Monday, 9 February 2015

Not a bomber jacket

I'm not sure whether Rigel Bomber January kicked my butt into gear or just kicked my butt.




It seems I'm not the only one to have purchased the pattern and promptly sat on it for over a year.  I really wanted to sew it too, but it just kept getting queue-jumped. So when I read Sonja's post about a January bomber jacket sewalong, I knew I was in. What better way to start a new year than by ticking off a big unfinished idea from the last?  My butt --> kicked into gear!

However. I also started the new year by going back to work after several months off (see here).  It was not really a good time to set myself ambitious targets. Or any targets. It was a good time to tread carefully back into the routines and go easy on myself. Which, to my own surprise, I did - no late night sewing, no rushing, no self-imposed stress. Go me!  But of course, this all added up to no finished Rigel bomber either --> my butt kicked.




Now that it is finished, can I just say? TOTALLY kicked ass on my Rigel bomber, January deadline or not.  First ever welt pockets? BAM perfect! Slinky satin lining complete with pleat? Yes thank you ma'am, I has it! And ooooh I so, so love me a neat and tidy metal zip. I could just look down at that all day (if I didn't, you know, have to look where I was going and stuff).




The outer, pre-quilted fabric was a coupon from the Chien Vert, the lining and ribbing  from the bargain basement of Berger. Black polycotton scraps for the pocket bags, and the zip came from Gold Fingers - which, heads up for those in or around Brussels, stocks the most amazing selection of zips at equally amazing prices (that's amazing as in, cheap, in case of doubt :-).  The whole lot had been sitting ready in a bag, with matching thread, since about September - I could hardly have been more ready to sprint out of the starting blocks come January!




Mid-January, I opened and examined the bag of Rigel-to-be. I got out my pattern, did some head-scratching. Puzzled over the pattern pieces and scratched my head some more. In the end, I had to suspend disbelief and admit that whichever way I looked at it, this fabric - which I'd bought specifically for this project and by now had my heart set on, and I remember checking the yardage requirements and everything yes REALLY - just, well. It just wasn't big enough.

I would insert some gnashing of teeth here, for the sake of storytelling. But the truth of the tale is that my thoughts, quite surprisingly and indeed almost gleefully, went: OH WELL. Necessity is the mother of invention!




Oh, did I mention? It's not actually a bomber jacket at all.




Because when faced with a fabric shortage, by far the most obvious thing to remove from a raglan jacket pattern is the sleeves. Raglan sleeves are fabric eaters!  Not only that, but for months I'd actually been keeping my eyes on the high street for a gilet that met my exacting requirements, and until the "but how am I going to get sleeves on this coat" moment, it hadn't occurred to me at all to just make one.




Once that thought process had happened, it was just a hop, skip and jump to mashing up the Rigel Bomber with the Undercover Hood, un-raglanned and with armholes from the Purl Bee's vest drawn on.




I honestly have never felt much desire to draft patterns from scratch, and I still don't. But this process of creating an entirely different design out of three other separate designs was heaps of fun. And so satisfying, remembering to add or subtract seam allowances where needed, re-drawing curves that looked and worked better, figuring out the whole thing by myself.  I am so incredibly pleased and proud of how this turned out. Not only did I 'draft' it without a hitch, it's also basically my most utterly perfect vest. I couldn't have planned it better.




Bonus husband comment:
Ooh nice fabric! I like this one very much.  It's a... <looks searchingly at me> ... oh right, a gilet. Can you make me a gilet exactly the same? Except, without the fur. Or a hood. And with sleeves.




All man-bomber-jacket pattern suggestions welcome, on a postcard adressed to:

Jo
c/o Just Let Me Finish All the Other Sewing First,
Brussels,
Belgium.


32 comments:

  1. Ahhhhhh! (Fangirl scream!) I love this! This is way more up my alley than a bomber - and such a useful item to have in spring and fall! Lurve everything about it. Yay you!

