Alma Parka by BARA STUDIO

A lady with short brown hair standing in a garden wearing a blue grey raincoat


I have many coats that are shower resistant but only one short jacket that is waterproof.  Having a dog, and enjoying the Welsh outdoors, I felt I needed a longer, thigh length waterproof coat.

Minerva gifted 3.0 metres of their Core Range Waterproof Rubber PVC Vinyl in Airforce Blue for this project.  I love the grey/blue colour, making a change from my usual black or navy.

The fabric has a Polyurethane Face & Polyester Backing & is medium weight.  It is very soft and pliable to touch & although it doesn’t contain elastane it does have a reasonable amount of mechanical stretch, (20% widthways, 10% lengthways) which allows sufficient give for movement.


As usual I spent way to long on google searching for a pattern of the design I had in mind.  I took inspiration from a ready to wear waterproof coat that retailed at £219! & eventually chose a pattern by an independent German designer, Bara Studio.

The Alma Parka has a hood, drawstring waist and a padded lining. It closes at the front with a zipper, storm flap & snap fasteners & has front patch pockets.

The pattern is designed to have a quilted lining but as I needed a summer weight waterproof coat I sized down and lined it with a polyester lining fabric.

I ordered the PDF pattern directly from the designer, E-book Parka Alma, which I prefer to do whenever possible and uploaded the PDF pattern to an independent copy shop to print out the A0 pattern instead of printing A4 pages at home and sticking them together.  I usually use The Savvy Sewist for printing, whom I recommend for their speed of printing, delivery and the quality of the paper.  One thing to note with this pattern for copy shop printing is that although there are only 2 pages in the A0 PDF, they are actually double sized.  I wasn’t aware of this until Savvy Sewist contacted me to explain.  Very efficiently they invoiced me for the additional 2 pages and completed the order.

The pattern has English and German instructions but I had to use Google Translate a couple of times for details like PDF names and within the sales email.

The pattern is available in sizes 32 – 48 with all measurements in centimetres.  I still use imperial measurements for sewing sizes so had to convert the measurements to inches.

Black line drawings on a white background of  five dresses showing different options with sleeves, collar and lengths


I chose my size based on my upper bust measurement (38”) to make sure the shoulders and neck weren’t too big and then graded out for my full bust (42”), waist (36’) and hips (48”).  I fell just out of the size range for the lower hips so I added an extra inch.

I didn’t need to do any of my regular adjustments such as lowering the bust point a couple of inches, a full bust adjustment or a full bicep adjustment, as the pattern is a straight shape with no darts, using the elasticated drawstring to give the shape, and there was sufficient room in the arms.  I made a toile and was pleasantly surprised with the fit. 


 The notions I required for my chosen option were -

I paid £5.24 from eBay for ‘20M Seam Sealing Tape Iron Hot Melt Water-proof Coated Fabric Clothing Tent’. 


The pattern instructions are very clear, having comprehensive diagrams at every step.  There is also a QR code for a very helpful video showing the complete construction.  Although the video is in German it does have English subtitles.

The overall construction is methodical and accurate, something which I enjoy when following a pattern.

I was careful to use a pressing cloth when ironing on the right side of the fabric to prevent any damage to the UPVC coating. 

A coat isn’t complete without a coat hook & this pattern includes details of when and how to add one to the lining section.

To try and make the coat completely waterproof I taped most of the seams before adding the lining.  I made sure to tape all of the seams that were likely to be in contact with rainwater such as the shoulders,  hood & back of the neck, centre back seam & the back arm seam.  I didn’t tape the side and under arm seams.  The tape was easy to use & no more difficult than applying iron on interfacing, but it did add quite a lot of time to the overall make.  All of the seams with this pattern are pressed to one side and with the 1cm seam allowance it meant that I didn’t need to trim any seams to apply the tape, which was 2cm wide.  Again, I used a pressing cloth, & pressure without steam, to apply the tape ensuring the tape was stuck along all of the edges.  I’m yet to test the coat in the rain but hopefully I’ll stay nice and dry inside.

This other video tutorial by I am Jacques was also very useful to show the process of making a raincoat and it is in English.

This post was helpful regarding applying the tape.

I also refreshed myself about adding the grommets and snap fasteners as they’re not something I use very often.  It is vital to reinforce this fabric before inserting the eyelets and snap fasteners because the fabric is quite pliable, pulling to undo the snap fasters could potentially tear the fabric.  Similarly, when adding the eyelets, take care not to hit the rivet too many times as the metal edge started to dig into the fabric leading to a weakened area.  I managed to ‘save’ the rivet and fabric by applying some seam tape under the edges of the eyelet on the back of the fabric and small amounts of fabric glue on the front – so far so good!

Hemline eyelet kit - video.

Hemline heavy duty snaps - video.

I had difficulty machine sewing over the 3mm elastic cord to secure it as per the instructions, as the machine tangled the thread on the underside of the fabric (but it was visible from the front in places like the hood facing).  To make sure the ends were secure I hand stitched the cord ends into the seam allowances and tried to avoid the machine needle going over the elastic when top stitching.

The PVC fabric was generally easy to work with but I had to take care with top stitching.  I’ve not had any success using a Teflon machine foot in the past and tend to keep tension on the fabric to guide it through the machine.  A new microtex needle helped to avoid missed stitches.

One final change I made was to add the snap fasteners to the outside of the storm flap as I wanted the black fasteners to be visible.  The pattern suggests applying them to the inside of the storm, flap before stitching it to the coat, meaning they are hidden underneath the flap.


I’m very impressed with the design, pattern, instructions, style and fit of the jacket and it is exactly what I envisaged.  The fabric is perfect for a light raincoat & would also be ideal if choosing to line the fabric with quilted fabric as the pattern was designed for.  The fabric doesn’t crease making it ideal for travelling.

Although this coat is a simple style, the finishing touches make this project a lengthy process from top stitching every seam, applying waterproof seam tape, lining the coat & inserting the elastic cord and fasteners but these are what give the coat such a professional finish and the husband was actually very complementary when being my photographer and even asked me to make him a coat!

I now have a windproof, waterproof and thermos sealed coat that needs testing in a downpour!

Thank you to Minerva for such lovely fabric.


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