Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Black Textured Rigel Bomber

Today I've got a jacket to share with you which has been worn pretty much non-stop since I finished it! It's become the perfect lightweight thing to throw on in the mornings over almost any outfit and feels like a piece of clothing to be proud of wearing even when I reach for it thoughtlessly. It is my second version of the Rigel Bomber from Papercut Patterns. I made my first version from a pale grey stable knit a couple of years back and whilst it's been worn fairly regularly since it has been even more in demand this spring than before. I've got bombers on the brain as there are so many delights out and about in London to inspire me this season and I decided more wardrobe could definitely do with another in my favourite staple colour...black.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Black Textured Rigel Bomber from Papercut Patterns

Whilst the plain grey of my first version is fantastic for working with so many different parts of my wardrobe I wanted something a little more special this time. I've had all kinds of ideas for bomber jackets bouncing around my head for months. For a while I was considering some embroidery as those little geometric panels on the shoulder of the second variations would lend themselves so well to it. I thought dense black on black embroidery or metallic on black would be really wearable. I then saw a lady pass me of the street wearing one made of sheer embroidered mesh which just looked so cool. But then I quite liked the idea of one made in a bold and colourful print as real statement outerwear to layer over simple outfits.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Black Textured Rigel Bomber from Papercut Patterns

In the end the choice was made for me when I came across this amazing three dimensional floral fabric on my first visit to the Cloth House warehouse shop in Camden. I still wanted to be able to wear this jacket endlessly so hit the jackpot when I found this as it had all the unique quality I was after but what is more wearable than a solid black? As much as I love to wear black it does photograph terribly so I'm not sure these pictures are really doing it justice but take a look at the flat close ups for a more accurate idea of this unusual fabric. I'm pretty sure it's a silk/poly blend and the little flowers are part of the weave of the fabric itself. The outline of each flower is quite a pronounced ridge and the petals are filled with a satin weave which stands out against the rest of the fabric. Despite the texture on the front the back is fairly smooth with a fairly prominent weft which is interesting. I love a tactile, textured fabric in a solid colour and feel like over the last couple of years that using these kind of fabrics has produced the most successful garments in my wardrobe. I'm trying to hone in on fabrics which are interesting because of their drape, weave and texture rather than a crazy print which looks amazing on the bolt (although I love playing around with these as much as the next person!).

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Black Textured Rigel Bomber from Papercut Patterns

I could have made the whole jacket in this fabric but really wanted to try playing around with contrasting textures and managed to find a great option to pair with it right there in the same store on their amazing shelf of £1-3/m bolts! If you are able to visit the Camden store and haven't yet it's well worth a trip. It's not huge but packed with all those top quality fabrics you oo and aah over on Berwick Street but all at discounted prices. The floral fabric I snapped up for £14/m and is definitely the kind I would have been drawn to in Soho but never actually treated myself to at full price. The sleeve fabric is a viscose twill which had the perfect combination of weight and drape I wanted for this style. It needs a kind of relaxed slouch to it I think. I went back and forth over my decision of which fabric to use for the body and which for the sleeves but am pleased with my final decision as I like the contrast pocket welts in the plain viscose. The ribbing I picked up in UK Textiles on Goldhawk Road which is where I bought the ribbing for my last version. I love the combo of all three fabrics together where they meet at the neckline!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Black Textured Rigel Bomber from Papercut Patterns

The brilliant thing about using different fabrics for the sleeves and body is that it doesn't need very much yardage. I bought a metre of each and still have enough left to make another jacket in the reverse of this one! In fact using different fabric could make this a great pattern for stash busting all those half metre or so pieces we all end up hoarding because we can't bear to throw that big a piece out. I cut the size XXS as I did with my last Rigel as I was really happy with the fit on that. My measurements place me more in the XS but I didn't want the bomber to be too oversized or long. This amount of ease feels very comfortable.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Black Textured Rigel Bomber from Papercut Patterns

The pattern doesn't come with a lining and I decided to stick with that despite other bloggers posting some lovely lined versions and advice on how to do it (see Kat's and Katy & Laney's posts). I quite liked the idea of the jacket being super lightweight for summer and also just wanted to get on with wearing it as soon as possible! I finished all the interior seams on my overlocker so it looks nice and neat inside anyway. The only thing I don't like about the pattern being unlined is that you end up seeing the square of interfacing used to reinforce the welt pocket opening. It's not as obvious in the black version as the grey but it still bugs me a bit. It's also very difficult to finish the inside edges of the pocket bags and welts neatly on the overlocker so this whole area looks a little scruffy. Ah well...next time I'll line it!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Black Textured Rigel Bomber from Papercut Patterns

Speaking of welt pockets, the fact that pretty much the first step is to make them is a little daunting! It's like starting with the bound buttonholes when making a coat. You feel like you could potentially mess up in a spectacular fashion right at the start. Which I guess is better than getting almost to the end and doing it. These aren't absolutely perfect as I was a couple of millimetres out getting the openings to exactly match the length of the welts but nothing that a bit of hand stitching couldn't pull into place and definitely an improvement on my first attempt.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Black Textured Rigel Bomber from Papercut Patterns

