I’ve previously made the Rigel Bomber from Papercut Patterns, but I’ve never been happy with the fit, or the way the ribbing on the V-neck sits; it just doesn’t look right on me, so I hardly ever wear it. But earlier this year I saw the Street Style 025 Bomber Jacket on the lovely Diane of Dream.Cut.Sew. on Instagram and knew this would be a much better pattern for me.
I decided I’d quite like a denim one – hubby has a denim bomber he wears all the time and it’s really versatile – but me being colourful me (and not wanting to Do The Double with navy jeans) I opted for this PINK stretch denim from Minerva Crafts!
Of course, I didn’t consider how difficult it would be to find some matching ribbing! I searched high and low, got several samples, and ordered a few lengths that I thought would work, but none of them were quite right.
I was convinced one from Stoff and Stil – Dusty Dark Rose – would be perfect, so, as I was desperate by that point, I ordered it and paid their extortionate postage fees. I appreciate they’re in Denmark, but when you just want 1m of £8 fabric, £9 is a lot for postage! I also found their customer services to be pretty unhelpful.
So, onwards to the making… I cracked on nicely with the welt pockets – I followed the Brindle & Twig video tutorial for this and found it to be very helpful. They went in nice and neatly and the fabric pressed beautifully. The trick is to ensure your initial markings are VERY accurate and to take it all slowly.
(Please excused the shoddy lighting in these photos; they were taken at different times of the day under different lights. The outdoors finished photos show the true colour of the denim.)
Next up was the zip and plackets and everything went in perfectly, until I had the STUPID idea of zipping the two fronts together to admire my handiwork and see how it looked…
I’d trimmed the tops/stoppers off the zip, as per the instructions, but when I did the zip up without thinking… whoosh, it came straight off the top! THEN I managed to break it trying to get it back on – ARGH! IDIOT!
I turned to The Fold Line Group on Facebook, and my lovely Instagram followers for help (isn’t the sewing community wonderful?!) and had lots of suggestions of how to get it back on, but I was stuck as I’d broken it. I looked at other open ended zips I had in my stash and how they’d work with other colour ribbing, and quite liked the darker burgundy as a contrast, but somehow felt it looked more casual than I wanted.
In the end I opted to be patient (a first for me!) and waited for two new zips to come from Minerva (one as extra back up in case I had to unpick the whole thing) and when they arrived I simply snipped the zip slider off one, and “gently persuaded” it onto my existing zip. It worked – PHEW!
The raglan sleeves went on next – such easy construction – and I was then ready to start adding the Stoff and Stil ribbing, but still was a bit dubious about how well it worked with my denim. I *almost* went with it, but then hubby had the GENIUS idea of simply using the denim. (WHY couldn’t he have come up with that idea at the beginning?!)
As it’s got some stretch to it I thought it could work, and would look a bit smarter than ribbing, so I cut those pieces out, but made them longer to allow for the fabric having less stretch than ribbing.
I followed another video tutorial for adding the waist band. I ended up cutting it 3cm longer (on the fold, so 6cm total) and it went on nicely, gently stretched into place. The only thing that niggled me was that you’re supposed to leave the last couple of cms at the corner inside where it meets the placket unfinished. Had I known (or watched ahead!), I would’ve whizzed it through my overlocker before sewing it on. I know no-one sees it when it’s worn, but still, little details.
Oh, I forgot to mention, before I sewed the waistband on, I added a couple of long diamond-shaped darts into the back of the jacket because of my sway back. They help to make it a bit more shaped at the waist and stop it being super-puffy around my lower back. I’ll share some pics of that below.
I also forgot to mention sizing! I went for the straight size Small. I’d debated making an XS and doing an FBA to give it more shape, but after measuring all the pattern pieces, opted with the S and the fit’s turned out really well – it’s neither too baggy nor too fitted.
Nearly there…! On to the neck band and cuffs: After checking how they fitted around my hands, I added an extra 3cm length to the cuffs. I added an extra 2cm (on the fold, so 4cm total) to the neckband, which went on nicely and sits well on my neck. The instructions call for you to trim and shape the ends of the neckband so they curve, but I think the pattern piece should’ve been supplied in the correct shape, otherwise it’s guesswork. Still, it turned out fine, thankfully.
Last, but not least, was the top-stitching around the whole jacket, starting at the centre back, around the neck, down the zipper, along the placket end, across the waist, and all the way back up to meet the centre back to finish it off nicely.
Would I make this pattern again? Yes, definitely!
What would I change? Not a great deal and I’d definitely go with matching cuffs, neck, and waistbands again, if my fabric allowed… Or I’d chose main fabric that’s not impossible to match ribbing to! I’d also finish the inside seams off with bias binding to make everything look that bit neater.
Without further ado, here are some pictures of it making its debut with my Sew Over It Culottes / Cami / Faux Jumpsuit combo around Cambridge yesterday, as well as a few taken with jeans to show it worn more simply, and some close-ups at the end showing some of the details and the back darts…