I've been wanting to make the Sewaholic Minoru Jacket forever out of an animal print. I thought it might come out too much on the wild side. However, I did a google search to look at other Minoru's and low and behold I found Suzy's version. Hers looked fabulous so I took the plunge!
The fabric is a stretch cotton sateen from Fabric.com. The lining is a black baby silk blend from Joann Fabrics that I had in my stash. I ordered the zippers (front zipper and hidden hood zipper) from ZipperStop.com. So if you are anything over a size 8, you will need a 30" separating zipper as opposed to a 28". This was impossible for me to find in the stores. I discovered ZipperStop online. They have a wide selection of various types of zippers and they cut to the length you request! They were not too expensive either. Will definitely be shopping with them again! So I spent $30 for the fabric, except for the lining, and about $10 for notions. I used a heavy duty thread for the top stitching.
The jacket was relatively easy to construct but time consuming! I spent several long evenings working on this after The Boy went to bed. The instructions were adequate for an intermediate or advanced seamstress. However, even if you are a newbie, Tasia hosted a sew-along that can be found on her website. She describes in detail each step of the process. It is an excellent resource. She also gives some alternative ways of doing things that are not described in her pattern instructions.
I didn't change much but here are some things I did do differently... I lined the hood. The instructions have you make the hood unlined and hem the raw edge. I thought lining it looked nicer and wasn't difficult to do. Next- the instructions have you stitch in the ditch to attach the shell to the lining at the collar seam. I found that the layers were just too bulky and shifted no matter how many pins I used. So to keep a clean finish, I reached in through the bottom of the jacket to hand stitch the layers together. Finally- the pattern states that the hidden hood zipper should be 18" long. Well, after sewing the opening for the zipper, I discovered that it is a 19" opening. I thought I did something wrong so I measured the pattern piece and sure enough it was 19". This ended up leaving a gap of 1/2" on either end of the zipper and did not look good. So I redid the zipper opening with an 18" window. So either buy a longer zipper or shorten the opening!
One thing I will change on my next version is the pockets! The inside pockets don't do anything for me. I guess I bury my hands in my pockets more than I thought because I found I had no place to put my hands the first time I wore this out. It shouldn't be too hard to add some side seam pockets on the outside next time.
I love this jacket! It is so much fun to wear and I'm really proud of how nice it looks. I plan on making another one in a basic color to go with my day to day outfits!
(I couldn't resist this one. The Boy insisted on being in on the photo shoot. He likes to try to match my pose! He put up the hood on his own jacket to make sure he looked like mama!)