The Blouson Bomber Jacket

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I was approached by Marina of Peach Patterns to ask if I would sew up a version of her new jacket pattern, the Blouson Bomber Jacket. The message made me grin, a pattern designer contacting little old me! I eagerly replied saying that assuming I had the necessary fabric and the pattern got ok'd by my boy, that yes, of course I'd sew it up.



I printed off the pattern as soon as I got the email. It's not layered, but each size is clearly labelled and coloured, this is fine by me as I have a colour printer, but I'm aware the lack of layering would put some customers off (it never even occurred to me that this might be the case, until two days ago when I read it in a thread on one of the pattern groups on Facebook). I then stuck it all together with my trusty glue stick, and then looked at it. In fact, I looked at it for days, procrastinating. I got the fabric out, checked there was enough, and then still looked at the big pattern paper! Sometimes I think I could be queen of procrastination. Basically, the issue was, do I trace out the size I need and preserve the printed and stuck together paper, or do I just cut the paper to the correct size. Honestly, I think I need to get a grip sometimes. I just cut the size I needed out of the paper when I realised I was being utterly stupid, and just got on with it!



My boy is getting a bit older, and he seems to be going through a dark coloured phase. His favourite colour is dark grey. When he picks fabric or clothes, it's either black or grey. It's seriously boring, and I'm not a fan, but as he's stopped wearing anything else I make him in nice bright, or earthy colours, then I thought I'd just roll with it. So the jacket was destined to be dark grey from the get-go. It's a reasonably thick tiny herringbone pattern suiting. I think it's a cotton/polyester blend of some sort, maybe even a bit of viscose too judging by the way the fabric frays and unravels with ease. It does have a dark blue haze to it, that I doubt will show up in pictures. My boy picked out a dark blue and gold star voile to be the contrast. It's entirely unsuitable being a very thin and lightweight cotton voile.



To make the voile work, I used a medium/stiff interfacing on the facing pieces, as well as the inside pocket piece. I didn't want the pockets to fall apart with rough little hands being shoved into them so for the outer pocket, I used a layer of voile on top of the suiting (so two layers sewn together at the edges). Ever since I read this post by this wonderful Norwegian blogger, Marie Fleurine I have wanted to have a go at using a Hong Kong finish on an unlined jacket. I haven't had the opportunity for myself, but this little bomber jacket for my son gave me the perfect excuse to try.



I once again used the tutorial by Itch to Stitch to create my own bias binding in a continuous loop. Instead of a 10" x 10" square, I chose a 16.5" x 16.5" square. Simply because I thought I might need a fair amount of bias. Once I'd marked it out, and cut it, I had 250" of bias. I thought I may have gone a little overboard! As it turned out though, I had 4" of bias left once I'd completed the jacket, so I'm glad I mistakenly overestimated.



I turned back to Itch to Stitch to read up again (I've read the tutorial several times now) to refresh myself of how to Hong Kong finish my seams. It's actually really simple, if a little time consuming. You get a beautiful result though, with either contrasting or complimenting seam allowances, looking smart and neat.



I made a straight age 8 for my son. His measurements were chest age 7, waist age 5, hips age 9 and height bang in the middle of age 8 & 9 (he's 8.5 years old). I know from experience with my daughter, that chest measurement isn't always 100% accurate for skinny kids, and that their shoulders can be the size of their age, regardless of the rest of their frame being small. So, looking at the finished measurements, I decided age 8 would give a bit of growing room, and hoped that the sleeve length was ok (I was actually going to cut the age 9 sleeve length, but I was cutting out the paper pattern whilst nattering to a friend, and idly forgot all about it until I'd already cut it out, and screwed up all the waste paper for recycling). Instead of grading out for his hips (I mean bottom) I used an age 9 length piece of elastic in the bottom cuff. This meant that is was the correct amount of gathering for his behind!





The jacket is unlined, but faced, has two circular cutout pockets, and elastic cuffs to the wrists and waist of the jacket. I chose to finish my jacket with snaps instead of buttons. I figured my son might find it easier to snap a popper together instead of fiddling with buttons (or, I'll re-phrase that. He is lazy, and I thought I'd give him the easiest time to do up a jacket!). That evening I did a bit more of my favourite thing, and procrastinated. I'm glad I did, because in the morning when I mentioned to my son that I would be putting in the snaps, he exclaimed 'No Mummy, I want proper buttons!'. So buttons and buttonholes it is! He chose the buttons, I'm not sure they're the best match, but it's what he wanted.



Here are the lovely crisp cut out pockets. I chose to topstitch around the facing and pockets to help them lay flat inside. You can omit this step, or make it extra special. I could have used a twin needle to create two lines of stitching, or used a fancy stitch on my machine (I may do this for a girly version, with a flower stitch perhaps?).



And I'll just leave this final photo with you. Did you know it's not just my daughter that has a strop when asked to be photographed. My boy has never done this before, and I think we were just having a bad day, as he's been more than happy to model ever since! And those pale jeans he's wearing, they are the Happy Pants pattern. My kids have had loads of pairs of these over the past year or so!



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