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What's Black, White & Red All Over?


I'm so pleased with how my Minoru turned out. It took me FOREEEEHHHVER. But, it's worth it. I didn't find it to be difficult, but sometimes it's hard to fit things into a full time life. Tasia's Sew Along posts were key to staying on track with the project. I hardly glanced at the paper instructions, but read through all the posts and comments as I went along.

I poured over blog after blog of finished Minorus before planning my project and found myself really inspired by Jessie's Bike-In-The-Rain version. I loved the sheen of her fabric and the length of the coat. I don't bike. I drive. Truth: I try to avoid the great outdoors. Still, I find myself darting through the rain going in and out of buildings, or moving the hubby's car out of the way so I can drive the small boy to school. 

Don't mind the dust mote....I've been too busy sewing to clean.
I first made a muslin in size 8, what I thought I measured, and added a 1.5 inch FBA using this tutorial from Lazy Stitching. It fit well until I tried to reach forward with my arms and found it was way too tight across the back. Also, the girls really needed some more room. Wanting the girls to be happy, I up-sized to a 12. Interesting: on the flat pattern, my adjusted 8 was the same (more or less) as the 12. I added a 1.5 inch FBA to the 12, trimmed back the hip to an 8 and thought it was perfect. I shortened the sleeve by 1 inch. Although, I now see that I could have left it as is and the length would have been fine. Lastly, I shortened the total length of the body by a whopping 4 inches. My short 5ft tall frame would have been really overwhelmed by all that red fabric. The coat hits at my mid hip which is perfect. I don't sit on it when I get in the car and it doesn't ride up to expose my belly when I reach for things. 

I ordered my outer fabric and waterproof zippers from Seattle Fabrics. I thought I had ordered 3 yards of Silkara, but inside the UPS box was 2 2/3 yards of Tent Red 2-ply Ultrex. Hurrumph. I DID order the Ultrex (oops), but I was supposed to get 3 yards of it. In the end it didn't matter, as I only used about 2 yards anyway. The 2-ply Ultrex is Nylon on the top with a rubbery sort of back. Use anything bigger than a fine silk pin and you might as well be trying to shove a tooth pick through your fabric. Also, pins leave holes in the Ultrex. A good pass with an iron erases the marks, but I used paper clips and bobby pins whenever possible to help maintain the integrity of the membrane. 

Here's my Not On Purpose swoopy corners. I sewed that thing twice.
Deciding how to top stitch was a challenge for me. I REALLY wanted a contrast stitch, but my straight-line sewing skills are lacking. I went for it anyway. I couldn't figure out how to work with the thickness of official Top Stitching Thread, nor could I figure out the triple stitch that Tasia talks about here on my machine. A single line of black thread was just lost in all that red, so I chose to do two. While it still looks subtle, I really love it. Trust me, I know where every single mistake is. My hope is that you don't. I am working at being a failed perfectionist. The mistakes that exist, I've decided I can live with.

I chose to line the hood. I also lined the inside of the hood pocket on BOTH sides. I bound the bottom seam in the hood pocket on the zipper side in bias binding after it was attached to the outer shell. I stitched the lining of the inside collar to the lining so that the bottom seam was covered. The sides and top are raw, but no one will ever see them and I don't think it will be a problem.  
Speaking of the hood...It's big and floppy and fantastic. Mysterious, but conspicuous. I mean, it is RED after all...

I kept the dart when I did the FBA. You can sort of see it in the above picture. I debated splitting the distance and rotating it between the waist and the shoulder gathers, but by the time I actually considered it, I'd already cut the front and it was too late. For a time, I was concerned that the tip of the dart would be too pointy. As it turned out, the fabric doesn't really hold much of a crease and it is barely noticeable in the finished coat. I'm wishing I took a picture of the pockets in use now that I write this, but I didn't. I'm a pocket user. Keys, tissues, hands when my friends tease me for waiving them about as I talk...I used Amy's side seam pocket tutorial. In it, she states that you can't top stitch with the side seam pockets, but I refused to accept that and hit Google with determination. That's where I found this. RELIEF! I got what I wanted.

My very most favorite thing about this coat is the lining. It is a black and cream giraffe print silk charmeuse that I ordered online from Mood Fabrics. This fabric holds up to all the rumors about silk. Cool water sliding over your skin on a hot day; luxury. It's also an elusive PIA to cut. Such is the price for a sumptuous fabric like this, and well worth it! I ordered 3 yeards based on the pattern envelope and have more than a yard left over. The extra is destined to be a summer tank. Either this one or this one

 I'm still too shy to pose for you, but this little ham isn't. He's just as taken with the feel of the silk as I am and asked me to make him a silk blanket with my scraps. I'm leaning toward silk pillow cases....


  1. Love your jacket lining! Good job on the whole thing. And thank so much for posting this on our Flickr group.

    1. Thank you, Meg! It's a wonderful feeling when your project comes out just the way you envisioned it.


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