Bomber jacket – Burda 11/2004

Hi sewing friends, today I am sharing with you my latest make from Burda magazine. This one is very old…year 2004 to be exact, from my time I went to Dressmaker Collage back in Poland. I had few copies of Burda magazine, so brought them to London with me because there are many projects that I would love to try out. One of them was a Bomber jacket.

I never owned one but I like the casual look and style of this loose jacket and I really wanted to make one to put on when I go for a run or a walk on a cooler mornings.

The pattern

For anyone that is interested the pattern comes from a copy of Burda 11/2004 and it is a model 115. It has a boxy and straight style with a front zipper opening and cut out shoulders and sleeves for a color blocking option as you can see on the photo below. It is recommended for a knit fabrics so I decided to use the leftover of my navy blue stretch velvet material that I made my Dressmaker Ball dress of. I had 150 cm left so it was a perfect amount for this project.

Pattern adjustments

I copied a size 44 and added extra 1 cm to side seams and sleeve seams because my measurements fall outside of the chart for this size then added the usual seam allowance. I like to have 15mm allowance everywhere apart from neckline and armcycle, where I only add 10mm. I always find it more manageable to sew this way.

I have not done any fit adjustments to this pattern, however I changed it a little bit to suit my taste. From the start I knew I wanted a Bomber jacket with contrasting cuffs and hem band. Also I needed to add some big pockets….It is a jacket after all….

First of all I skipped adding seam allowance to sleeve hem because I was adding a cuff so I thought there is no point. Next I cut out 7 cm off from jacket hem..It is a straight seam on sides so did not bother doing it in the middle as there is no defined waistline anyway. I was not sure exactly about the placement of my pockets but I envisioned them slightly slanted with matching zips. I placed the front pattern piece in front of the mirror on my torso and roughly draw a line where I wanted the pocket to be.

Sewing Bomber jacket

I had started to assemble the jacket by sewing the pocket on both front pieces. It was a bit tricky applying interfacing to strengthen the pocket opening seam because the qualities of a velvet material, but with lots of hand basting and patience I managed to do a pretty decent job.

It does not look as neat from the inside as I was not sure how this is exactly done in RTW jackets, so I went with my intuition here but for the first time it is good enough for me. I had learnt a lot and next time will see more improvement I am sure of it 😉

In the process of making a zipper pocket I had learnt how easy it is to shorten a metal zipper. Had to watch couple of videos on that, but it is as simple as ripping unwanted zipper teeth away from a tape.

Once the insertion of pockets was completed I proceeded sewing the jacket in the usual way…but first had an idea of giving a little more of pop of colour and sewn some strips of pink knit folded in half to a shoulder cut out seam at the front. I didn’t have enough of that pink fabric to do the exact color blocking as per sample in the magazine, but too be honest I like it even more like that.

After sewing the main jacket pieces together it came a part of making some cuffs and hem band. I cut two rectangles of pink fabric measuring 12 cm by 20 cm for cuffs, sewn the shorter edges together on each cuff and holding in half attached them to an individual sleeve. Next, I measured a circumference of the jacket hem and took about 80 percent of that number. I wanted my hem band to have some color blocking so had cut two pieces of velvet fabric measuring 12 cm by 12 cm and one piece of pink fabric 12 cm by 75 cm that would become my band. Had sewn two small velvet pieces into both ends of the long pink rectangle first and attached it to my bomber jacket hem in the same way as cuffs.

The final step was sewing the long front zip and attaching a neck binding. This was yet another difficult task, because the velvet fabric kept stretching out. I had to baste it a lot to keep it in place, but still ended up with uneven zip. It is barely visible, but I run out of a zipper on one side hence my neckline is a little bit wonky.

Final thoughts

Overall I really like the final product. I had spent over 5 hours making it and had learnt few things along the way. Next time I would make it a tiny bit shorter and would raise pockets by 5-6 cm. My sleeves could do with being about 3 cm longer too. I omitted sewing the back facing to the neckline because there ware too many layers of the fabric and my machine couldn’t handle it all. I am wondering now if this pattern would work for a woven type material??? Maybe I should test it hihihi

~Do you keep old sewing magazines like me?~

Monika xxx

Culottes- perfect trousers for hot summer days!

There are few fashion trends that I am drooling over since last year and was hoping that they still will be in fashion this year. Culottes are one of them and I am so happy to finally join the culottes loving family.

I first intended to buy a Winslow culottes pattern by Helen’s Closet after seeing so many beautiful versions on Instagram and Pintrest but decided to stay true to this year’s resolutions of using what I’ve got and expanding my skills and knowledge, but still wanted that wide leg pants with lots of movement. What drew my attention to Winslow culottes was it’s voluminousity , and I was inspired to create something similar, but not to that extend, because I still was not sure if this style will suit my body.

Book by Anastasia Vouyoka “Pattern Making for Perfect Fit and Style” came very handy for this project. I drafted a basic culottes style trouser block and added an inverted box pleats to the front by cutting the pattern piece in the middle parallel to the grain line and expanding it by 8cm. I left the back pattern piece plain with just a little shaping dart. It might be silly considering the style of culotte pants but I was conscious of adding unnecessary bulk to my hips so I decided not to insert pockets (crying now) ! I do regret that, but I’m too afraid I will ruin the fabric if I attempt to fix this now.

I used a straight waist band , but inserted an elastic at the back so it hugs my body better , hence I interfaced only front part of the waist band to add some stability for buttonholes and zip opening. I had to hand stitch the waist band because I wanted a clean finish. Also used a self covered buttons here, because I thought they would look cute….and they do 🙂

I had sewn a small waist ties and inserted them at the side seams. They aren’t that noticeable on this busy fabric but I like it anyway.

I am still trying to figure it out the best lenght on me. This culottes stops in the middle a calf and I think I like it. Hovewer I want to make a full lenght version and just below the knee version just to see which one is best.

It was my last me made item of clothing I took with me to Prague. I wore it with RTW top and it was great and breezy in the heat.

I went to Fabricland in Kingston to search for a suitable fabric for this project, because I had nothing in my stash that would be good for culottes. I purchased 3 meters of this colourful Crepe De Chine material for £3.99 a meter, which is a bargain. It is a light weight fabric, but it is not sheer. It has a lot of movement and drape so it is perfect for making dresses and culottes. It is made out of 100 percent polyester which is the only negative aspect. I used only 2 meters for this make, so have enough to squeeze something small out of the remnant. I love when this happens!

It took me about 2 days to draft the pattern pieces and sew the mock version from some old bed sheets, which is always time well spend if you consider that it might be ill fitting otherwise. Cutting fabric was quick as there are only 4 pattern pieces, back, front, waist band and ties.

I spent a week sewing this garment from start to finish doing a bit each evening and finishing it of at the weekend. In total I managed to make it in a space of 7 hours, which is not that long if you take into consideration making self covered buttons and had stitching waist band.

Final thoughts

I am really pleased with myself for taking that leap and drafting this pattern from the start. Overall the fit is very good, and the only thing I will twick is the back crotch curve. It needs to be longer by 1-2 cm. Other then that I wished there were pockets…next pair will definitely have them and I am planning to make the tie belt more of a statement. I will double or triple the width and gather it at the side seam so it still can be inserted into the waistband. As mentioned above I might play with the lenght a bit to see which one is more flattering on me.

I spend a whole day walking around the Prague in my culottes and they were very comfortable. The fabric does not crease and did not bubble yet after two washes, so it was a money spend well.

~Hope you like it and it inspired you to be braver with choosing outfits that you may otherwise stay away from~

Monika xxx