Tag Archives: Bettie Bomber jacket

Bettie Bomber class – week four

Marilyn returns this week to share her experience with the final Bettie Bomber class session! New to this class series? Catch up on week one and weeks two & three!

NSB - header pt 3

Unfortunately, I missed the last week of class, but the rest of the students got a lot done! They learned how to modify their jacket fronts for snaps and how to use our big snap press at Nancy’s. The attached their ribbed waistband and tab and ribbed collar.

NSB - June's Bettie Bomber

Here is June, another student in the class, in her completed Bettie Bomber!

Jacque always sews garments along with the class, as a way to demonstrate techniques. This session she sewed two beautiful, and very different bomber jackets. She started sewing a jacket of a cotton knit in an open leaf pattern with an underlining of cotton voile.

NSB - wk 4 Jacque knit bomber

The kangaroo pocket that she taught the class looks great on this lacy knit.

NSB - wk 4 Jacque knit pocket

Jacque also made an elegant black bomber out of silk and embossed lambskin. She was inspired by the beautiful geometric silk jacquard that was given to Nancy’s by Sharon Henry, an amazing Seattle area seamstress and long time customer who recently had to give up sewing. We’re happy that her gift can keep inspiring students in Jacque’s classes.

NSB - wk 4 Jacque black bomber

I ran into Jacque later in the week and got an update on how the class finished up as well as some tips for finishing my own jacket. We quickly went through the order of construction for my jacket. Jacque provides a thoughtful, efficient sequence of steps for every garment class that she teaches. Her order of construction always makes a lot more sense to me than the instructions that come with the pattern.  Armed with her construction sequence and what I learned in the first three classes I felt ready to start sewing my own jacket.

Now, my own bomber jacket is underway. The Italian cotton is a dream to sew & presses beautifully. So far my plaids are matching and my topstitching is even.  Like many sewers, I dread making welt pockets and was looking forward to learning Jacque’s method for making welt pockets. Since I missed the last class – I didn’t get any tips from Jacque and had to use my tried and true method for welt pockets.

I have managed to make nice welt pockets several times by using a method that I read about in Threads Magazine. The article is No Fear Welt Pockets, by Ann Steeves in the January 2006 issue. If you don’t have access to old Threads magazines, the author has a good description on her blog. I have modified Steeves’s techniques and made my pockets a little differently than the article describes. I used ¾ inch drafting tape to mark my pockets instead of marking on the pocket interfacing; it makes a good guide and pulls off the fabric without causing damage. You can see a pocket opening ready to be sewn on the left and the back of a finished pocket opening on the right in this picture.

NSB - wk 4 inside jacket front

I also used wonder tape instead of hand basting to place my welts into the opening. My pockets turned out pretty well!

NSB - wk 4 welt pockets I will post a picture of my jacket when it is complete, but that may take a while. I took the beginning embroidery class at Nancy’s and I now see opportunities for embroidery everywhere. I have decided add an embroidered nosegay to the front of my jacket so construction is on hold until I get that done.

Thanks so much Marilyn! I look forward to seeing your finished jacket, especially the embroidery!

Bettie Bomber jacket – weeks two & three

Marilyn is back this week to share more about the Bettie Bomber class! Miss out on the first class? Check it out here.

NSB - Bettie header pt 2 Because we were missing one person, week two was spent helping students alter their patterns and cut out their fabric. I had already cut out my fabric at home on my dining room table, so I worked on marking my fabric, talking over seam finishes and doing my stay stitching. So what are my tips on cutting out your jacket? If you are like me and don’t have a real cutting table, it is worth purchasing some bed risers and lifting your table up to a comfortable height. I like to cut with weights and a 28 mm rotary cutter, but Jacque cuts out with pins and scissors. I have a tiny sewing space and I really appreciate my set of three Olfa mats that clamp together to cover my table. The clamps can get in the way now and then, but I don’t mind because they are so much easier to store than the big mat I had before. I also really appreciate the self-healing quality of the Olfa mats. I don’t know what you call a non-self-healing mat, a tortured mat maybe? Mine old one was so sliced up that it was hard to cut on and it certainly caused me pain. My fabric is a very dark plaid and I tried to match plaids under the arms, and at the shoulders. I think it should match up well, because there are lots of straight seams in this jacket and the only seam with ease is the back sleeve around the elbows. When I am cutting plaid fabric, I cut each piece individually. It also helps to draw on the seam allowances, so that you match the plaid where it will actually join – not on the cut edge. NSB - Bomber2-1 With week three we were back to work. Some students were still getting some pattern alteration advice, but we moved on to discuss garment construction, zippers, snaps and pockets. Jacque showed us how to shorten a zipper and we all gave it a try. There is definitely a knack to cleanly pulling off zipper teeth, so I was glad to have some pointers and practice. NSB - shiny gunmetal zipper I decided not to shorten a zipper myself and instead I am ordering a custom length of our nice zippers from California. For an additional dollar, they will cut the zipper of your choice to the length that you specify. I chose a black zipper with shiny gunmetal teeth and pull. NSB - Bomber2-2 Along with zippers and snaps, we worked on different pockets for the bomber jacket. Jacque gave us a pattern piece for kangaroo pockets and sample kangaroo pockets to finish & apply. We learned to finish the curved top edge of the kangaroo pocket, one method for a turned hem and one for a bound edge. I liked the turned hem technique and it looked great the first time I tried it. It was a bit trickier to use a knit or ribbing to bind the kangaroo pocket’s curved edge – but the nice thing about this style of pocket is that you can try making a few pockets, then apply the pockets that turn out best! NSB - Bomber2-3 Thanks so much Marilyn! Looking forward to the next installment!

