Friday, October 12, 2012

My Minoru and First Giveaway

I finally did it. I've had the Minoru pattern since last Christmas (two of them, actually, but more about that later). I've coveted this pattern since I first laid eyes on it. I struggled with what fabric to choose (I have a history of choosing loud patterns and inappropriate colours that don't end up working with what I have in my closet.) 

After looking around at a lot of various resources, (I'd hope to find something really great at Ikea, but it was all just a bit too weird for a jacket I wanted to wear every day), I spotted this beautiful charcoal grey stretch cotton twill just to the right of the cutting table at Fabricland. I was there to get some baby shower gift supplies and didn't have time to get it, but made a mental note to come back. 

I did go back and get that fabric (obviously), and searched for about an hour to find just the right lining. Again, this is where I'd normally go all mental and pick something I'd regret later, but I managed to find a winner in, of all places, the home dec section. Its a taffeta-stiff blue/yellow cross weave polyester. I'm not really sure what it's intended purpose was, but I found it to be the perfect foil to the grey twill. 

I added an inch to the width of the upper back with by doing this adjustment.

I've avoided raglan sleeves for a couple of years now because I couldn't get this adjustment right, but have finally figured it out. I did the same adjustment to the lining, but took an additional 1/4 inch from the back raglan seam since the lining fabric had absolutely no give whatsoever. I also added room in the sleeves of both the shell and the lining by using a 1/3 inch seam allowance. I cut a 6 on the top and waist grading to a 4 at the hip. I was very happy with the fit.

I added pockets using this tutorial and the pocket pattern piece from another coat I made a while back. This jacket definitely needs pockets (in my opinion), but the side seams seem too far back to feel like natural pocket openings. If I make this again, I'll use some variation of this pocket tutorial instead.

The PR review:

Pattern Description: 
The Minoru Jacket is a zip-front weekend jacket with a secret hood hidden inside the wide collar! If you prefer, skip the hood and let the dramatic collar be the focus. Flattering raglan sleeves are comfortable and easy-to-sew, and the elastic waistline creates a slim, curve-hugging silhouette.

Pattern Sizing:
0-16 I made a 6 at the shoulders, bust and waist and graded to a 2 at the hip. The sizing was right-on for me.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes! I made the version without the hood.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
I'm used to following the directions of the big-4, or I should say that I follow the illustrations and only sometimes read the directions. There were a number of times when I assumed that I knew what to do next from the illustrations, but then had to read very carefully to fill in the blanks. I would have appreciated some notches on the illustrations so I could more easily tell at-a-glance what I was supposed to do. I followed Tasia's sewalong on her blog where she offered some professional construction tricks that weren't in the written instructions. I love that as an independent pattern designer she is able to offer sew alongs on her website. I'm a visual-learner, so that works best for me.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I love that it is easy to construct, doesn't have a lot of pieces, does have a lot of straight lines and, in my opinion, is super stylish. The big collar gives it a real "cool" factor. 

I did find that there was a large gap between the back of my neck and the large collar that let a lot of air in—I need to invest in a pashmina to keep the draft out. 

I think this jacket deserves pockets. I added mine via this tutorial. I would not recommend this, as the side seam is too far towards the back for the opening to feel like a natural place to put your hands, but there's another link on the Sewaholic website to a welt pocket tutorial that I could place anywhere I like.

The sleeves are a bit long, but I didn't find them cumbersome when wearing it and probably won't alter the length if I make this jacket again.

Fabric Used:
Grey stretch cotton twill for the outer, and a yellow/blue cross-weave polyester in a stiff taffeta-weight I found in the home decor area of fabricland.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I made a broad-upper back adjustment shown in my previous post.

I also cut my elastic quite a bit shorter than recommended. It really hugs my back, and I like how much more of a waist I get with this alteration.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I only need one at the moment, but now that I've done the fitting, it would be really easy to make another one. I was so careful to pick a neutral fabric with this version that I could make one out of a louder fabric to indulge my inner "weird". I also considered making one out of sweatshirt material and/or colour blocking it. 

I love this jacket. I wish that fall here in Saskatchewan lasted longer so I could wear it more. I made this for a trip to NYC this past weekend. It was perfect. Thanks for the great pattern Tasia!

