Handmade Kayak Paddle Jacket

Since moving to Santa Cruz, my favorite new toy by far has been the second-hand kayak we scored on Craigslist. It has more than paid for itself this past fall and, after a short break in December and January, I had it back on the water in February with my mom and Beatrix, and my dad alongside us in his rowboat. The otters of Elkhorn Slough have been phenomenal. 

Pattern: Jalie Maxime Jacket
Fabric: ripstop nylon and nylon rainwear
Cost: free - remnants

I wanted a new paddle jacket for the cooler months in spring, so I decided to see if I could make my own. After some research, I downloaded the Jalie Maxime Jacket. I liked that it was designed for athletics with things like a zipper shield, chin guard, and elastic cuffs and hems. I also wanted one with a front zip because temperatures can change quickly when you're paddling and I wanted to be able to cool off a little if I needed to. 

The jacket is made entirely with fabric from three different water-repellant scraps I had laying around. The sleeves and upper body are made from my most waterproof fabric, a water-repellent "aviator flight outdoor satin" (whatever that is?) that I used in my raincoat. I modified the Jalie pattern so that the jacket yoke and upper sleeve were cut in one piece, similar to McCall 6531. I also eliminated the pleat there. The body is made with light blue ripstop nylon, which isn't totally water-repellant but dries quickly. And there's even some black ripstop nylon filling in over the rest of the jacket. For the sleeve cuffs, I opted to use poly spandex (swimsuit fabric) to make a cuff that fits tightly to my wrist to help keep water out. Since they're stretchy, I can also push up the sleeves when it gets a little warmer. Finally, I used a stretchy cord rather than elastic at the hem of the jacket. 

Here we are out on the water and it worked well! It keeps me dry from splashes and also dries quickly in the sun. Not bad for a bunch of scraps from my cupboard! Since this is a water jacket, I sewed small buttonholes at the bottom of each pocket to drain water if needed. But mostly the jacket just gets some ocean spray. 

Aren't the otters just amazing? 

1 comment:

  1. Love me an otter! And great use of scraps to make a very useful jacket that looks great.


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