Minoru: Nearly done

Over the weekend I made and inserted the lining and completed the zipper packets. Tuesday night I topstitched around the collar and down the front. I also pinned up the hem ready for pressing before sewing it in place.

I’m now nearly done. This morning before work I topstitched the hem into place.

This morning I woke up before even the cats thought it was a reasonable time to be awake. I call it ‘stupid o’clock’.

I caught up with my regular reading including sewing blogs and was tickled pink to see Tasia had highlighted my welt pocket addition to the Minoru [insert excited squeal here] I’ve been very proud of those pockets, now even more so. Although I would strongly recommend inserting them on the front pieces before you sew anything else. I did it after doing sleeve and side seams which meant a bit of faffing about getting the rest of the jacket out of the way while sewing. All credit to Sherry’s wonderful welt pocket tutorial at pattern-scissors-cloth.

Another tweak I have done is add an underlay to the zipper in deference to my plans to potentially wear this while bike riding; if the rain is hitting my front, the non-waterproof zipper is a weak point. Finding a waterproof zipper or waterproofing one was off the cards. Adding the placket underlay would probably be overkill for a regular fabric jacket though.

Zip underlay

I cut a fifth placket out of the main fabric, folded it in half and made a little rounded end to it for folding over the top of the zip. Blatantly copied from my son’s rain jackets again. It will also stop the zipper getting caught in clothing underneath which is something that seems to happen quite a bit to me. I’ve discovered it also makes a nice little tab of fabric to hold onto while pulling up the zipper to start with. To attach it, I sandwiched the zipper between the underlay and packets, having finished both ends of the underlay already. It should be roughly an inch longer than the placket to allow for the turnover.

My first attempt at a useful sewing diagram

I also made one of the internal pockets longer so my wallet would fit in there. The key step here is putting your wallet on the fabric and drawing around it.

Internal Wallet Pocket

click for larger original


What’s left? The sleeves adaption I have planned.

This has been one of the beauties of Tasia’s pattern – it allows you to really make it your own if you want to. I’m thinking I’ll need one in a simple fleece for early morning gym trips… That’ll be a nice simple one.


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.

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.