Perhaps you’re as surprised as I am to learn I’ve already finished one of the beefier makes on my 2017 Make Nine list; the Closet Case Patterns Kelly Anorak but finished she is and I’m very pleased with the result! The first thing I should say is these photos make it look brown. It really is more of an olive in real life. My camera apparently really wanted it to be brown. I considered retaking the photos but when life gives you brown…?
I’ve seen so many great versions, like lladybird Lauren’s version, Georgia of Ginger Stitch’s waxed version and all of those in Heather Lou’s round up. A good number of them — including those linked — have been in the green colour palette so I feel like a little bit of a copy cat but if it’s not broke, eh? OK, picture time! Here, I’m wearing my Closest Case Patterns Ginger Jeans and a Grainline Studio Lark Tee.
And let’s get stuck into the details.
It took a little while to identify and collect all of the supplies I wanted (and the lining fabric actually). It was really important to me that they matched but it meant I had to get them from a few different places, which is why I wanted to share them with you here.
Fabric and Supplies
- Outer fabric: Brexit brushed cotton twill in Dark Olive, Croft Mill £7 per metre
- Lining fabric for body and hood: Liberty Cotton Linford Fleece in Manning, ebay seller washable fabrics £21 per metre
- Lining fabric for sleeves: Habutae Faux Silk Fabric (brown), Fabric Land, £1.09 per metre
- Zipper: Bright brass metal 26″ open ended zip (dark brown), ebay seller pro-sew-darlington £3.40
- Snaps: Prym 12mm no-sew gold metal snaps, Jaycotts £6.50 for 10
- Eyelets: Prym 5mm no-sew gold eyelets, Jaycotts £5.10 for 40
- Drawstring: 5mm cotton cord (olive) MacCulloch and Wallis £1.10 per metre
- Cord ends: gold cord ends with screw for 5/6mm cord MacCulloch and Wallis £2.10 each
- Cord toggles: gold plastic spring toggles minerva crafts on ebay £2.49 each
Sizing and cutting
I made View A with the hood and drawstring, and cut a size 6 all over, despite my hips fitting into an 8 or 10. I made no adjustments prior to cutting out but did also cut out fleece interlining for pieces A, B, C, P and Q, following Heather Lou’s tutorial for this. For the sleeve pieces (E, F) I was originally just going to underline with silky lining fabric — so you can easily get it on and off — but was concerned that may mean my arms would be cold. So I added some lightweight winceyette lying in my stash (so was a completely unmatching blue flowery fabric but you can’t see it) between the outer fabric and the slippery lining. Works a treat.
Fitting and alterations
No alternations were made in terms of fit, the only two changes I made were for the hardware:
- Moved the eyelets and drawstring casing at the waist down by 1.25″ after trying on.
- Added an extra snap to each cuff so there were two instead of just the one. For this, it was necessary to trim the cuff seam allowances around the corner more to ensure the snap isn’t trying to go through too much fabric. Sadly, I didn’t do this before I’d sewn the cuffs up so had to unpick the topstitching here and I’m yet to topstitch them back down (it might be tricky with the snaps now in, but we’ll see!).
The instructions for the most part were great! And having Heather Lou’s tutorials for the trickier elements was so helpful, especially the gusset pockets as I’d not sewn those before. Whereas I had some experience of plackets from when I’d sewn my Sewaholic Minoru jacket.
Similar to lladybird Lauren’s experience, there were a couple of points in the instructions where I got a little confused, or there was a discrepancy between seam allowances in the instruction booklet and the online tutorials. Whilst it didn’t really change the outcome this may be because I’ve had experience of sewing coats/jackets before and I’m not sure what the effect might be for someone new to this sort of garment.
Finally, the envelope back of my printed pattern says you need 2 metal snap buttons, but you need 12, and it is actually correct in the instructions, so I’m guessing the 1 has just been accidentally deleted at some point.
For the most part, I did a faux flat fell seam as the interlining made it too thick to do genuine flat felled seams here. Heather Lou’s tutorials talk you through this as well. It does mean the insides aren’t quite as nicely finished as they might be but it’s so effing warm! So I’m happy to take the hit.
The snaps were actually quite a joy to fit, using a Clover Straight Tailor’s Awl and my Prym Vario pliers. Both the eyelets and snaps come with the right attachments so all you need to do is swap them. Seriously, those pliers felt like one of my best investments during this make! But you can also fit all of the hardware using the kit that’s supplied in each pack, i.e. without having to buy the pliers.
She’s now my main squeeze. Yup! Replacing my RTW four year old navy duffle coat from Topshop. That’s a winner. And did I mention how bloody warm it is?! This is something I especially notice because, despite lining my Minoru, it really is not warm. Oh and Kelly’s hood stays on (albeit whilst squashing my hair!), which the Minoru hood doesn’t do either. I’m not the most happy with the colour of the drawstring: it’s too green, but I’m nitpicking here.
There are some things I would change for future versions (I really want to sew a lighter, navy version):
- Make the snap of the gusset pocket functioning. Right now, it’s just a snap between the flap and the outside of the pocket fabric. This means I’m a little concerned about pocket contents slipping out and I can feel the back of the snap when I put my hand in the pocket. Another blogger pointed out the latter (sadly their domain no longer works so I can’t link to the post) but I ignored it as I didn’t think it would be much of an issue. It’s not major but it is a niggle. The snaps can certainly go through a few layers of fabric so I’d create a real closing pocket.
- Add an internal pocket of some kind as I really like this feature of my Minoru. Although this would only work for a lined version, otherwise you’d see the stitching from the outside.
- Reduce the width of the left facing? Similarly to lladybird Lauren’s experience once more, the facing on the left side of the zipper (as you’re wearing it) is too wide for my liking, and it flaps open a little to reveal the interfaced inside. So I may handsew it down in the current version. But for future versions, I’d look into whether it needs to be that wide in the first place and if it can be reduced.
MONETA PARTY! It’s the weekend and the next thing on my cutting table (read: floor) is my Moneta. Sew exciting! Oh and my vlogs of course.
What are you working on? Are you taking part in the #MonetaParty?