Completed: The Rigel Bomber Jacket

14 Nov

This jacket has been a LONG time in the making. Totally worth the wait, tho.

Rigel Bomber Jacket

My dream bomber jacket! β™₯

I swear, ever since Katie released the Rigel Bomber jacket for Papercut Patterns, I have noticed this style popping up EVERYWHERE. Talk about being on point with style trends! I knew I wanted to make the jacket when I first saw the pattern last winter – it’s a great, casual jacket and I love the short length (sometimes my Minoru just feels a touch too long, depending on what I’m wearing with it – not to mention, the cotton/poly fabrics mean it’s not the best choice for super cold temperatures!). It’s totally different from any other pattern I own, so obviously I wanted to make it. Once I saw Clare’s Rigel bomber making it’s rounds – and then saw the dang thing in person during our trip to NYC earlier this year – it became Very Important that I have one in time for this current winter. Especially since I tried hers on and it looked ace on me. As you do.

Rigel Bomber Jacket

Since I was in bomber-mode for the duration of that particular shopping trip, I made it a point to source the notions I knew I’d have the hardest time finding – rib knit and a separating zip. In the mecca that is the Garment District of New York City, these things are relatively easy to find (well, at least compared to the Limited Fabric Options of Nashville, ha!). I found both of these things at Pacific Trimming – the rib knit came from the very back corner of the store, and the zipper is a Riri zipper! I chose the colors, specified the custom length according to my pattern, and paid something insane like $20 for it. I don’t actually remember how much the zipper cost, because I mostly blocked it out of my mind – but suffice to say, it cost significantly more than the $5 zips you can pick up just about anywhere.

Rigel Bomber Jacket
Rigel Bomber Jacket

I do want to talk about the Rigel a little more before I start going on a tangent about my notions, though. I sewed up the XXS – one, because that’s my Papercut size, and two, it’s the same size as Clare’s and I liked the way hers fit on me. I did not make any length or fitting adjustments to the pattern, just sewed it straight out of the envelope. The instructions on this pattern are great – you are guided through the steps of adding a single welt pocket, attaching the ribbing, and inserting the open-ended zip. The only part of the instructions that leaves a bit to be desired is the lack of lining – which most blog posts I’ve read have mentioned. My assumption here is that Katie wanted the pattern to be as quick and simple as possible, and adding a lining to this sort of jacket is either going to be complicated (at least to write out the instructions for) or involve a lot of hand-sewing. It’s not terribly hard to add a lining, but it does require some brain aerobics before you start sewing.

Rigel Bomber Jacket

Part of what took this jacket so long to incubate was that I couldn’t decide on a fabric! I bought my zipper and ribbing before anything else, so matching a wool fabric (yes, it had to be wool) to all that gold was a little tricky. Not to mention, my notions were a bit special – if not expensive – so I wanted to make something that I’d love and actually wear. I hemmed and hawed for MONTHS over what fabric I wanted to use… this double-faced black wool coating was my #1 contender. I actually got a swatch of it back in the spring… and it’s been pinned to my bulletin board ever since (sometimes I just make myself look at a fabric for a long time, and if I don’t get sick of it – it’s mine!). I finally bought it last month, which is actually REALLY lucky because it’s sold out now! I like how the embroidered floral design gives the fabric some interest and texture, while still keeping it relatively plain (so it doesn’t compete with my trims).

Rigel Bomber Jacket

I will mention that the fabric description is a bit off. I guess it doesn’t matter at this point, since the fabric is sold out – but it definitely feels more like a light to medium weight fabric, NOT a heavy coating. The wrong side is brushed with long fuzzy strands of fabric fiber, and this fabric SHEDS LIKE A BITCH. Even though my jacket is lined, I serged every single seam of the wool because I couldn’t otherwise control the shedding. I really don’t recommend trying this fabric if you can’t serge the raw edges – a plain straight stitch won’t prevent it from eventually disintegrating.

Also, on a bit of a bummer-town note – this fabric doesn’t really wear well. It’s already starting to pill and look kind of old 😦 So this jacket might not have a super long lifespan as it is. Good thing I can always salvage that ridiculously expensive zipper! :DDD

Rigel Bomber Jacket

I don’t know why I’m winking in this photo (just imagine me taking my pictures with a remote and tripod and things get even creepier with the winking ahaha)? Anyway, here’s the lining! I lined the entire jacket with gold china silk, which goes really nicely with my gold accents. I love the warm combination of silk+wool – it’s lightweight, and while it probably won’t work well in the Arctic, it’s fine for our mild winters (or a mild spring up north).

