Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Grey Ribbed Knit Rigel Bomber

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Grey Ribbed Knit Papercut Patterns Rigel Bomber Jacket

I've been meaning to sew up this pattern forever. It's the Rigel Bomber from Papercut Patterns and I've fallen in love with basically every version I've seen on the internet. Every time I've seen a new one I've hopped on over to the website and hovered over the buy button. I've always hesitated though as I've never been tempted by the bomber style in RTW and wasn't sure if it was one of those designs that looked amazing in other people and like lots of fun to sew but yet wasn't quite 'me'. Then Papercut had a Black Friday sale and and the pattern dropped through my letterbox about a week later...

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Grey Ribbed Knit Papercut Patterns Rigel Bomber Jacket

I can't believe I've waited this long to make it. I loved constructing it and despite it being a trial version in non-ideal fabric it has rapidly come one of the most worn handmade items in my wardrobe. It is designed for woven fabrics but at the time of buying the pattern I’d recently picked up a piece of really interesting grey marl knit with quite a pronounced rib on a trip to the mythical knit warehouse in Tottenham. It was £1/m (as is nearly all the fabric there, I kid you not!) which is pretty much the perfect price for the first attempt at a pattern which you are apprehensive about because of all the new aspects and techniques. I figured the relaxed fit of the jacket would quite suit a knit and there’s not much stretch in my fabric anyway. It turned out so perfectly for this jacket I’m now having a hard time imagining making it in anything else. The rib adds a bit of interest, whilst the grey means it sees a lot of wear as it goes with just about everything in my wardrobe!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Grey Ribbed Knit Papercut Patterns Rigel Bomber Jacket

I put the question of what colour ribbing to use to Instagram as I just had no idea! Isn't it tempting when you are making a garment for yourself to go crazy with colour blocking, prints and contrast because you have the choice is all yours. Sometimes it's hard to reign in the creativity to make sure you end up with something wearable and that can actually be worn with more than one other garment in your wardrobe! In the end I came across this grey ribbing in UK Textiles on Goldhawk Road which is just a few shades darker than my main fabric so that those features don’t disappear into the bulk of the jacket. I’m glad I kept it simple and didn't go for too strong a contrast or add in a colour as it's meant that I have been able to wear this with EVERYTHING! It feels really cool and casual whether over jeans or a dress.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Grey Ribbed Knit Papercut Patterns Rigel Bomber Jacket

I was a bit apprehensive about the quality of both fabrics (especially the main knit as it was so cheap!) but actually it has sewn, washed and pressed really well and the ribbing has great recovery. I would say this pattern does work in a knit but I probably should have stuck with a woven for my first try at this style. I think I would get a cleaner, neater finish in a woven. Things got slightly out of shape around the hem and zip! I think I stretched things out when I topstitched these areas.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Grey Ribbed Knit Papercut Patterns Rigel Bomber Jacket

A knit fabric probably wasn’t the wisest choice either for my very first welt pockets! I am fairly happy with how they turned out in the end but I had to fiddle with them slightly to get everything to sit right. I would have been much more accurate in something nice and stable. These were definitely the trickiest aspect of the jacket construction wise. The other part which took some concentration was getting a nice sharp corner where the ribbing meets the main body of the jacket at the hem. I am really pleased with this part though. I almost didn't topstitch this area as instructed as I didn't want to risk messing it up but it does need it to sit flat.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Grey Ribbed Knit Papercut Patterns Rigel Bomber Jacket

The ribbing was actually easier to handle than I would have imagined. There’s no special techniques required as you simply cut the pattern pieces from the ribbing and attach them as you would any knit band or cuff.
Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Grey Ribbed Knit Papercut Patterns Rigel Bomber Jacket

Man was the right length zip hard to get hold of, and I was only looking for a pretty standard colour! I ended up buying about three different types and lengths from John Lewis where I could return them. It cost more than any other part of the jacket! Even though it’s a slight pain to stop the sewing process when you’re so close to finishing I’d recommend getting the point of inserting the zip before you purchase it and measure that front opening so you can get it exactly right. My zip options were either slightly too long or slightly too short so I went with slightly too short and eased it in as I thought that was better than stretching that front edge out and ending up with a dip at the centre front hem.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Grey Ribbed Knit Papercut Patterns Rigel Bomber Jacket

The pattern doesn’t include a lining and although I’ve seen many other bloggers add linings to theirs as I was making quite a casual version of this jacket in a knit I decided to do without. I think it absolutely works with just the facings apart from the fact that the welt pockets can look a little messy from the inside. Especially if you’re me and don’t think things through before you start and use a black fusible interfacing to stabilise the pocket openings because it’s all you have to hand in the right weight…O well, I’ll get over it! Next time I’ll definitely try to add a lining, Clare from Sew Dixie Lou gave some great tips on how to do this and keep the facings when she made her version and it looks pretty straightforward.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Grey Ribbed Knit Papercut Patterns Rigel Bomber Jacket

I sewed the whole garment with a narrow zig zag stitch and finished the seams on the overlocker where I could. I think I should have finished the edges of the pocket pieces before I assembled that part as it was tricky to do this neatly afterwards. Another reason to tackle lining it! I just used a straight stitch to insert the zip and for any topstitching as these were all in areas which didn't require stretch. To be honest this garment doesn’t need stretch in the stitching as it's not designed for it and the ribbing is placed where you need the stretch. However as my fabric has stretch and so gives a bit as I pull it on and off I didn't want to risk stitches popping when they didn’t move with the fabric.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Grey Ribbed Knit Papercut Patterns Rigel Bomber Jacket

Disregarding the lack of a lining it’s a great pattern which I’d probably say is an intermediate sew. I love the v-neck style and amount of ease in the relaxed fit. I’m not usually into very relaxed fitting garments as I’m on the petite side and feel like they can overwhelm me. I was between sizes on the Papercut size guide and after looking at some other blogger versions I opted to take a risk and cut the smaller size, XXS. I’m glad I did as I love the fit of this and the length too. I also love sewing a raglan sleeve; it feels like the garment is coming together so quickly! We’re heading into the perfect kind of weather for this jacket so I’ve got my eyes peeled for the perfect (woven!) fabric for my next version which hopefully I’ll now nail the construction of!

