50 Things! A milestone calls for something major. For me, that’s a coat. I sewed a coat! For the first time ever. That feels like an enormous accomplishment.
Tasia at Sewaholic is one of my favourite independent pattern designers. She lives in the same town I grew up in and her photos and pattern names make me just a little homesick.
Since it was my first crack at this pattern I didn’t want to spend too much. Esther wanted purple, I wanted cheap, and I met both those requirements at the Haagse Markt (the big market in The Hague).
I found some lavender wool priced at 3 euros a metre, but the man gave me the rest of the bolt (just over four metres) for 9 euros. A few stalls further I found purple and black polka dot satin material (some polyester or poly-blend) — perfect for the lining, and just a euro a metre.
The notions stall had YKK zippers for a song, as well as affordable two-inch elastic, and purple thread to match the wool.
A couple of weeks ago I traced the pattern onto Swedish tracing paper — love this stuff! — and hacked and taped the pieces into the right fit. Tasia designs for the pear-shaped woman, and I was making this for my not-quite-eleven-year-old daughter, so a few adjustments were necessary. I raised the waist by two inches and took two inches off the length. I also lopped about four inches off the sleeves.
What I loved about this pattern:
- It’s beginner-proof, especially if you follow the sew-along. I haven’t sewn a lot of clothes, and certainly never a coat, and I’m pretty chuffed that my first attempt was this successful.
- The fit is casual and comfortable, but the elastic waist and cuffs give it a stylish shape
- It’s a well-drafted pattern, all the pieces match up easily
- The hood! Dramatic and cozy, and zips away for the dry season (okay, we don’t have that in the Netherlands, but a girl can dream)
What I changed/added:
- As mentioned, I sized it down to child-size
- I lined the hood and added a channel for a drawstring (the hood is large, and to keep it in place on a windy day Esther wanted a drawstring. I haven’t actually put the cord in yet but the channel and buttonholes are ready.)
- I added side seam pockets made with the lining fabric using Amy’s tutorial at Sew Well
- I’m still working at putting zippers in straight. It wasn’t perfect but the instructions were very helpful and I’m getting better at it.
- The hood zipper is supposed to be 18 inches, but when I prepared the opening it was too big for the zipper.
I fixed it by adding a patch to each end of the zipper.
- Stitch in the ditch — this is where you attach the exterior to the lining at the collar line, and oh my, what a lesson in self-control. (I failed.) The first time was a disaster:
The second and third tries weren’t much better. I could not get the inside and outside to line up properly.
I think part of the difficulty was the thickness of the fabric. I gave up on perfection after my fourth try.
Because Tasia’s fabric requirements are generous and because I scaled the pattern down to fit a ten-year-old, I have lots of leftover fabric. Enough for another jacket, even. But for now, we’re both happy with this one.
I also wrote a review of the Minoru pattern at Patternreview.com.
Wool: €9 (but used less than half)
Satin lining: €2.50 (also used less than half)
Zippers (2): €3.50
Purple thread: €1.25
2-inch elastic (2m): €2.70
I stocked up on some general supplies at the market, too:
Interfacing (got 9 metres, should last me the year): €5
Serger thread cones (€1 each at the market, this will last me forever): €8
Regular thread: €7
2-inch elastic (bought enough for future projects): €5.05
Zippers in all colours, mostly small for pouches and the like: €6
Cost of this Thing: €18.95 (with enough leftovers to make another)
Cost of General Supplies: €31.05
Cost of all Things to date (including general supplies): €71.79
I’m way over budget but I have lots of free Things coming up and plenty of supplies to keep me going awhile.