Made by Me!

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Do You Read Sewing Magazines?

I'm just wondering whether you ever read sewing magazines? The reason I ask is that I have recently subscribed to ‘Love Sewing’, a relatively new magazine on the market and currently only on issue 11.  I have also recently taken to reading 'Sew Home and Style' which from my understanding has been around a long while longer, and the other day I picked up the first edition of 'Simply Sewing'. I am like a magpie to shiny things when it comes to sewing magazines, I have at least a 4 year stockpile of Burdastyle magazines on my shelves for example and am running out of space to keep them all. Part of the reason I love to read them is because along with online blogs I think they offer an alternative insight into new products and patterns coming out, new designers emerging on to the indie market and they also produce some good articles and how to sewing tips which even more advanced sewers find useful. They also hopefully inspire a new generation of sewers, demystifying the craft and making it more accessible to everyone. And the increase in publications popping up on the market can only be a good thing right? It was only whilst perusing the web and looking at what else was out there to satisfy my magazine lust that I saw a few other options to try. 'Make It Today! Stitch Your Style', a magazine this month looking at dressmaking but which looks each month at a different craft, 'Mollie Makes Sewing' which is the new offering from the Mollie Makes brand and is a lovely magazine, although I am not sure whether its a one off or not. I couldn’t find it anywhere in the shops but you can buy it online here. There is also the amazing Seamwork magazine produced by Colette Patterns Sarai Mitnick - which has a very reasonable $6 subscription fee per month.

Now I may love to buy these magazines but to be honest I am really just a little unsatisfied with what’s out there at the moment content wise. I recently stopped getting Burdastyle magazine mainly because I cant physically fit them in my house anymore but also because I think the designs in general are pretty uninspiring (although damn it I actually like some of the designs in my final issue - do they do that deliberately?!) and the directions for sewing things up are often dire. This won’t be news to anyone that’s tackled a Burda magazine pattern though it shouldn’t put you off trying them out either as you can work through them with some sewing knowledge. On the plus side I think the focus of the magazine has changed slightly in the last year with more designer patterns and a more thoughtful approach to the layout and articles in the magazine, however as I find the majority of patterns to not be my style there may only be one or two things I would consider making up each month and even then I am by no means in a hurry to do so. I admit every quarter they seem to have a magazine of really great patterns - and you can't beat the amount of designs given for the cover price of the magazine - but for me it isn't enough to warrant the subscription cost. I also realise I can get hold of all the patterns on line as well now – admittedly at an inflated cost to the magazine – and although this wasn’t possible when I first started my subscription I can now access everything I want and avoid the ones I don't. One peeve is the new patterns generally appear on the website before I even receive my magazine through the post. I don’t know about you but this is a massive bug bear of mine. What’s the point in being a subscriber if you have no benefits!? I may as well buy it down the shops like everyone else… Okay maybe I get to have it cheaper than the RRP on the newsstands if you pay upfront and I like some of the free gifts associated with some magazine subscriptions (you get the new sewing book from The British Sewing Bee if you subscribe to Love Sewing now which is well worth it - and I will be doing a book review of it in my next post) but actually being able to pick and choose whether you like what’s in the magazine prior to purchase makes me wonder whether its worth a subscription as there are a few issues I wouldn’t bother with if I hadn’t paid in advance and the thrill of getting the initial sweetener of a free gift wears off over time. Also I have found the content generally less inspiring over time in some magazines - I think with Burda in particular as it was the first sewing magazine I bought as a newbie sewer I found it both inspirational and daunting at the same time but now I have a little more experience and have seen there are other pattern companies other than the big four out there I think I have just given it less of my time. Maybe I have simply grown out of it and its style and as my sewing knowledge has developed so has my need to find something new and exciting to try along with patterns that better fit my personal aesthetic.

