McCall Pattern Company blog: Bomber Jacket Sew-Along

I have to admit I’m really excited for this particular sew-along. Bomber jackets allow you to be so creative, and that’s what gets me going. You have SO MANY options when it comes to choosing fabrics and ribbings. Just look at our bomber jacket inspiration Pinterest board—there are bomber jackets in everything from quilted satin to menswear suitings. (Seriously, do check out this board before you decide on your fabric and ribbing.)

This season’s bomber jackets can be divided into three categories: Glam, Sporty, and Flirty.

Glam bomber jacket fabrics, on the McCall Pattern Company blog

Source for images

Glam: The Glam bomber jacket commands attention. Gucci’s spring 2016 bomber jackets are a perfect example of this look. Fabrics that work for the glam bomber jacket include midweight satin crepes in either poly or silk, or ornate brocades that aren’t too stiff. Satin crepes won’t require a lining (bonus!), but you will want to line or underline/flatline brocade fabrics. Choose lightweight georgettes, organzas, or lining fabrics for lining and underlining fabrics.

Ribbings for the glam bomber jackets can either match your fabric in color or offer high contrast in color and possibly a stripe as well. Choose ponte or scuba knits, or go with a striped knit ribbing.

Sporty bomber jacket fabrics, on the McCall Pattern Company blog

Source for images

Sporty: The Sporty bomber jacket harkens back to the athletic jackets of the last century. This Adidas jacket is a contemporary take on the classic sporty bomber. If the sporty look is what you have in mind, look for neoprenes, scuba knits, ponte, lightweight denims and tencels, fine-waled corduroy, or lightweight menswear suiting.

Ribbings can be from ponte, neoprene or scuba knits to match or contrast with your bomber. Or you can be ultra-sporty and choose a striped ribbing for that Joe College look.

Flirty bomber jacket fabrics, on the McCall Pattern Company blog

Source for images

Flirty: The Flirty bomber jacket is feminine to the max. It’s often made of lighter-weight fabrics, like this georgette bomber by Needle & Thread, and floral prints prevail. For fabrics, try midweight georgettes, silk organza for a sheer look, satin crepes, lightweight brocades, and jacquards.

Ribbings for the flirty jacket can be from ponte or scuba knit, or from silk taffeta or heavier satin crepe with inserted elastic.

Where to get ribbing for your bomber jacket: Ponte knits make wonderful ribbings. They’re soft to wear, and easy to find and sew. You could start there. Scuba knits also work well as ribbings, and those are also easier to find these days.

However, if you want a real knit ribbing like you see here, here and here, then you may need to buy/order it from a place like Pacific Trimming or Botani Trimmings. I can vouch that they have wonderful ribbings in all sorts of colors and stripes. Etsy has some ribbing options as well. My colleague Gillian recommends this Oregon store for ribbing.

Loads of ribbings in all sorts of colors at Botani Trimmings.

Loads of ribbings in all sorts of colors at Botani Trimmings.

Ribbings at Pacific Trimming in NYC

Ribbings at Pacific Trimming. Lots of striped ribbings here, plus some metallic ribbings that are really cool.

Separating zippers: The zipper is a focal point of the bomber jacket, so don’t skimp on this part. You can choose zippers with plastic teeth—good for sporty jackets—or go with metal teeth in silver or brass. Coats & Clark now makes a nice sporty separating zipper, and you can find those in fabric stores. Zipperstop is an online source for YKK zippers, and Pacific and Botani also sell zippers online.

I hope this gives you a good starting point for your bomber jacket supplies. Remember, this sew-along is 100% go-at-your-own pace—there are no deadlines. If you don’t finish (or start!) your bomber jacket until 2017 that’s perfectly fine!

If you have other sources you’d like to share, please leave a comment here. Thanks!

Next week: Fitting raglan shoulders