Fabric Recommendations for the Minoru Jacket

Today, let’s talk about fabric options for the Minoru Jacket. We’ll be looking for light to medium weight woven fabrics, but as with most patterns, we can always bend the rules a little bit! I’ll list some options that I think would work well, and mention some things to keep in mind as you select a fabric. If you have any other fabric suggestions, or questions on using a specific fabric, leave a comment below!

Choosing your Main Fabric

The easiest choice is cotton canvas or twill. Twill has diagonal lines, canvas doesn’t have a visible stripe or diagonal pattern.

Cotton is easy to sew with, easy to press, and durable. This will give you a more casual look, although it all depends on what you wear with the jacket! Denim is another cotton fabric that’s easy to cut, sew and press. Cotton fabrics look great with contrast topstitching, especially on denim!

If you’re looking for more of a rain jacket, nylon is great! A lightweight nylon works for a windbreaker-style jacket too, if you’re less concerned about wearing it in the rain but like the look of a sporty jacket. For sources, and tips on working with waterproof fabrics, check out Caroline’s guest post on Sewing Waterproof Outerwear.

Corduroy, velveteen and velvet would be warm and luxurious for fall. With corduroys and velvets, you want to be sure that all of the pieces are cut with the nap in the same direction. Brush your hand up the fabric, and then back down in the opposite direction. It feels different, and some nap fabrics look different depending on the direction of the nap! Be careful when pressing velvets and corduroy fabrics. The taller the fluffy fibres stand above the surface of the fabric, the more special handling they require.

Or, choose something dressy! A tweed or wool would be really warm and luxurious, and a great contrast to the sporty style! Consider the thickness of the fabric – it needs to be able to gather.

Try scrunching it up in your hand to see how it looks gathered. Is it thick and bunchy? Aim for light and medium weight tweeds and wools, rather than thicker fabrics. If your fabric is on the thick side, you may want to skip the hooded version as it may be too bunchy to roll up into the collar.

Linen or linen-look fabrics are a great option. I love the idea of a pale pink linen version, a little wrinkled and very lightweight. Or taupe linen for a hint of the safari-jacket look, but without the bulky patch pockets.

I’ve had a couple people ask about sweatshirt knits, polar fleece or other athletic-type knits. These would be great options! You’d end up with a flattering, fitted sweatshirt instead of the standard baggy hoodie. I bet it would look really cute and comfy! You could line it with a lightweight jersey knit, to keep it cottony and soft. Or, if you’re using polar fleece, perhaps a mesh lining? You could skip the lining and modify the sewing directions for an unlined jacket but keep in mind a lot of the construction steps are based on having the lining there. I won’t be covering how to sew this jacket as an unlined version in the sew-along (just because it’s so different from the instructions) but you’re welcome to give it a try!

Choosing a Lining Fabric

Get creative with lining fabrics if you like! I used a traditional polyester lining fabric with a suiting-style stripe, and it worked well.

On the pumpkin-orange version, I lined it with a cotton batik-print. Using a cotton print gives you a chance to use a wild and crazy print, and makes it super-easy to sew! One thing to consider if you’re lining with cotton is to line the sleeves with a slippery lining, so it’s easier to pull on over sweaters and long sleeve tops.

For nylon or sporty fabrics, mesh makes a great lining choice. A hole-y mesh might be tricker to sew than a less hole-y mesh, where the holes are spaced closer together.

For my planned wool tweed version, I like Kasha lining – it’s a thicker polyester lining with a brushed back. (I used it on the plaid cape project.) This lining is thicker, stable, and adds extra warmth. Fleece or flannel would also work for lining. Just make sure to add extra ease or go up a size. This pattern is designed for thin lining so adding a thicker one will change the fit of the jacket.

I hope this was helpful! With this pattern, it’s easy to pick a fabric that will give you good results. Just about any light to medium weight woven fabric will work for you, as long as it’s not too stiff to be gathered into the cuff and waist elastic.

What fabrics do you envision for this jacket? If you’re sewing along, have you picked a fabric yet?

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19 Responses to Fabric Recommendations for the Minoru Jacket

  1. Vicki Kate December 6, 2011 at 6:25 am #

    Ive already chosen my fabric! I’ve gone for an aubergine purple coloured cotton canvas for the shell which I’ll treat with NikWax to make it water resistant and a teal blue argyle flannel for the lining with polyester lining (also in teal) for the sleeves! Can’t wait for the sew along!

    • indigorchid December 6, 2011 at 8:05 am #

      Ooo, that sounds awesome! Can’t wait to see your jacket all finished!

    • Tasia December 6, 2011 at 11:40 am #

      That sounds fantastic! And super wearable, too. Purple cotton canvas and teal lining – love it! Let us know how the water-resistant treatment works out for you, too!

  2. Mary December 6, 2011 at 7:40 am #

    Thank you for the information about fabric choices. I really appreciate your attention to detail and helpful attitude :-) I have chose a rust colored stretch cotton corduroy (raised nap, no cords) and am now carefully choosing a lining.

