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Laura’s Amelia Bomber Jacket

Seemingly the weather here in Manchester is predictably unpredictable… One minute it’s glorious sunshine, and the next the skies are grey and drizzly. Rather quintessential of a British holiday I must admit!

The fabric this month is a lovely cotton poplin adorned with pineapples. It’s not a fabric that I would necessarily go for myself at first glance, but it grew on me immediately and my mind was swimming with ideas… a sundress, a pinafore, pyjamas. But it was actually my husband who suggested a bomber jacket and I thought what a great idea! (also, he would berate me if I took the credit!).

I love the juxtaposition of the novelty pineapple print with the sporty style and grey ribbing. I think it looks really cool and high-end. I chose a plain white lining fabric for the lining, so it didn’t show through the other side.

On to the pattern. I decided on the Amelia Bomber Jacket from Australian pattern company Wardrobe By Me. A nice shape with all the classic elements you expect.

Now, I wish I could say that I loved making this jacket, but unfortunately the truth is that the experience was rather different. Thinking positively, I would say that it was a “skill builder”; for now, I call it a stress inducer!

The pattern starts simple enough. Side seams, shoulders, done. But then the steps get a little tricky.

I found the instructions to be very vague in places for (what I would consider) quite complex steps, and sometimes the diagrams didn’t quite match up. Thank goodness that the cotton was so wonderful to work with, or I think I would have had a real meltdown!

I also found some of the construction methods somewhat puzzling, and even now, I’m still not entirely sure why it was done that way. I found myself unpicking and resewing many times over, still not entirely convinced that it was “right” but just going with it.

Thankfully there is a sew-along video to accompany the pattern on their Youtube channel. Whilst this was a much-welcomed help, I still struggled quite a lot in key areas like the pockets, and the zip insertion.

Granted, this was the first time I had done an open-ended zip so I wasn’t entirely sure on how it was supposed to be done. After a few unpicks (and a broken needle), I just had to trust the instructions. Unfortunately, it is about an inch too short (not sure what happened here!) but in the interests of my own sanity, I am calling it a design feature!

Bizarrely, the collar (which I expected to be the hardest bit) went in without a hitch! It sits really nicely in the angle and I am super proud of how good it looks.

Thankfully, although not without its tribulations, I think that the finished jacket looks fabulous. It’s going to be a great one to chuck on with anything now that (hopefully!) the weather is turning up.

It was only a few weeks ago that they made bomber jackets for the technical challenge on The Great British Sewing Bee. How on earth they made them in that ridiculously short time limit is completely beyond me and they have my ultimate respect!

Not all our sewing endeavours are going to be easy, I don’t care to mention how many hissy fits I threw! Remember that the pictures we see are only the amazing finished garment and don’t necessarily show how hard it was to get there.

And hey, if it doesn’t work out, at the end of the day, it’s only fabric. Keep your chin up, pet!