Home-sewn rain poncho

Photo on 6-7-13 at 3.01 PM #2
I bought waterproof-breathable vinyl-coated nylon fabric in Vancouver at a shop specializing in fabric etc for outdoor gear, Outdoor Innovations. Finally, many years later, I’ve sewn in into an extremely lightweight poncho (See & Sew B4266 with a longer back). Sewing with this fabric was both wonderful and awful: wonderful for keeping a fold briefly pressed just with my fingers but awful for being so thin that I had to hold it until tension to help the sewing machine feed properly. Worth it and I’ll definitely look for more projects with it (tarp tent maybe?).

For waterproofness, I tested the fabric against my North Face Hyvent fabric jacket (unfairly really — hyvent is roughly three or more times heavier than my poncho fabric) by sitting a cup of water in a synched pocket of fabric. After half an hour, the lightweight fabric let through a small puddle of water while the hyvent was just starting to think about sweating (not damp feeling quite). Still, after seam sealing, I figure since the poncho can sit above the backpack straps — the pressure of the straps makes water leak through my hyvent jacket — it may still keep me dryer in a long hike in the rain. Reports to come after some in the field testing!

…and other projects including a stretchy jean jacket (so comfy! but I’m not sewing with thick and stretchy fabric until I forget how annoying it was to work with — worse than silk), my first ever shorts (so cute! again stretchy fabric is more comfy) and a somewhat more formal dress in stretchy gray that let me skip the zipper (not sure when I’ll get to wear it though!).

sewed 2

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5 thoughts on “Home-sewn rain poncho

    1. Thanks Christi! I added the sleeves on that one, otherwise it was pretty easy to make. If only I had the same productivity right now on my novel. It’s progression, just very (very) slowly.

  1. I’ve wanted to invest in a poncho for a long time. I walk everywhere, sometimes with a backpack on. It’s difficult carrying an umbrella knowing water trickles from the back into my sack behind. This actually may be a good idea. Let us know what the results are to wetness in your field research! 😉

    1. I’ve already walked plenty with a poncho + backpack. The one I had before was much too large for me though and, although it gave great coverage, it was so awkward to get on when it started raining that I just gave up on it for a waterproof jacket. My plan now with the smaller one is to continue using the backpack cover to keep the pack dry, then the smaller poncho that’s easy to put on over the pack and hoping the setup keeps me + stuff dry. I expect good field testing on the West Coast!

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