I will deviate for a second here to talk about the lining. As I mentioned, the instructions don’t tell you how to do this. Further, while there are lots of posts scattered around the internet on how to line the Rigel, none of them were exactly what I wanted (NO raw edges, no hand sewing). I wanted to try bagging the lining – which, spoiler alert, that shit totally worked! I used to do this all the time when I worked for Muna last year, but my memory was a little spotty, especially since we never used written instructions for anything (I like instructions when I’m sewing – even if it’s just a checklist – so I don’t forget to do something important!). I used Jen’s tutorial on bagging a jacket lining to jolt my memory, which was extremely helpful. Here are the steps I took to get my lining in that dang jacket:
1. First, I drafted some lining pieces – using the facings as a guide, I removed that amount from the jacket pieces (the front, the back, and the sleeves), and added 3/8″ seam allowances. I also added an ease pleat to the back piece, but I haven’t ripped open the basting yet because I found that I don’t need it. Someday, it will pop open and scare me, probably.
2. I constructed the entire jacket – up to the ribbing and zipper. The lining was completely assembled, with the facings attached.
3. I sewed the two jackets together at the neckline and zipper, as instructed by the pattern (for attaching the facing), and pressed and understitched.
4. I sewed the bottom of the zipper and facing, as instructed by the pattern (some of the lining may later need to be unpicked to get it to turn correctly, this is ok!)
5. I sewed the lining to the seam allowance of the ribbing at the bottom, right sides together.
6. I attached the lining to the sleeve hems at the ribbing, right sides together.
7. At this point, I had a giant MΓΆbius tube of jacket+lining with everything attached and no openings anywhere. It was slightly horrifying – and exactly on track. This is when you rip open a section of the underarm lining that’s already been stitched, and pull the entire jacket through the hole.
8. Press everything, and then sew up the hole. I actually close up my hole from the inside by machine as much as I can, and then sew the remaining inch or so shut on the outside (I tried to take pictures to show how I do this, but it’s really hard to understand if you’re not actually seeing it in action. Needless to say, my closed-up hole is only about an inch long, instead of the 4″ tear I had to make to get the jacket pulled through it).
9. The little sections at the bottom where the facing meets the ribbing will need to be sewn shut by hand.

Rigel Bomber Jacket
Rigel Bomber Jacket


Rigel Bomber Jacket

Ok, now we can talk about all the fun trimmings!

Rigel Bomber Jacket
Rigel Bomber Jacket

What I neglected to tell you guys about this ribbing is that is actually has sparkly gold stripes. It is amazing! Pacific Trimming sells these in 1 yard pieces – and I needed two pieces. They’re about $8 a piece, if I recall correctly (they won’t cut them down, at least, they wouldn’t when I was there!). Also, when I pressed them, they smelled like a fart (I actually wrote this in my sewing notebook, so it must be important and worth mentioning, I guess). Must be all the polyester?

The Riri zipper looks really nice with the sparkly gold, I think! I still haven’t decided if it was worth the obscene price I paid. On one hand, it was really cool to be able to pick the zipper based exactly on my specifications – color, length, everything. It does feel solid and it is really satisfying to zip up (Riri zippers are referred to as the ~Rolls Royce~ of zippers, I’m told). That being said – $20 for a zipper? Yeah. I dunno. It sure is pretty, though!

Have a photo dump:

Rigel Bomber Jacket
Rigel Bomber Jacket
Rigel Bomber Jacket
Rigel Bomber Jacket
Rigel Bomber Jacket
Rigel Bomber Jacket
Rigel Bomber Jacket

God, I’m sorry about that.

