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seeking the perfect chore coat

 
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I have some coats that I toss on when I'm doing my chores.  They are easily washable, simple, baggy, and protect my clothes from whatever mess I'm working with in the garden or on the farm.  But they are starting to wear out and I got thinking, what would it be like to make my own?  I could make it fit my shape better, have more pockets in the right place... you know, make it mine.

Obviously, youtube is plugged into my brain and decided I wanted to watch this video all about making a chore coat.  



Love the name "chore coat".  I'm having that.

I couldn't find the kit anymore, but I found this page on the way back machine and it gives an idea of what is in the kit.  



One thing I don't like about my chore coats is the collar.  I don't know what function it has except to get bent out of shape and in the way all the time.  Maybe this guy has the right idea?

sam has the ultimate chore coat


What kind of coat do you use for your chores?  What do you like best about it?  What would you change?  

I would love to explore this idea further to find the coat that fits the person - or failing that, make the coat to fit the person.  There are so many options.  
 
pollinator
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POCKETS IN THE RIGHT PLACE!!! yes, please. The failing of so many garments.
I like my zip-up hoodie, but the pockets are made for hand-warming, not holding, not even gloves it seems! everything seems to want to fall out, except sawdust... they collect that.
And as a knit, it sags under heavy weight, like a decent handful of nails, or 30ft. tape measure. I know I'm asking it to be a carpenter's apron, but I'd sometimes rather not have to find that too. Or a tool belt. I may just have to grow up.

I also ask a lot of pants/trousers, and find the thigh cargo pockets too low. I have to lean to reach the bottom when standing. I do like the ones I have with a "tech pocket" which is higher up on the thigh and on the back panel behind the side seam (outseam?) My phone is safe from my leaning against ladders, railings, tailgates, or dirty/dripping things I carry in front of me. It's easy to reach while standing or sitting, even seat-belted in the truck. Bib overalls are great, so long as you never drop anything or bend over, because then you are picking up everything else from the bib pockets too.

I like the idea of pockets I've seen on duck-hunting coats, with the openings on the side by the seam but the pockets in front and on the back. I actually prefer my carpenter's apron backwards, pouches at my backside rather than over my thighs, for the same reason as the phone pocket, and also when climbing ladders, which is when I'm most likely to be wearing it anyways.

All this to say it's a very personal decision how to layout your workwear so that it works for how you use it!
 
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At the moment, I'm stuck on "what to make it out of". It looks like Samwise' jacket is a tightly woven wool. I *really* need it to block the wind, and keep the rain out, without relying on my crappy body heat to do so ( it won't, I'll just turn into an icecube!)

At the same time, it can't be too heavy or stiff, or it will resist my muscles and tire me out. I call it my "surface area to volume" problem. I'm fine boned and average 115 lbs stretched over a long-legged 5'4" frame. It's too easy to go for the light weight, artificial fabrics, but I know I'd rather something biodegradable.

Kenneth Elwell wrote:

And as a knit, it sags under heavy weight

I'm thinking that if I go for wool there will have to be at least some sort of canvas reinforcement strategically placed on the inside to support practical, useful pockets. I'm partial to "box" pockets which are 3-dimentional rather than a flat rectangle of fabric sewn on. I like your idea of putting some pockets near, but behind the side seams so long as they're roomy so retrieving bits will be easy without being able to see into them. I also think a mix of zippered pockets and open ones would be nice. A balance between security and accessibility.
 
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Jay Angler wrote:At the moment, I'm stuck on "what to make it out of". It looks like Samwise' jacket is a tightly woven wool. I *really* need it to block the wind, and keep the rain out, without relying on my crappy body heat to do so ( it won't, I'll just turn into an icecube!)

At the same time, it can't be too heavy or stiff, or it will resist my muscles and tire me out. I call it my "surface area to volume" problem. I'm fine boned and average 115 lbs stretched over a long-legged 5'4" frame. It's too easy to go for the light weight, artificial fabrics, but I know I'd rather something biodegradable.



