Mini S.W.A.P 2018, Item Three: Minoru Jacket

…..  still unfinished.

The case of a jacket that was loved, unloved and loved again – all during the construction process.  Thankfully, it ended with “loved”; it’s still not lined, but I’m working on lining it as you read this — just couldn’t wait to share with you all.

fabric pile2
Topmost: Item three of the SWAP fabrics almost done 

The Minoru jacket is the third item in my latest Mini SWAP (Sewing With a Plan) venture.  Why would I want to make a jacket in the summer, in Texas? Seamstresses do crazy things sometimes. I had to make it because the fabric coordinated with the other SWAP materials, and the fabric was meant to be the Minoru jacket and nothing else. Know what I mean?  It’s lightweight so eventually, I will get to wear it if I’m still alive this Fall.

Minoru looking better
On the verge of being finished.  I pinned it in at the waist where the elastic will pull it in.

First impressions:


The silhouette is topnotch.  The Sewaholic Pattern company designs for the pear shaped woman – although the sizing goes up to 16 only.  Did I say I loved the silhouette?  At first glance, it has a puffy jacket effect meant for the dead of winter; but it’s not. And. .. and…. the high collar stores the hood when it’s not in use! I love innovative and functional design in a garment. There are two hidden pockets  attached to the lining to protect  the small necessities.  But what about my hands? There are no pockets for hands!   This is a closer fitting jacket than it appears on the illustration AND has an elasticized waist, and I’m not sure how well those two will gel (close fit and elastic waist).

Minoru hood stuffed
Notice the hood tucked inside the high collar? 

Inside the envelope:   No missing pattern pieces (like the newborn baby whose fingers and toes are counted by the new parents)  and finished garment measurements are included on the envelope.  I’ll have to take away a couple of points for faded, almost invisible  markings on the tissue. I bought this pattern when it was first issued – hopefully the reprints have more visible marks.

Cutting out the pattern:   Since the pattern doesn’t go beyond 16, I added to the side seams below the bust, all the way to the hem.

Minoru armhole assessment
Do you think there should be more room in the raglan armscye?

But wait …. the depth of the raglan sleeve seems awfully high – which means that you can wear this comfortably over a sleeveless garment but never over a sweater. I get it now. This is a summer parka rather than a winter jacket.  This is where the pattern became a little unloved by me. It was that moment when you’re disappointed with the ongoing sewing project but you want to complete it anyway. I am so glad I did because I fell in love with the Minoru again. So what if I can wear it only over a sleeveless garment!

Fabric suggestion:   The recommended fabric is light to medium weight (nothing more specific than that) – it sort of confirms that this is not a winter jacket.  By the way, Sewaholic Patterns is a Canadian company. I chose a long-stashed medium weight canvas type coated cotton/nylon which feels somewhat water repellant  (see the topmost fabric in the SWAP photo).  For lining, they suggest “lining material”, no specific suggestions.  I chose a taupe rayon twill for the body and an amber colored Bemberg for the sleeves, because there was not enough of the taupe to accommodate sleeves.   I love it when fabric runs short.

Notions:  Separating zipper, a zipper for the high collar wherein the hood is stored – a very cool feature.

Construction and sewing:   It’s easy to put together for an experienced seamstress, since there is no detailed instruction.

collar zip
Oops. My bad….
collar zip3
The square patch fix

The snafus I encountered were totally operator induced and I take full responsibility, such as this horizontal welt opening for the zipper in the high collar. I have made many successful welt pockets, but lost my touch here. It’s obvious I need to up my welt-opening game.  Also, I would use a longer length zipper than what’s recommended for the collar (the  zipper that’s added inside the welt opening where the hood is stored).  Look what happened to me ….. looks like I had a sip-wine-and-sew session, and I don’t even drink. Well, I added square patches at each end to cover up the gaps. reviews: they’re mostly favorable. I agree with the hot-pink jacket lady that an outerwear jacket needs pockets for the hands to go in. Go see her review .

So this is where we are with the Mini SWAP item #3.  May the sewing gods have mercy on me so that I can finish this parka/jacket immediately. I need to sew more stuff.

Have a great summer, people!


9 thoughts on “Mini S.W.A.P 2018, Item Three: Minoru Jacket

  1. This looks like it is going to be beautiful when completed. I love the finish on the zipper. So tidy! I suspect the pattern makers intended to be a late spring/summer jacket for rainy Vancouver. But still seems odd that there are no pockets!


    1. Thank you! I’m putting the finishing touches to it. Soon I hope to post pictures of all three items of the mini SWAP.
      You know, in the grand old state of Texas, the winters have the same temperatures as spring elsewhere. Our summers can never accommodate more than one layer of clothing — even in airconditioning. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I had forgotten that this had no pockets. I added them to both versions I made. I did make one with a Thinsulate interlining for warmth and it’s great but i should have gone up a size. You are right in saying it’s a great jacket for mildly cold weather rather than a real cold snap 😃.
    Yours is looking great so far.


    1. Thank you, Kim! Your jackets sound lovely. Did you do a review of your jacket? If yes, share a link here so we can see your versions.


  3. Thanks for the link. Love both versions of your Minoru! My next version will have pockets, for sure. The one with Thinsulate looks so warm and toasty. I see that you had an issue with the sleeves, too. I think that portion “fell through the crack” by the Sewaholic quality control….


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