Pocket details

I added a welt pocket with a flap to the front of my Minoru Jacket. I figured if I am making A-line skirts and dresses with added pockets, I definitely needed external pockets on my jacket. Pockets I think are essential in a jacket. Yesterday I put welt pockets with flaps into my jacket front before I sewed the side and sleeve seams. I wanted to have pockets that would not interfere with the side seams and still be fairly water-resistant.

Originally I had planned an angled pocket as that is more comfortable for putting my hands in and leaving them there. But it just looked funny with the patterned fabric. I made the flaps and stuck them on with sticky tape before making the final decision. Rocket the dressform has been really useful for these type of things.

Do I want Straight or Angled Pockets?

Do I want Straight (R) or Angled (L) Pockets?

To decide on the size I looked at two things. The width of the front at the height I wanted the pocket and also some other jacket pockets.

I also found this fabulous tutorial on Pattern Scissors Cloth – so I won’t go into technical details as I followed Sherry’s instructions step by step.

Minoru Pockets
Finished dimensions were

  • Welt/ Pocket flap width – 14cm
  • Welt height – 1cm
  • Pocket flap height – 5.5cm with little curved corners, with 3.5cm exposed.
  • total pocket depth from top of back piece to bottom including seam allowances 17cm
Minoru Pockets

Pocket bag pulled to the outside

Pocket Launch
Pattern pieces therefore:

  • Welt/ Pocket flap width – 16cm
  • Welt height – 4cm
  • Pocket flap height – 7.5cm with little curved corners.

If you want to copy: Pocket flap and bag: Minoru welt pocket pattern pieces (A4 size)

Note – I used Sherry’s recommendation to make the underside piece of the pocket flap slightly smaller in width. Although it turned out I should have interfaced both layers or paid more attention when sewing as both fabrics had some stretch so it all came out much of a muchness. A more stable fabric would not have had this problem.

If you want to copy: Pocket flap and bag: minoru pocket pattern pieces (A4 size). You can see the pocket flap pattern was originally too small. Luckily I had decided to make these as the first step before doing the rest of the pocket.

Once they were finished it was time for a nice glass of wine and a “Pocket Launch” and dinner.
Seam Sealing Tape

I also discovered that the fabric I made my muslin out of was probably not stiff enough to give me the information that the seam from collar to armpit was not really long enough. I sewed and topstitched my side/sleeve seams and popped it on and thought eeek! The sleeves were also a bit snug. So I nervously cut a neat vertical line about 2 cm from the seam between back and sleeve and have added a vertical rectangle from the collar edge to the cuff, and made it into a ‘feature’ by adding reflective piping on the upper seam. This has given me more movement in the arms. Damn those ‘strong’ biceps :-) Most of the time I wouldn’t be wearing a jumper under this jacket anyhow so it will still be very wearable.


When I sewed together my muslin I sewed the bottom edge of the hood to the sewing line marked for the zip. This meant it was too tall. However it was probably the right size in the beginning, because according to the hood/collar instructions (which I read only this morning, ahem!), it is meant to be attached at the bottom edge of the collar. In my research (staring intently at other jackets in the house), hoods seem to be attached just below the zipper line. Also Rachel had written about a bit of water creeping in via the hood/collar area due to a ‘lip’ when the zip is open.

Anyhow… Changes I wanted to make were doing a lining and adding a drawstring.

When in doubt, make a plan – figuring out order of steps.
Hood Changes

I added an elastic drawstring with little tension clips for horrid weather.Detail of making the drawstring holes.
Hood Changes

Upclose of the mini buttonholes – about 6mm/ 1/4 inch long. I added a small bit of interfacing on the wrong side to be safe.
Hood Changes

Attaching the hood near the zip. I basted the bottom edge of the hood to the bottom edge of the zipper, then attached the zipper to the collar.

Hood Changes

Pleats – to accommodate the width of the hood inside the zip I added two small pleats either side of the front edge which I think look quite nice.

Hood Changes

Testing the hood for size.

Hood Changes

You know, it probably would have been easier to read the instructions when I was putting together the muslin, but I am happy with the end result, and happier with the way the hood is attached inside than the original. If I was a perfectionist I would sew some binding over the overlocked edge of the hood. I can always add that later.

