Amanda vs Rigel Bomber Jacket

Sometimes things I imagine in my head are duds when they happen in real life (see: bumblebee costume for Bimble, trying to make the piñata cake from Pinterest; me in a jazzercise class). But sometimes things I imagine in my head are crazy awesome when they finally eventuate (see: tiny scarves for Bimble and Pimble, gin and tonic jelly in fancy moulds, tiki dresses). And I’m going to call this make crazy awesome and pop it into the win category…

Floral Bomber

This bad boy is Papercut Pattern’s Rigel Bomber. Yup, elebenty billion years behind the rest of the world I am rocking this like a boss. I’ve dabbled with Papercut before (why, hello pink cape!) and must say I was pretty happy with this pattern- it has easy to follow instructions and good style lines which make for a happy Manda.

Floral Rigel Bomber

I went with a crazy rad floral print sateen for this sucker. Now, florals and I generally don’t mix but when I came across this at Addicted to Fabric it was love at first sight and it had to become a Rigel. And it was meant to be as the store had only 0.4m of navy ribbing left in stock- exactly what the pattern required. It was a sign, I tells you! A sign to sew!

Fabric Detail

The Rigel features lots of fun details that I enjoyed working with: ribbing, separating zips and welt pockets. This was my first attempt at a separating zip and it went pretty well. Though what the heck is with the price of these bad boys? $8.45? Bananas! The ribbing was much easier to work with then I expected and the welt pocket instructions were really clear and made me think of my last Papercut Patterns adventure with my cape so long ago. Man, I can’t believe I tried welt pockets when I’d only been sewing for six months… Craziness!

Welt Pockets

Now, the only gripe to be had with this pattern from Chez Bimble and Pimble is the lack of lining. I am a bit of a crazy neat lady and the idea of all those seams on display and pocket bags dangling around makes me shudder. Ick! On the plus side, I drafted up a lining myself pretty easily which was a win. And by drafted, I mean cut out the shell pieces in lining fabric and stitched them in. Bwah ha ha! No drafting here! But to be honest, I could have taken some more time to cut pieces that allowed the facings to still be in there but this was a last minute pre-Japan trip sew and time was of the essence. This lady’s head was already in Tokyo…

Rigel Bomber Lining

I mean, hello polka dot deliciousness! This lining is still a win.

Lining Detail

Alterations wise, I decided to better cover my Go-Go-Gadget arms by adding an extra 2” of sleeve length to what the pattern recommended. This was a wide move and the sleeve ends at a pretty good length now. Though I wouldn’t say no to an extra 1/2” next time. Go-Go-Gadget alterations!

Open Rigel Bomber

What I liked about this pattern:

  • The welt pockets and their instructions – this takes the whole pattern up a notch.
  • The raglan sleeves- it make me feel like I’m wearing a letterman jacket. OMG I am totally living life like Friday Night Lights. Oh, Riggins!
  • How schmick it looks with a lining. Also how snug it is. This lady needs to somehow stay warm in winter when brandy isn’t available.

Rigel Full Length

What I would change for next time:

  • Add an extra inch to the neckline lining piece to create an action pleat. As a lady who likes to ninja chop in most social situations it is great to have a bit more range of movement without fear of tearing my most epic jacket.
  • Another 1/2” to the arm length- apparently I have crazy long orangutang arms. Or am Gumby. You decide.
  • Draft up lining pieces that work with the facings to give a cleaner finish. Because I’m fancy like that…

Back Rigel Bomber

Rigel Bomber

Pattern: Rigel Bomber from Papercut Patterns

Fabric: 1.4m floral sateen; 1.4m polka dot cotton;  0.4m ribbing

Notions: Separating zip, stash thread

See also: Top Notch, Sew Dixie Lou, Cirque de Bebe

Overall, I’m seriously happy with this jacket. I wore it every day on our trip- it experienced sleet, sun, hikes up mountains, crowded subways and theme park rides. And it’s been on constant rotation since we got back. And to me, that’s a winner. I mean, who can say no to something with stealth polka dots? Not this lady!