    • Tasia December 6, 2011 at 11:41 am #

      That sounds great! I love the idea of rust corduroy. Great with jeans, or black or brown or charcoal – and the stretch will give you a little more room and movement. Fun!

  3. LLBB December 6, 2011 at 10:33 am #

    thanks for all the helpful info! i will be picking out a fabric in the next couple weeks for the sew along. hoping for a medium weight solid color cotton canvas. leaning towards a fun easy to use cotton print for the lining, but also considering a slippery fabric for easy on/off.

    • Tasia December 6, 2011 at 11:42 am #

      Sounds like a great combination! I wish I’d done the cotton lining with slippery sleeve-lining. It is hard to put on over long sleeves although it was easy to sew..

      • Lindsay December 15, 2011 at 9:27 pm #

        Brilliant! Got the outer canvas and body lining, now just need slippery sleeve lining! And zipper :)

  4. Amelia December 6, 2011 at 11:34 am #

    I am excited to go shopping for the fabric for this sew along. I think I want to use a medium to heavy weight, solid colored, cotton canvas and go wild with a fun silky lining. Staying warm is very important to me, since I am cold 95% of the time, do you think interlining is a feasible option with this pattern? I don’t see why not but since I haven’t made a toile or anything yet I’m unsure.

    • Tasia December 6, 2011 at 11:39 am #

      Hey Amelia! For interlining, you could add it.. just think about whether you’ll be able to gather up canvas AND interlining AND lining without it being too bunchy. The way the elastic is done for the waistline is to stitch through all layers of fabric, then insert the elastic between the two layers. Having a third layer in there will definitely make it thicker. Depends on what you interline with of course. A flannel or something mid-weight wouldn’t be too bulky, but a super-thick or dense interlining material would be hard to gather at the waist.
      I hope this helps, sort of! The best coat patterns for super thick linings and interlinings have less pattern pieces and not a lot of shaping. (Like the wrap coat pattern I’m using – there’s very little shaping and only a few seams, so it would be great for thick interlining..)

      • Amelia December 6, 2011 at 1:29 pm #

        Thanks for the tips Tasia! What I need to do is actually pull out all the pieces and sit down with the instructions to get a feel for it. I’ll have to play around with it.

  5. Cat December 6, 2011 at 11:43 am #

    I would LOVE to see this done up in Velveteen.
    I hope some brave soul tackles that project.

    Looks good, Tasia.

  6. Lucy December 6, 2011 at 11:55 am #

    I found some pale blue corduroy on special the other day, so I snaffled the end of the roll. Then looked at the pattern back and saw it wasn’t suitable for stripes and one-way designs, so I’m pleased corduroy has the A-OK in this post! The wales are quite thin and it’s not that fuzzy anyway. I’m picturing it with a cosy flannel lining, with orangey tones. Not sure about a slippery lining for the arms; I see why you’d do it but I don’t want my arms to get cold so I might just have to suck it up and hold my sleeves when I put the coat on!

  7. Katie December 6, 2011 at 11:55 am #

    Thank you for answering my question about using plaid fabric. I love plaid but it looks like I will have to keep it for some other project better suited :) I am looking at using a olive green tweed wool suiting instead. I am a little bit stuck on the zipper though. I am having trouble finding a zipper that I like enough to showcase front and center. Is there any way to make the front a lapped zipper–or would that be too much trouble?

  8. Jenna December 6, 2011 at 11:58 am #

    I want to use a dark purple tweed for the outer & flannel backed satin for the lining (maybe lavender?) Now I just need to find the fabric that I envision in my head. :)

  9. Darci December 6, 2011 at 2:15 pm #

    I’ve got some black and white cotton canvas from Ikea that I’m going to use for the fashion fabric. It was earmarked for another project, but the Minoru will be SO much better. I’m flirting with the idea of putting a turquoise lining in it…

  10. Ramune December 6, 2011 at 6:16 pm #

    I’m still searching for a perfect shade of yellow nylon. I’m definitely making this in nylon so I could wear it on rainy days instead of my peacoat but I will have to figure out how to interline it to make it warmer. I peeked inside my old store-bought jacket and there was this thin batting-like looking material. Do you think I could get away with that for this pattern? Or maybe a layer of thin fleece would work?

  11. LunaLoo December 7, 2011 at 3:14 pm #

    Tasia, I am always looking for ideas and came across this on Zulily. Immediately thought you might want to see it.. it looks like someone’s already trying to knock off your Minoru…


  12. wundermary December 7, 2011 at 11:38 pm #

    I’ve already picked my fabric up! I waffled quite a bit over whether to do a waterproof version right off, or try out a less expensive version, first. I went for less expensive and picked a light-to-medium weight canvas and a lighter flannel underlining. I am going for a cotton lining. But, I picked up a coordinating polyester to do the sleeves with. I’ve already gathered my notions, too. I am thinking that I am going to do a muslin of just the bodice, because I am still not sure about how the ease is going to work out with all of the layers. One size up sounds like a lot!

    If you care to check out what I’ve chosen, it’s here: