Papercut Patterns: Rigel Bomber

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.

P1060091 P1060098P1060102

 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

Total: $27.80

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).


21 thoughts on “Papercut Patterns: Rigel Bomber

  1. i love this pattern; i may have made 3 versions of it so far (one not for me so maybe it doesn’t count?) and would like to make another…(thinking fleece now) i went a bit Papercut patterns crazy and have a lengthly list to make (Peter & the wolf pants, La Sylphide -top and dress) and Watson Jacket. The Ensis Tee (that i may also own) is a super easy make and fits nicely

    • You’ve made three already?? Gosh that’s speedy, what kind of fabric did you use? Although if I had the fabric and zip for more I would be tempted to make more immediately.

      I’ve just traced off the La Sylphide and will be making the muslin tonight. I did lengthen it 29cm – that might be a bit too long but the original pattern piece didn’t even cover my bottom

      • I used woven for two: a fun multi coloured polka dot with a smidgen of stretch, and a bright coral cotton for one as a gift for my sister. I found a remanent of a black “wet look” knit (with hardly any stretch) =sounds weird, but it only cost $5 and looks good. Everything came from Fabric Warehouse (i think, polka dots might have been Global Fabrics, or whatever their new name is). i’d be keen to hear how lengthening La Sylphide goes – pretty sure i’m going to be doing that also!

      • It’s “The Fabric Store” but we tend to call it “Global That Was”. I think EVERYONE has had to lengthen this dress. I just lengthened the bottom edge (because I trace my patterns rather than cutting – do you trace? BRO DO U EVEN LIFT) rather than following how they did it on the La Sylphide sewalong

        Ahh I love coral and this would look really good in it – I’m just not sure coral is my colour, unfortunately. I’m going to have to keep an eye out for more fabric for another (but I keep spending money on fabric, damnit!)

  2. From the Constellation collection I really like the Sigma dress and Rigel bomber but like you, I am not sure about the neckline. I love a good bomber jacket but am used to a higher, circular neckline so am still umming and ahhing about buying the pattern. Do you think it would be easy to alter (keeping in mind that I am pretty terrible with that stuff)?

    • I think it would be really easy to alter!! You’d just lengthen the front and change the neckline curve to accommodate it. And because the binding is so stretchy you probably wouldn’t need to change the shape of that BUT I would shorten it – if I use a knit binding again like this (it’s difficult to find here, and others have used ponte knits to good effect – but binding really would be best) I’ll shorten it anyway as it needs to be a bit tighter. And that would be easy to do, too.

  3. Oh, you’ve made the rigel bomber! This pattern is on my wishlist! And about the only pattern I really love from Papercuts’ new collection.
    I might make one for spring… Pom pom pom… 😉
    I do like the neckline, I think you can easily pair it with a nice lace knit shawl or something. Perfect for spring!

    • The neckline is nice and would show off a necklace quite well; it’s just a tad too low for my liking, particularly as I think I’m going to shorten the whole thing. I’ll probably end up making 2-3 versions of this though, it was so quick and easy!

  4. So cute! I actually think your version is my favorite so far – I love the idea of using a fleece knit. I agree that I tend not to think of this as “my style,” but the pattern is starting to win me over. I haven’t made any papercut patterns yet because they are so expensive – but maybe the time has come??

    • Wow, thanks! I haven’t seen any other fleece/knit ones but the black one on the Papercut website really looks like fleece, so I thought it woud have to work.

      They are pretty expensive and I put off buying them for a while… But to compare, this cost $30 NZD with free postage. Other indie patterns cost only a bit less (Deer & Doe Pavot cost $24 incl. international postage) and, really, the Papercut Patterns “are all that”. I really enjoyed sewing with them as the drafting and instructions are thoughtful/clever.

    • I guess what you’re used to paying. Vogue patterns are $20-30 here and the best you’ll get is 50% off twice a year. Other indies end up being almost similar because of the exchange rate + postage. They are still a bit spendy (particularly the Watson at $35) but I guess you have to compare with RYW? This jacket would have cost me $60 in a shop, probably.

  5. I guess what you’re used to paying. Vogue patterns are $20-30 here and the best you’ll get is 50% off twice a year. Other indies end up being almost similar because of the exchange rate + postage. They are still a bit spendy (particularly the Watson at $35) but I guess you have to compare with RYW? This jacket would have cost me $60 in a shop, probably.

  6. Great job on your bomber Sophie – a cropped version would look great on you. Mark and baste – I’m a firm believer! After seeing your version I’m thinking it would be quite a good pattern for my son – there’s no bust shaping is there?

  7. This looks so comfy! I am thinking of making a bomber – it is one the list – which is quite long. I like that you made it in a knit – very versatile pattern that you will get your moneys worth from,

  8. I am looking and looking for the PERFECT fabric for this (like seriously, I already have the ribbing and I thought that would be the hard bit to find!) so once I find it, look out, twinsies! 🙂 Love the blue/black combo and we definitely need some WSBN embroidered patches…

    • The ribbing WAS hard to find! Someone told me noone is importing it any more, which seems strange. But yeah I’m on the look out for fabric for a woven version now – I would love a polka dotten one like Sophie from Cirque-du-Bebe’s.

    • Thank you! IT really is lovely and cosy, although I wish the sleeves were a touch longer – and I think I would recommend making the write bands tighter (I keep thinking I’ve stretched them out as they’re a bit loose to start with)

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