Mollie Makes Sewing on left and Sew Home and Style Feb 2015 issue

My other gripe is simply that the content in general has become really samey across brands. Now I know there are only so many sewing patterns in the world – especially ones from independent companies – but surely you want to make your magazine stand out a bit and find other innovative designers and other voices of experience. A good example is that a shirt pattern from the last Sewing Bee book  has made its way into two magazines with only a couple of months apart from each other in publication – a free jacket pattern has also been offered in 'Love Sewing' and 'Mollie Makes Sewing' as well as pattern for floral knickers. I also noticed a dress in 'Mollie Makes Sewing' is in the February issue 'Sew Home and Style'. I don’t want to buy the same content again and again – surely this is lazy journalism or is it acceptable to charge for the same stuff being repeated again and again?! I suspect its hard to prise away free patterns from top designers and so I guess the pool of freebies is small but I don’t think that’s a good enough excuse. Surely there are great designers and pattern cutters out there who would chomp their right arm off to work up fresh, edgy and stylish designs for a sewing magazine?

Sew Home and Style Dec 2014 on left and Love Sewing issue 10 on right
Mollie Makes Sewing top and Love Sewing issue 9 on bottom

Mollie Makes Sewing above and Love Sewing issue 10 below
Plus I think there are so many craft magazines that cater for sewing homewares etc... I really just want a magazine dedicated to dressmaking and accessories not how to make table runner, a tool belt or a cushion. 'Mollie Makes Sewing' and 'Seamwork' come closest to this for me.

Love Sewing issue 11 - yawn...!

Love Sewing issue 11 - a particularly yawn making issue in my opinion!

Secondly and I am sure that many of you will hate me for saying this and it isn’t meant horribly but there are also a lot more voices out there than the select few that are chosen to write articles in said magazines. I feel saturated by some of the regular contributors who seem to pop up here, there and everywhere. I mean it's great marketing on their part and its hard to say because lets face it we are all online to sell our brand whether it's for profit or just to put ourselves out there and share our makes but there are so many great people in the world of sewing and all I ask is can we not mix it up a bit? I can’t be the only person who wants to buy more than one magazine in a month with the hope of reading fresh perspectives on sewing and to be inspired to make something from what I read or look at? When it’s all blah and samey well what’s the point in spending my pounds? Because I can categorically tell you it isn’t cheap to buy these magazines, it is for me and I am sure others a luxury to do so and for this reason I want variety and I want it now!! Showing that all sorts of different people are out there sewing is much more interesting to me. We should be seeking them out in the way that you and I are seeking the new blogs out there in the blogsphere.

Mollie Makes Sewing - Victory Patterns Roxanne top, right hand page bottom left.
On a positive note I have found new designers and patterns through these magazines. I found the lovely Jennifer Lauren and her Afternoon Blouse and Bronte Top patterns which I plan to make up soon - she has also just released a new dress which is super cute - check out the Felicity Dress on her site. I have been introduced to other designers such as Vanessa Pouzet , Sew Caroline - especially loving the Waterfall Tank and also they have re-reminded me of companies I haven't used in a while - like Victory Patterns - I love the Roxanne top shown above that they featured in 'Mollie Makes Sewing'. And they are also a great resource to see how other people have made up some patterns that I have pondered on for ages – just like how we all like to search out other peoples makes in the sewing blog world for inspiration before we decide to fully commit to a project. I like that especially with 'Love Sewing' there are loads of free patterns for all levels of sewist and some are really good even if they are duplicated in other publications – they were better in the beginning of the magazine though to suck us all in I think! 'Sew Home and Style' gives away patterns each month and 'Make It Today! Stitch Your Style' gave away three patterns and a few more in the form of downloads in the magazine itself. A number of them I would consider making although as a lady larger than a size 14 on patterns from simplicity etc...I rarely get the size I want to make for free which means buying it again or simply grading the pattern up to my size. Not a massive problem just a pain for people that aren't on the smaller side or who don't know how to grade confidently. This magazine did feel a little like an advert for simplicity though but I guess that happens when you get so much from them for free!!

