Refashioned Rigel Bomber

I’ve been dreaming and scheming up Rigel Bomber Jackets since the pattern was released earlier this year. Finally I’ve got one to show!

This make was inspired by Amy of Sew Amy Sew. She is hosting a fun ‘Repurpose, Reuse, Rafashion’ challenge during August. I love a good refashion – although I’m still quite a novice. I’ve just managed to sneak this entry in before the August 31st deadline.

Rigel Before & After


So, I started with the very stylish old lady dressing gown on the left and ended up with the bomber jacket on the right (above). I found the wool dressing gown at a local op-shop (thrift store) for $8 sometime last year. I had a jacket in mind when I bought it – but I was kinda waiting for my sewing skills to catch up with my ambitions a bit more before I attempted it. Amy’s competition was the motivation I needed to get busy.



This is the first Papercut Pattern that I’ve sewn. ย I JUST managed to squeeze the pattern pieces out of the dressing gown – raglan sleeves take a lot more fabric than you think. I didn’t have the luxury of pattern matching, although I did match the lines across the zipper….mostly…. ๐Ÿ˜‰ As I’m pretty sensitive to itchy woollen fabrics, lining the jacket was a must. I am a little perplexed that a $30 pattern comes without pattern pieces or instructions for lining, but fortunately for us, other sewers have already blogged instructions for how to line your Rigel bomber (see Liz’s post here). Given I had already made a lined jacket, albeit a tiny one, I pretty much just winged it. Fortunately it all turned out ok.



Given this is a Reusing challenge – the lining is cotton drill left over from this bag. The only thing I purchased specifically to make the jacket was the zip.

On to the pattern: I made the jacket in a small after reading online reviews and I’m happy with the fit. I read that others had lengthened the sleeves and I should have followed this advice too. Other than that (and the fact that it’s not lined), it’s all good! The instructions are adequate and if you’ve made a jacket before, or have some experience with welt pockets and zips, you’ll have no troubles.



Amy has a Flickr group for all the lovely entries that are part of the competition. Head on over there to see more refashioned creations. In the meantime, I’ll be getting as much wear as I can out of this super warm jacket before it’s too hot to wear it.

How about you, do you like to refashion things?




Selfish Sewing Week: A Striped Blazer

Yay! I love Selfish Sewing Week. Rachel has been clever with the timing, we’ve all been spending quite a bit of time lately sewing for the kids so some selfish sewing was definitely needed! There are a few firsts amongst this project – my first ever blazer and, get this, I went out in public to take photos of myself with my tripod for the first time! Scary stuff!! Took a fair bit of courage on my part to leave the relative safety of the confines of our driveway – but I did it and I was super proud of myself.




Another first for me is the pattern – it’s the Everyday Basic Blazer for knit fabric from Ottobre 02/2014. This is the first women’s pattern I’ve sewn from Ottobre (it’s a Finnish pattern magazine that comes out 2 times a year for women and 4 times a year for kids). I have sewn a few of the kids patterns here and here but there is a big step up in the degree of difficulty between those projects and this one.



I was completed obsessed with this Old Navy striped blazer that I saw on Merricks Art recently and I had it in my mind to recreate it. I was not having any luck finding a heavy weight knit with stripes in any of my local fabric sources, until last week! I think the sewing gods were looking out for me as I stumbled upon 1.3m of navy striped knit in an op-shop (thrift store) that I was rummaging through. It was meant to be!! The fabric was perfect – not too stretchy, not too thin. Ahhh but I couldn’t muck it up as there is no more fabric…..pressure!!

I made a few changes to the pattern too – it had a waist seam and the bottom pieces were more flared. I didn’t want the difficulty of more stripe matching than was necessary, so I got rid of the waist seam by attaching the upper and lower pattern pieces together. I also omitted the pockets, button, buttonholes and the ribbing knit sleeve cuffs. This is a size 42, however as I am small in the shoulders and bust compared to the rest of me, I took about an inch out of the side seam from the arm to the waist and decreased the size of the sleeve to fit my changes. I’m pretty ecstatic with how this project turned out – I love this jacket!!

Striped Blazer 5

So, the thing with Ottobre is the instructions are written only, no pictures or diagrams at all. I’m an indie pattern devotee – in a big part because I am self taught and I need all the technique help I can get. I’ve tried sewing big 4 patterns twice and I’m pretty traumatised – I need some big glossy photos and step by step instructions thanks!

Having said that, I ventured into this pattern with written instructions only and we all came out the other end in one piece – even the jacket! It really would have helped if I had put a collar together before – going and looking at the other jackets in my wardrobe really helped. I muddled through and the result is not perfect, but it’s very wearable and I’m seriously pleased with it.

Are you sewing something for yourself this week? I’d love to hear about it!




Pattern Review: Spring Showers Jacket

Hi everyone! If you follow nearest the pin on Instagram then you may have seen a sneak peak of this jacket already. If you’re not a follower, you can always come and join in the fun, I’m @nearestthepin.

So, I had the honour of pattern testing for Heidi of Elegance and Elephants this week and sewing up her newest pattern – the Spring Showers Jacket. This is the first jacket I’ve ever made .



The jacket is fully lined and includes two views, with the cinched waist or without. I love to sew lined garments as they give such a professional look – all my little sewing secrets (mistakes) are hidden inside the lining ๐Ÿ˜‰ Not that there were many mistakes with this jacket – it really is one of those projects that looks a lot more complicated than it actually is.



I was feeling like I’d created a monster of a project with choosing checked fabric, where to match? where not to match? I just really wanted to make sure the checks were matching across the zipper – check it out!!


The fabric I used for this jacket is duck from my local large chain fabric store – sometimes, just sometimes they come through with the goods! The lining is a cotton poplin. This combination of fabrics caused me a little challenge because the duck has a bit of give in it to allow easing but the poplin has none making it a challenge when I was sewing the two fabrics together. I would have loved to try a laminated fabric or oilcloth, but I’m glad I’ve tried the pattern on an easier fabric first.

This really is an achievable project if you’ve sewn a few things before and can follow a pattern. Heidi has produced some great instructions with colour photos. Ha, and I know from experience, that if you get into trouble she’s more than happy to help you out! I attached my facing pieces the wrong way around at first meaning my lining and jacket did not match up – luckily Heidi has since made the labelling on the pattern piece clearer so it shouldn’t be a problem for you.

After taking tester feedback, the final version of the pattern has some small changes to the jacket you see here. The most noticeable change being that she has made the hood a bit smaller. My husband, who doesn’t say a whole lot about my sewing, commented that this jacket looks very impressive – that’s a big tick of approval from him! I’m really thrilled with how it has turned out and I can’t wait to see lots of other Spring Showers Jackets out in blogland. The pattern is out now and available for the reduced price of $7 for the next few days. Head over to Elegance and Elephants to see a round up of all the tester versions of this pattern.


Have a great weekend everyone and I’ll be back on Monday to kick off Kids Clothes Week – can’t wait!!