Rigel Bomber Jacket

Anyway, I LOVE my new jacket and I’m so glad I took my time with choosing the right fabric (as well as figuring out that lining!) because the end result was so worth the wait. I’ve been wearing this thing constantly since I finished it – just in time for the weather to get cold, it seems. I’d love to make a patterned version of this one – either with some floral wool (LIBERTY?!), or something polka dotted! Can’t have too many bombers amirite. I even have a couple more pieces of rib knit that I apparently bought during that shopping trip that I completely forgot about. They are black with white stripes. Thanks, past Lauren! β™₯

Oh! And my pants are those Jamie Jeans I made a couple of months ago. Just mentioning it because I ended up taking in the inseam a little bit more after that last post, so you can see what they look like now. I think the fit is much better! I’ve found I can usually go about 3-4 wearings between washings on these, before the knees bag out enough to drive me crazy.

Lastly, I will leave you with this outtake. Not sure what I was doing there, but it made me laugh, so hopefully it’ll make you laugh too! πŸ˜€

Rigel Bomber JacketHave a great weekend, y’all!


68 Responses to “Completed: The Rigel Bomber Jacket”

  1. francescapia November 14, 2014 at 7:38 am #

    This is bloody brilliant. Love all the details – the rib. The lining – the zip – the fabric which ijs obscenely gorgeous. Wool tends to pill, unless it’s suiting – I made myself a new York cape last gear in very good Lana vicogna I think it’s vicuna in English – and it has pilled a little. Sometimes an old rubber glove works well – great for cat hair too;). I have a little fuzz comb which isn’t bad dither. But for something like your fabric with that beautiful design you should try a lilly brush. It’s for pilling, I got it from loop in ,London – but I first tried to get it on Amazon who wouldn’t ship it go Malta – try it. It’s brill.
    Sorry if there are any stupid slips in the writing – fuckinv auto correct!

    • LLADYBIRD November 14, 2014 at 2:01 pm #

      Ah, thanks for the tips! I’ll have to look for that brush while in London πŸ™‚

      • francescapia November 14, 2014 at 7:44 pm #

        No! It’s american. Sells thru Amazon. Who don’t ship here. It will be easier and cheaper for you thru them:)

  2. Sarah Kate Creations November 14, 2014 at 7:57 am #

    Love this jacket. I shied away from making it due to the no lining factor, but the combo of your’s and Jen’s tutorial should help with that. I think that the farting smell is very important to know too. So important that I had to read that part to my husband. Just so that if I ever get any ribbing myself he doesn’t think its me. Can’t wait to hear all about your bra making adventures!

    • LLADYBIRD November 14, 2014 at 2:02 pm #

      Haha! Luckily for me, I was the only one home while dealing with the ribbing… so no one else had to deal with the fart smell. Just me πŸ™‚

  3. Miss Celie November 14, 2014 at 8:05 am #

    Gotdammit. This jacket is the business. I saw loads of ribbing the last time I was in NY and didn’t buy any. If you ever need a non riri two way zip again, let me know. They are $5 (with shortening) around me.

    • LLADYBIRD November 14, 2014 at 2:04 pm #

      Oooh, that’s good to know! I will totally holler at you for that!

  4. Miss J November 14, 2014 at 8:23 am #

    I know your sewing skills are top class, but I’m still super impressed that you made this. It is so, so, so flaming fantastic! So many skills showcased in one garment! The money you spent on it shows – the zip looks fab and proper sturdy. The stripe placement is so perfect, and thanks for the jacket lining tutorial link, you’re right on time with that one. Hope to be running something up soon.
    Didn’t that lining fray mercilessly?

    • LLADYBIRD November 14, 2014 at 2:05 pm #

      Actually, the lining barely frayed at all! I didn’t handle it much (beyond just cutting and sewing it together – quickly, ha!), so that helped cut down on the fraying. It was really the wool that shed like crazy.

  5. Tasha @ By Gum, By Golly November 14, 2014 at 8:40 am #

    Gold sparklies on the rib, and that zipper? Totally worth every cent. Don’t even give it another thought. That zipper pull on its own looks amazing! Sorry the fabric isn’t wearing as well as you’d like, but it does look great in the meantime. You are a complete and total badass and so is that bomber jacket. The end.

  6. Andie L. November 14, 2014 at 8:56 am #

    I need to make a bomber jacket. I keep seeing such fabulous version of this and other similar patterns. Your version rocks my world! Also, this whole entry had me gaffawing through it. Heheh. *wink*

    • LLADYBIRD November 14, 2014 at 2:08 pm #

      It’s such a great pattern – and I love the style, looks equally great with both pants and skirts πŸ™‚ Bomber jackets foreverrrr πŸ˜€

  7. Aubrey November 14, 2014 at 9:16 am #

    My favorite part is the feminine subtle pattern on the black on a varsity-style more masculine jacket… I’m all about combining those two things!