The most inspiring magazine I have read recently (and it is worth every cent) is Colette patterns Seamwork magazine. What an inspiration! Fresh ideas, fresh patterns and thoughtful articles. It's an online magazine so it's cheaper as well. Take a look here. I think you will be impressed! It may be aimed at those with a little more knowledge than some of the magazines mentioned above but it seems to come from a more thought out perspective,  and they have definitely filled a niche in the market. I wonder how long it will be before other Indy companies jump up and produce similar titles. This is what we need more of!

At the end of the day it's great that the sewing world has become so popular that there is an appetite for all these sewing magazines and long may it live! All I want is that one magazine be a little different to the next just as the independent patterns are different to the big four. This is really where Seamwork shines as it is the only one that is filling that hole in the market for the more experienced sewer, the person that wants to understand about garment construction, choosing the right fabrics for specific jobs, talking to experts in the field and getting some interesting and relevant patterns to boot. In the last issue we read about the construction of lingerie, detailed information about making bras, dying elastic and fabrics, choosing sustainable fabrics for your makes and of course how best to choose your fabrics for lingerie. In the world of sewing magazines this is something slightly different, more intellectual and basically a magazine that appeals greatly to people like you and me. I mean let's face it variety is the spice of life and we need more of it don't we? I don't think that's asking too much is it?

Doesn't she look like Tilly?!
Do you read or subscribe to any sewing magazines? What are your favourites? Do you agree we need more variety in the marketplace?

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

My Spring Wardrobe

It may not feel like spring is in the air...and well yes that would be because it isn't yet...but it soon will be and what better time to plan ahead for a lovely spring wardrobe. Spring requires brightness and colour after months of dark nights and cold days. It is also a time of year that we can start to shed the multiple layers of winter and look forward to summer. I had planned to sew up another coat with a furry collar as my next make but I have to say I have decided against it, mainly because I snapped the coat up I was planning to copy on EBay a few weeks ago and it took the wind out of my desire to make another one, unsurprisingly. Consequently I have shifted focus on to my spring wardrobe and have been busy buying new patterns and excitedly perusing fabric stores. This is a part of the sewing process I really relish in! So much opportunity, so much dreaming and imagination goes in to this stage. It's a point where anything is possible.

I have decided I want a few key items this spring. I am planning to make a jacket, kimono, a couple of shirts, a pencil skirt and a pair of trousers. I also want some more t-shirts. After making the Emmeline tee I suspect I will be making many more of them in various colours and fabrics. Versatility is the name of the game. I want to approach my wardrobe in a slightly different way this time looking at what I have already and what I want to go with my existing items.

I wear a lot of jeans and so I wanted to have some simple tops to slip on to look instantly elegant. I loved The Little Tailoress version of the Emmeline tee in lace and so I bought some of the eyelash lace she used from White Tree Fabrics. It arrived a few days ago and its so pretty and I cannot wait to start working with it although it will be a little nerve wracking as I haven't used lace before so it will be a new fabric to me. This is the kind of top you can wear casual or smarten it up with a skirt or smart trouser.  You can take a look here at my first version of the Emmeline in a slouchy grey soft knit. I have some white and blue knit fabric to make more plain ones too!

I loved Rachel from House of Pinheiro's version of the Tyler shirt from Named Clothing and it definitely help seal the deal to want to make this one up. I had been looking at this pattern for a while and especially like the raglan sleeve - loving that style at the moment and its super easy to put together. I plan to make it in a lovely liberty floral in Poppy and Daisy N - see below for the beautiful snapshot of red, pink and teal colours. Love!! A floral shirt reminds me so much of the shirts I used to wear when I was younger - I remember French Connection at one point doing a good run of flowery shirts and I kind of miss them. Flowery shirts and tailoring also seem to be abundant in all of the fashion magazines looking towards spring so it feels quite on trend as well. As a  plus it will also go equally well with my new faux leather skirt and my ever faithful jeans! I may even make more than one.....