I used to love my wax cotton jacket. Apparently you can get the fabric for projects, although it is pretty dear; see here for example. It might be possible to treat your own fabric with oil/wax to get a similar water/wind proof effect I suppose.

I mostly wear a fleece jacket which has nice big zipper pockets to keep small tools safe. Sometimes I wear the top half of some overalls that have been cut down which are a bit lighter weight. Neither of these are really weatherproof though.
 
r ranson
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I would love to see photos of people's favourite chore coats.  
Most importantly, pockets.  What pockets do you like best?  Which are useless?  Where would you put a new and better pocket?  
 
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I'm feeling inspired by my hubby's biking gear. Big pockets in the back with elastic on top to "close". It would keep most things from falling out easily but wouldn't require you to take off gloves to zip or snap... Maybe some kind of flap too?? Maybe the waxed cotton would be a good material? My sister used to make art by putting regular hot wax on cloth and then crack it and paint over... Paint wouldn't stick where the wax was... Maybe you can make your own waxed cotton?
 
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For fabric definitely go with wool. Stays warm when wet. If it is tightly woven it will resist both wind and water....... think of a new Zealand Swandri.
Pretty much the perfect garment. Generations of sheepies and NZ cow cockies swear by them.
In the case of the sheep, the swearing is perhaps better not translated.
er... possibly also the cow cockies.  Tho perhaps you would not understand the dialect.
To make your own Swandri like garment...
First research Swandri pictures for ideas (internet)
Lots of pockets where you want them.....
Then go secondhand shopping... you are looking for a tightly woven old woolen blanket or rug. Bigger rather than smaller, if possible.
I bought one a week ago, it cost a magnificent $5 and came from the pet blanket basket, rather than from the expensive end of the store.
Right on my budget.
And recycled, so low carbon pawprint.
It was a herringbone weave with two layers, the herringbone layer and an under layer that was more or less felted and bonded to the first.
Perfect from my purpose.
If the blanket has a hole (like mine did)- no problem..... just mend it with wool after you cut your garment and before you sew it together.
You can use a pattern, or create your own from a garment you already have and like, but to do this, you have to know what you are doing.
I like the Landgate Parka pattern, which I have made a couple of times.
You can see it here- https://merchantandmills.com/uk/the-landgate
It is a pretty easy sew, and the raglan style sleeves make for extra comfort. Plus I like the gusseted zipper in the front hood.
Actually I turned my rug into a pair of overalls as they are a much loved garment of mine. They keep you super warm in winter, you can even tuck your hands into the front bib.
There is no pattern because I make my own, based on a couple of garments that I like.
I wish I knew how to post a photo, but I have a Chromebook, and I don't.
We in New Zealand are expecting the arrival of winter any day now.  My gorgeous finished winter overalls are hanging on the wall and ready for their first wearing. They are an adorable light brown wool with aflowery pink cuffs, side/armhole binding and straps made from Indian cotton placemats and Japanese kimono silk scraps.
Very eclectic and me.
Have fun with your sewing projects from New Zealand where strange things are emanating from a beehive full of persons who should know better, and do not seem to be serving the common good.







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Thank you for asking this question! I have discovered an excellent fall/spring chore coat for me is a lightweight puffer vest from Old Navy.
It has deep zippered pockets and a zip front closure if I prefer and being a quilted vest I am warm but free to move very easily.  

My issue as the warm weather comes is what I can wear to replace or improve on this option.

A vest in summer will quickly make the heat overwhelming and I do not like the tool belt style. I’ve worn canvas aprons with pockets which gives that range of motion without the heat, but the pockets haven’t been great.  
So I’m also on the lookout for an improved summer option to replace my chore vest.
 
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While I am not certain that there is a perfect chore coat, one that will suit most people, here is what I suggest.

If you have a coat that is comfortable but wearing out or one that you would like to alter to suit yourself.

1. Take that coat apart, every stitch, press the pieces and make a pattern from it.

2. if you do not want a collar, simply eliminate it, you will need to cut a "facing", this is piece that encloses the raw seam left by the missing collar. To make it, find the center point of the back piece, fold it, lay that fold on a fold of fabric and cut the facing. Facings are usually 2 to 2-1/2" deep. After you have sewn the shoulder seam, then  you sew the back facing to the front facing at the shoulder seams and them apply it to the coat. If this is not clear, go to YouTube and search for sewing coats. there is a plethora of sewing instructions and videos on that channel.

