Sunday, 24 January 2016

Silk Linen and Leather Bomber Jacket

Here is the finished bomber jacket, completed yesterday and photographed today!  

This is the second Rigel Bomber jacket I've made, from Papercut patterns, and it turned out just as good, if not better.  The previous bomber I made early last year was bright yellow with a crazy oriental print but this one was intended to be more understated and wearable.  In fact I think it's going to be one of the most wearable things I've made in the last couple of years.  It's my perfect throw-on jacket that goes with everything from jeans to skirts and dresses.  Bombers really are so versatile, there's now wonder that they appear in the high street shops re-styled for every season.

The colours are muted in charcoal grey and black, but it's the details and quality of fabric that makes this jacket special for me.  The main body is a lovely silk linen mix, probably suiting material originally, that I've had in my stash for ages.  I used version 2 of the Rigel pattern, which includes a geometric detail of contrasting fabric at the shoulder.  I chose black leather, also from stash, to form the shoulder inserts.

The shoulder sections at each sleeve head in this version of the jacket are made up of small pieces pieces jigsawed together as a design feature.  You could easily use contrasting fabric in either plain or print to compliment the main fabric.  Here's what the wrong side of the shoulder sections looked like, with the converging seams coming together and joining the front and sleeve sections.

It made for some fairly thick overlapping edges, needing careful and slow sewing with a leather needle.  The rib collar then had to be attached equally carefully to the leather on the neckline - no room for mistakes and unpicking with leather.  I was really pleased though at how well it did come together in the end and the finished design with the top stitching looks good.  You can also see here where this detail extends down to the back of the garment.

Another subtle detail that I'm very happy with are the welt pockets on either side of the front.  I realised with hindsight that it was much less nerve wracking doing these on the original very highly patterned bomber, where the pockets were less obvious.  With a plain, dark coloured fabric there really is nowhere to hide with these!  Mistakes would be extremely noticeable and not easy to fix.  They probably need a better press looking at these photo's, but the finish is pretty neat on the whole.  I just used a scrap of black polyester lining for the pocket bags so that they didn't show through.

I already had plenty of the cotton ribbing needed for the collar, cuffs and waistband, purchased from plush addict and used on my previous bomber jacket.  It's great quality and really soft and comes in lots of different colours.  This was another no-purchase element of this garment as I was using leftovers!  In fact the only things I did buy especially for this make were the open ended black zip and some black thread.  

As with my previous bomber from this pattern, I chose to add a lining.  Leopard print black and gold satin seemed a fitting choice to compliment such a sober exterior!  There are lots of tutorials on the web now for adding a lining and I used a combination of these to make a simple version from the original pattern pieces.  I cut out the back section again in the lining fabric, but inserted about an inch and half extra in the centre for ease and took a little off the neckline where the facing would be.  Then I cut the fronts and sleeves (using version one sleeves) again taking off the requisite facing width from the neck edges of each (remembering to add a seam allowance back on).  On all sections, I added an extra inch and a half at the bottom edge, just to be sure I had enough ease and a generous hem to hand sew in place.

Love that lining!  I incorporated the facing section in this version (I didn't use it for the yellow version and just took the lining all the way across the inside fronts to the zip).  You can insert piping here too if you want more detail.  The lining is turned under at the bottom, zig zagged and hand sewn to the ribbing at the waist and also around the ribbing inside the wrist bands.

So there it is, my new absolute top fave thing to wear!  All the way through photographing this afternoon, my dog Chester tried to get in on the action by sneaking into shot.  He loves a photo-opportunity does Chester.  I think he has been so used to being photographed throughout his life, that whenever he sees a camera now he marches straight into position, assumes a pose and waits for the click!  I let him have his way on this one, seeing as he matches my jacket.  


  1. Testing to see if my comment appears.

  2. Great jacket, love the top stitching on the leather inserts, and the lining is an inspired choice, lovely to flash when the jacket is open.

  3. Thanks AWR, yes I'm particularly proud of the top stitching! It really is necessary on the leather to make it lie flat, but it's a bit nerve wracking to do. Sarah

  4. Your jacket is lovely. The fabric looks lush and the leather detailing really finishes it off well.

  5. Thank you Oblibby! I was saving the fabric for something nice as it is lovely quality stuff. Glad you think it looks good and thanks for commenting! Sarah