Coats · Outerwear

Birdie Bomber

I wrote this post soon after I made it and was pretty annoyed by the whole process (partly due to the pattern but mostly down to me and a stupid overlocker mistake). Now I’ve had time to reflect and to realise I wear this a lot I’ve rewritten this to be a bit kinder to this make.

This garment was not a fun make, which concerning this is the first “outerwear” garment I have made is a little worrying. Get ready for a blog post with a catalogue of errors.

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As soon as Sew This Pattern released the birdie bomber I fell in love, I mean batwing – what is not to love?! I bought the PDF pattern when it had a special intro discount and was only $6 AUS, which is like £3.50 so I felt like I had a real bargain. At the same time I saw that Dragonfly fabrics were going to be at the Tunbridge Wells Pantiles fair, which is just down the road from me. I scoured their website for the perfect fabric and asked them to bring it along. Thanks so much Dragonfly fabrics – it was so great to ask to see a fabric online and then they bought it along especially. I was on the hunt for the perfect fabric because I thought the pattern needed a jersey fabric, it wasn’t until I cut it out and started to sew did I realise that it’s a pattern for wovens!

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So cutting out was all straight forward, its just 2 fronts, 2 sleeves and a back piece, plus cuffs.

To begin with I didn’t use a ballpoint needle and the stitches kept skipping, a change of needle solved this first mistake pretty quickly.  This should be a fairly quick sew but I just couldn’t quite get it to work. The front pieces were about an inch longer than the back pieces. The jacket is just too long for my liking in general so I trimmed about 2inches off the bottom. This is just a personal preference as I wanted a cropped jacket, but the pattern is meant to be longer, having now worn this a lot I think I should have left the length!

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The pattern calls for sleeve cuffs, collar and hem band. The cuff pieces are cut from some black ribbing, and I don’t think the pattern pieces are quite long enough. I really struggled to get the band to stretch enough to go around the whole of the hemline. I had to cut 3/4inch off of one side of the jacket as I just couldn’t stretch it quite enough. There isn’t any mention of how much stretch the ribbing needs to be in the pattern but I bought what I think the pattern  calls for. There also is a notch in the ribbing but not anything on the back piece to match it to. It would have been helpful to have a few more notches so I could line it up with the side seams. The sleeve cuffs were super small and I struggled to sew these on.

I could see the finish line with this garment, and then I had THAT disaster. You know the one where you should have applied “more haste less speed” – I ran my overlocker down the front seam and the fabric got caught and this happened!

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So I sulked and then wondered about patching it, adding a contrast panel, throwing it all in the bin. I then came to my senses and I knew the right thing to do was to unpick the panel, re-cut and sew a new panel in. This shouldn’t have been too bad but for 2 issues. 1 – knits are always more difficult to unpick, ribbing in black is near impossible, 2 – usually I overlock seams separately, but this time I overlocked each seam as one, meaning I had to unpick ALL those overlocked seam – URGH!

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So a long while later, I had a bomber without any gaping holes in. It just needed a zip. The pattern doesn’t say how long the zip needs to be which is mildly annoying.

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Just a few final thoughts on this pattern. I’m not sure how much testing it went through. There were a few details that I would expect to see on a pattern that were missing. A few more notches to line everything up, the length of zipper needed in the notions section and all the page numbers are wrong meaning I had to work out which instruction came next. It’s also not a very me look, although if I complete all my winter sewing plans I might have a few more things I can wear with it.

I don’t think I’ll buy any of the other patterns from Sew This Pattern. And I’m not sure that this is a pattern I will make again, save for one more that I have in the pipeline (watch this space for an outrageous bomber jacket coming soon!).

All these piccis were taken on a hazelnut hunt – hence the wellies in the glorious sunshine – unfortunately the squirrels beat us to most of them!

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One thought on “Birdie Bomber

  1. Hi Chole, I just saw this post. Thanks for making it up and reviewing. With regards to the zipper there is a size chart on page 3 which gives you zipper sizes for each size. The instructions are in order from page 7 to 10 with step by step photographs so I’m not sure what you mean by the page numbers being wrong. Maybe you could send me a photo of these pages as I have double checked it and they are in order. With simple sews I usually just include the necessary notches as I am from a rag trade background and use minimal notches however I will take note of this for my next pattern. Sorry that you did not enjoy this pattern. Happy sewing. Annie

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