Minoru!

Sewaholic Minoru Jacket

Pattern: Minoru Jacket by Sewaholic
Outer Fabric: 100% wool from a local garage sale
Lining: 100% Silk Habotai, dyed with Procion Dyes (details below)
Size: 6, graded to 0 in the waist and hips
Modifications: side seam pockets, patch pockets, and tab belt

This was supposed to be my fall jacket, but I didn’t finish it until late November, and I’m just posting it now. I’m so slow! I should really get started on some summer dresses while there’s still time…

Anyway, this is one of those projects that looks good from far away, but is all wonky up close. It was my first time sewing with silk, wool, and matching plaids (or checks? what would you call this stuff?). Silk is supposed to be the hardest fabric to sew with, and wool one of the easier fabrics, but these two were closely matched in difficulty. The wool kept shifting and growing, making it almost impossible to match up the plaids when I was cutting it out. And sewing in a straight line was pretty much impossible! I just had to keep going because seam-ripping seemed pointless.

I managed to get a fairly close plaid-matching on the side seams and hood, but I don’t think it’s possible to match both the front and back raglan seams, so those don’t match at all!

IMG_5086 (800x533)

Sewaholic Minoru Jacket

I added a tab belt with buttons for more waist definition in the front, but now I’m not sure I like it. I think the buttons might be a tad too low, so I’m thinking of moving them up a bit, or just taking the whole thing off. What do you think?

tab detail

I also added side seam pockets to keep my hands warm.

Pocket detail

And patch pockets for the look and to hold my keys when I go for a walk.

pocket

I placed the patch pockets too low, creating a bit of a problem with the hem. I had to stitch a bit lower so I wouldn’t sew right through the pocket. Actually, at first I didn’t notice, and I did sew right through the pocket. Oops.

hem

I made the inner pockets out of silk because I was worried the wool would be too scratchy, but it probably wouldn’t have made a difference. And silk is definitely hard to sew in a straight line! So much wonkiness…

lining

lining

The Dyeing Process

Silk Dyeing Attempt

For the lining, I decided I wanted to try dyeing with food colouring. I’ve experimented with wool and it worked, so I thought the protein fibres in silk would work the same way. Turns out that’s not true, and if I’d bothered to google it before trying, I would have saved the house from being turned into a vinegar steam bath.  It felt like a prehistoric swamp. I was so happy with the colour, but it all just washed down the drain. Unfortunately, not enough to be able to salvage the silk, so I ordered some more habotai from Dharma and tried again with Procion Dyes. The colours shift on silk, so it came out a lot brighter than I wanted, but after the first disaster, I was just happy it wasn’t bleeding, so I decided to go ahead and sew it.

The wool outer fabric I got at a garage sale last year for practically nothing. I also got a pile of other fabric, and had fun burn-testing them all for fibre content!

I absolutely love the pattern (very easy to follow instructions, especially with the sew-along) and I plan to make another Minoru for spring – in an easier to sew cotton next time!

Sewaholic Minoru Jacket

Sewaholic Minoru Jacket

Sewaholic Minoru Jacket Sewaholic Minoru Jacket

Sewaholic Minoru Jacket

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30 thoughts on “Minoru!

    1. Chantal Post author

      Thanks! Sure, I’ll wear it on Saturday. It’s not warm enough to wear as a winter jacket, but I just finished that super warm and fuzzy alpaca sweater, and it’s blocking as we speak. I’m hoping it’ll be dry by Saturday – it will be the perfect warmth pairing with this jacket 🙂 So excited about crafternoon tea!

      Reply
  1. crab&bee

    This looks so good! I’m sorry for all the trouble it caused you but the results are really fantastic and nothing about it looks wonky. I love the button tabs you added – they’re so flattering!

    Reply
    1. Chantal Post author

      Thanks! I think I’m just in a steep learning curve since every project involves something I haven’t done before, usually several things, but I am really enjoying the process of learning to sew (and dye)!

      Reply
  2. baum

    Very impressive! The colors (blue silk with the plaid/check) look great together, and suit you really well. I also love the button tabs:-)

    Reply
    1. Chantal Post author

      Don’t use me as an estimate of time – I am the slowest sewer around! It took me a month to sew this, and my fabric choices and dyeing attempts definitely made it take longer than it should have. If you choose a solid cotton (like I plan to for my next version) it would be much easier and faster. I would definitely recommend this pattern!

      Reply
  3. Susan

    Your jacket looks great! I will make this jacket now…. It has been waiting on the table but I suppose I am worried that it will not be great…. Your waist tabs are elegant . Good job.
    Sometimes we are pulled into creativity when things don’t work out perfectly…. the feeling that everything is out of control, and in the end it was fine!

    Reply
    1. Chantal Post author

      I think I get pulled into that creative and out of control feeling with everything I make, ha ha! Some distance after finishing a project always helps. I generally like projects more after they’ve been sitting for a while and I forget about the problems I had.

      Reply
  4. Liz

    Absolutely gorgeous 🙂 I love the minoru jacket and those tabs are far too cute for you to remove them. I hope you get lots of wear out of it 🙂

    Reply
  5. Cecillia

    It looks great! Button tabs look really good so I would totally keep them. I definitely have this in the queue to make!

    Reply
  6. Kaira

    Oh I definitely wouldn’t take the tabs out. I’ve seen the minoru pattern before but was a bit ‘meh’ about it – now I think that actually looks really lovely.

    Reply
  7. Pingback: Me-Made-May ’14: outfits + reflections | A Handmade Wardrobe

  8. Gwen Gyldenege

    I love this! The wool pattern in contrast with that lovely blue are so fun! Side pockets – such a great addition. Dyeing silk is so satisfying, isn’t it? I love how brilliantly it takes color. My Mom and I dyed some silk veils and flags a while back and I just loved watching it float on the clothesline to dry. The Minoru is on my list to make, but I’ll have to figure out how to grade it up to my size… I’m just a little bigger than the pattern measurements. Did you enjoy sewing it? I would love to try making it in a gortex to handle our wet seasons in the Pacific NW.

    Reply
    1. Chantal Post author

      Thanks, Gwen! I really should have done more research before jumping in to silk dyeing, but now that I’ve done it, it really is very satisfying! The Minoru was my first jacket, and I loved sewing it so much that I can’t wait to make another one. So, I would definitely recommend it!

      Reply
  9. Anna

    I love your coat! I think your version was what convinced me to buy the pattern last winter. I’ve just got round to starting it today (better late than never), and will be scrutinising your pictures as a references point for pockets and button tab belt! They do say that imitation is the highest form of flattery…

    Reply
    1. Chantal Post author

      Thanks, Anna! If you’re going to do a tab belt, I would definitely recommend adding belt loops at the sides. Mine flops around when the jacket is unzipped, and I keep meaning to add loops, but I haven’t gotten around to it. Good luck with your jacket!

      Reply
      1. Amb

        It was definitely worth the effort. Your Minoru jacket caught my attention *because* of the added tab belt and buttons, which adds a unique spin and cinches the waist further for a lovely silhouette. I’ve been hunting for a new winter coat and I think yours might have me committing to Minoru myself! You did an amazing job!

  10. Courtney

    Wow, this is gorgeous! You’ve inspired me to make one, and if it turns out half as well I’ll be thrilled! I’ll copy your waist tabs and buttons, they’re adorable and flattering.

    Reply

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