    • LLADYBIRD November 14, 2014 at 2:08 pm #

      Yes! I love the combination, it’s so good πŸ™‚

  8. Nickey Robo November 14, 2014 at 9:20 am #

    WOW! This is gorgeous. Nice work. I was getting a little bit of bomber-jacket-fatigue recently, but this one is SO much better than any of the mass-produced ones.

    I recently bagged a lining for the first time! It does feel pretty magical.

    • LLADYBIRD November 14, 2014 at 2:11 pm #

      It is SO magical! I want to bag-line everything now, haha!

  9. Kelly November 14, 2014 at 9:53 am #

    Gorgeous jacket Lauren! The fabric is great and I love the ribbing! Riegel bombers all round at the moment, Emmie has just posted hers too! I have a question though – why do you sew the whole thing up and then rip a hole to pull the jacket through as opposed to just leaving a hole in the first place? I’m intrigued!

    • LLADYBIRD November 14, 2014 at 2:12 pm #

      That’s a great question πŸ™‚ You can leave an unsewn hole, but it’s nice to rip out the stitching bc it leaves a ridge where you can easily tell where to re-sew the seam exactly on the seam allowance (so you don’t have to guess!). I wondered that myself until I started sewing them haha

      • Kelly November 14, 2014 at 2:17 pm #

        Ah that’s makes perfect sense, thank you!

  10. Melissa November 14, 2014 at 9:56 am #

    Fan-flipping-tastic! I hope the fabric holds up for you, it was a great choice! The Riri zippers are quite fantastic, no matter what the price! I put one in my winter coat and it’s never a struggle. It zips up like buttaah!

    • LLADYBIRD November 14, 2014 at 2:12 pm #

      TRUTH! Love my Riri! πŸ˜€

  11. Megan November 14, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    Oh my gosh, I am so in love with this pattern! It’s definitely gone onto my wishlist! I love all the fancy notions you used, it definitely gives it something special. Hopefully the fabric stands up to being worn constantly!

    • LLADYBIRD November 14, 2014 at 2:13 pm #

      Let’s hope so! If not, at least i’ll have an excuse to salvage the zipper and make another one πŸ˜›

  12. gingermakes November 14, 2014 at 10:38 am #

    Crap, I STILL haven’t made mine and every time I see a new one I want one even more!!!! This is so cute on you!!!

    • LLADYBIRD November 14, 2014 at 2:13 pm #

      Ahhhh, I want you to make this pattern! The style would look so PERFECT on you!

  13. Emilie November 14, 2014 at 10:56 am #

    Awesome jacket… and errrmmm… is that a hula-hoop in the background? πŸ™‚

  14. Chickeys November 14, 2014 at 11:22 am #

    That’s a good-looking jacket! I am pretty bummed to hear that the fabric isn’t wearing well though…at the price it was listed for, that’d be a huuuuge letdown for me. 😦 Can’t wait to see pics of it in the wilds of London!

    • LLADYBIRD November 14, 2014 at 2:14 pm #

      Yeah, I was a little bummed about it myself. Of course, wool *does* tend to pill, so maybe I’m just being overly nitpicky. It hasn’t really pilled much since that first bit, so maybe this is it? I’ll see if I can’t post a fabric update in a few months πŸ™‚

      • Carol S November 16, 2014 at 9:21 am #

        Often its just the few too short fibers coming to the surface and once they’ve made their way up and out the fabric (or knit) might be fine. A little brushing or shaving at the beginning and the pills may stop.

