Tag Archives: sewing

Finished Minoru.

For the past month or so I’ve been following along with Tasia at Sewaholic.net and sewing her fantastic Minoru jacket. The actual pattern was easy to follow without any really difficult steps. Of course, having the sewalong helped as Tasia walked us through everything.

Here’s my completed version.

And here’s a side view with a peek at the lining inside the side pockets.

One of my favourite parts about the jacket is the hidden hood. When you don’t need it, you can fold or roll the hood up, tuck it into the collar, and zip it away! Or, if it’s a bit chilly or you need some protection from the rain, unzip the collar and voila – a hood.

My absolutely favourite feature, however, is the wide collar. I wore my Minoru to go fabric shopping this morning (next up, the Renfrew top, also by Tasia!). It was a bit chilly while filling up the car with gas and walking to and from the store, so I kept my collar up and was good to go.

I made my Minoru out of a red polyester fabric, with a black and white polka dot lining. I didn’t attach the velcro to the inner pockets because I prefer to slip things in and out of the pocket without it. I added side pockets but otherwise didn’t make any adjustments to the jacket.

I really love it. It’s probably one of the most versatile items of clothing I’ve made. It’s now my go-to jacket as the weather is hovering between cold and warm. (The snow is almost gone here in Ottawa!) It’s light enough that I can wear it over a t-shirt on days when the sun is shining, but roomy enough with the elastic that I can put a sweater on underneath for chillier days. Who knows, maybe I’ll make another one for the fall in a heavier fabric. I’m very happy with it.

You can find lots of other fantastic Minoru jackets here!


Almost ready to start sewing.

Alright, I’ve now got a shiny new iron with a retractable cord, so hopefully the pup doesn’t ruin this one too!

Speaking of the cute devil:

I unfolded my Minoru fabric and let it trail off the ironing board. Within a minute, Sadie had walked over and laid down for a nap right where the fabric gathered. Very cute, although now I’ve got some dog hair to brush off the fabric.

All my pieces are cut out in the main fabric and the lining (including pockets, which are not part of the original pattern), and once Corey gets home with the car, I’ll be driving off to find some red thread and start sewing tonight!

Hard work.

So I’m a bit late to the Minoru sewalong as I’ve only just started cutting out my pieces today.

I had hoped to cut out all the fabric pieces, but unfortunately my main fabric is a bit wrinkly from the wash and I just realized that my iron’s electrical cord was chewed on by the pup. Here’s a glimpse of the fabric I’m using though:

I’ll be going to get a new iron later this evening, and hope to cut out the pieces tomorrow! My zippers have shipped so I’ll also be learning how to shorten a zipper soon. Otherwise, this jacket looks like something I can handle. The weather today reached a balmy 1 degree ABOVE celcius, which is a sign that I’ll be needing a spring jacket soon! (But considering this is Ottawa and only the beginning of February, it won’t be too soon!)

Colette Patterns Fall Palette Challenge 2011.

I’ve decided to do the Colette Patterns Fall Palette Challenge 2011!

Colette Patterns Fall Palette Challenge

I tend to wear a lot of black clothing, as I discovered this summer when I was trying to find a black shirt and realized I had several black shirts in a pile by the bed. I only own one brown pair of capris and one brown t-shirt which I never wear. I think this season I’ll try to incorporate more brown into my wardrobe, as well as some blues and yellows balanced by grey. I’m usually not crazy about the brown/grey combination, but some ladies seem to be able to pull it off. I’m going to try it. Here’s my inspiration mood board; you can find the original board and sources on my Pinterest challenge board.

I’ll be sewing a mini-wardrobe from a bunch of Colette Patterns that I have at home, as well as a few new ones that I’ll be ordering from their fall collection.

I’d also like to throw some red and coral in there with the grey, but that won’t be part of the challenge. I’ve got enough on my plate!



Well, it’s been awhile since I’ve sewn anything, but I am just getting over a bad cold and I had a lot of time to discover some inspiring sewing blogs and break out the sewing machine. Earlier this week, I started the Ceylon dress by Colette Patterns. I finished it last night just in time for a lovely lunch out with some friends today and a short trip out of the city to take a look at a potential wedding venue, which is where the above photo was taken.