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  2. Yay for your victory! And I just have to say you crack me up, somehow you're serious and hilarious at the same time. And I know your voice now so I can hear you when I read :D

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  3. Aw thanks Gillian! Totally agree - this is so much more useful than an actual bomber jacket! And while it's really cold it's a brilliant extra layer indoors too (though I feel like a total wimp saying that to a Canadian, we don't get anything like the cold weather you do!)

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  4. Haha thank you! I think that might be the best compliment I've ever received - I might even frame it :-) Knowing people's voices is the best thing about meet ups isn't it? Reading them is much more fun after!

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  5. Jo this is fantastic!! I love that it's a vest and the hood with the fur makes it even more amazing!! Well done!

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  6. Oh. My. Reigel. Goodness! This is a perfect idea! I love the style f this & definetly need to make a version like this!!

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  7. It looks fabulous ! This hood and the fur...waouh...perfect !
    You've done an amazing work.

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  8. I LOOOOOOVE it. It is so damn perfect and what about the furry hood. Gosh, lucky you weren't wearing this in paris as I would have stolen it off you. This is your best make ever!

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  9. It's cute! Some furry add-ons are always a win :-)
    Those welt pockets look so crisp too! No more cold winter days for you!

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  10. You're a rockstar! This is fabulous and perfectly executed. I love that you just thought "oh well" when you finally accepted you didn't have enough fabric. I'd have had a slight adult tanty, I'm ashamed to admit.

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  11. Gosh, aren't you clever! What an amazing save! It's perfect... I have the purl bee vest on my list, and now I want it to be this!!

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  12. I'm going to join the bandwagon in telling you how brilliant this is! A great idea to change the raglan and add a hood, which looks so cool! Well done lady! X

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  13. Nice work on the mashup! It's very cool indeed!

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  14. Ah thank you Heather! I just couldn't resist the fake fur trim :-)

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  15. Do it!! Such fun, and so useful!

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  16. Thanks so much! The fur was really the finishing touch :-)

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  17. Thank you Kirsty! I'm falling over at the thought of someone as stylish as yourself coveting my vest.. :-)) It was the quilted fabric that started it all, if it hadn't been for that I don't think I'd have gone through with it. I'm blessed with an excellent shop for that kind of stuff here!

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  18. Indeed, it's lovely and warm considering how light it is! And thank you for the welt pocket compliment :-) Actually, I couldn't really see what the fuss is about, they didn't seem that hard. Though now I've probably set myself up for disaster next time I try them...

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  19. Aw thanks Marilla! If it were up to me, most clothes would have hoods. Hoods on everything!

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  20. Oh wonderful save, and what a fabulous jacket (gilet) it is. A very funny post that had me huffing with laughter.

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  21. I LOVE this Jo! It looks fab, well done for not being overcome by disaster when you didn't have enough fabric, and for making it work out. Totally inspired (and totally not something that I would think to do), I love it!

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  22. SeamsOddLouise.Blogspot.comFebruary 10, 2015 4:36 pm

    Brilliant, I love everything about it. Well done.

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  23. Nice vest! Seriously, I like it much better than the original bomber jacket :)

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  24. Uh, DUDE! I actually screamed when I scrolled down and saw it was a vest!!! So, so good!!!!! Love it so much!!!!!

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  25. Brilliant! Your gillet is gorgeous, and what a fantastic save on the fabric, and yey to the pattern mashing skills. Lynne

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  26. Looooove it! Super awesome idea to make it into a gilet!

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  27. Helen // Grosgrain GreenFebruary 11, 2015 10:43 am

    No! This is amazing! What a great "save", and well done you on not only making it work, but also not freaking out! I think I would have thrown it back in the cupboard for another 6 months, especially when you were factoring in a return to work too. The fillet looks amazing. Just perfect. You should probably win a "special mention" award or something as part of Rigel January.

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  28. Helen // Grosgrain GreenFebruary 11, 2015 10:44 am

    Stupid predictive text! *no* should be *Jo*, and clearly you didn't sew a fillet!!!!

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  29. So lovely! Looks so so cosy!

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  30. I love this, it looks so good!

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