slightly general crumpled look. It has a lovely soft and matt feel to it, and responded well to using the Philips steam generator irons at Claire's studio. Sometimes this wasn't even necessary and it could be finger pressed with a seam roller.

For the main lining I used a brushed cotton with cute little cat faces on, left over from the first ever garment I made 4 years ago. It was a sewing workshop to make pyjama bottoms and I have been hooked on sewing ever since.

I used royal blue Bremsilk from Bloomsbury Square Fabrics for the sleeves to make it easier to put on, which was left over from my Eden Coat and Bomber Jacket projects.

Cutting out

There were errors in the instructions for the cutting layout in the lining expansion pack. Where it said A (the version with the hood) it was view B and vice versa. It was correct in the booklet that came with the printed pattern as shown below.

On Claire's recommendation, I had cut all the lining pieces and constructed half of it prior to the workshop. The first day of the workshop was spent completing the lining, and cutting the main fabric and interfacing. I was a little behind the rest of the class after day one, and so I caught up that evening, having packed my sewing machine in anticipation of this.



On sewing up the lining, I was confused by the position of the bust darts, as the apex seemed to be very high, about 7 cm above my own apex. When putting my toile over the top, it seem to lie level with the yoke seam. I don't know whether this was the intended position, but it was too late for me to adjust this in any case. I was less concerned about this being in the lining.


I omitted a lot of the topstitching in a bid to get as far through the jacket as I could during the workshop. However, this is definitely something I am regretting as I think it adds a really lovely detail. I have a case of topstitch envy when looking at other people's Kelly Anoraks!

Drawstring casing

Earlier in the project, the drawstring casing is basted in place so I used a longer stitch at 5mm. Claire recommended stitching over this basting at the end, as the needle holes would show and it would save unpicking the basting stitches.

Towards the end of the project, you are directed to topstitch the drawstring casing through into the lining. I had returned home from the workshop by this point, and couldn't see why it was necessary to stitch it all the way through the lining. I decided not to do this step, thinking my basting was neat enough and strong enough, and I also didn't want to break up the look of the lining inside. If making this again, I'd sew it on with the normal stitch length when attaching it in the first place. If there's a reason I've missed here, please do comment below.


For the zip, I was able to find a matching plastic medium YKK zip in yellow gold 001 but knowing there would be a lot of snaps and hardware on this anorak, I felt a metal zip would look better. I couldn't find a matching yellow one so went with a neutral cream colour number 502 with silver teeth, to go with the silver snaps I had chosen which I thought would be a nice contrast against the yellow. I ordered this from Jaycotts which have a wide range of zips and reasonable shipping costs.

Having sewn one side of the zip on the right side of the jacket, I pinned the left side starting at the bottom of the jacket to make sure it lined up with the right side of the zip. Having pinned all the way to the top I realised this side of the zip was too long by more than 1cm. Claire recommended easing this in, pinning the top to be level with the right side and then easing it in between.

I pinned this again and sewed it but found I was still off by about 3mm at the top, and could see that the yoke line and drawstring channel were slightly off between the front pieces. I could have got away with leaving it at that but I knew it would bother me and create issues when attaching the hood. I unpicked most of it, leaving the bottom part in place as this still lined up well.

I repinned with additional horizontal pins at the top, yoke line and drawstring lines as these were the crucial parts to get level, doing up the zip while pinned to check it looked correct. I then starting sewing from the top, pulling on the jacket where needed to help ease in the extra length of zip, ensuring it met where the horizontal pins were. This worked really well and I finally got it level at all three points. I was quite surprised how well it worked as the amount I had to ease was quite a bit.


I used Prym snaps in silver to match the silver zip teeth. When marking the snaps, I made holes down the front of the right side of the jacket, and then attached the snaps. What I had forgotten to do was to mark the corresponding point through the hole I had just made, for the male component. For all the snaps except for the hood, I marked the points by zipping up the jacket, fastening all the existing snaps to make sure everything lined up, and then marking each snap individually. This was time-consuming so don't forgot to mark everything first folks!

I then checked the position of the hood snaps with the jacket on and hood up, then marked where the hood extension would overlap.

I had been warned by others that space for the snaps at the edge of the front pieces was tight, having attached the male component on the left side first. I therefore positioned the snaps quite close to the edge of the front piece on the right side before attaching the corresponding male component on the left. In hindsight it would have been better to attach them on the left side first before the right side, as I realised I had a bit more room to spare than I thought. Time will tell whether this edge becomes stretched with all the pulling of the snaps.

Drawstring cord

I ordered a 6mm drawstring in Ochre Gold and Off White from Neotrims which matched really nicely, and the marled effect added a bit of interest.

Cord stoppers and ends

I spent ages browsing the internet for these, largely because I didn't know the exact term to search for and I had difficulty finding them for my 6mm cord. On some websites, the two terms of cord stoppers and cord ends seemed interchangeable. I was after a sprung toggle to stop the cord disappearing back into the channel, and then something to put onto the end of the cord to stop it fraying or to cover the knot.

I wanted silver to match my snaps and finally found these. The 20mm silver toggles had a hole that was 6mm diameter.

For the cord ends, I used these as they seemed liked the neatest option.

You thread the drawstring through the cylinder.

Then pinch the claws of the stopper end around the end of the cord and insert into the cylinder.

Push all the way in leaving a neat finish. If needed, it can still be pulled out and replaced or changed.


What I love

  • The pop of yellow really brightens up a gloomy day.

  • The pocket detail with the folded flap and snap.

  • The drawstring helps to create shape at the waist.

  • The hardware and details make the jacket relatively smart for a waterproof.

  • The fabrics made the jacket feel fairly lightweight, yet it was warmer than I anticipated with a good deal of wind resistance.

What I would change

  • Definitely add the topstitching.

  • Stitch the drawstring casing with the normal stitch length when attaching it first.

  • The inside of the pocket feels a little uncomfortable because the back of your hand touches the edge of the snap inside. I would consider lining the pockets, it would have been nice to have the brushed cotton inside.

  • I'd consider adding an inside pocket.

  • The order of marking, and positioning of the snaps as mentioned above.

What I discovered

  • This is yet another example of what can be achieved in a few days on a workshop with an experienced tutor, and how wonderful it is to dedicate solid time to a project.

  • I can be more adventurous with colour in my wardrobe.

  • Dry oilskin is lovely to work with and has a soft matt feel to it. I have some left over that might be enough to make a bag.

  • As amazing as it is to wear a special occasion garment you've made, there is something very satisfying about a practical item that gets worn on an almost daily basis.

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I have no affiliations, I'm just a keen buyer and user. A UK supplier may be linked, please try to source items from your favourite independent stores.

Kelly Anorak by Closet Core Patterns PDF, Printed

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Hello and welcome!

I'm Kay, and welcome to my blog where I share tales of my sewing journey, complete with mishaps, mistakes and solutions to help make your journey a smoother one.

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