A Review of The Men's Bomber Jacket Pdf Pattern by Rebecca Page.
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I'd bought a Harrington Jacket for my husband's 40th birthday but a bottle of hand sanitiser spilt over it and the black fabric remained stained. My husband joked that I could make him a replacement jacket for his 50th birthday this year so I started to search around for a suitable pattern. There aren't as many men's pdf patterns on the market but I finally settled on The Men's Bomber Jacket by Rebecca Page.
Sew up some warm, sporty casual style with the Men’s Bomber Jacket pattern. Features a zip front with raglan sleeves and optional welt pockets.
Source: Rebecca Page
The Men's Bomber Jacket is recommended for an Advanced Beginner and has a zip front with raglan sleeves and optional welt pockets and lining. The hem and cuffs are elasticated. There is also a Ladies and Children's version.
The Pdf Pattern comes in sizes XXS - 4XL which is a chest range of 32" - 59". It comes in A4, US Letter and A0 (copyshop) sizes and has Layers enabled.
I chose to make The Men's Bomber Jacket with welt pockets and lining and also an internal pocket (which isn't included in the pattern).
Recommended fabric for The Men's Bomber Jacket is a light to medium weight woven. I chose a black polycotton gabardine twill for the main outer and a printed polycotton for the lining, both from Minerva.com. I chose to put anti-static lining which has a smooth satin finish in the sleeves, from PoundFabrics.co.uk. Other supplies required are: an open-ended zipper, 3/4" wide elastic and interfacing.
The instructions for The Men's Bomber Jacket include lots of tips for adjusting to size and strongly recommends sewing up a muslin (which I did). They also include a cut guide, a quick glance cheat sheet and each step is described and pictured in detail. However, there are a some typos in the instructions and they aren't always particularly clearly written. Sometimes the text contradicts the associated photograph. Also confusing is the fact that the fabrics used in the photographs changes throughout the instructions. It would be so much better if they had good quality diagrams drafted.
The first task when constructing The Men's Bomber Jacket is to add the Welt Pockets to the front pattern pieces. If you haven't made welt pockets before I recommend that you practice on some scrap fabric first - I didn't (because I'd had no issue when making my Wool Opium Coat) but my first attempts were terrible and I ended up ruining both my front pattern pieces and had to order more gabardine fabric.
The main issue I had was that this method of welt pockets leaves an external flap that has to be topstitched down - I found this impossible with my sewing machine as the number of layers made it too thick. I eventually found an extremely helpful video on YouTube showing a different method of constructing welt pockets. This method also recommends interfacing the area that gets cut as well as the welt pockets which made the fabric so much easier to handle. I ended up drafting my own welt pocket pattern pieces but I'm very happy with the results.
Next was the Front Facing which should be straight forward. However, the instructions for serger and machine sewing were conflicting. Also, you are told to join the front facing to the lining and that "the bottom of the front facing will be longer". This was really unhelpful - how much longer? The pattern pieces were curved and without notches to guide the way it was really frustrating.
My husband requested an internal pocket for his Bomber Jacket big enough for his phone and passport. (Note: without the pocket the lined version of this Jacket would be completely reversible if you use the right type of zip.) After gaining confidence with my welt pockets I decided to make the internal pocket with a Double Welt using the lining fabrics. I also added a loop and button for extra security. This YouTube video helped me draft this pocket.
The Zipper and Sleeves insertion were straight forward but again some of the instructions are conflicting/confusing so it's worth reading ahead before starting any new section.
I found putting the Neckband in very challenging and checked to see if I'd cut the pieces out correctly because it was a very tight fit. I had to ease that neckband in with a lot of force! I snipped the curve afterwards (surprisingly it doesn't tell you to do this in the instructions) to help it lay properly but I'm not 100% happy with the finished look as it still looks puckered to me.
The following stages were straightforward: sewing up the sides, adding the bottom elasticated band and adding the cuffs.
All the main parts of The Bomber Jacket are constructed now and it should be a simple task of sewing in the Lining and bagging it out, however, this was the most challenging part for me. Again, the instructions are confusing and the associated photographs add no clarity. There is even a video accompanying this part of the instructions but that was as useful as a chocolate teapot!
I queried this step on the Rebecca Page Facebook page, (also pointing out the typos) and got a lot of unhelpful responses mostly from people who hadn't even made this jacket. There was one lady, though, who went out of her way to film this construction step and it was so much clearer than the official video! I still couldn't make it work though, and I wondered if it was because I hadn't left the right amount of excess fabric when attaching the facing. In the end I folded over the fabric around the zipper and hand stitched it - the rest of the lining I attached with my sewing machine.
Finally, you sew the sleeve lining to the elasticated cuffs. Frustratingly, the instructions are misleading again and conflict with the photographs. My advice is NOT to follow these instructions, I ended up putting the jacket right sides out and pinning the sleeve lining to the main sleeve in just one place so you can see how they need to join and then pulling it back through so it's inside out so you can machine sew. The elasticated cuff is fiddly to sew because of the confined space - I found using less pins easier.
I can't say I enjoyed making The Men's Bomber Jacket by Rebecca Page. The most enjoyable construction was the internal pocket but I designed that myself! I appreciate that this pdf pattern is recommended for an Advanced Beginner but the instructions are very poor and I find it hard to believe that they were tested or proofread. For that reason I wouldn't recommend this pattern.
However, I'm pleased with the finish of The Men's Bomber Jacket. The gabardine fabric works well for this style and because I pre-washed all the fabric I know that this jacket will go in the washing machine without issue. The lined finish looks very tidy and I like the fact that you wouldn't find anything like this in store.