The pushing-my-boundaries Bomber


This weeks sewing project has seriously pushed me out of my comfort zone! Bomber jackets have never really been something I’ve wanted to wear, I tend to go for more fitted, tailored things. But then I kept seeing all these awesome, comfortable looking bombers made with Papercut Patterns Rigel pattern, and I thought I’d have a crack at it! I got this fantastic navy and pale blue wool tweed, with a metallic thread through it from The Fabric Shop (I wish I could just open an account there, or move in, or something…), and the navy satin I used for lining and the navy ribbing came from the Fabric Warehouse (also amazing). On the advice of the helpful lady at the Fabric Warehouse, i bought some really flexible wool interfacing, as used in RTW coats. Thank god I listened, because it would have been a total bloody nightmare to sew otherwise! Its a really loose weave (duh, tweed. Pick a more difficult fabric Kirsten), and it started pretty much falling apart as soon as I cut into it! The interfacing just made it so much easier to work with, and added hardly any bulk. Even so, I had to overlock the edges of all the pieces before I started sewing to stop it fraying.


I cut a size XS, because i wanted it to be a bit fitted, and I think that was a pretty good choice. There were lots of firsts in this project, single welt pockets, using ribbing, sewing open ended zips, and sewing a lined jacket! The welt pockets were much easier than I anticipated, I just went slowly and carefully! I basted the pocket lines on first, rather than chalking them on, which was helpful. Theres a reel of bright pink cotton in the thread caddy of my machine that must have belonged to my Nana, its on a wooden spool and is marked ‘made in Great Britain’. Not the sort of thing that comes from Spotlight! I’d love to know what she was making in ‘Frivolous Pink’…


The ribbing and the open ended zipper went in equally easily, it was the lining that had me nearly tossing the whole lot out the window! I decided that I wanted the facing as well, as it looks nice and clean, so I cut out the front, back and sleeve pieces again in lining, and cut the width of the facing away from the front opening and neckline. Then I sewed the lining to the facing, and then sewed the facing to the jacket as per the instructions. That all went fine, it was when I went to attach the cuffs to the sleeves that it all went to hell. I sandwiched the ribbing between the wool and the lining and sewed them together, but when I went to turn it out the right way I ended up with this…

…what the hell?? Its a möbius sleeve! No way in, no way out…I have no idea what happened, I couldn’t have done that if I tried. Even trying to put it inside out again so that I could unpick it was a mission. I’d like to say that I won’t do that again, but given that I don’t know how I did it I can’t promise that! Eventually i got it unpicked and sewed together the right way…


I’m glad I put the lining in, even though it was a bit of a struggle, because the insides of this jacket are not that clean! Between the mess that welt pockets leave, and the interfacing, I would never have been able to take it off or wear it open without the lining.


Now for the bad…I think that the fabric must have shifted just a tiny bit when i was cutting out, as the right front panel just doesn’t seem to sit as well as the left. It looks like it pulls a little on the diagonal, or like its a little bit bigger than it should be between the raglan sleeve seam and the top of the zip. Should have cut it in a single layer! I’ve definitely learned my lesson there. I don’t think its a major, if I was buying this bomber in a shop I probably wouldn’t notice it! Its definitely not bad enough for me to unpick the lining and go in and fix it.


So there we go! The Rigel Bomber, pushing both my fashion and sewing boundaries…now I have to go and vaccuum up all the sparkly little bits of thread that have infiltrated my sewing space, before they get all overthe boyfriend. He just doesn’t appreciate glitter!


Coppelia Cardigan


This week, I continued my love affair with the overlocker and beautiful soft, warm merino wool. I love making things that I know I’ll wear all the time, rather than just special occasion items. This is the Coppelia Cardigan, by Papercut Patterns (yay New Zealand indie patterns!), the first of their patterns that I’ve made up. It won’t be the last though! The packaging is beautiful, the pattern is printed on nice paper (I’m too clumsy to really enjoy dealing with patterning tissue), the instructions are good…and the pattern itself is awesome! Its really simple and fast to make (it only took a few hours from cutting out to wearing), and it all goes together really well.


The only changes I made to the pattern were to slim down the sleeves a little bit, and shorten them quite a lot. I have gibbon arms, so I was surprised how much i chopped off the sleeves! I had a bit of trouble with the band around the front edge, the first time I attached it I didn’t stretch it nearly enough around the back of the neck and over the shoulders, and it sat all wavy and weird. This was the point when my relationship with the overlocker soured briefly, unpicking that long stretch of overlocking was a right pain in the arse! The second time I sewed it on, I probably stretched it too much, the front of the cardigan looks gathered when I’m not wearing it. But it looks fine on, and the idea of unpicking the seam again was just a bit soul destroying, so I can live with it!


I really like this top! It looks good with jeans and a long sleeved tee, but it’ll also look good over dresses, or with my navy pencil skirt. I quite liked it before I sewed the wrap around ties on it too, it sat open like a waterfall cardigan. If I make it again, I might have a play with missing the ties off and putting a little button on either side to secure the cross over if I want to close it. I’ve had some good sewing experiences lately, its awesome! I’m sure there must be some catastrophic failure looming, but I’ll enjoy success while it lasts…

(Sorry about the rubbish photo quality, I’m working 10 hour shifts this week so the only time I’m home is in the dark! I really need to get a better camera…)