This dress seemed very intimidating to me at first. The last time I tried gathering fabric to create a ruffled look, it was very difficult (because I did it incorrectly). This dress has a lot of that, but it was a lot easier this time around (because I did it correctly). As well, I learned how to make buttonholes. I ended up making fourteen of them; the pattern calls for sixteen but I shortened the dress considerably so that it would be knee-length on me.

I bought the material so long ago that I unfortunately don’t know what it’s made out of. I’m going to venture that it’s a polyester blend. It’s quite a comfortable medium-weight, not too heavy but not too light either. I wanted red buttons to contrast the dress and I think it looks rather nice. I might try to find a thin white belt to finish off the outfit.

This was definitely a successful pattern. It wasn’t difficult and I managed to learn a few new skills too. I even did a few French seams thanks to a tutorial from Gertie’s Blog For Better Sewing, as this dress does not have a lining and I wanted some of my seams to be neater (such as the sleeves and the back skirt).

The wedding venue was, by the way, beautiful and affordable. We’ll continue thinking about it before we decide to put down a deposit since we’re also considering some other options, but I loved it.

Lady Grey.

I’ve finished the Lady Grey coat by Colette Patterns.

I’m very proud of it. It is definitely the most complex item I’ve ever sewn without my mom’s supervision! It actually wasn’t that difficult. I was nervous going into it, since I haven’t sewn anything complicated since I was a teenager. Luckily, all the skills that my mom taught me when I was younger stayed in my brain, and I was able to count on muscle memory to make this coat.

Lady Grey.

I didn’t make any modifications. When I tried on the muslin, it fit quite well, so I stuck with the size 8 and hoped for the best. The material was just purchased from Fabricland. The original plan was to order some fabric online from all the cute and amazing fabric shops that exist on the internet… but I had a hard time envisioning the look and feel of a fabric just from a description of the material.

The lining is so lovely and bright. I bought hot pink lining and this bright blue lining. I think the pink would have looked great too, but the blue is a little more suited to my preferred colour schemes. I’ll save the pink to line something else.

Blue lining.

You may notice it’s missing a button. I haven’t sewn a buttonhole before so I want to practise using the same material and seeing how it looks. I find that learning new crafting skills is fun until it is necessary that you get it right, otherwise you could end up ruining the whole thing. When there’s crafting pressure, I tend to stop what I’m doing and start working on something else!

I’ve just been wearing this coat with the belt. It gapes a bit in the front collar but not enough to really bother me. And once the button goes on, it should tighten the fit.

I’ve taken up cross-stitching – an activity I haven’t done for well over ten years. Again, I have my muscle memory and my mother to thank.

Lady Grey Sew-Along: The Muslin.

The Lady Grey Sew-Along kicked off a few days ago with cutting out the pieces for the muslin.

The muslin in pieces.

I became overzealous and lazy – two qualities which don’t really seem to belong together. I ended up assembling most of my muslin this evening (overzealous) and I have decided I probably won’t make any changes (lazy).

The point of a muslin as I understand it is to create a tester version of your garment. The muslin is usually made out of inexpensive material ideally with the same weight and drape of your finished product material. During the muslin stage, you would measure and mark any appropriate changes to your pattern – taking it out in the waist, taking in the bust, etc. This is to ensure that the final garment will actually fit you the way it’s supposed to, because as we know, all bodies are different and there are countless combinations of bust/waist/hip measurements out there. As well, it will save you a lot of time, money, and frustration if you’ve discovered that you cut out and sewn a beautiful piece of clothing… that doesn’t fit you.

Anyway, my muslin seems to fit me like a glove, so I think I might just go ahead and make the size 8 as is without trying to tailor it. While this would be a great opportunity for me to learn some tailoring skills, I don’t have a lot of time on my hands right now and would prefer to get this coat done sooner rather than later, which I think I can do if I just stick to the pattern as it is.

Also, I have two other Colette Patterns to work on while fall is coming.