Bomber Jacket Sew-Along: Making the Inside of Your Jacket Look Pretty

McCall Pattern Company blog: Bomber Jacket Sew-Along

When I was in 8th grade Home Ec class the teacher offered us the chance to earn extra credit if we wanted to make a garment at home. The only requirement was that we show her the uncut fabric and supplies before we began. She thought this would help prevent us from passing off  store-bought clothes as things we made. Well, in my excitement to make my utterly cute yellow gingham dress with lace trim, I ignored the whole requirement thing and sewed the dress over a weekend. (Because even at age 13 I couldn’t go a weekend without sewing.)

That next Monday in Home Ec I proudly showed the teacher my finished Butterick dress and asked for the extra credit. Being the lover of rules that she was, she started to tell me she wouldn’t give me the extra credit because I hadn’t shown her the uncut fabric first. And the outside of my dress looked pretty decent. But then she peeked inside.

Readers, all bets were off that I was passing off a RTW dress as something I had made. Make the inside look nice?! Huh?! Not when you’re a beginning sewer and just want to make cute stuff to wear the next day to school. The inside of my dress was a messy mess. I got the extra credit, though, served up with a lecture on finishing seams. Lesson learned.

So, why do we finish the insides of our garments when no one sees them?

  • To reinforce seams and interiors and make them stronger.
  • To make clothing more comfortable to wear, because scratchy and annoying parts are encased.
  • Because a well-finished garment interior is like a badge of honor, and shows you take care and pride in your work.

Ok, enough of the lecturing and childhood reminiscing. Let’s look at three bomber jackets I made when I was blogging for the Mood Fabrics Sewciety:

lace and neoprene bomber jacket made by Meg Carter of the McCall Pattern Company and originally featured on the Mood Sewciety blog
A neoprene and lace bomber jacket.
neoprene jacket inside
Since neoprene this thick doesn’t take to a serger, I covered the seams with petersham ribbon, handstitching in place. I also covered the zipper tape in petersham.
Textured novelty cotton bomber jacket made by Meg Carter of the McCall Pattern Company and originally featured on the Mood Sewciety blog
This jacket I made using a heavy, textured cotton by Marc Jacobs.
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Here, I flatlined the interior. This is where you treat the lining fabric—in this case silk organza—and the exterior fashion fabric as one layer. This means the seams will be exposed and need to be finished. The seams are then either Hong Kong finished or flat-felled, with some serging around the pocket and ribbing. The zipper tape is covered with poly satin bias tape.
Leather and metallic brocade bomber jacket made by Meg Carter of the McCall Pattern Company and originally featured on the Mood Sewciety blog
Leather and metallic brocade for this bomber jacket. I went a little bomber jacket crazy, making these jackets all within a few months time.
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With this leather jacket I flatlined again, with a poly lining fabric, and Hong Kong finished the seams with a textured fabric I had in my stash. (Wow, I’m impressed by my own handiwork here!)
MSGM bomber jacket, as seen on the McCall Pattern Company blog
Here’s a bomber jacket by MSGM, which one of our designers bought for herself at Century 21. The seams are finished using a true Hong Kong seam technique. You can see more interior photos of this jacket on the Facebook group.

The takeaway: Finish your seams. Best options are serging or Hong Kong finishing. Never done Hong Kong seams before? They’re easy. Here’s a tutorial.

Another option is to line your jacket. My colleague Gillian will talk about adding a lining to your bomber jacket during the week of 10/10/16. I did a kind of modified lining with my Butterick bomber by following these steps:

  • Create a lining of bodice front, bodice back, and sleeves. Omit the pockets.
  • Attach the ribbing at the neck as directed.
  • Stitch the lining to the neckline so it is right-sides-together with the fashion fabric
  • Flip the lining over and you’re done. The ribbing seam is now neatly enclosed. You can edge-stitch the lining in place if you desire.
Lining techniques for bomber jackets. On the McCall Pattern Company blog
After the ribbing is stitched to the neckline, then attach your lining by stitching over the ribbing seam. Turn, and now the neckline seam is neatly enclosed.
  • I left the seams open 5/8″ at the front edges so I could turn the lining under after I inserted the zipper. Then I stitched the lining in place to the zipper tape.
  • When it came to attaching the ribbing at the cuffs and hem, I used the flatlining technique and treated the lining and the fashion fabric as one layer. Easy peasy.

