Rigel Bomber January: Cut It Out!

Hey, dudes! Are you excited to cut out your Rigel? Yay! OK, I’m not going to post every step of the way or anything, but I wanted to share a few tips I’ve collected over the years to help make this process easier. These are really basic, so are probably obvious to a lot of people, but I thought they might be helpful for newer stitchers. πŸ™‚

First things first, if you don’t know what size to cut (or even if you think you do!), I totally recommend measuring your pattern pieces. I picked up this tip on another blog about a year ago (wish I could remember which one!) and it’s really helped me. Some pattern companies give you lots of finished measurements, but if not, it’s worth it to do a quick check of things like sleeve length to make sure you’ll be happy with the size you’ve chosen. Even if you plan to make a muslin, you’re saving yourself future work by being able to make some basic adjustments before you even cut things out! Now, what I usually do is compare the finished measurements to a similar garment in my closet (in this case, a jacket with a relaxed fit) to make sure they’re in the right ballpark. Just don’t forget to subtract seam allowances from your measurements and to account for things like cuffs and ribbing.

Now, with the Rigel, I’m not going to make a muslin. I don’t want to use ribbing in my muslin, and I probably won’t get very good information about the final fit without the ribbing, so I’m going to skip that step. A jacket with a raglan sleeve is easy to take in, and since we’re finishing the neckline with ribbing, it won’t be a big deal if you need to add a small dart at the back neckline or anything like that. So I’ll just baste together the side/sleeve seam and make sure I’m happy before stitching it.

I’ve heard from a few taller bloggers that the Rigel’s sleeves run short. Since I like my sleeves on the long side, I decided to add 2″ to them. If that ends up being too much, I’ll just shorten the cuff for a super easy fix.

Another thing- I will be basting in my ribbing on the neckline, too. Since different kinds of ribbing can have really different levels of stretch and recovery, it’s not a bad idea to make sure that you like the way yours looks before committing to it. If it needs to be stretched tighter, it will be easy to remove the basting and shorten the ribbing before reapplying it.

If you need to shorten your ribbing, all you need to do is shift the pattern piece over by HALF of the total amount (since you’re cutting on the fold), and cut off the excess. So if you want it 2″ shorter, you just move the pattern piece over by 1″. Easy!

Hopefully this will save you some time and effort! Anyone else have any favorite tips or tricks that they’d like to share?

20 responses

  1. I wasn’t going to make this as I’m terribly busy at work but I looked at the pattern pieces and decided it looked like an easy make. Fingers crossed. I also had some black/silver DKNY fabric in the stash….


  2. great tip there Sonja x I’d not really thought to do that until reading your post x
    Good luck with your sew-along. I won’t be joining you on this occasion as I have a few makes in the ‘UFO’ pile that take priority – I’m going to bookmark it for future ref ; )


  3. Great tips. Wish I could join in but I’m in the middle of coat making at the moment. I tried on a bomber jacket in the shops yesterday to try out the style on me and I want to make one now. Maybe when all this coat making malarkey has finished.


  4. I made a first version (no muslin) and the sleeves and bodice are 5 cm too short for me, have to make another one that is presentable (yeay, new fabric combination to try out). Now it looks like it has shrunk in the laundry πŸ™‚ On the upside: it fits my sister perfectly.


  5. I’m still waffling back and forth on which size to make. I was thinking of doing a quick muslin without ribbing just to see how the shoulders fit on me. That’s where I always have issues, I’ve got broad shoulders. I don’t usually like measuring the pattern. For some reason (even though I’m a MATH TEACHER) I hate doing that and subtracting the seam allowances.

    I’m pretty excited to make mine, though. I’m going with a black textured wool body and black leather sleeves with black ribbing. I can’t decide on a zipper though. I’m debating between an all black zipper (black teeth and everything!), a black and brass zipper, or something crazy like neon yellow.


    • LOL! Who wants to do math on their day off? πŸ˜€ I really wish we used the metric system in the US… so much easier! Papercut Patterns do seem to have a bit of ease, so check the finished measurements to make sure there won’t be more than you like. Wool and leather sounds super, super sassy! And hmm, the zipper choice is going to be a tough one… all three options sound cool!


  6. I so should have done a bit more research on the sleeve length for this. I’ve just about finished my jacket and my sleeves are about 1″ shorter than I would prefer. Usually I would measure the length but all other Papercut patterns I’ve made have had a pretty good sleeve length so this time didn’t both … silly, silly, silly. Otherwise all is going well so far πŸ™‚


  7. Got my pieces cut out & my tiger patch on my sewing table. All ready to go. I’m quite happy about this sewalong since I do well on deadlines & I wanted to make myself a Rigel Bomber with Tiger Patch for ages. Great idea!


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