I am so excited to officially kick-off my summer sewing! To get things started, I decided to make a summery bomber jacket…of course. As anyone who reads my blog regularly knows, I have a bit of a thing for bomber jackets. Some may argue it’s a full-blown obsession. They wouldn’t be wrong – you can find some other bombers here and here. And while I love them all, and hate to play favorites, I think this one just moved into the top spot. It is going to be perfect for cool summer nights.
For the latest edition to my bomber family, I used McCall’s #M7636. What I love about this pattern is how it takes a simple bomber jacket and really amps it up. I think the high collar and pleated, voluminous sleeves are perfection. I had this pattern on my radar for quite some time and wanted to make it this winter. Unfortunately, I never got around to it. I can tell you, I won’t be making that mistake again. I’m already planning one for fall! But, I suppose I’m getting ahead of myself a bit.
I knew I wanted to do this jacket in a floral twill. I figured what could be more summery than a light-weight, floral jacket? After looking around online, I couldn’t find quite what I wanted. Then, I stopped at JoAnn and found this stretch twill. I’ll be the first to admit this isn’t a fabric I would normally choose, but something about it just seemed right. I think it might be the bright red poppies – they look so cheerful. And luckily for me, I don’t think these poppies will be putting anyone to sleep, eh Toto?
Once I decided on the fabric, I needed to select a color for the rib knit and zipper. My first thought was to use red. However, I am such a stickler for fabrics matching, I knew I would never be happy unless it was exact. I chose white, and I’m so happy I did. The white is so crisp and fresh, and it’s also a great contrast to the navy and red. I used a plain red lining, and this is only because I couldn’t find a suitable fabric in a white and navy polka dot. Trust me, I looked.
Sewing this jacket was truly a pleasure. This pattern/fabric combo was a dream to work with. I didn’t need to make any size alterations, and I only made one construction change. The instructions direct you to insert the lining into the sleeve and then sew the pleats. Using this method to attach the cuff leaves a visible (and I think messy) seam on the inside. Now I know this probably wouldn’t bother most people. But, if you’re going to take the time to make a lining for a jacket, I think the seams on the cuffs should look just as finished as the rest of the seams.
So, I pleated my sleeve and sewed on the cuff, prior to adding the lining. Then, I pleated the sleeves of my lining, and after sewing the lining to the shell, hand stitched the lining to the cuff. I’m much happier with this finish.
This project also marked the first time I had to adjust the length of a separating zipper. The required 24″ zipper ended up being about an inch too long. This must be the case for most sizes, because the instructions include steps for shortening the zipper. For this step, I needed to use the pliers from my handy-dandy pink toolkit.
After marking the new length, I pulled off the teeth above these markings. As instructed, I then bent two flat metal eyes and sewed them to the top of the zipper at the markings. I was hesitant that this would look less than professional, but it turned out great. I love adding new skills to my sewing toolbox…especially when I can also use my actual toolbox!
You’ll be seeing a few more projects in this blue and white color scheme over the next month or so, including at least one dress – possibly two. Right now, I’m torn between making a dress or pants with one of the fabrics. Decisions, decisions.
This will be the first time I sew what might be considered a mini-collection. I usually just go wherever the sewing inspiration takes me, but it seems that almost every piece of fabric I’ve bought recently has fallen into one of two categories: blue and white or pink and teal. This was totally by accident – I guess my subconscious was trying to tell me something. I’m okay giving two mini-collections a whirl, because I still have some “one-off” fabrics I can’t wait to sew with in the coming months.
Until next time,