  15. Inclement November 14, 2014 at 1:09 pm #

    Oooh, look at those pants! πŸ˜€ I was one of the people who asked for an “after” shot, and I can see the difference the alteration made (I put two of the large size Flickr photos in side-by-side browser tabs). So, thanks! πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD November 14, 2014 at 2:16 pm #

      Yes! I thought of you specifically when I chose to wear these pants with the jacket (haha, creepy? Hopefully not!). Happy to hear it helped! πŸ˜€

  16. Lola November 14, 2014 at 2:16 pm #

    I took one look at the riri zippers at pacific trimmings and my eyes started to tear up. the gold accents on this jacket though ❀

    • LLADYBIRD November 14, 2014 at 2:17 pm #

      I totally understand. I think I mostly bought it for the ~New York Experience~ (is that a thing?) – otherwise, eff that, that’s a lot of money for a zipper! But it really looks legit with this jacket. I have no regrets haha

  17. Cennetta November 14, 2014 at 2:24 pm #

    Love your bomber jacket, Lauren. Too bad it’s starting to pill. The fabric is pretty. Have a great weekend.

    • LLADYBIRD November 15, 2014 at 5:12 pm #

      Thanks! I’m hoping it won’t pill any more than it already has… that would be nice πŸ™‚

  18. didyoumakethat November 14, 2014 at 2:45 pm #

    Really fantastic jacket!

  19. Kat @ House of Lane November 14, 2014 at 8:37 pm #

    Ok now that is awesome! I love the gold stripe in the ribbing. I’ve been wanting to make this for ages but now it’s hot here in Australia I think I’ve missed the boat for now. But thanks for sharing the lining tutorial. That will definitely come in handy when I get around to it.

    • LLADYBIRD November 15, 2014 at 5:13 pm #

      Better to start on it now, that way you won’t be rushed to finish it… right? πŸ˜›

  20. opalspeacock November 14, 2014 at 11:06 pm #

    Nice work, the tag is a nice touch.

    • LLADYBIRD November 15, 2014 at 5:14 pm #

      The tag speaks the truth! Haha!

  21. powell2317 November 15, 2014 at 4:39 am #

    Amazing! It looks fantastic so I hope it does last & doesn’t pill to much.

    • LLADYBIRD November 15, 2014 at 5:14 pm #

      Me too! I’m thinking my woolen sweaters did pill a little when I started wearing them… then the pilling stopped. Hopefully this wool will do the same? Fingers crossed!

  22. senjiva November 15, 2014 at 8:18 am #

    I recently got a vintage Riri zipper in a bag of sewing notions that was donated to me. It was the first I ever saw and I just thought it was some marketing name by one of the usual sewing notion companies. I’ll have to go back and take another look! It is white with a big purple circular pull.

    • LLADYBIRD November 15, 2014 at 5:22 pm #

      Wow, that sounds awesome! I love stuff like that.

  23. sparkleneedles November 15, 2014 at 10:19 am #

    This is just a really PROPER bomber jacket. I loves it.

  24. Bella November 15, 2014 at 3:16 pm #

    Awesome bomber! I have a sparkly gold Riri separating zipper in my stash specifically to make a Rigel. Is it weird that the entire jacket will be based on this one zipper? I can get Riri zips at a wholesaler here and honestly I think they’re worth the price, those zippers are just so gorgeous!!

    • LLADYBIRD November 15, 2014 at 5:23 pm #

      Nope, I don’t think that’s weird at all – mostly because I’m guilty of the same thing πŸ™‚

  25. sallie November 16, 2014 at 9:49 am #

    Dude this is so cool!!! I’ve been dreaming about bombers myself these days, and yours is exactly what I’m thinking about – a perfect combination of ‘femininity’ with that floral embossed wool, and ‘sporty’ with your striped ribbing, and ‘bling’ with your sparkly gold accents. Love love love.

  26. fionaparker17 November 17, 2014 at 3:56 am #

    I’ve seen so many lovely versions of this pattern and yours has finally tipped me over the edge…I’m going to have to get it!

  27. Pamela H. November 17, 2014 at 5:23 am #

    You are winking in the photo because you totally nailed the lining!

  28. cclc1976 November 18, 2014 at 3:09 am #

    Yes that last photo made me laugh, boss! (sorry, that is liverpudlian speak for : brilliant!) Great sewing as usual, you always inspire me.

  29. melanie clark May 24, 2015 at 4:09 pm #

    Great jacket!! Looks fab on you. I want to start making clothes. Any tips for beginners?πŸ˜€

  30. Anna January 15, 2022 at 7:00 am #

    Hi, would you like to sell pdf pattern for the rigel bomber? I fell in love with the pattern but papercut patterns no longer sell it. Please email me. Best, Anna


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