Liberty Poppy and Daisy N
I also want to make the Melissa shirt from Papercut Patterns. It's a really pretty shirt, which looks at first glance like any other shirt pattern out there, and then you realise it has a beautiful gathered section at the top of the front bodice. I have chosen some teal coloured voile from the Bari J, Emmy Grace collection for this shirt. You will notice it is the bigger flowery version of the fabric Rachel used in her Tyler shirt. It is so beautiful! After my experience with the Rigel Bomber I can't wait to start on this pattern. I  also think it would look lovely in a nice chambray - I have been looking out for a denim style shirt in the shops and haven't found anything of any interest so far so I guess I should just go ahead and make my own! Plus I am going to actually attempt to make my boyfriend a shirt for spring/ summer. I have bought the Colette Patterns Negroni for him...but more about him on another post! My aim is that after making both the Tyler and Melissa shirt patterns up that I will be pro enough to attempt it and do it justice!

Bari J Emmy Grace

I have been meaning to make a kimono for absolute ages. My favourite one in my wardrobe got trapped in a zip and got ruined so its been put away after a lengthy service. I definitely miss it because it was so versatile and I would throw it over dresses and jeans. It is also great to stuff in a bag and pull out in the evenings when you are getting a little chilly. I found this gorgeous fabric on Til The Sun Goes Down and am thinking about making one from it. I also thought I could make one up in some liberty silk that has been hiding in the back of my stash for ages. Again it would work brilliantly with my jeans and also the lace Emmeline tee. So once I have finally decided on the fabric I need to work out whether to copy my old one or to choose a new pattern to use. Thankfully Andrea from Andrea's notebook has gathered a load of great kimono tutorials here so we don't have to!

Now I really want trousers but I am more interested in a sort of skirt trouser hash up, and so in comes the lovely culotte. I spotted this Erin culotte on the Style Arc email newsletter a couple of weeks ago. How have I not made anything from this company so far they have so much on offer!? I know this diagram doesn't do them much justice but I think they are pretty and the pleats at the front should make a nice feature. I plan to make them out of the Alison Glass fabric called Geese in Charcoal. I just adore this fabric and have been wanting to use it for ages. I think it is the perfect fabric for these culottes making them just a touch edgier than they maybe are! And hopefully this piece will take me through to summer.


My jacket pick for spring is the Burda jacket from the December 2011 issue. I really love it in the blue fabric in the picture below and now cant seem to see it any other way. I am not sure what type of fabric I want to use though so will be having a little think about this. I just want something that will work with jeans so thinking the navy colour will work well or at least something neutral. I do hate putting Burda patterns together but I am kind of a little in love with this one!

For my skirt option I was thinking of making a pencil skirt. I keep seeing orangey red colours all over the place and think I would quite like a skirt made out of a fine wool, ponte knit or a thick cotton in this colour. I have just bought a dark denim peplum top from GAP which is lovely but I think it needs a high waisted skirt and a huge colour pop to go with it. I plan to make my own from my blocks. Its about time I used them!

Lastly but definitely not least I plan to make the first of my four vintage pledge items but I will write about this in another post - so watch this space! I cannot wait to get started on my sewing plans!!

Have you got your spring wardrobe planned out? If so what are you making?

Sunday, 15 February 2015

The Amazing Emmeline Tee!

I spent the whole week trying to work out how to fit sewing into my schedule. I love my new job but it isn't helping me balance my out of hours sewing obsession! Also having had my first pay cheque a couple of weeks ago I have spent most of my weekends going out (because now I can without a guilt complex). Oh and I also started planning my spring wardrobe with something akin to crazed happiness at being able to buy some lovely, lovely new fabric ... Who says money can't buy a wee bit of happiness clearly hasn't met me in a fabric shop!!!

In essence my sewing time was tight this weekend and so I had to grab available time with both hands. I decided to make up the new pattern I bought a few weeks ago with fabric from a trip to the eclectic Goldhawk Road in London. So many fabric choices!!

