Starting my 2017 Sewing Goals off- I made my first rockabilly bomber jacket.
January has really flown by, hasn’t it? Even though it’s one of the slowest times of the year, I feel like I’ve been running around like a crazy person. This Rockabilly Bomber was thankfully a quick sewing distraction from another project I’m currently working on; I’ve never been one to juggle multiple projects at once, but I actually needed the temporary distraction from a project that is proving to be really time consuming.
The Rigel Jacket was originally released by Papercut patterns a couple years ago, but it’s still super relevant to me and my vintage style; it’s been on my make-list for a while! I’d been picking up pieces of it here and there for the last several months until I had everything to stitch it up.
I found the most perfect floral fabric last year and knew it was only a matter of time before I made this.
The rest of the materials were a little bit more difficult to find, though. The zipper and ribbing in particular, were a nightmare to source.
- Zipper: The length required in this pattern is not a standard size. If you’re in a place that you can get custom zippers made, you’re in luck! For me personally, next time I make this jacket, I’m adjusting the pattern pieces to accommodate a more common zip size that I can find here in the US.
- Ribbing: Definitely recommend finding a ribbing with really good stretch and recovery, because you can’t just use whatever and hope for the best. You can tell in my photos that the ribbing at the neck doesn’t sit properly because it’s not thick enough, nor does it have the amount of stretch that is best for this type of style.
The fit of this rockabilly bomber is fine– except for a few notable exceptions.
Since 2017 is the year of me making jackets and pants, I did a lot of research on this bomber. Luckily, there are lots of resources out there from when this pattern was originally released.
- Add at least 2-3 inches to the sleeves because the length issue is real. I did not, unfortunately, and even though it technically works, there is the occasional moment when it’s a problem and you find more of your arm exposed than you might like.
- Just because it’s a jacket with ease, doesn’t mean Full Bust Adjustments are unnecessary! In a lot of the online resources this was not mentioned… AT ALL- and in the photos I saw online, a lot of Rigels could have done with one. I did a standard FBA, rotated the dart from the side seam to the bottom hem and then just didn’t stitch a dart, leaving that space “open.” I also accommodated more of the fullness by adding about an inch to the armpit-area, extending that edge on both the bodice front and front armpit area of the sleeve. The changes were immediate.
Besides the points listed above, the rest of the jacket stitches up in a very straight forward way.
I would also recommend lining this jacket because it’s good form. I don’t go into it in the video, but definitely check out this tutorial by Katy and Laney to see how to draft the lining. The welt pockets were also interesting to sew, but not too complicated. If you’d like to see these steps broken down, please be sure to leave a comment and I’ll see if it’s something I can make time to film! First, gotta finish that other project 😉