Thursday, October 24, 2013

Finished Object. Goal Accomplished.

Well lookee here. I sewed myself a coat!! Early on in my sewing adventures, Gertie hosted a sew along for the Lady Grey coat & I was entranced. I couldn't believe people could actually sew their own coats. While mine isn't a tailored masterpiece, per se, it is definitely my proudest sewing accomplishment to date.  Here's the facts. And only the facts. After the facts I will ramble. Proceed with caution.

Pattern: Sewaholic Minoru

Fabric: Stretch twill from Fashion Fabrics Club
Notions: Thread & 2 zippers. Huge shout out to Zipperstop. I mailed a swatch of my fabric to them to match on Friday & had my zippers on Tuesday. Amazing customer service.

Size sewn:I muslined both a size 6 & 8. In the end, I sewed the 8 since I underlined with flannel & will possibly be wearing under bulky-ish sweaters.
Alterations/Design Changes: Added welt pockets. Shortened (at hem) 1.75". Raised elastic 1". Added .75" for broad back alteration. Omitted sleeve cuffs. Instead I made a self facing by lengthening outer sleeve fabric 2". I also graded down to a size 4 at the hips & probably could have gone down to a 2.

Also, instead of stitching the ditch for the collar, I hand sewed it. I just couldn't' get my stitches just right on both sides.
Likes: Loved the process. Love the finished product.
Dislikes: I do wish it had outer pockets, but there's about a billion different ways to add yoru own pockets, so it's no big deal. 
Time to Complete: I cut my fabric out on October 2nd, and wore my finished coat on the 20th. I didn't sew every day, and I took my time getting things just right.
New Techniques: Welt pockets! Separating zippers!
Total Cost: $57.85
Fashion Fabric $11.85. Lining fabric $27. Zippers $11. Thread $8. I'm not counting the pattern cost because I bought it almost 2 years ago :)

Alright. Let the rambling commence!  I actually pre-ordered this pattern when Tasia first released it. I was all set to participate in her sewalong and then I discovered I was pregnant. So it got set aside. For a year and a half.

With Fall approaching I decided to get this baby sewn. I muslined a size 6, which fit perfect. But in the end I decided I wanted a bit more ease to accommodate the flannel underlining & bulky fall sweaters.

The welt pockets were a major cause for concern. I've never constructed them before, but I also needed to figure out where to put them, what angle to have them & how deep to construct the pocket bags...without having them interfere with the hem or plackets. All in all, I'd say they're just right.  But I left the internal pockets just in case my welt pocket design was lacking.

I lined the hood, removing 3/8" to account for the seam allowance rather than a hem allowance. I also tacked it down by hand along the center seam so the lining wouldn't bag out.

The lining itself is a horrendous polyester; you know the type. It frays if you look at it wrong.  So even though the seams were all enclosed I was really diligent in zigzagging (and sometimes fray checking) my seam allowances. 

Instead of stitching in the ditch at the collar seam (couldn't get it to all line up just right even though I hand basted first) I just sewed it by hand. It took a little extra time, but all in all wasn't too bad. 

I omitted the sleeve cuffs, but I didn't want my lining to peek out at the wrist, so I created a self facing (I might be making that term up) by lengthening the outer sleeve pieces by 2 inches. This gave it a really nice, clean finish & if I sew another hooded Minoru, I'll likely use the same method on the hood.

In conclusion, I love this coat. A lot. And it was a good sewing exercise for me, too. It's the first 'Intermediate' pattern I've sewn (not counting bras) and I'm really happy with the results.


  1. Love it!! Well done. The colour's great and I really like the animal print lining, even if it was tricky to deal with. You'll really enjoy wearing it this season - and letting everyone know you made it yourself!

  2. So beautiful! This jacket is such a winner, and it looks like you did a fantastic job on yours :)

  3. Love this! Great job - I'm on my 2nd Minoru. LOVE this pattern. Thanks for the tip on where to order zippers - I still need one.

  4. Oh how I love your jacket!!!! It makes me want to have time for sewing again : ) I see you have been creating a lot of amazing projects Jenna. I am still such a fan, you are doing amazing work! I bought Ottobre's fall magazine, and have been toying around with making a jacket for my little one, but haven't gotten around to it. There are some great patterns in the magazine, though!

  5. Oooh, it looks FANTASTIC! Great colour choices with this pattern, you look really good in purple. Great fit too! I am so impressed with your coat.

  6. It is so pretty, and you have every right to be proud. I love my Minoru, and it is getting used for horseback rides now that it is "old". So, I want to make another and add the hood this time. Your fabric is perfect for your coloring!!


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