If you're a follower of the sewaholic blog you will have seen Tasia's new pattern, the Minoru jacket by now. This means that I can now share with you my secret project from a while back. I was lucky enough to be a pattern tester for this pattern, so I have been gallivanting around Melbourne in my version for about a month now.
The Minoru Jacket is the 4th pattern that Tasia has released, and is just as great as her first three patterns. The jacket is a raglan sleeved jacket, cinched in at the waist with elastic, with a big collar and optional hood that folds away into the collar.
I made my version in a hot pin cotton canvas type material that I got from The Fabric Store. I wanted to be able to use my jacket as a "shower proof" jacket, therefore I wanted it to be water resistant, so I tested a swatch of the fabric (and the other contenders) by spraying some water on them and seeing what happened - some of the fabrics absorbed the water instantly, but the water formed droplets on the surface of this pink fabric, and didn't seem to sink in very fast at all.
For the lining I chose a printed cotton fabric for the bulk of the lining, but I used a standard lining fabric for the sleeve lining pieces so that my arms would slide into the sleeves ok and if I was wearing a jumper or anything I wouldn't get stuck trying to get the jacket on or off. I chose grey for these which cooordinates with the grey zippers that I used.
I was under a time constraint making this jacket, so I had set aside 3 full days and then some evenings to make it, and to my great surprise it came together MUCH quicker than I'd anticipated - I stared mid-afternoon on day 1, took my time cutting out the fabric and then started sewing until early evening. By that point I'd sewn together the jacket shell. I then resumed sewing the following afternoon and by the time I went to bed that evening I had a finished jacket!
I deliberatly worked through the instructions slowly and steadily, following them to the letter, and the jacket came together with no issues at all. Sewing the cuff on the bottom of the sleeve was a bit fiddly, but everything else was very straight foward.
I made two alterations to the jacket - I moved the elastic in the waist up by 1 inch, and I extended the size of the hood by 1 in - as I can't be doing with a hood that's too small. The hood is now comically big when I have my hair down, but it's still plenty big enough when my hair is up, which is what i was after. Having said that though, the hood is already a really good size, so I probably didn't actually need to extend it at all.
I absolutely LOVE this jacket! I have worn it a LOT since finishing it, the inconsistent spring weather has allowed me to wear it a fair bit, and it's comfy to wear, and very practical. The raglan sleeves means that there's not any seams directly on your shoulders, so helps with the water resistance of the jacket. I've been caught in a couple of showers in it and it's kept me thoroughly dry so far.
After thinking about it quite a lot there are only two things that I would change about the jacket. Number 1 is that I would have put a hanging hook in it (which I didn't think of until too late when constructing it), and Number 2 is that I still find not having external pockets a bit weird and inconvenient - if I were to make another one I think I would possibly add some kind of patch pocket to the front.
If you're interested in the pattern Tasia is running a pre-sale for subscribers of her newsletter, otherwise it'll be available in her shop soon.
A note for people in Melbourne interested in making this pattern - I found finding a long enough separating zipper trickier than I anticipated. Basic colours are available at Clegs in the City and at GJs, but the Fabric store have a slightly wider range of chunky plastic jacket zippers, which is where I ended up getting mine.
EDIT: For better photos of the jacket please see this post: http://mymessings.blogspot.com/2011/11/grey-dress-and-better-minoru-pics.html