If you don’t know Lydia Higginson of Made My Wardrobe, I suggest you read her blog. She is without a doubt, one of the most inspirational people I’ve ever had the privilege to meet. The bomber jacket class was the first one I took with Lydia and I’m so glad I did, she is a brilliant teacher. We were a group of varying levels of skill and Lydia adapted her teaching style to each of us depending on what we needed and what stage we were at, exactly what you want from a teacher.
I’ve wanted a modern bomber jacket for ages (not the puffed up kind we had in the 90’s – ha ha!) but have never found one I absolutely loved. Well, until I started an inspiration board on Pinterest, then I found loads – typical.
Lydia provided us with the pattern pieces drafted by herself and plenty of fabric for us all to choose from. Some people had brought their own fabric that they used instead or as well as. I decided to give myself a little challenge and picked a fabric with a directional print – something I’ve never really worked with before as I tend to go for plains or prints with no direction so I don’t have to worry about pattern matching or directions.
I didn’t pattern match at the side seams because there wasn’t enough fabric but (somehow) I managed to get a nice directional line right down the middle of both the front pieces and the back piece. Total fluke, or (to quote The Big Bang Theory) “a happy accident!”
I absolutely loved using the industrial overlocker and industrial steam iron! It’s been years since I last used either of these and I have missed them. I reeeally want some industrial machines of my own, they make such a difference to the whole process and the finish to the garment. The overlocker I used in Lydia’s studio sewed beautifully smooth, not clunky at all like some of the ones I have used in the past.
The bomber jacket is so quick and easy to sew up, much easier than I originally thought. The patterned cotton is lined with the plain cotton, (both are incredibly soft to touch), with a tacking stitch. Then it’s a case of attaching the raglan sleeves and sewing the side seams and sleeves all in one.
Lydia had the idea to put secret pockets in – really easy to do. They’re basically patch pockets sewn onto the lining of the jacket only, so no stitches show on the outer shell – simple but genius! I decided to use scraps from the outer shell fabric. We used the pattern for the cuff ribbing to make the pockets. I folded the top edge over by 2cm, pressed then folded by another 2 cm and top stitched. I then folded and pressed the sides and bottom edges in by 1cm, making the pockets just large enough to put my phone in. I attached the pockets with 2 lines of top stitching plus I went over the corners again to reinforce them.
I’ve never used ribbing before, nor have I sewn an open ended zip before. The ribbing around the bottom did slip a bit on my first attempt so I unpicked it and repinned, using lots more pins, which worked much better the second time. Thankfully, I didn’t have any problems with the cuffs or neckband ribbing. The zip was also really easy to sew in. We hand tacked it first but to be honest, I probably wouldn’t bother with that if I were to make it again.
Since making the bomber jacket, I have absolutely lived in it, literally worn it every day. The only thing that was bugging me was not being able to hang it up properly so I created a rouleau loop and attached it to the seam allowance of the ribbing at the rear neckline. I made sure it was secure by using zig zag stitches as well as sewing a straight line in a square around the zig zags. Next time, I will attach the loop by enclosing the ends in side the ribbed neckline.
I absolutely love the finished bomber jacket. The sleeves are a little long on me but you know what, I actually like that, it means I can cover my hands if it’s a bit nippy out – he he! Lydia told me she bought the ribbing from a shop called Roud Fabrics. I used to live just up the road but thought they only sold sari fabrics. Kinda wish I’d bothered to have a look before because turns out, I was living really close to a gem! Oh well, now I know, I will definitely go and have a ganders! I’m absolutely going to make more bomber jackets and I’m already thinking about fabrics and design features – so watch this space!