Rigel Bomber January: Tips & Tutorials!

Hi, guys! I’m sure you’re all busy as bees, sewing up a storm! I’m really enjoying Rigel Bomber Jacket January so far- there are already so many cute jackets popping up on Flickr and Instagram! Can’t wait to see what else you guys make! Yay! So today I have collected a few of the helpful tutorials I’ve seen around as well as a few tips of my own that helped me get good results when sewing the bomber. Forgive me if this post is kinda scattered… it was hard to organize a lot of information in a clear and concise way!

Before I forget, if you can, please upload your photos to the Flickr group. If you don’t have an account, you can totally share your photos on Instagram using #rigelbomberjanuary. It’s just nice to be able to look at bigger pics, so that’s why we like Flickr! šŸ™‚

Katy & Laney’s Rigel… how’s that for inspiration?!

OK, here are some tutorials that recently popped up online that might help you out!

Katie quilting her Rigel

Hopefully these are helpful to you! But let’s say that you, like me, are a little bit lazy and the thought of drafting new lining pieces is making you drag your feet a little. Don’t drag your feet… quick-line your bomber, dude!

How to Quick-Line the Rigel Bomber:

Cut your fronts and sleeves using the original pattern pieces. Cut your lining back, using the original pattern piece, but slide the pattern piece over from the fold to give yourself some ease to create a pleat. I cut mine 2″ from the fold for a total of 4″ of ease. Then, clip a notch right next to the pattern piece at the top and the bottom (so you know where to stitch your pleat!).

Measure where you want your pleat to end and mark it with chalk. At the bottom I marked a line 2″ up, and on the top, about 3.5″ down (your pleat just needs to be long enough that the facing can fit on top of it). Now, stitch from the notch to the chalk mark and press it to one side. Easy!

Assemble your lining just like your shell: stitch sleeve fronts to front, and sleeve backs to back, then stitch the side seams from hem to sleeve hem. Stitch your facing seam and press it open. Next, stitch a line along the outside of the facing (not the neck edge) from end to end with a 1cm seam allowance. Press the seam allowance under along the stitched line.

Now, lay your facing on top of your lining with right sides up on BOTH pieces (not right sides together!). Baste together along the neck edge.

Edgstitch the facing down on top of the lining to keep it in place, leaving about 2″ unstitched right above the lining hem line. That’s it!

How to Bag Your Lining:

If the concept of bagging your lining is confusing or new to you, check out Jen’s amazing tutorial here. The idea is to sew the whole thing right sides together, and then make an opening in the lining to pull the jacket out. It might not make sense at first to do this, but it’s really pretty easy. To start, have your lining/facing unit sewed and the zipper and ribbing in your jacket, but don’t topstitch the hem ribbing.

  1. Pin and stitch the facing to the jacket (right sides together) along the neck edge from hem to hem. I used my zipper foot to stitch close to the zipper teeth on the jacket front. Understitch the seam allowance to the facing, leaving a few cms free at the very edge.
  2. Next, match the lining hem to the ribbing seam allowance and stitch it together. You’ll want to position and sew it the same way that you sewed your jacket to the ribbing (with it extending 2cm past the corner).
  3. Stitch the jacket front to the facing at the bottom of the little rectangle (next to the ribbing).
  4. Stitch the sleeve linings to the seam allowance of the cuffs.
  5. Open up one sleeve seam to turn the jacket right side out, and close it up when you’re done! You’ll also need to slip stitch the 2″ or so where you didn’t edgestitch the facing to the lining. Now you can topstitch the little bit where the facing meets the ribbing, too, or you can slip stitch it closed. Whatevs!

From the Flickr group, here’s Rose’s Liberty bomber! Whoa!

Applying the Neck Ribbing:

I’ve noticed in a few of the Rigels I’ve seen online that the ribbing sometimes stands away from the wearer’s neck. This could be because the amount of stretch varies in different fabrics, but one thing that helped me get good results was to apply the ribbing without stretching it (at a 1:1 ratio to the fashion fabric) on the jacket fronts, and then to only stretch it on the back neckline. That should help it to hug your neck (as would shortening it).

Sewing the Zipper:

OK, I know some people aren’t going to like this advice, but in a garment like this where you want your zipper to be really even, it can really help to hand baste your zipper. Pins shift, scotch tape isn’t always strong enough to do the trick, and the whole zipper can get scooched down and out of place no matter how careful you are! I just remind myself that, yeah, hand basting is a little slow, but seam ripping is way, WAY slower. šŸ™‚ I baste one side in place, pin the other to check that both sides are properly aligned, and then baste the second side. Easy! Also, interfacing the zipper edge is probably a good idea unless your fabric is super stable. šŸ™‚

Alright, hope this was helpful and not too confusing! How are your bombers going? Any helpful tips or tricks?

26 responses

  1. Thanks for this roundup and tips for lining. I wasn’t going to but decided to give it a shot. My lining ended up all wonky so I have to try again. šŸ˜¦ I hope to finish within the deadline.


  2. These are very help tips.

    I cut my jacket and the bastard shifted and to add injury the sucker frays, so I my bomber came to a dead halt. I really don’t want to trash the pieces I have cut. What to do? Ugh!


    • Oof! That’s so annoying! Can you serge the edges and use fray check or hand overcasting on the pocket slash to save it? How annoying! There’s almost nothing more irritating than when things shift while you’re cutting them. šŸ˜¦


    • Thanks, Carly! The lining is a Liberty silk twill… it’s just delicious! A sewing friend gave me a meter a few years ago and I’ve been hoarding it, too scared to cut into it! But it looked so pretty with the tweed that I had to use it and I’m glad I did! šŸ™‚


  3. If you haven’t done a Ribbing fabric sources roundup, would that be something you’re willing to do? For those of us not in NYC, it can be verrry hard to find decent materials.


  4. Thanks so much for this, looks really helpful. Perfect timing as I am up to the lining part and was hesitating drafting lining pieces. I am running behind schedule as my sewing machine was getting serviced and it took longer than planned šŸ˜¦


  5. Pingback: Papercut Rigel Bomber in the Wild | The Monthly Stitch

  6. Pingback: SEWN// Papercut Patterns Rigel Bomber

  7. Pingback: Bomber Jacket – Crafting On Pins and Needles

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