Friday 13 May 2016

Rainbow Weave Rigel Bomber

This is the Rigel Bomber from Papercut Patterns.
It's a loose fitting bomber jacket with raglan sleeves.

The fabric is a fairly heavy weight woven bought at Spotlight and made in Mexico. I loved the colours and immediately thought it would be perfect for the Rigel Bomber. It sort of was. At least, it was the perfect look and weight.

As much as I love the look of the fabric and think it makes a great bomber jacket, it was one of the worst fabrics I've ever sewn with. You can see from the insides that the fabric is woven with multi-stranded embroidery thread. Which means it frays like crazy and also gets caught in the sewing machine with far too much ease.

Because of how much the fabric frays I immediately had to make a couple of changes compared to the pattern. There was no way I was going to be able to put welt pockets into this fabric, nor side seam pockets for that matter, so I left those off. I also realised it was going to be essential to cover every single seam in bias binding to at least try and reduce the amount of fraying the jacket will do. But because of how awkward the fabric is, my bias binding isn't even sewn in particularly neatly. I'd also run out of black thread of all things, so my bad stitching is pretty visible on the inside.

For the facing I used some leftover grey cotton drill from a pair of pants I'd made. This meant I didn't need to add interfacing. Given the problems I'd had with the main fabric I wanted to limit any possible issues I could have with the rest of the garment. In the end the drill was just the right weight, and the grey is nice and calm compared to the brightness of the main fabric. It did take quite a few hours in front of the TV to sew it down, though, as it all had to be done by hand. But that's not difficult, just time consuming.

 The one last change I made was to raise the neckline. I did this for two reasons. First, I'd read in other reviews that the neck does sit lower than normal for a bomber jacket, and honestly it could still be lifted another 1-1.5cm easily. The other reason was so that I could use this zipper. I really liked the star pull zipper when I found it at Pitt Trading and so decided to buy it, but it was almost 10cm longer than the pattern called for. A little of that can be hidden or trimmed, but I raised the top of the neck 5cm by sharpening the front curve into the middle at a higher spot. Those changes made it the right length for the star zipper.

Overall I am happy with the finished product, even if I didn't enjoy all of the making. It got put in the corner a few times over the course of making it because I got frustrated, but I'm glad I did persist. As with all other Papercut Patterns I've used the instructions are pretty easy to follow, so this isn't a hard pattern to make. It's just better to choose a more practical fabric!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Despite your troubles with the fabric, it makes an awesome bomber jacket!