Pages

Saturday, September 10, 2016

The Bomber Jacket that Bombed out.


I decided to start my September sewing by making a garment that is a little out of my comfort zone.  Butterick 6181 is not the sort of jacket I would normally make, but I thought a fashion garment might lift my rather plain and simple style.  




I found a remnant of polyester shantung for $3.00 at Spotlight, and thought this might make an interesting version of the pattern. I had some buttons in my stash that would work.  I thought the soft grey would be flattering, and would go with all my clothes.

I only had a small amount, but as summer is coming, I though I could modify the jacket to a short sleeve version.  The muslin looked nice with the short sleeves, and I worked out I needed to shorten the bodice by 1.5 inches.  I was a little unsure about the look of the collar, but decided that my objection was more to do with it being something different that I was not used to, more than actual dislike.

Then I started to sew the jacket.  As this was going to be a jacket, a nice finish inside was a must for me.  Jackets get taken off, and I like to see nice seams.

Seams were simple for sides and the raglan sleeves.  As the fabric frayed a lot, I used french seams for the side seams. The seams in the sleeves were finished with a bias binding.

Then I made the collar up.  I decided to line the collar with a poly/cotton fabric.  The shantung was quite stiff and thick, and I thought two layers would be too thick.  I also wanted something softer against my neck.   And the poly cotton toned with the grey bias tape I was using.

The collar was extremely curved.  The pattern told you to trim the collar seam allowances, but did not mention that you also would need to notch the seam allowance so it would sit properly.  Of course, I did that, and came out with a nice curved collar.  I also edge-stitched the collar, although there were no instructions for edge or under-stitching to hold the seam in place.



Then I attached the collar - the longer curved edge went to the neck of the garment, so I clipped the neck edge at frequent intervals so that the curve would fit.  Then I read what to do next.  Trim the collar seam allowances and finish:


And that is it - the finished edge.  Not a pretty sight.  I had a vague feeling that there was something not quite right, I sensed that this was more the sort of finish for a knit fabric. The seam was also supposed to be pressed down, but it really wanted to sit up. I'll show you in a minute.

So I bound the neck edge, because I wanted the inside to look good, and lets face it, the finish shown above does not look good.


Now, isn't that much nicer.  But you can see how the seam wants to sit up and roll in.


Now, the pattern's solution to this, as one of the last steps, is to top stitch the seam down. Again I got the vague feeling the construction method was more suited to a knit.

The next day I checked the 2 reviews on Pattern Review. One had no problem making the jacket, but the second also had the sense that the construction methods for this jacket were "messy".

Then I checked McCall's blog - this pattern is being used in a sew a long this month.  The first post discussed fabrics suitable for the collar.  Only knit fabrics were suggested.  The pattern envelope states quite clearly that this jacket or shirt is for wovens.  But I was already sensing that the construction was written for knit fabrics.

Then I started the band. Again, the band was sewn on and finished with a trimmed seam.   Again, a finish more appropriated for knits, not a nice finish for a blouse or jacket.

 Now, I wanted a band that was more like a casing - nice and finished on the inside.  This was no easy task, and I figured in the end that I really needed to have a cut on casing, and not a separate band.

After lots of undoing and rethinking the square, I sort of got a band worked out that I could finish inside.

But by then I was totally not in love with this jacket.  You see, I had seen a pastel colour bomber jacket on someone - a pale apricot polyester. And I hated it.  I did not like the look at all, and did not want to look like this lady.

So, I am going to call it quits.  But on the plus side:

*  I have well and truly gotten over my dislike of sewing bias binding - just look how nice my sewing is, in the photo above, says me modestly.

*  I problem solved how to finish the garment nicely.  And could have achieved a really nicely finished band as well, if I chose to continue.

*  I have re-clarified my ideas about my style.  I was in two minds about a Bomber jacket, because it is not really what I tend to go for.  But because I don't want to limit myself too much at the moment while I am redefining my style, it was a good idea to try something new.  It didn't cost much as I purchased the fabric for $3-00, the pattern for $5-00, the thread and the bias, probably another $10.00 total.  To go to a shopping centre to try styles on and come home empty handed would have cost no less, after fuel, parking, coffee and food.  And I would have come home empty handed.  With this project, even though it was not finished, I honed my sewing skills a little further, and am rather pleased with my critical analysis of the construction methods.  I really am being very modest today!!!

This morning I disposed of the garment and the pattern went to the Op Shop.

So, Good Bye Butterick 6181.


Now I am off to go through my patterns and see what I will attempt next.  I'm feeling I need to recharge my batteries, so maybe trousers.  I sort of know what to expect with them.

All for now, good luck with all your sewing attempts,

Sarah Liz

P.S.  I have since seen other sewer's versions of Bomber jackets - and I really don't like them.  Isn't it funny how we sometimes choose a style we don't like, just because it is the trend.  


35 comments:

  1. I have seen a few of these around, and like you, wasn't particularly taken with the trend. However one lady, had on a very busy flowery and bright one, in a silky fabric, and this looked OK, in a casual way. Still you learned a lot! Your seam finishes are perfection! And better still,you have put me off trying this :-) All the best, TS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you TS - now I wonder what on earth I ever saw in this jacket!!

