Didn’t think I’d see this day so soon; me having finally completed my Sewaholic Minoru jacket. Real talk: at points, I wasn’t even sure I’d see this day at all, the project seemed infinite! How I managed it is a bit of a mystery; all of a sudden last week, there was some supercharged sew-jo occurring and I moved from having zero sleeves sewn and the hood still unattached through to the finish line! Most of the (relative) pain with my Minoru was early on: getting to grips with the topstitching, the chunky zips and working with a fabric that was resisting being pinned like a mofo. The lining on the other hand was a pleasure, especially to touch. One of my work colleagues described the design as lumberjack-esque, hence my Minoru was christened the LumberJacket.
This photo shows where I underlined the inner collar piece (which I’d interfaced for more stability). If I’d not done that, instead of seeing that lining underneath the zip, you would’ve seen the interfaced inner collar piece. If you weren’t going to interface the inner collar on the wrong side of your fabric is OK, then you might not need to underline. This photo also shows that the outer fabric does pick up a liiiiiittle bit of fluff.
Not the world’s best topstitching but overall, I’m rather happy with the pockets, you can just see the lining of the flap. The pocket is also lined. Anyone know what kind this style of pocket is called, with the central expanding area? I’ve just notice how wonky the flap looks; it’s not, I promise! It’s just the elasticated waist is pulling it a little on my dressform.
I don’t think this photo comes out very well but hopefully you can see the elasticated cuff is quite loose. I’m told I have small/thin wrists so the guideline amount of elastic for size 4 just may have been too much. I’m undecided whether it not being tight is good or bad, but it doesn’t really bother me. Means I can tuck gloves in.
Outer fabric. Navy waterproof/water resistant fabric from Goldhawk Road in London (possibly A-One Fabrics again) for ~£4/metre so I picked up 3m. It cut like a dream but pinned like a petulant child. I’m not entirely sure what the composition of the fabric is but the right side has a brushed texture whilst the wrong side has a matte finish.
Lining fabric. Brushed cotton tartan (a quick Google informs me this is Rob Roy tartan?) from John Lewis which I think was £12/metre, my mind has conveniently decided to erase the cost of that particular purchase. Yes, expensive but it’s so soft! And was exactly what I was looking for. I can’t quite tell whether the dark squares are black or deep navy.
Sizing and cutting
I cut a size 4 and then graded to a size 6 at the bust/under arm area for both the outer and lining fabric just to give some more room across the bust and under the arm.
Fitting and alterations
I made a toile in some curtain lining fabric, using gathering stitches to mimic the elastic in the waistband. I made a few alterations after this:
- Reduced the length of the sleeve pattern pieces by 1″ for both the outer and lining fabric.
- Before any sewing, I added outside patch pockets and flaps to the front pieces using self-drafted pattern pieces. There are tutorials on in-seam pockets and flap pockets for the Minoru. I opted for having the pockets on the outside. If people would find it useful, I’d be happy to go through how I made mine.
- Lined the hood by cutting two hood pieces (piece 5) in lining fabric. I took 1/4″ off the edge of the lining fabric so the outer fabric would turn into the hood a little, which I then topstitched (Step 4).
- Finished the seam allowance of the collar and gathered neckline, as per Karen’s advice (step 8). Thank you!
- Reduced seam allowances to 1cm for the side seams (sleeve to hem, step 9) and centre front placket (zipper placket, step 10) to give a little more room.
- Added another inside pocket, one for the opposite side (step 13).
- Removed the velcro from the inside pockets to avoid ruining the brushed cotton lining (step 14).
- Interfaced the outer collar for stability as well as underlining it with lining fabric as this part may be visible when the hood is out. You would essentially see the wrong side (the interfacing if interfaced) of the inner collar. I also finished the seams here (step 17).
- Edgestitched the bottom hem only once, not twice (step 22).
Sewaholic pattern instructions really are very good; the illustrations are very clear and all the necessary information is there: seam allowances, etc. I did find myself turning to the sewalong posts a little later in the project so I could understand what I was expecting to see, especially when joining the cuff and lining. For visualisation, the sewalong posts are excellent and I love that Tasia does them!
Topstitching. What an absolute friggin’ nightmare this was; at least to begin with. I purchased topstitching thread and needles. Perhaps I should’ve known it was going to be a rocky road when the thread resisted even being pushed through the eye of the needle! The topstitching terror depended on how many layers of fabric I had to stitch through so I tried to minimise having to do it. For parts where I knew the jacket innards would not (really) be seen, I simply topstitched with normal thread. Whilst, I do like the look of the topstitching thread, I’m not entirely sure it was worth the effort.
Overlocking. This was reserved for areas where the e.g. inside the collar where the hood sits. Otherwise, since the whole coat is lined, very little overlocking was required.
Well, I only bloody love her, don’t I? Wearing her really does put a spring in my step. I’m normally fairly modest with my sewing projects and wait until people ask “Did you make that?” or “Is this one of yours?” (although, that is harder to keep under wraps with Instagram) but this one, I was being little miss boastful at work on Monday. She’s already had several outings which, with the high winds in Bristol at the moment, means I discovered the hood doesn’t really stay on. More of a fair-weather hood really. A drawstring of some sort would be useful here, which I did consider but decided against (I wanted to stop planning/designing, and get sewing!).
During the planning stages, I’d researched lots of others’ Minoru’s, like Sallie Oh’s awesome interpretation, and was spoilt for choice on what to include. In the end, the only real changes were lining the hood (which almost everyone had done) and adding outside pockets. During the construction, I was lamenting neglecting to include other options. But now she’s finished, even though there are tiny little elements that aren’t exactly perfect (did I mention the topstitching?!) to me, she is absolutely perfect as she is. I wouldn’t change a thing.
Me and Sewaholic patterns are like buses: you’ve waited ages for this one, now there’s another hot on its heels. This time, it’s the Sewaholic Granville shirt. I’m currently at the toile stage, before cutting into some special duck-egg chambray I picked up at The Knitting & Stitching Show last Winter. The only fabric in my stash without a pattern partner was some plaid cotton (given to me by a friend and work colleague! What lovely people I know!) so that’s what I’m using. I do like to make life difficult for myself as I don’t suppose many would go to the trouble of pattern-matching fabric for a toile. This better be a wearable toile!
What are you sewing? Or what’s next on your list?
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. I purchased all items mentioned myself. All views expressed are my own.