Monday, March 19, 2012

Catwoman Minoru Raincoat

You can see the muslin I did for this project here.

This weekend I made a Minoru jacket
Phew, that was a lot of work. Especially considering I did everything in two days! A little crazy.

Uncanny resemblance, no? 
The fabric is oilcloth that I got on sale for 4$ a yard in the Toronto garment district. The idea was to make a jacket that was waterproof enough to walk my dog in the rain without worrying about anything. 

I had no idea how oilcloth would behave as a jacket, however. All the gathers of the Minoru had me really concerned that I would end up looking like a garbage bag! I tried seeing this project as an experiment to avoid putting too much pressure on myself. In the end, it turned out quite nicely I think.

No-cuff sleeves, because oilcloth doesn't like gathers too much

You can't really see in this picture but I lined the hood
So what was it like sewing with oilcloth? Well, hum... let's say that it added a whole other level of "trickiness" to a project that was already beyond my comfort zone. As a result, I can’t say making this jacket was “fun”. (My neighbors probably heard a lot of swearing, especially when I was working on the cuffs... which I ended up omitting altogether...)

In any case, if you are thinking of making an oilcloth rain jacket like mine, here are a few tips:

1) Apply masking tape to your sewing machine foot. It works wonders.

-         2) When you have no other choice (i.e., when both sides of what you are sewing are ‘sticky’) apply tissue paper to the underside of what you are sewing and use your taped foot. I used this techniques for all my topstitching and it worked fairly well.
Also: here you see that my tissue paper is white, but I should have picked black to match my fabric. That way, the little pieces of paper left in the seam are less of a problem.

Using tissue paper

What my hood looked like after hemming
3) Whenever possible, pin with paperclips. More importantly, remember that (virtually) invisible holes in your fabric caused by pins are not the end of the world -- and are certainly a better alternative to crooked and sloppy-looking pockets/seams/cuffs.


-        4) And finally, keep in mind that oilcloth is really not that breathable. This will be the big problem with my jacket. I should have added vents under the arms and at the back to help with this, but I was already in over my head. This is why I plan to use Goretex for my next Minoru, which is both ultra breathable and ultra waterproof.

Tasia, once again, proves to be a genius. Her patterns are insanely flattering. Also I learned so much from the sew-along. 
Conclusion: This pattern has been worth every single penny and I urge you to get your own.


  1. Wow that's a challenging fabric! Well done dear :)

  2. Very smart jacket. I love that you are wearing it for dog looks like it should be on a Paris runway.

  3. This is kind of incredibly fabulous! I would never have thought of a fabric like that, but I love it!

  4. Adrienne, I love how you always put your own spin on things! I have only worked with oilcloth one time and I can't begin to imagine how challenging it would have been for this project! The result is fantastic though, I absolutely love the look of this jacket...excellent work!

    1. Thanks Marie -- you always only have positive things to say! :-)

  5. That jacket is seriously bad ass!

  6. Nice. It looks good (but a bit serious). I used to have something similar from TopShop years ago and it was so hot inside! Great for winter though. Thanks for sharing your tips on sewing with oilcloth.

    1. Yes, I wonder how the lack of ventilation is going to work out. Will keep you updated on that one.

  7. I love it. The fabric really lends itself to that style. I want one!

  8. The jacket looks so sleek. I'm glad it worked out in the end. You definitely DO NOT look like a garbage bag.

    I have been tempted to make a waterproof one but can't decide if I am adventurous enough to try.

    1. LOL. I told myself that at the very least I'd have my next Halloween costume covered.

      Yeah, waterproof is tough because most fabric will have a plastic coat on one side. You could always pick a *water-resistant* fabric that doesn't have that to make your life easier. Then again, it's always raining in London, so you really do need the waterproof!!

  9. Where are you? More sewing pictures please!

  10. Wow, that is a big ol' collar you have on you misswhiplash jacket!!!

  11. Hey Catwoman I have just featured this on Sassy Sewing Bees Love it ❀


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