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Pattern Review: Sewaholic’s Minoru Jacket

4 Oct

I completed the Minoru Jacket! Of course the minute I finished it, Ohio weather went from nice crisp fall air, to a steaming 80 degrees in a matter of 24 hours. I knew it wouldn’t last long, though. Alas, today it’s back down to 50, and it’s even sleeting. So I get to test drive this baby today, woohoo!

The fabric I used was from my hand-me-down stash (thanks grandmas), so I am not 100% sure what these fabrics are, but I have a pretty good guess.

The outer fabric is a wool; black and grey, speckled with red, blue, and yellow. It’s a beautiful fabric with a hint of detail and the red top-stitching really makes it pop, but it is way itchy.

Most of the lining I used is a cotton with a printed on plaid design. I would have used a true flannel if I wanted to spend the money on new fabric, but I was committed to not spending any money on this project past what I absolutely needed to. I also used a tan lining fabric (also from my stash) for the sleeves, to help glide my arms in and out. I used a small amount of thermal cotton knit in the side seam pockets that I added, as well.


Minoru - Sew20Something

There are so many things I super love about this pattern. The first is that there is a sewalong to go along with it, tucked in the archives of Sewaholic’s blog. This was so handy during several steps, as I could check it out before I completed that part and had a better grasp of what I was doing.  It also helped me determine what I should change beforehand, such as lining the hood, adding side-seam pockets, and putting the lining fabric in the parts of the jacket that would come in contact with my skin.

I love the use of elastic to give this jacket a bit of a curve, and I even love it in the cuff, even though it’s not completely necessary.

I love how this coat looks on me. The versatile collar with optional hood is perfect for Ohio’s unpredictable weather, and the huge collar will cover my face on windy days. The raglan sleeve was fun to sew up and I love the way it looks on a jacket. I feel feminine while wearing it, whereas most jackets make me feel rigid.

I saw some reviews about the hood being too big, but this ended up being one of my favorite features. I have big hair, end especially when my hair is in a bun, most hoods don’t fit around my head, and guess what? This one does. I love it.

Hidden pockets are fun, and I actually love them in the mid section. I see these coming in handy from time to time, when I want to keep things safe and not run the risk of anything falling out as I put my hands in to keep them warm. That brings me to the lack of sideseam pockets. I did add side seam pockets in, and I can actually see why they aren’t there in the original pattern. The side seams are a bit too far back for a comfortable hand in pocket position. I’m glad I ended up adding them, because I know I use side seam pockets a lot! However, in future versions, I might try adding a front pocket instead.

Minoru - Sew20Something

Minoru - Sew20Something

Inside View.

The instructions were clearly worded, and with the help of the sewalong, I had no problem following along, for the most part. I did find the collar zipper step to be a bit confusing. Actually, I thought I wasn’t confused, I sewed the big long rectangle, snipped the zipper line, snipped the comers, and just folded it in before attaching the zipper. It wasn’t until the jacket was completely finished, and I was sewing another top, that I realized she actually wanted you to flip the liner through the zipper hole to the other side. I’ll make sure to correct that the next time I sew up a Minoru (which will 100% happen).

I only had to rip out one seam to do over (the stitch in the ditch)!

Minoru - Sew20SomethingMinoru - Sew20Something

My least favorite parts of sewing this jacket came few and far between, but there were a few. I really wish I had realized the inside of the hood pocket was completely exposed. I would have finished those seams, and I also would have lined the liner (does that makes sense?). I used the liner for the inside of my collar, due to the fact that I didn’t want itchy fabric rubbing the back of my neck, and my liner fabric happens to be obviously one sided. When my hood is out, you can see the exposed inside fabric, and if you really peak down in there you can see lots of layers of exposed seams.

The only other thing that bothered me was the stitching in the ditch along the bottom of the collar. I totally get the purpose of it (to keep the hood in, and to help line everything up), but I did it twice, and it still doesn’t look pretty. The first time, it was way off, so I ripped it out and really took my time pinning everything well. It was better the second time, but as you can see in the picture with the tag, it still isn’t great looking. It’s completely unnoticeable from the outside, which is awesome.

Minoru - Sew20Something

Cost

Pattern: $17.98 +Shipping

Fabric: Free (Stash busting!)

Notions: $9.36 (Elastic, Front Zipper, Thread)

Total: About $30

Time:

I competed this from start to finish in 6 sewing sessions, spread out over about 2 weeks. Most of my sewing sessions are 2-4 hours in a sitting, with lots of child responsibilities/breaks thrown in.  It felt like it went together quickly.

