Back when Rigel Bomber Jacket January was happening, oh, ten months ago, I was seriously sleep deprived, so I didn't have enough brain power to do more than glance at pictures and think, "Hmm, that looks like something I'd like to make, but with a higher neck." I filed the idea of a bomber jacket somewhere in my mind palace, and probably would have forgotten about it if it weren't for Tanit-Isis' cream lace bomber. I have a serious crush on everything she makes, so when I saw her non-collarbone-exposing jacket (why have a jacket that's so v-necked? I mean I guess you could wear a scarf, but it just seems weird to me), I decided I really needed to make my own. I collected McCall's 7100 at the next Jo-Ann's pattern sale, but every time I had the mental energy to think about finding an appropriate fabric, SHB was sleeping, and fabric bins are all in his room, so it wasn't until July that IG sewcialists helped me match a fabric to the pattern. In fact, it was Sewprettyinpink's version that finally tipped me over the edge because I'm pretty sure her fabric is exactly the same as mine!
After reading all the pattern reviews about how it runs small, I decided to cut a medium instead of my usual small. Good thing I did, because once I added in my lining, it's quite snug. In fact, if I were to make this again, I might even go up to a large if I use really bulky fabrics. Anyway, I cut out my jacket pieces, couldn't decide what I wanted to use as a lining fabric, and then stalled again because school started and then I was making play costumes. After the madness of the play (I will share pictures of the costumes soon!), I wanted to make something for me, so jacket it was! Since it's gotten so cold (don't laugh, Tanit-Isis of the #whinycanuck in wintertime hashtag, but it's in the low 50s and this California girl is dying), I went ahead and made a fleece lining. I was a little worried at first about not being able to slide my arms in and out of the sleeves easily, but ohhhhh the warm loveliness of fleece! I regret nothing, even if I always have to do an awkward tug to pull my sleeves down inside.
To add the lining, I just cut another set of the body pieces and stitched the front facing on top. In retrospect, I would have taken the time (all of two minutes, seriously, past me, are you really that lazy?) to trim the fleece out from under the facing pieces, because my seams got really, really bulky. Houndstooth + heavy jacket zipper + more houndstooth + interfacing + fleece + another layer of interfaced houndstooth = no actual lowering of the presser foot when I pressed the lever. Since the original pattern doesn't call for a lining, I had to improvise my steps, and when I finished I realized that I had bag-lined my jacket without any directions! Including that weird sleeve bit that I never understood in diagrams before! I know people bag-line jackets all the time and it's really not a big deal, but I'm secretly (publicly) proud of myself for visualizing and executing the procedure without having to look it up.
Pattern: McCall's 7100, with a lining added
Fabric: Three yards of 44" wide cotton houndstooth fabric, quite loosely woven and drape-y, from a donated stash, and 1 yard of 60" wide gray microfleece, from Jo-Ann's
Notions: I wasn't sure where I was going to get the ribbing for the cuffs, collar, and hipband, because I didn't want this jacket to look Becky Home-Ecky, so sweatshirt fleece from the stash wasn't cutting it. Enter WAWAK, a dry-cleaning supply company that also does sewing notions. They were recommended to me before by other sewists years ago, but I kept forgetting to look them up. I decided to try out their "garment enhancers" (their catalog's words, not mine), and you guys, this ribbing looks so real. I'm so glad to have discovered them!
|Ribbed collar band, courtesy of WAWAK. I also added a little back facing piece so that I could attach a hanging loop.|
|Cuffs and a close up of the faux welt pocket.|
|Ribbed bottom band and antiqued brass zipper.|
Total cost: The houndstooth was gifted from another stash, and the notions (about $7 worth) were provided free of charge by WAWAK, so it was just the fleece lining, about $6.
Will you make it again? I don't know that I need more than one bomber jacket, but it was a pretty easy and satisfying make (there's something about sewing your own outerwear that's especially rewarding), so I could totally see myself making another one at some point.
Final thoughts: As I said above, I am really pleased with making such a real-looking jacket! It's surprisingly cozy, too, which is nice, and while some may look down on the faux welt pockets, I liked that they were so simple (anything that doesn't require brainpower is a plus for me these days) but still look relatively good. I feel like I'm using all the English teacher blacklist words -- nice! good! -- but I think that's okay (look, there's another one!) because this is such a normal jacket. I toyed with the idea of a colorful lining or even fun pocket fabric, but in the end I just opted to use all the black, white, and gray fabrics from my stash. Which is fine (gah, can't stop) because it matches everything!
The whole time I was trying to take pictures of this jacket, SHB was wandering around squealing in excitement; apparently the self-timer function on the camera amuses him to no end.
Fancy your own ten-month-late bomber jacket? If you order your garment enhancers from WAWAK, for the month of December you can use the code WCD1215 for 10% off your order of $40 or more. If you're worried that you can't find $40 worth of stuff to order, allow me to offer you reassurances: you will find plenty of things! (Stuff, things...I am really working that English teacher blacklist.) I'm already making my own list (and checking it twice?); I love that I can get hair canvas and glow in the dark thread and a leather hole punch and brass blazer buttons all from one place. Seriously, looking through their catalog is like the sewing adult version of a Christmas toy catalog. Merry Christmas to yourself, anyone?