3. What fabrics to use - for the outer fabric, use denim.

Then, to make the coat water and wind proof, go to a thrift shop and purchase nylon or polyester wind breaker jackets. Disassemble these, flatten the pieces, if you want to press them flat, place a towel on top of the fabric or you will melt it and be sure to use a warm setting, not hot.  If the pieces you have salvaged from the purchased windbreaker jackets is not large enough, sew them together and create a large piece of fabric. this layer can be sewn separately, you will now have two jackets, one out of denim and one out of nylon. If you do this, the layers should b attached at the neck and cuff edges. OR, sew teach of he nylon pieces to the denim pieces and they will be come one piece of fabric.

4. For a little warmth, use flannel fabric, the jacket won't be too hot or too heavy.

Add as many pockets as you would like and place them where ever convenient. You will either have three separate jackets (one of each layer of fabric), or two layers (if you have sewn the nylon pieces to the denim pieces before constructing the jacket). Assemble the jacket.

As I said above, if any portion of my suggestions is not clear, go to YouTube, that's where I go if I am not certain of how to do what I want to do.
 
r ranson
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Most of the time in the summer I wear an old linen shirt as a chore coat so that it protects my arms from the sun and keeps me cool (cotton or other fabrics get really hot).  The only problem is a lack of pockets so I need to do something about that.

One of the things I want to try is wearing wool in the summer heat as it's very common in desert cultures to cover with layers of wool to keep out the heat and regulate body temperature.  But wool isn't always easy to wash and toss in the dryer.  I usually only have two sets of clothes for farming and some days I need three or more changes of clothes, so having easy to wash and dry clothing for the farm is a necessity for my lifestyle.  
 
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What do I view as my 'chore coat'? I made a knitted 'garden jacket' and a 'garden apron'. With those two together I can work in the garden and have all needed pockets from now (Spring) until about September.

But in Winter I need a real warm coat. And because this is a rainy country that coat needs to be waterproof. In fact I do not have that both (warm and waterproof) combined in one coat. So if it's very rainy I wear a rain coat over the knitted garden jacket (or one of my other sweaters). And when it's cold but not that wet I wear an old winter coat made of nylon with fiberfill inside. When I need more pockets I can wear my garden apron over the coat.

knitted garden jacket:


garden apron made out of second hand striped jeans 'salopette':

 
pollinator
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Inge Leonora-den Ouden wrote:What do I view as my 'chore coat'? I made a knitted 'garden jacket' and a 'garden apron'. With those two together I can work in the garden and have all needed pockets from now (Spring) until about September.

But in Winter I need a real warm coat. And because this is a rainy country that coat needs to be waterproof. In fact I do not have that both (warm and waterproof) combined in one coat. So if it's very rainy I wear a rain coat over the knitted garden jacket (or one of my other sweaters). And when it's cold but not that wet I wear an old winter coat made of nylon with fiberfill inside. When I need more pockets I can wear my garden apron over the coat.

knitted garden jacket:


garden apron made out of second hand striped jeans 'salopette':



Wow, these are both beautiful! Thanks for sharing. I also need a both warm and waterproof jacket and find it hard to find one that is both and comfortable. My go-to is a wool sweater and a rainjacket.


For the OP, I have this chore coat https://jungmaven.com/collections/hemp-shirts-jackets-women/products/hemp-jacket-cascade . They are very fashionable at the moment so there are a few around! I waited until it was on sale, and I ended up with a purple one because the more neutral colours never go on sale 😂. I do love it as a chore coat for the shoulder seasons, and find hemp very comfortable. The pockets fit seed packets, phone, gloves, etc. very well. My hori hori sits on my belt so I don't need a pocket for that. For cooler weather I have a tight knit hand woven wool jacket not dissimilar to the 'collarless' picture you posted, it works well but the pockets are more flexible so things sometimes fall out.
 
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