The pattern is the first, in hopefully a long line, from the amazing blogger The Little Tailoress and its called the Emmeline Tee. Its a simple boxy t-shirt that's a perfect staple in any girls wardrobe. It comes in three versions and can be made in woven or knit fabrics. I spent a long time pondering but in the end chose V3, a lovely raglan tee that I made up in a sort of soft knit that looks slubby up close - and it was super cheap! Now I had planned to make the Nettie pattern, and will do sometime soon, but honestly right now I wanted a baggier style and something much quicker to make up and get my sewing fix in while I had a chance. Plus I didn't find any suitable fabric for it....or rather should I say I bought fabric and realised it wasn't quite the right stuff for the job (which happens when you try to search for the right fabrics by memory alone) so when I happened upon the Emmeline pattern a few weeks later it was like divine fabric stash intervention. A perfect match!! Sewing knits is still a little nerve wracking to me - both picking the right fabrics and actually sewing items together - so I prefer the simpler designs and this pattern is definitely an easy one to start with. It's a beginners dream really.

Looking at the pattern itself I don't think I have seen such a detailed instructional booklet in a long time. She breaks down the construction of each version separately for both knits and wovens - personally I think this could have been made shorter because the construction isn't that different between fabric types and because the booklet was in the end huge! She even says at the start that you may not need to print all of it out but I think you have to if you want to make all the versions over time, its just easier than coming back to it later. I don't mean it as a criticism its just a personal thing really and possibly from her part being her first pattern she would be keen to cover accurately all eventualities. You can see the hours that have gone into producing this pattern and that she wanted to be as thorough and informative as possible - well she totally achieved it.

Emmeline is quick to sew up - it took an hour and a half from laying out the fabric to completion - but it was the printing and sticking together that took an age as there are 54 pages altogether. This is always the downside of PDF patterns for me and I guess one you cant really escape but it is truly boring sticking all of those pages together. I think I started at 8.30pm and finished 3 hours later! It does contain three versions but potentially the layout could have been tighter to get more on less paper. Or you could avoid doing what I did - which is stick the intentionally blank pages together - I cant tell you why I did that but I think just because they were included I stuck them down. I notice on other PDF patterns that if the pages are not needed they aren't included so I think this would help reduce bulk. Anyway just so you can plan in advance you need to allow a lot of time to get the pattern together before the making begins. 

PDF pattern making aside the reason I like the Emmeline tee is that it is really versatile and its a basic shape you can see yourself making again and again. As you will see from The Little Tailoress blog she shows the various ways to style the tee, with lace inserts, all over lace, different jerseys, cotton..... Really the list is endless. 

Now I admit my version isn't the boldest of jerseys or designs but I realised that I don't have enough plain tops in my wardrobe so this was an attempt to rectify this. I plan on making a few more, one with a lace panel and sleeves and maybe a full lace one. I am having a moment with lace at the moment.

Altogether I really enjoyed making it - and I think it turned out pretty well. I used a serger to physically put it together and neaten the hem and then a twin needle to make the hem look more professional - I would have posted it earlier if I hadn't forgotten I didn't have any twin needles left when I started it.... I don't know why but I fiddled with the tension and tested the twin needle loads prior to sewing it but it still looks frilly and tubular instead of flat and lovely. Any help with why this happens I would really appreciate it. The test piece was perfect! This is the thing I don't like about sewing knits as I always seem to get this bit wrong. 

The scary bit was putting the neck band in with the serger. It looks good but I did manage to mess up a little bit where it came out a wee bit thinner than the rest but its on the back so I cant see it when its on! Also the cuff parts on the sleeve drooped because the knit fabric was so soft and drapey so I had to sew them down. I am not sure whether this is really obvious but I had no choice really as you could see the zig zag stitching when it drooped down where the sleeve end had been sewn in place. But you know you do have to love the quirks in your work! I think it hangs nicely. I was a little worried it was so thin it would just look a little misshapen but I think it works well. I just think because of the hem it will look better tucked in and I shall practice again to get that twin needle looking better in the future. I look forward to trying other versions.

