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How to Make a Parka

From the Arctic to the Big Apple, parkas can be both functional and fashionable. Making a parka is a little more difficult than making your average article of clothing. It requires thick materials that are hard to sew, and it requires a type of waterproof material that must be handled with care to avoid ruining the waterproofing. Patterns for parkas are also comprised of numerous pieces, as opposed to simpler items like shirts. This is not a quick, easy project, but it is cheaper than buying a new parka, and you can customise it to make exactly what you want.

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  1. Measure the person who will be wearing the parka. You will need to measure the bust, waist, hips, back, sleeves, neck, and height. This will determine what size of pattern you should buy.

  2. Find a sewing pattern for your parka. These are available online or at your local craft store. They come in a variety of styles. Some styles may not require insulation. You can also tweak any pattern you purchase so that it looks exactly the way you want it.

  3. Select and purchase your materials. You can find everything you need online or at your local craft store. The fabrics will cost between £6 and £16/yard. You will need 3.5 yards of outer fabric and 1.75 yards lining.

  4. Follow the instructions on your pattern. Be careful not to rip or tear the waterproof outer material or you will ruin the waterproofing. Don't poke holes in it by using pins; use tape instead.

  5. Tip

    If you don't want to sew a parka yourself but still want a custom made one, search online for makers of custom parkas.

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Things You'll Need

  • Parka Sewing Pattern
  • Outer fabric (2 Ply GoreTex, 2 Ply Ultrex, Cordura Face GoreTex)
  • Lining: (Mini Mesh, Sport Mesh, Wicking Chain Link Mesh, Athletic Mesh, Polartec 100 MicroFiber, Regulator Fleece, Gore Windstopper Fleece)
  • Insulation (polyester, thinsulate, goose down)
  • 2-way separating zipper: 26" or 36"
  • 1 yard zipper by the yard (#5)
  • 2 sliders
  • 1.5 yards 1" heavy elastic
  • 1 yard 3/4" hook and loop fastener
  • Fasnap kit
  • 5 toggles
  • 4.25 yards 1/8" Shock Cord
  • Melco Iron-On Seam Tape, Plastiseam or Seam Grip
  • 1-2 spools 110 yard thread per colour
  • Heavy Duty Seam Ripper
  • Optional:
  • Wash Away Wonder Tape
  • Zipper and Snap Lubricant
  • Do-Sew Pattern Tracing Paper

About the Author

Amanda Gronot

In 2008 Amanda Gronot began her professional career as a writer for a research company. She helped ghostwrite a book for a prominent CEO and has had essays and translations published in the prestigious classics journal "Helicon." Gronot graduated with a four-year Master of Arts/Bachelor of Arts in classics from Yale University.

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