Recently I’ve noticed a lot of ‘bomber’ style jackets around, both on the high street, and in the sewing world. I was quite tempted by the Papercut Patterns Rigel Bomber for myself, but I’m not quite sure it’s a style I’d wear. However, a certain little lady in my life was about to turn 10 years old and I knew this style would be just perfect for her.
I had to do a little searching to find what I was after, as often this style is referred to differently – bomber jacket, varsity jacket, baseball jacket to name a few. I started trawling through the BurdaStyle website and stumbled across their Children’s Blouson Jacket 148.
I purchased and downloaded the pattern and got down to printing and assembling the pdf. As this was to be a surprise gift I knew there would be no fitting sessions en-route so I took a lot of measurements, and compared measurements of the pattern with the measurements of a hoodie that fits my daughter nicely but still has growing room.
Ultimately I went for a mash-up of sizes 146 and 152, making sure there was plenty of length and width to grown into, longer sleeves (I knew the stretch cuffs would keep the length in check). For the rib waistband I went a little smaller as the rib knit is nice and stretchy – I used the hoodie as a guide.
With pattern instructions, I’d say you get what you pay for (or not!). When you buy an indie pattern for £15 your hand is held at every step of the way and helpful pictures are in abundance. When you pay a few quid for a download, you’ll find instructions that are concise and well written, but minimal, and with no illustrations. Some parts I had to read several times over, and then check elsewhere to make sure I knew what I was doing. I sewed everything on the overlocker and unpicking would not be fun!
The image below shows the instructions, to give you an idea of what you’re getting. My advice is to read everything a couple of times before you start. Note, that you need to add seam allowances to the pattern pieces.
The first tricky area is the welt pockets. Really, you could use any online tutorial you like, but as the pattern pieces are provided (or in some cases measurements given to draft your own) I wanted to sew these in the way suggested. If anyone tries out this pattern, maybe this image will be helpful. This shows how to sew the main pocket piece and the welt. The black dotted lines are the two parallel rows of stitching (you need to be really bang on with these) and the pink is the cutting line. Following this, everything flips inside and the seam allowances are sewn together. It did work, I got a neat finish, but there was head-scratching along the way.
A finished welt pocket…
The only other part that takes a bit of thought (but is obvious when you get it!) is attaching the collar edges and placket. Again, an image which may enlighten. Pictured here is the attachment seam just before turning the top of the placket to the right side.
The only thing I changed about the construction process, was that I interlined the front bodice pieces with a lightweight jersey. This was purely aesthetic as I didn’t want the ‘guts’ of those lovely welt pockets flapping around visibly.
I treated myself to a KAM snap set of pliers and snaps. These are ridiculously easy to add and once you have the pliers not really expensive at all. I can see myself using these for all sorts of things. The only downside is that they are pretty strong and I’m worried they’ll eventually tear the fabric. This lush fabric, by the way, is a super soft and gorgeous lightweight sweatshirting from Raystitch. I made an error when ordering and only bought half a metre of each colour, but somehow managed to squeeze all my pieces out of it! I bought the ribbing separately from an ebay seller. It’s not great quality but did the job.
All through this project I had a little worry that my ever-so-slightly-particular (!) daughter might not like my gift. I think she was a little uncertain at first, but I was so pleased the day after her birthday when I found her wearing her jacket proudly, telling me how much she loves it. She was more than happy to pose for a few blog shots!