So what do you think. Is Emmeline the one for you? I would love to take a look at other versions out there. Happy sewing everyone!

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Snuggly Winter Rigel Bomber Jacket - Finished!

I am sorry for taking so long to write about the Rigel Bomber which I have made as part of the Rigel Bomber Jacket January challenge hosted by Ginger Makes - I didn't update you with my progress as to be honest I started a new job a couple of weeks ago and having had the luxury of a few months off the commute absolutely slayed me. I felt incapable of little more than sloping off to an early bed and sewing didn't even enter my head! But anyway enough excuses...and here she is!

I really enjoyed making this jacket I and would highly recommend it to others. By now you will have seen so many different versions out there to give you inspiration to make your own and even though I have now made mine up I still plan on making another one sometime soon - and I have my eye on something similar to this lovely quilted one from The New Craft Society. My boyfriend thinks I have enough coats now but surely you can never have too many?! The main plan for mine was to have a lining and a warm one as it has just got very cold here in London and you really can't be walking around in thin layers. I chose a very simple fleece fabric in black to co-ordinate with the outer fabric and it is super soft and snuggly. Perfect! This is where the downside of this pattern becomes apparent as there is no lining included or information about how to insert one. When you put together the jacket it is all relatively simple to construct and it wouldn't look awful if you made a feature out of the seams but the pockets are pretty ugly left out in the open so I was happy to hide mine. It may be that it's because these were my first ever welt pockets and I probably didn't do them as elegantly as I could have but I think even if I had done them perfectly I wouldn't want to see the guts of them - so in short even if I didn't want to line the coat for winter I would put a thin lining into it to make sure it covered any of my sewing indiscretions!!

Talking of pockets, the welt pocket was a new skill for me. Another part of my resolution skill list ticked off! The instructions were clear enough and I followed them to the letter but I am not sure they came out as well as they could. For some reason the tops of both pockets wouldn't lie flat and I had to slightly fold them under but the other sides were fine. I understood the principle of how to make them better than I actually made them I think.

The most scary thing about sewing them is when you have to cut into the fabric to make the pocket opening. I think that maybe I needed to cut the line a little longer or I needed to make the cuts a bit deeper on the v's at either end to help the welt lie flatter but I was too scared of messing it up after chopping into it already! I kinda felt I had one go at it and that's that. Next time hopefully they will be done with more finesse but having said that I think they still look pretty good for a first time effort.

The other thing that went wrong was that the pocket bags didn't seem to match up properly at the bottom and I have no idea what I did wrong here. When I first started this jacket I was intent on making them larger but suddenly thought it may be better to make them as they are in the pattern rather than play around with them so that I can study the way they are constructed and then make changes on future versions. Having never done a welt pocket before I deemed this the safer option and I am glad I did because I am not sure I wouldn't have made the pocket situation worse than I had already. I have to say though that this jacket really does require larger pockets - even if the bottoms of mine had matched up so they were slightly deeper they are still way too small for my hands and I don't have giant hands by any standard! I think having looked at other peoples this is a general comment that keeps popping up though so its not really anything new.

Coming on to the lining I decided I wanted to challenge myself to work out how to insert one myself without reading how other people had constructed theirs. I have made linings from scratch before and they worked out ok so I didn't think it was particularly ambitious to give it a go uninstructed. Generally I found the process pretty easy. I admit to unpicking a couple of bits when I made silly mistakes but generally it was all quite straightforward. These were the steps I took if anyone is interested to follow suit. The one thing I would do differently when I make it again would be to slightly lengthen the lining on the very front of the jacket at the bottom - the bits that dangle lower at the front - as I found them a little tight to sew into the jacket. It doesn't need to be anymore than a cm or two but I think it would be really helpful.

Step 1 - Cut out the main self fabric in all pieces and ribbing pieces in ribbing fabric. Cut out the lining pieces omitting the welts, pockets and ribbing.

