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How to Make a Parka

Make your own parka.
Winter female coat image by terex from Fotolia.com

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 customize it to make exactly what you want.

Make your own parka.
Winter female coat image by terex from Fotolia.com

Things You'll Need:

  • 1-2 Spools 110 Yard Thread Per Color
  • Insulation (Polyester, Thinsulate, Goose Down)
  • Wash Away Wonder Tape
  • Heavy Duty Seam Ripper
  • 4.25 Yards 1/8" Shock Cord
  • Optional:
  • 5 Toggles
  • 2-Way Separating Zipper: 26" Or 36"
  • Parka Sewing Pattern
  • Fasnap Kit
  • 1 Yard 3/4" Hook And Loop Fastener
  • Do-Sew Pattern Tracing Paper
  • 1.5 Yards 1" Heavy Elastic
  • 1 Yard Zipper By The Yard (#5)
  • Outer Fabric (2 Ply Goretex, 2 Ply Ultrex, Cordura Face Goretex)
  • Zipper And Snap Lubricant
  • Melco Iron-On Seam Tape, Plastiseam Or Seam Grip
  • 2 Sliders
  • Lining: (Mini Mesh, Sport Mesh, Wicking Chain Link Mesh, Athletic Mesh, Polartec 100 Microfiber, Regulator Fleece, Gore Windstopper Fleece)

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.

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.

Select and purchase your materials. You can find everything you need online or at your local craft store. The fabrics will cost between $10 and $25/yard. You will need 3.5 yards of outer fabric and 1.75 yards lining.

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.


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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