Today I'll be sharing my two Minoru Jackets! The Minoru Jacket pattern holds a special place in my sewing history, this was the pattern that convinced me to learn how to make my own clothes. I had previously only done a handful of projects, a few cushion covers, some small bags but never a clothing item. When I stumbled upon Sewaholic's blog and this jacket I knew I had to try making my own clothes and that's really where my sewing journey started.
Thankfully I made the very wise decision to crawl before I walked, and first learn to make a simpler garment, the Wiksten Tank, followed by a series of other beginner patterns and then intermediate patterns (including creating a seafoam lace Belladone dress by Deer and Doe which I will save for another post) before attempting to make my own coat. But I would have never taken that initial plunge had I not seen this pattern.
This navy blue Minoru is actually my second iteration of this jacket, I thought that making a new version of 'the jacket that started it all!' would be a fitting start to my blog :) This version is made from a made from a navy twill, with a slight herringbone pattern (that I now realize you can't really see in these photos, sorry!), and the lining is an awesome cotton lawn from cotton + steel, except for the sleeves where I used a cheep, grey 'lining fabric' to ensure that I could put on, and take off, the jacket with ease. I made this jacket as fall/spring jacket that will not be too heavy but still block out the chill.
Despite loving this pattern so much I did end up making quite a few modifications both for fit and to add things I wanted (the great beauty of making your own clothes!) First the fit modifications: I am not really a pear shape so I ended up cutting a size 8 for the top and waist and then grading down to a 2 in the hips. I'm a short lady (5' and 1/16" when I was last measured using a highly precise laser measure!) so I raised the waist band about 1", I got lucky that grading down in the hips removed the excess length in the coat. I also shortened the sleeves by 3", when I made my first Minoru (which I will be sharing tomorrow) I fiddled around a lot with the sleeves of my muslin because I had never had sleeves that I didn't have to roll up and I didn't know how long sleeves are actually suppose to be! I definitely spent some days scoping out random people as I went around town trying to judge just where on your arms coat sleeves are suppose to hit.
Now for the modifications I made by choice! POCKETS! Yes the original jacket did not have any pockets, so I drafted some welt pockets and added them to the front, close to the side seams. You'll also notice that I used a different shaped hood, a 3 part hood vs. the original hood included with the pattern. I liked the shape of 3 part hoods found on some of my RTW (that's ready to wear!) jackets, the modification itself is pretty simple and I can write a post on it if people are interested :) In order to keep out wind that can creep through zippers, I added and additional placket to the in side of the zipper, I made this by taking the placket pattern piece and doubling it so I could press it in half, sew the short edges and sandwich it between the inner placket and zipper on the left side of the jacket. I also made this internal placket a bit longer and tapered at the top so I could fold it over the top of the zipper to create a 'zipper garage' commonly seen on a lot of RTW jackets.
Finally, you can see here, and in the photo where I'm holding the jacket open, that in addition to removing the elastic from the cuffs I've added what I call 'thumb holders' but really look more like finger-less gloves. I know they kind of look like they are part of the sweater that I'm wearing underneath but these are actually attached to the jacket and I improvised a way to attach them when adding the cuffs so that the edges are completely enclosed within the lining. I chose to add these because one of my all time favorite rain jackets had these and I loved them because they kept your hands warm when the temperature was just cold enough that your hands are cold but still too warm for gloves. I will eventually be posting a short tutorial on how to add these 'thumb holders' to any jacket lined jacket with a cuff in a future post :)
Hope you guys enjoyed my first official post! :D let me know in the comments if there was any defining pattern or inspiration that got you on the 'made by me bandwagon'.