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!
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?
I also added side seam pockets to keep my hands warm.
And patch pockets for the look and to hold my keys when I go for a walk.
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.
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…
The Dyeing Process
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!