Bettie Bomber jacket class – week one

Remember our post about the Bettie Bomber jacket? I am very excited because Marilyn, one of our Nancy’s employees, is taking the class with Jacque Goldsmith and will be sharing her experiences with us! Take it away, Marilyn!

NSB - Bettie Bomber part 1 header

Inspirational samples made by Jacque Goldsmith

I have wanted to take this class for a long time! I like the look of bomber jackets, but I think they can be unflattering if the fit isn’t right.  One of the cool things about the classes Jacque teaches at Nancy’s is she makes up muslins in all the different sizes so students come away with a great fitting garment. Since Jacque has made up the jacket in every size, I can find the right size quickly and then alter my pattern for the best fit. It is a huge time-saver to work from her muslins and go straight to altering the pattern and cutting out your own customized version.

In the first class, Jacque talked about fabric selection and the difficulty of finding ribbing. She explained how to use different knits for ribbing and make adjustments to the waistband and cuffs to accommodate fabrics with more or less stretch. Jacque had lots of example jackets, ranging from lace to appliqued mesh to one made of repurposed embroidered leather with heavy wool knit sleeves.

I brought in a few fabrics to show Jacque, and together we decided on an Italian cotton bottom weight in a dark navy plaid. It is one of a group of Italian mill ends that Nancy’s purchased for Sew Expo in early March. There was only one piece of my fabric, but there are still lots of beautiful Italian cotton options  available; it is lovely fabric and only $12.50 per yard!

The Folkwear Varsity Jacket (the pattern used in this class) is a classic style. It is roomy and unisex, so Jacque definitely had some fitting to do for all of us. It is interesting to see how pinning out just an inch of excess fabric can transform the fit of a jacket, and how the same pattern alteration moves up or down, inward or outward, depending on the wearer.

NSB - Bomber1-1

One of the students being fitted.

I shortened my jacket, made a forward shoulder adjustment and took out some of the width down the sleeves and across the back. Because I changed the length of my jacket, I will have to change my welt pockets as well. You can see how Jacque folded and pinned out the excess fabric on the muslin that I tried on.

NSB - Bomber1-2

You can really tell this is a unisex style – the pinned fold on my jacket body accounts for nearly 3″ of length!

I measured all of the changes and transferred them to my pattern during class. It helps so much to have Jacque there to answer questions while you are altering your pattern.  Everyone’s changes are a little different and though I have altered a lot of patterns, I always learn something new and usually get stuck at some point!

Some students got a start on cutting out their jackets. Our jackets are going to to be a diverse group, from sequins to floral-print rayon to my Italian cotton – it is going to be fun to see how the pattern looks in such different materials. I cut mine out at home; you can see how my pattern has been folded and taped, ready for cutting out on my dining room table.

NSB - Bomber1-3

Thank you Marilyn! I am looking forward to seeing how this class progresses!

Have a question for Marilyn? Leave it in a comment below!

A new spring jacket – the Bettie Bomber

NSB Bettie Bomber headerHooray! Spring has finally sprung! Or at the very least, the vernal equinox has passed 😉

We are excited because a new season means it’s time to start trading out our wardrobes. This year, we are particularly eager to make a new spring jacket that updates a classic style: the bomber. We think it is the perfect cute, casual addition to any wardrobe.

Luckily for us, our awesome teacher Jacque Goldsmith agreed to teach a class in making bomber jackets. We present to you the Bettie Bomber (shown here over the wonderful ESP dress):

NSB Bettie Bomber + ESP Dress front

This bomber is cute, casual spring style at its finest!

NSB Bettie Bomber + ESP Dress side

It’s even adorable from the side!

Our next class session starts next Tuesday, March 31 at 5:30pm and there are only TWO seats left! If you are interested in signing up, please give us a call at the shop!

Inspired by all the cool options on the runway and in stores, we have put together several inspiration boards:

Sheer Spring Bomber Jackets
Textured Soft Neutrals Spring Bomber Jackets
Black and White Spring Bomber Jackets
Printed & Saturated Spring Bomber Jackets
As you can see, this style is very versatile! We think the Bettie Bomber would look great made up in a white eyelet with pop color underlining, a printed silk chiffon, or a beautiful linen with contrast ribbing! How would you make this jacket?