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Thing 50

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.

I’ve made a couple of Renfrews but today’s Thing is the Minoru jacket, made for Esther, my youngest.

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. 

Ta-da!

photo 3_27

 

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)

 

photo 4_24

 

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

 

Challenges/glitches:

  • 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.

photo 1_29

I fixed it by adding a patch to each end of the zipper.

photo 2_29

Good enough:

photo 3_25

  • 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:

photo 3_26

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.

photo 1_31

 

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.

 

photo_4

 

 

I also wrote a review of the Minoru pattern at Patternreview.com.

 

Costs:

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.

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  3 comments for “Thing 50

  1. Rochelle
    March 11, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    Yay! You’ve reached 50!
    I am so loving following this journey you’re on!
    Thanks for sharing.
    The coat looks awesome 🙂

    xx
    Rochelle

  2. Tobi Paton
    March 11, 2014 at 11:01 pm

    Great job on the coat! That definitely doesn’t look homemade. I’m totally impressed.

  3. Linda Rook
    March 12, 2014 at 1:46 am

    Well done, Melanie! The jacket looks great…Esther looks lovely in purple

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