The Mishmash Minoru Muslin

Erm, so I’m not planning on making this a ‘wearable muslin’ going by the mishmash of fabric I gathered together. It’s just being described as neo-punk by my husband. I think he’s too polite.

Minoru Muslin

Collar -  I interfaced the inside of the collar to simulate the body of the waterproof fabric I will be using and got the comment that it didn’t have to meet Antarctic conditions. 3cm off height, to be taken off top edge, leave hood attachment placement line the same. This way it will not bump my ears!

Waist elastic – 5cm higher for placement line.

Use original pattern length for body pieces but use 5cm hem allowance. Not that I’ve referred back to the pattern yet – this might be the allowance!

Sleeves need to be shortened. Turning them up 5cm without the cuffs will work fine. I am replacing the elastic with a fold and button/ buttonloop arrangement as this give better comfort for me both open and closed.

Shoulders and side seams should be cut a size up (or seam allowances sewn at 10mm rather than 15mm. Just to give a bit more ease for bike riding.

Hood – a slice off along the centre seam of about 7cm at the front edge tapering to nothing by the double notch at the back of the hood. I will also add a drawstring with some cord elastic and a couple of those things that clip onto the cord. Doohickeys, I think they are called.

Under consideration – an underlay for the zip so that it is a bit more water-resistant? This is an idea from looking at other jackets. I’m not aiming for a full bushwalking-in-torrential-rain-waterproofing, but centre front could be a potential hot spot (wet spot? ew!) for leakage when cycling into the rain. I might also pick up a 80cm long zip and try that too as the 70cm is not long enough. A separating zip with two pulls would be most excellent.

I have not yet decided on pockets and placements. I would like external pockets but not sure on whether patch or welt would be better and most useful.

Ok I’m ready to cut out my lovely fabric tomorrow night. For some reason I’ve felt quite nervous about cutting into it. I think it is because I had to order it online rather than knowing I can duck into town and pick up an extra metre if I mess something up majorly. I’ve certainly sewn with more expensive fabric recently (nice Italian men’s shirting anyone?). Also needing to get it right the first time to minimise resewing seams and affecting the waterproofness is an extra layer to the construction process. I’ll be experimenting a little and using seam sealing tape for the first time. I might practice on a drawstring bag for the gym first…

Prepping for the Minoru Sewalong


I traced out all the pattern pieces (giving me the option of making another size later if need be) and laid them out to get a sense of the fabric required. At 115cm wide fabric 4 1/4 yards (3.8 metres) seemed an awful lot and the provided cutting layout looked generous. And I’m going to have to shorten sleeves a bit too. The fabric I have chosen is only 106cm wide. Yet my layout gives me a ‘fabric required’ of only 2.8 metres at a size 10. The only piece shown as upside down is the hood, so with an extra 20cm I’ll have enough to turn it up the right way. The pattern repeat of circles is 4.5 cm so shouldn’t be too tough to match. I also have the large sample piece I ordered for smaller things like pockets.


I ordered 3 metres of this lovely creature. It is a waterproof PUL coated on the inside cotton print from Nappies Covered and has a lovely drape for a coated fabric. I had ordered three samples, aka ‘nappy cuts’ to see what the fabric felt like, and to check colours. Well worth the money to know what it was like and how gorgeous and intense the colours are. Of the three, this was the clear stand-out. I did a mock gather by squishing the fabric onto sticky tape on the wrong side and it looks OK. So it should work around the neck and waist gathers.

I also spent some time studying my son’s collection of waterproof jackets that he has bought for sailing and walking. The inside of the collar of all of them is cut out of micro/polar fleece fabric which is nice and snuggly around the neck. So I am stealing this design idea. Another design idea was to use the seam sealing tape to coat the outside of zips for pockets on the front. I am not sure about this yet – I might go for a welt pocket with a zip inside that will probably stay open most of the time. Pockets were lined in polar fleece too. The expensive jackets have so many details and features.


After reading Rachel’s notes about how her Minoru performed in Melbourne rain, I had a close look at the way the hoods were attached. Seam sealing tape again appears to be the answer, coating the seam between the zip and the lining. I’m going to experiment with this and post as part of my Sewalong updates.

