The “Landgate” rainproof smock, a new sewing project

I know, the moment you saw the rainproof smock and sewing as the title of this article, you thought one of three things:

  1. Hang on, I’m sure Nick announced that on Instagram ages ago
  2. Right, yes, another project started with lots of gusto and never heard of again
  3. Ooh, nice one, that will be interesting to read about!

And yes, all three options are entirely correct. Basically all my projects are dependent on time, energy and motivation, so while I may have lots of gung-ho motivation when starting a project, it can easily be waylaid once I’ve got started. You know how it goes, life and all that. Just needs an oomph of gumption to kickstart it. And sewing, sewing can get a bit involved, taking up space and time and all that.

The Landgate smock pattern from Merchant & Mills

The Landgate smock pattern from Merchant & Mills

This project has been mocking me from the corner of the garmslab for a few months now. One great pattern from Merchant and Mills in Rye and one splendid roll of waxed cotton from Halley-Stevensons in Dundee. Just need to decide on the size, cut out the pattern and start assembling. Simple really. The pattern is “The Landgate” by Merchant and Mills. A straightforward over-the-head smock with a built-in hood, two proper pockets on the front and a drawstring waist. Smocks appear to be quite the rage as well at the moment, so we could be surfing on a fashionable trend of sorts here.

I’ve previously done a sewing project used a pattern from Merchant & Mills when I made a “Foreman” jacket from their selection (actually twice, I made a second using vintage army tent fabric). Looking at their website now I see their selection of patterns has expanded quite dramatically with loads of interesting projects available. Most available in either paper form or as downloadable PDF, though to my mind it makes for an easier project to start with their complete paper pattern instead of having to print out and assemble the pieces of the pattern.

Three meters of the finest Halley Stevenson P270 waxed cotton, ready to cut!

Three meters of the finest Halley Stevenson P270 waxed cotton, ready to cut!

The waxed cotton I’ve selected for this project is a superb dark brown “antique finish” variant from Halley Stevensons in Dundee, one of the two truly traditional makers of this great fabric. Quite different from the fabric they supply to places like Barbour in that it’s both a heavier weight, an unusual colour and will show patinated effects much quicker. All boxes that are nice to see ticked.

So, what with the world being something of a slower place at the moment, with more time available to use on worthwhile things like sewing and crafting, perhaps it’s time to find the shears and get cutting?



  • Neil Deaville 06/04/2020 at 14:58

    what level of sewing competency do you need to do this?
    Not really sewed since school

  • Michael Cleveland 22/06/2020 at 20:04

    I just made the Landgate a few weeks ago. I used ETA-Proof… a Swiss made water ‘proof’ cotton. When I first finished it I was annoyed by some of the mistakes I’d made but now, I find that I wear it far more than I expected. Enjoy!


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