Sometimes a sewing pattern is love at first sight; other times it takes a while for the idea to rattle around in your head before you decide that it’s a good fit. That’s how it was for the Rigel Bomber; when Papercut Patterns Constellation collection came out, I wasn’t too excited about any of the patterns, thinking they weren’t my style. It only took Cirque-de-Bebe’s version, however, for me to realise that I had to at least give it a go.
It took me even longer to find the fabric. After spending over 2 hours stroking fabrics at two different shops, I decided on a deep purple, drapey rayon with splotchy black spots. After being pre-washed it languished in my stash for a while before I realised that I just couldn’t imagine making it up in that fabric – instead, I purchased this navy fleece-backed sweatshirting (a burn test suggests it’s a polycotton of some kind). The pattern itself suggests a medium weight woven fabric, but I was sure it would work in a knit (and one of the model versions looks like a knit to me).
The fabric choice means it’s really warm and cuddly.
The pattern itself is excellent. It’s an unlined bomber jacket with raglan sleeves and welt pockets. The drafting is really well done, with the perfect amount of notches, and allows for a tidy finish. This was the first time I’ve done welt pockets and (after two trials) I think they ended up completely passable (though I wouldn’t recommend fleece for your first ever welt pockets!!).
A word about Papercut’s sizing – I had it in my head that their sizes run small but that’s not true at all! I did this in a size large (I think, I traced it a few weeks ago) and it’s a touch too big. I’m currently tracing of the La Sylphide and I’m a mix of small-medium! Plus, the Constellation patterns go up to a size XL now (112, 92, 118)!
Yeah they’re still not perfect, but I’m going to blame the fabric if that’s okay with you all?
Next time I make this (I will be making another, fo’ sure) I’ll use a woven fabric and line it, like most of the other versions I’ve seen – the pocket bags aren’t the prettiest (so I’d suggest tidying them/overlocking them before sewing them on) but this fleece wants to sit against the skin. If you’re not lining the jacket I would recommend sewing the pockets into the binding at the bottom – I can’t see it mentioned in the instructions (unless I missed that bit) but they line up exactly with the base of the shell fabric so I’m guessing you’re supposed to do that. Otherwise they kind of flat about when your hands are in them.
I must admit I’m quite proud of my patience with this one, really taking my time with the welt pockets. I actually used a fabric marker to draw on the stitching lines (on both sides), so I knew that the first pocket I sewed didn’t line up. I then decided to baste the pocket pieces down then sew from the wrong side where I had the lines still visible – this kind of thing proves that sometimes, the “slower” method actually works better/faster.
As mentioned, they still aren’t perfect but I’m happy with them, considering the fleece didn’t want to press.
Next time I may also shorten it – yeah I’m tall but I think this would work better if it sat at my waist rather than over my hips. I’d also look at raising the neck at the front as it’s quite a lot lower than I expected and looks a bit odd over dresses with higher necks. The sleeves are a touch too short (so when lifting my arms they’re just above my wrists) so I’ll lengthen the sleeves by 1-2″.
All in all this is a very cool (warm) jumper/jacket/hoodless hoodie/bomber. In the fleece it’s a bit oversized so is sort of “boyfriends jacket” (and Mr. Guy would probably pinch it if it wasn’t too small for him), and I’m currently on the look out for some embroidery or a patch to pop on the breast. I’m definitely going to make another in a woven fabric (maybe a nice wool like this version).
Pattern: Rigel Bomber by Papercut Patterns $30, highly recommended
Fabric: Navy fleece-backed sweatshirting (poly-cotton), 1.4m $14 (I could have got away with 1.1m), black binding $4
Notions: Black knit interfacing, $2, thread $3.80 (+overlocker thread, stash), zip $4
Have you guys made anything from Papercut yet? They may seem a bit pricey, but for me they’re totally worth it (especially as you don’t pay any extra for shipping). Plus I understand how everything costs more in NZ (her printing costs are probably quite a bit). I have fabric for two La Sylphide’s once I trace and muslin it, and I may consider the Milano cape once it gets colder again. And maybe a circle top (my mum might like that one). And another Watson ape (sleeveless).
PS In other news, the new Wellington (NZ) campaign The Clothes Calling Card (video from One News, facebook page here) is an awesome new initiative letting shops know how much money they’re missing out on by not stocking larger sized clothes. This is a DARNED good idea, and I have been frustrated so many times when I realised a shop only went up to a size 14 (my bum is not a size 14).