I asked for this pattern last Christmas, and since men can't seem to communicate effectively between each other, my husband and my dad both got me the same thing. So... I have two Minoru patterns and I really only need one. Since there are no returns on patterns, I would be happy to give one to one of you. It really is a great pattern, super simple and SO good-looking. 
In my last post, I tried to do an ugly muslin contest for my giveaway, but since I don't have too many followers—it was a bust, so all you have to do is comment below and on October 19 (next Friday), I'll draw someone at random as the winner.  


  1. What a fabulous jacket! I love it. The choice of both fabric and lining is perfect IMHO. Nice job on the sewing too. I've wanted this pattern for a while so please put in me the draw. (sew4funau at gmail dot com)

  2. Ahh, Men and communication - as long as they don't get you another copy next Christmas!!!
    Super make on the jacket, and the lining is just perfect - funny where you can find fabric when looking!
    This jacket/fabric combo definitely works in your wardrobe...

  3. This is a beautiful jacket! You did a great job. I also have this pattern and I am looking forward to making it.

    Nora :)

  4. Men? Communicate? With each other? Using actual words? Ha!! ;-) OK, so most of them probably aren't quite that bad. :-P

    I like how this turned out for you, at first I wasn't sold on the elastic look (especially based on the line drawing), but every version I've seen has looked fantastic. So, I've been looking at this pattern and would be delighted to have the opportunity to win, but I'm a new follower, so I'd understand if you didn't count me. :-)

    1. I'll take any followers I can get! Thanks for posting a comment. Of course you are in!

  5. Pretty jacket. I would love to see this in a "weird" fabric.

  6. I like your jacket. The charcoal colour is great, and suits you too.

    I'd like to enter the giveaway. (scarfs 7 at g mail). I thought I'd play along in your ugly muslin idea too, just for fun. When I read your post I thought I didn't have any because I throw them away afterwards, but then I realised that I still have the photos. Here it is: I always think that if you make a pattern up out of something ugly, or just plain calico, and you still love the design, then it's definitely good to go. (This one did not progress beyond this stage).

    (came here from PatternReview).

    1. Wow! That's a good one!! Thanks for the ugly muslin pic! You made my day.

  7. Forgot to say - you didn't say whether you're willing to send the pattern overseas. If not, take me out.

    1. Sure, why not. If I'm going to do this giveaway thing, I may as well go all the way! plus, some of my favourite bloggers live overseas!

  8. I followed you here from your PR review...what lucky timing, because I would love a copy of this pattern! Looks like you did an excellent job on yours :)

  9. Looks awesome!

    I would love a copy of this pattern too. I need to make a lighter jacket to take with me on study abroad. My email has been so strange lately that I think the best way to get in touch with me is to comment on my blog.

    1. You are the winner! I've left a message on your blog. Congrats, and I can't wait to see your version of this jacket!

  10. Your jacket is fabulous. Great choice of colour and lining, it should prove to be a very flexible piece in your wardrobe. This pattern has been on my wishlist for a while now.

  11. This is one of the nicest Minorus I've seen so far and I bet the colour you chose makes it very wearable with lots of outfits. The contrasting lining looks great too - I really like the subtle blue/yellow tinge. Thanks for the chance at the fabulous give-away!

  12. Such a fine looking jacket! Very nice work on this.

  13. I am longing to make this pattern and nearly bought it last week. I had a pattern guilt moment and resisted. Now I've seen yours - the need is back. I would love to win it in your give away.

  14. Your jacket is beautiful and I love the pattern. It's so stylish and a great fusion of fashion and activewear. Actifashion?

  15. Wow this jacket looks really chic! I would love to win the pattern! :)

  16. I'm following along through, so you may have more followers than you think ;). My skills aren't sharp enough for sewing a jacket quite yet, so don't count me in. But yours turned out great!!!

    1. It is seriously not difficult at all—especially with the sew along. Are you sure you don't want to be included?? Thanks for following ;-)

  17. Your jacket looks great. I'd love to win your giveaway so I can make one too!!

  18. Love the jacket. I'm planning on making another one in mat black fabric like you. So versatile. (I've already got the pattern, so I'm not commenting for the giveaway!)

  19. I am new to sewaholic patterns i actually haven't purchased one yet. I saw a bunch of posts for the pants on patternreview and a couple of blogs i follow. while searching the thurlow pants on the internet for other pictures. i ran accross your blog. your jacket is awesome!

  20. this is such a cute version! thanks for the notes on the pockets. i can't believe the jacket doesn't already come with outside pockets, that seems kind of obvious. it looks like it fits really well, too!!