Inserting the zip is straightforward but does require some accuracy to get the top and bottom edges to meet nicely. I recommend basting it in first and rather than attempting to sew past the zip pull stop just short of it with the needle down, lift the foot and slide the pull on past before continuing to sew. I was a bit confused by the recommended length of zip as I was the first time around. The pattern requests a 35cm open ended zip for all sizes but of course the front length differs depending on the size you make. I advise measuring your pattern piece to determine the best length for you. Of course zips of this kind tend to be available in lengths increasing by a couple of inches at a time so getting the perfect length is nigh on impossible. I bought my zip from John Lewis and went with the suggested 35cm/14" and found it slightly too long but managed to ease it in.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Black Textured Rigel Bomber from Papercut Patterns

The final tricky part of the assembly is creating a clean corner where the hem ribbing slots into the body of the jacket at the centre front. Ribbing is pretty forgiving though and a good press and topstitch really helps. The neckline ribbing is so easy to do. I like the slightly lower v-shaped neckline on this pattern which makes it stand out slightly from other classic high necked bomber designs. I feel like it's a little more feminine and flattering on a curvy figure. The cuffs could be a little tighter in order to stay pushed up on my forearms how I like to wear it but I do have quite skinny forearms and wrists! I love the amount of fullness the sleeve has above the cuff.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Black Textured Rigel Bomber from Papercut Patterns

The only thing I'm slightly disappointed with is how the fabric is wearing. It's really easy to snag that beautiful floral and after a few weeks of hard wear it's got some quite bad thread pulls all over it. I knew after a couple of wears that it was more of a fabric for a special occasion piece but I still can't resist wearing it more! All I can do for now is neaten it up and try to look after it.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Black Textured Rigel Bomber from Papercut Patterns

If you're intrigued by the bomber jacket trend I highly recommend this pattern as a first go. Once you've done your welt pockets (which you could omit if you like) it's super straightforward to put together and speedy too. I love a raglan sleeve! If you don't have an overlocker or don't want to use one binding the edge of the facing and the visible inside seam allowances in a contrast fabric would be a lovely touch. Writing that has just given me an idea for yet another... a version made of embroidered mesh in a neutral colour with a bright pop of coloured binding peeking through! I'm sure my wardrobe doesn't need more than two bomber jackets but I wear them so regularly I feel like it would be worth giving one of my other ideas a whirl. I'm still tempted to add a bit of embroidery to this one but I'm not sure it needs it. What do you think?

19 comments:

  1. Fiona this looks stunning specially the fact that one could use different material. I am VERY new to this BlogSpot. Where will I find this pattern?

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    1. Thank you very much! It is a really versatile pattern. In the first paragraph of the post you can click on the name of the pattern and it will take you to the right page of their website. Any of the purple words can be clicked on to take you to another page :)

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  2. Love your jacket Fiona - that fabric wow! I was just watching a video last night by Jalie Patterns on youtube on making their bomber which looks similar https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pggGf3m9-wU and as I was watching it I was thinking I should do that! Love both Papercuts and Jalie patterns - the Jalie however comes in a larger size variation. This is the type of jacket you end up wearing all the time as you say :)

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    1. What a great video thanks! Love the fabrics they've used. That looks like a real classic bomber jacket pattern. So versatile

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  3. This is such a beautiful floral fabric and the contrast really sets it off. What a great jacket no wonder you want to wear it all the time

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    1. Thank you Rosemary! I'm so pleased with how the fabrics work together. I want to wear it so much to show it off!

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  4. It's so lovely, the different fabrics go very well together

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    1. Thanks very much! I'm delighted with how it has turned out

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  5. Beautiful jacket! Such a high level of finishing (as always with you). And thanks for letting me know about the Cloth House sale shop - next time my partner wants to go to the bass guitar shop a few doors down I won't be so reluctant to tag along!!

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    1. Haha! I'd be asking him if he wants to go if I was you!
      Thanks Nina

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  6. Beautiful! I vote for not adding embroidery; it's great as it is. I think the size is spot-on too.

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    1. Thanks Catherine! I'm really happy with the size too, as I'm quite petite sometimes the oversized/relaxed style can just overwhelm me whereas this feels just right.
      I'm so inspired by all the embroidery I'm seeing on social media at the moment that I'm looking at everything as a possible opportunity but I think you're right with this one and it would be too much

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  7. Liebe Fiona,
    ganz tolle Jacke - der Stoff ist wunderschön. Sie steht dir ausgezeichnet. Ich finde du nähst immer so tolle Sachen.
    Liebste Grüße
    Simone

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  8. I can see from the indoor photos that this is an interesting and beautifully made jacket. Although you look cute on your balcony it is difficult to see the garment as you are in your own shadow. However, the silhouette is great and I really appreciate your in depth description of the whole process!

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    1. Thank you! Yes unfortunately the black was difficult to photograph in the space I have available. The balcony is the only source of natural light I have and I'm not confident enough to get out in public with a tripod (plus just don't have the time!) and as there's no one to take the pictures for me I have to make do I'm afraid!
      I'm glad you enjoyed the post

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  9. Love all the textures in your jacket, a lovely make.. what a shame the fabric isn't wearing well.

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    1. O I love a good textured fabric Mags! probably prefer a interesting texture to a print.
      I am a bit disappointed with the wear of the fabric but it actually seems to have stopped pilling so much since I wrote the post

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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!