Minoru Cycling Jacket

I finally finished my painfully orange Minoru! I’ve wanted a warm cycling jacket for a while now, and an impending trip to Boston in the winter seemed like the perfect impetus to start sewing. It looks perfectly sunny outside here, but it’s also 15ºF. o__O

This jacket was a series of happy accidents, from the backwards welt pockets to the surprise underlining.

I initially wanted to make the jacket in a bright orange wool melton, but the fabric store’s wool selection was sadly lacking. After spending 1.5 hours waffling over different materials and colors, I eventually settled on a painfully orange cotton twill, with a mango yellow lining. I ended up going back to the store after starting the pattern, since I realized the jacket would essentially be a sad, thin, droopy shirt without some sort of underlining.

I’m so glad I went back for the polar fleece – this jacket is incredibly warm. It’s completely windproof! I’ve cycled in 15ºF weather with this jacket, and ended up super toasty at the end.

That said, cotton’s probably not the best choice for a jacket meant to brave Boston (or San Francisco) winters, since it’s literally the worst fabric for wet weather. Unlike wool, it doesn’t keep you warm when wet. I might try making the next one (because there will be a next one) out of a thin wool, though I’m not sure how the gathers and elastic waistband will turn out.

The pattern was surprisingly easy to work through, even with my newbie sewing skills! I cut a straight size 6, without an FBA and without a muslin, which was kind of a gamble. Sewaholic’s patterns are made for fairly pear-shaped people, but the finished measurements of the jacket seemed like they would fit. I think it paid off, but I might do an FBA on the next jacket I make. What do you think?

I didn’t underline the hood, since I made it before I bought the fleece. A happy coincidence – it fits under my helmet, which keeps my ears and head super warm. With the collar zipped up all the way, it keeps my nose and cheekbones warmed up even in seriously cold winds

The hood is hilariously large without my helmet in place, though. I feel like a boohbah.

I didn’t use the pattern’s suggested elastic positioning, since I have a pretty pronounced sway back, and knew that I’d have to alter the positioning, anyway. Instead, I tried on the jacket, and marked out where the band should go in tailor’s chalk. The process was a little nerve-wracking, since I wasn’t being particularly careful about keeping anything straight or measured. I’m pretty glad it worked out in the end.

Elastic tied to Ribbon

I had some difficulty threading the elastic through the casing, given how tight the casing ended up, so I ended up threading through some ribbon, tying that to the elastic, and pulling the elastic through.

Adjustments

Pockets

I drafted welt pockets large enough to hold my kindle, using [this tutorial]. Unfortunately, I had a brainfart and put in the welts slanting the wrong way! After some grumping and worrying about scrounging up enough fabric, I ended up adding in side seam pockets, too. This jacket now has 4 giant, warm pockets! An unexpected advantage of putting in the welt pockets the wrong way is that things in the pockets don’t spill their contents when I’m on a bicycle.

Lining the hood and collar pieces

I also lined both collar pieces and the hood. I’m a little sad about the raw edge exposed in the hood collar, and wished I’d noticed it earlier. It would have been easy to fix before I put the lining in. :(

Machine-stitched cuffs

I don’t know if this exactly counts as an alteration, since I used a sewalong post to learn how to do this. (using Tasia’s tutorial). I also omitted the elastic in the cuffs. The sleeves are still suuuuper long. You can’t see it in the photos, but they’re the right size with the cuffs flipped up, and go over my fingertips normally.

Skills learned:

Fabric // Stretch cotton twill in orange, polar fleece, and lightweight cotton in yellow from Fabric Outlet in SF

Pattern // Sewaholic’s Minoru

Sizing // Straight size 6. Might do an FBA on the next jacket.

Here’s a bonus blurry snow photo, with a mostly handmade outfit (Marlborough bra, Belladone space dress, knit cowl and hat, and Minoru jacket).

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