Bottom line: A well-finished garment interior is a beautiful thing.

Coming up next on the #BomberJacketSewAlong: Adding ribbing to your jacket. Stay tuned! And it’s not too late to join our Bomber Jacket Facebook Group, btw.

Bomber Jacket Sew-along: Fitting the Raglan Sleeves

McCall Pattern Company blog: Bomber Jacket Sew-Along

If you haven’t joined our Bomber Jacket Sew-along group on Facebook yet, we’d love to have you! Come chat with us!

A bomber jacket is not the kind of project that needs a lot of fitting. That’s one of the things we like about them! So if you don’t want to stress about fit this time around, breathe easy. You’ll probably be okay, especially if you like a slightly oversized jacket. But if you want to finesse it a bit more, we’re here for you.

Because of the relaxed overall shape, the main fitting focus for a jacket like this is going to be the shoulders and sleeves. The sleeves, obviously, because you need enough room there for comfort and movement. Getting a good fit in the shoulders will help your jacket to sit nicely and stay put through regular activity, especially if you like to wear your jackets open.

Both of our sew-along jacket patterns have raglan sleeves. If you haven’t tried fitting raglan sleeves before you might be a little bit puzzled, but it’s actually very simple. There are slight differences between the two patterns: M7100 has a dart in the sleeve cap, while B6181 does not. M7100 is also more tapered through the sleeves than B6181, so you may want to choose your pattern accordingly if you’re looking for a sleeker or blousier shape (or simply adjust the pattern to suit your preference.)

McCall’s M7100 Bomber Jacket: Pattern Adjustment for Sizes L-XXL

If you’re making McCall’s M7100 bomber jacket in sizes L-XXL, we suggest you read this post by Kristen Schultz, a member of our Bomber Jacket Sew-Along Facebook Group. Here, Kristen walks you through the few simple pattern adjustments we recommend you do to the upper sleeve and front bodice area, before you cut out your fabric.

I am going to show you how to make the front bodice (pattern piece 1), side front piece (pattern piece 4), and raglan sleeve (pattern piece 6) align for sizes L-XXL. There are several ways to accomplish this task but the easiest is to grade up at the sleeve front to extend the length where needed. (Not covered – Another way is to adjust the sleeve dart and ease the fit, which results in a broader shoulder, about ½ inch length may need to be added to overall length).

Step 1: Assemble Front Bodice pattern piece #1 to Side Front pattern piece #4 and attach both to Back pattern piece #5.
M7100 adjustment for larger sizes. On the McCall Pattern Company blog.

Step 2: Check Sleeve pattern piece compared to the assembled front and back sleeves. The yellow highlighted area shows that the Sleeve is too short on the front size and needs lengthening and graded up.

M7100 adjustment for larger sizes. On the McCall Pattern Company blog.

Step 3: Lengthening the Sleeve – measure out 1.25 inches (3.18 cm) from the short side sleeve front. It will extend to the seam line (between pattern piece #4 Side Front and #5 Back). [Editor’s note: the length you need to add to the sleeve will vary depending on what size you make and other alterations you may have made. Use the amount  you determined in the previous step.] Using your Curve Ruler, grade back down to taper the sleeve width. Not tapering will widen the sleeve.
M7100 adjustment for larger sizes. On the McCall Pattern Company blog.

Step 4: Check your new sleeve adjustment to the Bodice and Side Front. The notches now line up between the sleeve front with 1.25 in (3.18 cm) length adjustment. Not shown, but the front and back collar pieces also match up. After you confirm your adjustments, you can now cut your fabric.
M7100 adjustment for larger sizes. On the McCall Pattern Company blog.

Thank you for reading about this adjustment. Happy sewing! —Kristen Schultz

Coming tomorrow: Fitting raglan shoulders on your bomber jacket