Introducing “Rocket”

She’s my body-double and a new addition to the household.

An Ese-Jane model who belonged to the mother of the lady I bought her from. So it’s probably fair to say she’s older than me.


Apart from some water stains, some scuffing, and a few scratches in her painted legs she’s in great working order. I think a bit of wet sponging and/ or a new cover once I’ve adjusted her to reflect my measurements and she’ll be happy as Larry (whoever he is!) In the meantime she is seen here sporting a black woolen knit dress.

I made a (different) dress a while ago that doesn’t sit flat on the neckline, and I wondered “would this show up?”, so I slipped the dress onto Rocket and the dress still gaped. So I think she will be useful.

Welcome to “Rocket Sews”

I can’t remember the first thing I sewed (Mum? Any ideas?), but there have been so many garments over the years I guess it is blurring. I know I sewed a lot of tops, skirts, dresses when I was a teenager and even made some reasonable money making baby and kids hats and clothes when my son was much younger. I sewed on and off until about the mid 90′s. Then I got busy with other things, and it seemed easier to buy clothes.

Fast forward to the start of 2011. I took some long service leave with plans to spend a serious portion of that leave in the garden. My gardening pants were definitely past their best. So I cut them up to make a basic pattern and sewed them with a great sense of achievement and had tidy gardening pants once more. During my leave I passed through Sydney and ventured into Lincraft to buy a pattern and fabric to make a summery dress. I also tried on a few skirts while away and thought “I could make this” and made a deal with myself that I would get sewing again. I made the summery dress – and found my sewing skills were not forgotten but just waiting in my fingers and my pedal foot. When I went shopping for some new work clothes I was reminded how much more I enjoyed sewing clothes than shopping for them.

Through the rest of 2011 I made more garments. Nicole Mallilieu’s You Sew Girl book caught my eye in a book store with a ‘recipe’ for a self drafted wrap skirt. I had some fabric (also from Sydney) that would be perfect and so I made one, and quickly made another.

The Colette patterns caught my eye online, so I ordered the Clover trouser pattern. I made quite a few changes to the fit – morphing the pattern with some lines from a similar pair I’d recently bought and liked. I enjoyed being able to make trousers that fit (yeah, jump in the deep end, why not?) and fill out my work wardrobe.

3 Clovers

I love the feel of fabric, and how it moves and behaves when sewn into a garment. Seeing a flat sheet of fabric morph and change into something you can wear is magic. I’ve got the giggles during some projects when tackling a particularly hard technique or having something turn out better than I hoped. The tailored work shirts with self-covered buttons, my self drafted shirtwaist dress, the red bag for Katie and the multiple clovers would have to be at the top of my favourite list – combining technical achievements and also great pleasure in the fabric and colours.

Made in 2011: 1 purple summery dress, 2 wrap skirts (orange/ blue), 2 knot tops (1 white linen with sleeves, 1 sleeveless green pattern), 3 handbags (2 for me, 1 a present for Mum), 1 shoulder bag, 1 dressy evening bag (a present for Katie), 3 pairs full length Clover trousers, 1 pair capri Clovers, 2 sorbettos basic tops (1 white linen, 1 black & cream silk), 1 mens shirt (for R), 2 pairs pjs (for R), 1 grey cowl neck top, changed orange wrap skirt to non-wrap (not enough overlap), 1 silk scarf (present for Cyn), 1 a-line black skirt, new invisible zip on an old skirt, 1 pleated japanese pattern book dress, 1 green Crepe wrap dress, 1 shirtwaist dress – self drafted, 2 felt monsters for J’s kids, 1 pirate hat for Z. Oh, and the 2 pairs of gardening pants too. Making a total of 30 items.

I think that’s it. I suppose I have been busy.

Made so far in 2012: Finishing touches on 2 work shirts for R, 1 pair pjs, started a shirt for Z – just the buttons to sew on tonight. Also I traced out the pattern for the Minoru jacket Sewalong to start in a few weeks.

My Birthday treats this year were nearly all sewing themed – I felt spoilt having my pleasure in sewing indulged and supported by family.

Future plans – well, that’s another post.