Step 2 - Sew together the pattern as instructed using the self fabric and ribbing fabric only. Stop once you have sewn in the ribbing at the neck, waist and sleeve openings. Topstitch as directed.

Step 3 - Sew together the lining fabric as per the outer shell omitting the pockets and ribbing.

Step 4 -  There are two things you can do at this point. Because I wanted the bulk of the fleece all the way through the lining rather than the fabric moving obviously from thick to thin where the facings were attached, I sewed the facing pieces on the fleece fabric so that they acted as one. However, if your linings are of similar weight then you can measure the facings (remember to omit the seam allowance) and cut it away from the lining pieces. At this point you would sew the facing pieces together with the lining pieces to create one piece so that it comes out the same shape and size as your outer shell. I have to also point out that I sewed my lining with a slightly larger seam allowance than the outer body to allow the bulky fabric to fit into the jacket.

Step 5 - Pick up the pattern again and sew in the facing pieces with the lining attached, sewing all around from the bottom of the jacket next to the ribbing, up past the zip, across the top and down the other side. The only opening now will be at the bottom. Turn the jacket the right way round, put the arms through the armholes and pull the lining down neatly and put in place. You can now topstitch anywhere you wish to topstitch such as around the neck area or either side of the zip.

Step 6 - Sew lining in place at key points at the shoulders and underarms to secure it and stop it shifting. You can do this by hand or by machine by stitching in the ditch - or stitching in the seam line so you wont see it.

Step 7 - Fold under the jacket lining all around the bottom - clipping diagonally into the corners to fit around the 90 degree angle of the ribbing and hand stitch in place.

Step 8 - Fold under the lining of the sleeves and hand stitch it down around the ribbing of the sleeves.

You should now have a fully enclosed jacket with no open seams on show. Since making my jacket I have searched the web and seen how many other people have lined their jackets and the other good tutorials are on Kate and Laney's site where she seems to have done it the same way as me (but she's also got great pics to explain the process) and Sewn by Elizabeth. There may be better ways of doing it than this and with no hand sewing but I couldn't work it out and this way worked well for me.

Just a final note about fit of this jacket. I am really glad I lengthened the sleeves - it means they are long enough to hide my hands under. As for the overall sizing I am really in between small and medium on this pattern so I cut the medium and sewed up the jacket with a 5/8 seam allowance rather than a 3/8 as on the pattern instructions. This was great for my sizing but if the jacket hadn't had a bulky lining I think it would have been too baggy. I think in future - and when I don't need anything too heavyweight inside - I will go for a small and chance my luck!

The downsides of this make (and this has nothing to do with the pattern itself) are that the lining really is a little too much. I had worries it would be before I began but I had hope at the beginning it would work out somehow but honestly there were points throughout sewing it together where I kind of wanted to give it up because the machine strained badly through all the layers and it just became a little cumbersome and bulky. It works when wearing it with thin tops and so I can see myself wearing it with a few of my clothes but the fact is its just a wee bit too much. Coupled with the fact the lining isn't smooth so it doesn't slide it actually is a pain to get on and off as well. I knew this would be the case but I did think I may have more room for manoeuvre inside the garment. Really I shouldn't have lined the sleeves as you can get away with the bulk in the main body of the coat but its the arms where it is a little tight. The neck also really showed the thickness of the fabric layers so I topstitched the neckline. It looks ok on the outside but the inside is a little bulbous on the stitched section. Not my best work. You live and learn and at least I now know how to make it with a lining, and a summer version would be much better. Come spring I think it will be my go to pattern once again in a nice floral cotton. I just need a little break in between making it again as it has left me feeling mildly annoyed and frustrated with myself.

Overall its a beautiful pattern, it comes in lovely packaging and its a winner in terms translating a popular trend from the high street. I think my version is still good but not quite what I was hoping for in the end and I definitely will wear it. Have you challenged yourself to a Rigel Bomber yet? I would love to see your versions too.