Rigel Bomber Jump

Now, for those who aren’t interested in Japan photos, please feel free to exit the vehicle here. I thought I’d post up a couple of my fave pictures from the trip- it was three and a bit weeks of awesome crazy fun! There were adventures aplenty, mischief but no mayhem and I came home loaded up with Clover products and five awesome pieces of fabric. Win. But enough yapping, a couple of pics from the trip…

These guys were well worth the potter up the mountain.
These guys were well worth the potter up the mountain.


Maiko dress up in Kyoto!
Maiko dress up in Kyoto!


Exploring the cemetery on Koyasan.
Exploring the cemetery on Koyasan.


So. Many. Cherry. Blossoms.
So. Many. Cherry. Blossoms.

So. Much. Fun.



  1. Dude. First of all I’ve missed you on this blog business. And secondly I so freaking love your Rigel I can’t. Nope. Wish the damn pattern came in my size, sure, but I’m more than happy to look at yours anytime I need some Rigel love.

    Also LOVE your Japan photos. Do we need to organise a slide night?

    • *hat tip* Why thank ye lady! And many thanks to all the rad Canberra sewing crew who peer pressured me into this fabric. y’all rock! xx

  2. This is amazing! I love the Rigel bombers and this has to be one of my favourite. I was really hoping to make one this winter but pregnancy hormones have me very unmotivated to make anything that’s not for the baby. In the meantime I will stare longily and jealously at your fierce creation 🙂

  3. Oh I love this Amanda. Is it too late for me to hop on board the bomber wagon? I still have the pattern at home (I bought it when it was first released) but feel I have missed the boat. Love the look 🙂

  4. Awesome jacket! I was too lazy to draft separate lining pieces as well, so this was my solution: cut the lining the same as the shell, assemble both and baste together before attaching zipper or bands, continue the jacket, attach the facing and handstitch the edge down to the lining. The only raw edges you have are around the cuffs and hem band, but I can live with that!

  5. Awesome, of course!!! I nearly stole a pink copy of this right off a preschoolers back on the weekend – I must have the floral with dark rib Bomber!!! Love it, & loved your Japan shots – more, more, more!!!! 😉

  6. You forgot to mention the awesome snap-band pin cushion!!! And I totally love that you lined it. I would have done the same thing for the same reasons. Ugly seam allowances – be GONE!
    Now I need to hit youtube and watch some go-go gadget cartoons… Love the jacket 😉

    • I am aghast- I can’t believe I forgot the snap band! And yes to all the linings- sassy ladies do not need ugly interior finishes!

  7. Ninja pleat! Your jacket is stunning. So many high fives for this one. My parents are off to Japan soon. I’m mega jealous

  8. Best photo shoot ever!!
    I love this so much – polka dots and floral, could there be a better combination??! I think NOT!

  9. I know I’m late commenting on this post but your jacket looks great! Love the lining, I might have to get this pattern now!
    The Japan pics are beautiful, I really want to get there one day, it just looks so beautiful! We have our head of style from Japan come over each year for karate and he is so polite and lovely, can’t speak a work of English but still gets his meaning across!

  10. How have I not seen this before…or have I. In any case, it knocked my socks off. I love your version of the Bomber. Love the lining too. In complete agreement on lining this jacket – I stalled my project halfway to do a lining – it just looked too messy without. I found the arms very short on this jacket too, but just assumed I have gogo gadget arms like you, a good thing really, we can reach the cookies. Good points on your future mods – mine is pretty good, but not a 100% perfect fit, but maybe adding that action pleat in the lining will help me for next time too.

    • *hat tip* Merci, lovely lady! Yeah, the lack of lining was a bit of an oversight, I think.
      And all the cool ladies have lengthy limbs- that’s my story and we’ll stick to it! 😉

  11. Just found this post and loved it! Want to make a Rigel bomber and am waiting on the pattern to arrive!!!
    I don’s have go go gadget arms – mine are more oompa loompa ….. btw Amandas rock big time !!!

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