Minoru by Morgan

Mes amis, I present to you my Minoru! I made the hooded version in cotton black/navy twill, lined with a supposedly-100% cotton print that is suspiciously stretchy (does that ever happened to anyone else? mis-represented fabric?) Overall, I’m very pleased with the project! Since I finished it, I’ve been wearing it 3-4 times/week.
The nuts and bolts

I didn’t use any elastic; instead, I interfaced the cuffs and cut them to fit the sleeve ends after doing a test to make sure my hand would fit through. For the waist, I did a drawstring. I put it in a bit too low and had to grade the hips down because it caused too much of a flared shape. I also lined the hood, which you can see in the bottom two pictures.

Design drawing: testing out some pocket and drawstring options, with true-to-life hairstyling
Grit and other characteristics

As I’ve mentioned before, this project sat unfinished in my closet for, oh, 6 months. I’d installed the collar and hood and realized that the hood zipper was slightly smaller than my hood. Because of the effort I’d put into sewing the zipper and making a lined hood, it kind of stopped my in my tracks. And one I’d stopped, new projects always sounded more enticing.


What made me pick it up again, you ask? Two things influenced me.  The first is that I found myself shopping for 100% cotton twill coats when I already had one in the works. The second was a little more abstract; I turned our local public radio station on and heard the writer Paul Tough speaking about character traits that are better indicators than grades of whether or not a kid will succeed. One of them was grit, which Tough defines as persevering through adversity for the love of the activity. Immediately, I thought of my jacket in progress; that was the tipping point.
One of my struggles in life is abandoning tasks that present me with difficulty. Sewing is generally the exception; my desire to make a finished piece and my enjoyment of the process have helped me consistently move through stumbling blocks. In the case of this Minoru, it took awhile (and some prodding from Paul Tough).
“It’s raining” face

I’m not sure what makes sewing easier to persevere in; maybe it’s because I don’t do it professionally, nor do I plan to. Nothing except for a wearable finished garment (probably for myself) hangs in the balance if I fail. There are times when I’m more confident in my abilities, times when I’m less confident, but I keep sewing. A hearty online community of sewists doesn’t hurt, either. Sharing projects, tips and travails really helps. I love seeing what everybody’s making and how you’re making it!

Future Minorus

I’d make another Minoru, but I’m not rushing into it just yet. My hands need to recover, and it’s nice to give my triple-stitch setting a rest. If/when I do make another, I think I’d go down a size and try a cropped version. Thanks for stopping by and helping me celebrate my long-awaited jacket!


20 thoughts on “Minoru by Morgan

  1. This looks GREAT! I love the zipper– it really pops and looks amazing! I'm right there with you on not being a strong finisher. I love to start things, but I tend to wilt in the face of obstacles (after crying or throwing a hissy fit, of course). It's funny, I actually stuck with sewing not just because I like being able to make clothes, but for the express purpose of developing perseverance and being able to be OK with making mistakes. I thought this would be a good way for me to work on better habits in an arena where I don't feel as much pressure to be perfect (unlike, say, my writing– I'm really self-critical and it's so hard for me to work through things I don't like to make them better instead of just abandoning the project because I think I'm awful). It seems to be working a little, although I have a few UFO's piled up…

  2. I am in the process of making to minoru jackets, the first a wearable muslin for me and the second a version for my manfriend. on mine, I had the exact same problem with the hood zipper! I'm not sure if the edges of the hood needs to be turned under more or what, but for the second version I just bought a longer zipper. your version looks great!

  3. That´s a GREAT looking jacket! I basically love everything about it, and it reminds me of my own copy of Minorou just waiting to be used. Well done of you to finish this – and I can imagine how useful this jacket might be. Love it! 🙂

  4. I should have known you were a writer in addition to being an awesome seamster! I myself have pursued visual arts at various points in time, and have found that sewing is a good testing lab for other creative endeavors that feel higher-stakes. Although it does seem to have taken on a life of its own!

  5. Ooh I didn't realize the second one was for someone else! Awesome! I think the zipper issue might be how they're measured; is it the teeth or the tape? (I don't know!) Anybody else have thoughts?

  6. The length they use on zipper packages is measured by the zipper teeth (from pull to stop). I don't remember having issues with my own Minoru zipper, but I also cut down the height of my collar so maybe that helped!Cute jacket. I really love it without the elastic. I can't see your drawstring in the photos, though!

  7. Oh it's AMAZING!!!!! So glad you persevered, it's the nicest Minoru I've seen I think. Well done you for over-coming your instinct to walk away from something tricky, you now have the nicest jacket in town! xx

  8. Thanks for the clarification on zipper sizing. Maybe I had a bad vendor on Amazon, there was definitely a discrepancy! (Guilty as charged on the drawstring photos. I will post some as soon as I can capture a good photo!)

  9. This is so GORGEOUS. This project is so close to the top of my project queue and like you I will definitely be adding a drawstring to the waist, but maybe in addition to the elastic. Good tip about the cuffs, I’m sure it’d be a lot comfier without elastic. Is this why you did it? Also, can I ask what size you ended up making?

    1. Thanks, Sophie! I did the cuffs differently as both an aesthetic and comfort preference. If I were to do it over again, I also would make the sleeves a bit shorter because the fabric right before the cuffs pools a bit. I went with a 10, which left lots of room for sweaters and whatnot, but would probably size down in the future. (I use a 12 or 14 in commercial patterns, for reference). I removed 2″ from each side seam of width from the bottom hem and graded towards the waist, which I forgot to mention in my post. Happy Minoruing!

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