Special Notes:

  • I love the way the top-stitching turned out and the edge-stitch foot was vital.
  • This was my first time (I think ever) sewing with plaids. I think I did a decent job minus the inside collar. In fact I have a lot to work on for my next one in regard to the collar.
  • With a wool outer layer and a cotton lining, I think I can get away with wearing this coat decently far into the winter. We hit negative temperatures last year, and if that happens again, then I’ll most likely need a warmer coat. I think my next Minoru will be a lighter weight trench type coat for the spring.
  • If I want to take better pictures (meaning not with my phone camera) in my tiny sewing room, I’m going to need something different than a 50mm lens.
  • Last but not least, I learned diffusing essential oils is my favorite new addition to my sewing tools. There’s nothing like needing to rip out a seam and not wanting to rage quit because your sewing room smells like lavender. Lavender makes everything suddenly seems awesome, even seam ripping.

I had a blast sewing this jacket up! It was a great way to jump back into the craft. Sewing is such an awesome hobby because you can take a year long break and jump right back in feet first, and barely feel like anything was amiss. I am already back into the swing of things and sewing up Christmas/birthday gifts! Oh, and Halloween, too.

Happy sewing! And if you have sewn a Minoru, I’d love to see it!

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Minoru Sneak Peek (P.S. I’m Back!)

19 Sep

I’m back in the sewing room. and it feels gooood. Seriously, why, how, did I wait so long?!

I decided to get back in the game with a pretty big project. I decided I needed a jacket. and sewing a jacket has been on my list of things to sew for about 10 years. Speaking of which, I am squeaking in the last half a year before I turn 30 to stay true to my blog name 🙂 I’ve still got time, so I’m running with it.

Anyway, back to the jacket. I’m loving it so far, but I’m not yet half way through. I’m using fabric I already had in my stash from grandmother’s donations. A black speckled wool for the self fabric, and a cotton printed plaid for the lining. I have a slick synthetic of some kind cut out for the arm lining, but it might be a bit too thick, I haven’t decided yet.

I’m not finished yet, or even close! But, I wanted to go ahead and talk about the things I am doing this time around that are different. I’m taking my time and changing things up a bit. So, In no particular order:

  • I actually cut into the pattern this time. I have traced my fare share of patterns and it is pretty much the worst. I have yet to try the freezer paper method, and I do plan on trying that one, but this time I decided to cut out the biggest size and fold in to my size. That way I can unfold when I need to make another size and I don’t have to buy another pattern. That makes me happy. It worked out well, I thought. It’s not the easiest thing to move the pattern around with all the folds and snips, but it got the job done and I don’t feel like I ruined my pattern. Plus, double plus.

Sew20Something Sew20Something

  • When I cut out my fabric from the patterns, I used hand stitching  and tailor tacks to show the pattern details. Typically, I try everything possible not to hand stitch anything, but my other methods were not working on this fabric, and this pattern has so many important markers {elastic casings, mainly} that it was very important for me to mark everything and actually be able to find it later. I’m kinda terrible at hand sewing, I despise trying knots, and I’m usually not very good at creating a strong stitch. Those things don’t matter one bit when you’re transferring markings onto your fabric, though. And even though it took a bit of time, it was really easy! It even inspired me to hand sew the gathering at the collar later on, and that might have just changed my life.
  • I’m not racing to the finish. When I sew something up, I generally try to get to the end as fast as possible. And don’t get me wrong, I really can’t wait for this to be finished, as the weather is a bit chilly already. But, this time, I am taking my time, making sure to add personal touches along the way. One major way is that I am adding a red topstitch in every chance I can, and I am loving the end result. I’m using a thicker thread so the topstich is popping out and it’s really tying the lining in with the wool. It takes time to switch the thread every time, but it is so worth it.

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  • I’m adding to the pattern! I decided to add a lining to the hood because I wanted the plaid to pop when I had the hood out, and I am so excited about the result! I am also going to add in some sideseam pockets {hopefully with a nice warm fabric to keep my hands warm}. I haven’t decided for sure yet, but I think I might also make the cuff with half self fabric for the outside, and half lining for the inside. The pattern calls for the self fabric to wrap all the way around, but this wool is as itchy as itchy can be. I’m going to experiment a bit and hopefully the results work out like they look in my head.

So there you have it, the sneak peek of my Sewaholic Minoru Jacket!

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See you when it’s finished!

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