I had the great idea back in the fall of 2016 to sew a matching set of bomber jackets. I mentioned it in my Fall/Winter To Sew List post. Bomber jackets are always in style but they are definitely on trend right now!
The options for bomber jackets are endless! First the fabric choices; satin, knits, suede, velvet, Ankara, even sequins. Bold print or striking solid? For the sleeves; raglan or set in? Add a nice touch with contrasting sleeves. What’s your style sporty, dressy or classic? What about the fit? oversized or slim fit. Lined for winter wear? or unlined for spring and fall?
Ultimately I just decided to would have to make a few versions because I wanted to try both the set in and raglan sleeve, a contrast sleeve version and both a knit and woven version. First up was this Ankara matching set.
I knew I wanted to use the Ollie Bomber Jacket from Sew a Little Seam for Ms. Socialite’s version. For myself I had to chose between the three bomber jacket patterns I own: McCalls 7100, New Look 6226 and Simplicity 8222. S8222 was eliminated because I wanted a waist length coat. The deciding factor between M7100 and NL6226 was the sleeves. I chose the New Look pattern because it was more similar to the Ollie Bomber jacket with set in sleeves and one pieces bodice fronts.
Next up was fabric. I wanted an Ankara jacket because I wanted color and I love prints. This Ankara fabric is from AKN Fabrics and was in my stash. The black ribbing for the Ollie Jacket is from Joann Fabrics and the black bands for my jacket are scuba knit from my scraps. I decided I wanted to line both jackets because (at the time) we were headed into winter. That step was simple as the Ollie pattern walks you through a lined option. For mine, I simply cut the front and back pieces out of lining and sewed together like the outer pieces. Next I attached the lining much as described in the Ollie instructions.
The part of this project that was a fail was my attempt to insulate the jackets. I didn’t feel the lining would be enough to add warmth during the late fall and winter months. I was also concerned that the Ankara wasn’t thick enough to be coat weight. My fix (or so I thought) was to attach fusible fleece to the outer shell of the jacket. FAIL!!! While I did like the weight it added I disliked the stiffness. But that alone didn’t qualify this sew as a fail. The fact both jackets were too small was the actual nail in the coffin. The added stiffness and thickness of the fusible fleece caused my sizing to be off. 😦
Next time (and there will be a next time) I will use fleece, sherpa or a thick ponte as a lining for warmth. I may play around with using a featherweight interfacing for the outer shell. Possibly sew in interfacing would work better? You tell me.
My failure to take into account the effect of the fusible facing has nothing to do with these patterns, which I love! The jackets both came together very easily. I learned a great way to full line a jacket with minimal hand stitching from the Ollie instructions. I did get a tad confused at the sleeve step, but if you keep going it works. It made everything so simple I doubt I’ll never sew an unlined version. It is finished so nicely that it can be reversible if you utilize a reversible zipper. I opted not to add the pockets, so I can’t speak to those but they were included in the instructions
I’m so disappointed that my version doesn’t fit because I love this jacket. I feel the contrast of the front bands makes this a more finished version of a bomber jacket. If I were to make a satin version I would use this pattern. The set in sleeves are also less casual than a raglan sleeve. The back yoke and back vent offer additional details that set it apart from similar jackets.
I am going to make both of these patterns again but I’m not sure when or with what fabric. I’ve got the Suduko Wardrobe challenge ahead of me and I’m not sure I can work one in to my plans. If not I may make a spring version or just hold off until Fall 2017.
Pattern: M7100 / Sew a Little Seam:Ollie
Pattern Description: lined baseball jacket has a zipper-front, side pockets and comfortable elastic waist. Add contrast collar, and sleeves for added flair. / a PDF sewing pattern perfect for boys or girls. unline, fully lined and reversible option, welt pockets option
Sizing: 4-16 in one pattern / 12 months to 12 years
Fabric Used: green starburst Ankara print from AKN Fabrics
Does it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope? Yes
Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes/ Yes, very. I learned a new lining technique
Likes: Front bands, back yoke, back pleat/ several options reversible, pockets, unlined
Dislikes: Side pockets are impossible to get to/ none
Pattern alterations or any design changes made: I added a lining / none
Would I sew it again? Yes.
Would I recommend it to others? Definitely.
Conclusion: Great jacket patterns.