      Delete
  2. At least you have not wasted anymore of your time. I am not sure the short sleeves would have worked as well. The collar construction does seem odd. Your buttons are beautiful though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, I do tend to cut my losses in this sort of situation. In real life the short sleeves looked sort of cute -less bomber, and a little more classic.

      Delete
  3. I remember reading in one of Sandra Betzina's books that some patterns are just not worth making and it's best to drop the project as soon as you realise that you have one of those on your hands. You've obviously done the best anyone could with that pattern. Besides the badly edited pattern instructions, your photo suggests that the design needs a bright colour (or several) to compensate for its lack of shape or flow. The seam lines and overall shape just don't seem to go anywhere good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Adele, Sandra B did write that - she said 50% of patterns were not worth pursuing. Makes you wonder what we pay for sometimes.

      Delete
  4. I have made Bomber Jackets over the many years that I have been sewing as they seem to come and go as most styles do in the fashion world. I know I have had good success. I have not sewn or worn one for a long, long time. I am thinking of trying it again and do have a pattern or two for this style. Glad you found the positive in the bombed out jacket, Sarah. I have a McCall's pattern for this so make try the sew along. Thanks for showing your wadder/dud!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Linda, yes, I had a bomber years ago, more a classic shape though, and I remember being half hearted about it then. I guess really that this sort of thing is just not my style.

      Delete
  5. You and I are alike with this. When it isn't working it's over, done, I'm moving on. No sense wasting valuable time. I'm sure the next one will be a winner!

    You did do a very nice job on the sewing and the fabric color is gorgeous.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are - I really don't agree with some of the sewers who are determined to "make it work". Usually all you end up with is something you hate. Life is too short.

      Delete
  6. Sorry you didn't like the jacket but you did learn a lot from it. So it was a worthwhile project after all! I find Shantung a beast to work with as it has absolutely no give at all. Donating a beautifully made jacket is a great idea!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Love Nicky, yes, I agree, a learning experience is always worthwhile. And I shall give Shantung a wide berth in future, unless it is for something that will work with the no give factor.

      Delete
  7. You really did a great job fixing the construction issues. Even if a project doesn't work out - you certainly still benefit in terms of sewing skills, so all is not lost. It's definitely better than going to the mall and coming back empty handed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello, yes, I would prefer practicing sewing than wandering around the shops anyday - except fabric shops of course!

      Delete
  8. It is disheartening when you put all that work into something and then you don't like it in the end. But, at least you can donate it and you learned something in the process. Onto the next project!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Star, yes, disheartening, but then on the other hand, it doesn't happen often. I usually pull out at the muslin stage.

      Delete
  9. SO sorry your jacket didn't work out.. but proud you got some good sewing skills from it.. You are right , sometimes we need to try new things. I admire your knowing when to quit and not being mad at your self.. Happy sewing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Judy - and being made at yourself is no help at all - there is always good in even a wadder :)

      Delete
  10. I can't believe you just wrote what I had been thinking. Sometimes you should not make something just because it was a trend. You have saved me. I know a bomber jacket is not my style. I was considering trying it tho. I am now convinced I will not! Thank you for sharing your wisdom!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, I am glad I have saved you the angst of making something you will not like :)

      Delete
  11. Kudos to you for trying a style very much outside your norm, and again kudos for tossing the damn thing. :-)

    Hope your next project ends up in your closet, not your trash.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Mary - I know when to move on.

      And yes, the next project turned out beautifully and will be blogged in due course.

      Delete
  12. Pity that the jacket didn't suit you. I was thinking to make bomber but I am not sure..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Hana - the Bomber jacket may work for you, but it is not really my style, I think that was the problem!

      Delete
  13. You have alot to be proud of you saw this project through, and learned some things too. I'm like you not a fan of bomber jackets.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you - yes, I think the Bomber jacket is a like or dislike thing, no real inbetween.

      Delete
  14. Good for you! I like your positive attitude; well done for learning and tossing and getting over your dislike of bias binding.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Anne- I believe in being positive, and also having a reasonable sense of humour. It helps, even with sewing :)

      Delete
  15. Good for you! I like your positive attitude; well done for learning and tossing and getting over your dislike of bias binding.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Gah! I have encountered patterns where I scratch my head and think this cannot possible be correct. The inside of the jacket look pretty even if you don't like it. Someone will find treasure with this jacket.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes Annie, I agree - I usually just proceed in those situations as best I can :)

      Delete
  17. Sorry to hear that this one was a wadder for you. But thank you for your detailed explanation of why, and how you fixed the issues that came up! I was thinking of making a bomber jacket too, but I won't be trying this pattern ;) I like them when they are made in florals & a have a more 'girly' vibe, but I'm still not sure I'll be able to carry one off. We will see.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Melwyk - yes, the floral bombers can be quite pretty, but I really do think it is essential to get the right fabric/combinations of fabric to get that vibe. And just because a style is not for me, does not mean it is not for you.

      Delete
  18. So sorry this jacket did not work out for you and at the same time, very much enjoyed reading your post with all the details and your thoughts. I'm on the not-a-fan-of-bomber-jackets side of the fence, though some folks can wear them with flair. Btw, your stitching looked fantastic on that binding!!! Look forward to seeing what you do next! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Lisa, I am not sure if sharing process will bore people or not, but it seems from the response to this post, it doesn't. I guess we are all curious about how other sewers work. And now I wonder what I saw in this bomber jacket!

      Delete