28 comments:

  1. Fiona, that is so strange because last night the Rigel popped into my head for absolutely no reason - premonition perhaps? I have a fabulous double knit just waiting for something like this... must see if that Papercut sale is still on - love to support the folks over the pond in NZ!

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    1. Oo I bet a double knit would work really well for this! So snuggly whilst still being sturdy enough to hold the shape! I've always got an eye out for a Papercut sale as I've normally got a list of a few that I'd love to make!

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  2. I own this pattern but my attempt last year was a disaster. After seeing yours I think I need to try again for spring. I love the knit you chose. I can see why you wear it a lot. Two thumbs up!

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    1. O no! Definitely do try again! There are some tricky parts that require some patience but I think if you can bear to take it really slowly and carefully it will turn out great! I think it would definitely be easier to construct in a woven rather than trying to tackle a stretchy knit and rib together. I've got my eye out for a gorgeous print to try this in now!

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  3. Your jacket looks lovely especially in the knit, a versatile piece. Well done on the welt pockets, I just made my first and the thicker fabric must have been tough to get right.

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    1. Those pockets sure were tough! There was a point half way through when I was really cursing myself for trying them for the first time in a spongy knit! Looking forward to trying them in something a little easier soon. It was worth the effort for this jacket though, I wear it with everything!

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  4. Lovely jacket! It's a beautiful make. You're too hard on your beautiful self! Lodi

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    1. Thank you! I think it's good to point out where things could be improved so I can make something better next time but I am pretty proud of myself for this one!

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  5. This is gorgeous Fiona. Totally my my favourite kind of sewing - everyday clothes that you instantly live in. Bravo! I think the addition of a lining would make it just perfect.

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    1. My favourite kind of sewing too Wendy! Everyday clothes that are so handy to have in my wardrobe but that still aren't totally boring either. I can't wait to make another with lining...I'm even slightly tempted to put in the work to revisit this one and add a really bold colourful print!

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  6. This pattern definitely appeals to me more in a knit, I usually associate bomber jackets with the shiney black polyester versions with bright orange lining that people used to wear in the 90s!

    I must know more about this knit warehouse in Tottenham....

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    1. You know when I first heard that bomber jackets were back in fashion that was the first thing my mind went to! It's definitely one of those trends that I cannot see myself in when they first appear but all of a sudden I find myself living in!
      The knit warehouse in Tottenham is called Cannon Street Jersey Fabrics and it's just a short walk from the tube. Perfect to tie in with a trip to Walthamstow!

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  7. this is really cute! i loe that its in a knit fabric rather than a shiny nasty material! its almost like a grownup hoodie!
    Frankie
    http://knitwits-owls.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. That's TOTALLY what it is Frankie! I love wearing it because the plain knit makes it feel so much more casual than a lot of other fabrics that you see bomber jackets in. Almost like it's a bit less of a statement to wear if you get what I mean?

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  8. I love your jackets. I love when inexpensive fabric turns out great. I try to remember that when I sew something in more expensive fabric that I turn out not loving. I guess it all averages out in the end.

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    1. I think sewing jackets might be becoming my thing Kathy! I get so much out of it. And I love that I can get so much wear out of the finished garment! I should definitely remember this project next time i mess a special fabric up!

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  9. The jacket is beautiful. Suits you really well! £1/m, I should go to that warehouse next time I visit London.

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    1. You absolutely should visit the warehouse! There is a mixed bag of fabrics and some crazy stuff but other things well worth rummaging for! Thank you for the lovely comment

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  10. Oooh that's so nice, the fabrics look perfect together for this pattern! I need to get to this Tottenham place sometime...

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    1. I am so so happy with how this turned out in these fabrics Katie! It's definitely an instance of how using a cheap fabric can help advance your sewing as I really went for it with some confidence with this one because I was;t worried about messing it up

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  11. Love that fabric and genius idea to use it for your Rigel bomber. It looks so comfy too. Can you let us know deets for this mythical knits place : )

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    1. Of course I can! Sorry that it's taken me so long to reply. It's called Cannon Street Jersey Fabrics and is a short walk from Tottenham Hale tube station

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  12. I haven't seen a knit Rigel - this looks awesome! Your fabric choices for your wearable muslins are always great.

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    1. Thank you! I definitely take more risks with my fabric choices for wearable muslins and I think that pays off quite often! It's given me a better grasp of a wider range of fabrics too as I get to try out all sorts of weird and wonderful things

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  13. Nice jacket! I'm making a McCalls version in floral scuba. I couldn't find the exact length zipper either, but Kathleen Fasanella has directions for shortening a separating zipper on her. Website, and I think I've seen directions somewhere else too.

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    1. O wow! Floral scuba sounds amazing for a bomber jacket! Thanks so much for the tip about shortening the zipper, I's confident doing it with closed end ones but had no idea how to do it properly when it's open ended!

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    1. Thank you! I'm still really enjoying wearing it

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I love hearing from readers of my blog so please feel free to leave a comment letting me know what you thought about this post/make! Any hints or tips to improve my sewing are always much appreciated too!