I’ve always been a fan of bomber jackets, and it’s a style that seems to stay around forever. Making them with statement prints has always been my approach, and I have made many bombers before in my days. When a testing call was posted for the Causeway Bomber from Itch to Stitch, I jumped at the chance, knowing I would end up with a fantastic bomber. Better than the ones I’ve made before. Why? cup sizes friends! A-DD cup sizes!
So, cup sizes and woven fabric is a combination irresistible to me.
The Causeway bomber is designed for light to medium weight woven fabrics without stretch. On the front, there are princess seams with a unique diagonal style line. In this diagonal seam, there are optional invisible zipper pockets.
The shoulder fit is intended to be slightly dropped, and there are two-piece sleeves. The traditional bomber style collar, sleeve cuff and bottom band are made with knit ribbing.
The most important feature all depends on the choice of zipper and fabric. If you have a long reversible separating zipper, your Causeway bomber can be reversible! If you don’t have a reversible zipper or reversible jackets are not your thing, you can use a normal separating zipper and have a fully lined jacket. The sewing technique is IDENTICAL.
My choice was made for me: Lined it is. I couldn’t source reversible zippers.
As per above, you can choose a wide variety of woven fabrics for your Causeway bomber.
If you are making it reversible, I have a few thoughts:
- Make sure both fabrics have the properties that will feel comfortable against your body. If you find wool scratchy, making the jacket reversible will be pointless because you won’t tolerate having the wool layer inside. The same goes for faux leather. Having this material inside can be sticky and sweaty. If these fabrics appeal to you, I’d suggest using them as the main fabric and not making the jacket reversible. You could make it fully lined instead.
- I’d be drawn to a print and a solid with coordinating colors, with fabrics in the same weight. When you wear the jacket, the center will open and the fabric inside will be seen. Having two clashing prints or colors might not be the best look. Unless you like that. I don’t 🙂
If you are making the Causeway lined, I also have some thoughts:
- As per above, when you wear your jacket open, the center front will open and your lining fabric will be visible. If you like a subtle look, chose to line in the same tones are the main fabric on the outside.
- If your main fabric is a print, a solid lining in the same color as the background color of the main fabric will make the jacket more versatile when matching garments to wear underneath.
- Another option: for the lining, cut the center front piece from the main fabric and the rest of the pieces from lining fabric. When you wear the jacket, we will see the same main fabric on the inside. This is what I have done with my tester version.
You need some ribbing. I didn’t have navy ribbing. nor could I find any. BUT, I had navy heavy cotton spandex (11-12oz/square yard 90% cotton, 10% spandex). This fabric is structured, has great recovery, and is a good option. Ponte roma is also another alternative to ribbing.
I made two jackets. Jacket 1 is my tester version and Jacket 2 was made after the testing period.
Jacket 1: Not reversible, main fabric is a medium weight flowery crepe. I cut the center front piece from the main fabric and the rest from poly satin in navy for the lining layer. For the collar, cuffs & band I used cotton spandex.
Jacket 2: Not reversible. main fabric is chiffon with flowery print again. I only lined the body of the jacket, not the sleeves, and used rayon twill. I used actual black ribbing for the collar, cuffs & band.
The Causeway bomber includes sizes 00-40 US in two separate drafts: 00-20US and 16-40US. Each size has cup sizes A- DD.
I chose a straight size 14 with a C cup and made a non wearable muslin to check for fit. Especially the bust height, shoulder fit, and overall length.
A bomber is not a fitted jacket, the Causeway bomber is designed with an appropriate wearing ease of approximately 6″ at the bust and hips. There is no boxiness here because of the excellent fit of the princess seams and cup sizes.
Also, consider that there are two layers of fabric. That in itself means the space inside the jacket will be slightly less than the 6″ described. You need ease to fit garments underneath too. I suggest measuring yourself accurately and choosing your size based on your body measurements. Blending between sizes is ok and the pattern instructions have diagrams showing how to do this.
I strongly suggest against sizing down on this pattern. The length from the nape of the neck down is 2-27″ depending on the size and this might hit the mid hip or full hip depending on your height.
I made a 14 C cup muslin without changes and confirmed the bust height on the curve of the princess seam was matching my body well. I liked the original length of the body of the jacket. There are two shorten and lengthen lines: one for petite upper chest adjustments and another lower around the waist height.
In theory, being 5ft 8″ tall, I would need to add 1″ of length to account for the height difference between the 5ft 6″ the pattern is drafted for. I opted to keep the original length. I did, however, decide to lengthen the sleeves by 3/4″. Note that I pinned the paper patterns on the sleeve hem and bottom, instead of sewing a cuff and band for this muslin 🙂
The shoulders are meant to fit slightly dropped, but they felt too dropped on my body. I did a 1/2″ narrow shoulder adjustment (the proper way…. not the short cut way).
- The pattern uses 1/2″ seam allowance for the main seams, however, you will baste everything with 3/8″ and the pocket construction has some 1/4″ seam allowances in there.
- The center front has areas that need to be interfaced in the same way for the primary and secondary fabric. Long 1″ strips of interfacing along the center fronts for the zipper area and little 1″ squares to stabilise areas that need to be snipped in.
- The diagonal seam on the front princess seams has an invisible zipper with pocket bags inside. The pocket bags are drafted to fit perfectly and be sewn along the center front (with the zipper) and along the bottom where the band will be sewn later. This means that these pockets will not move anywhere. They have a nice and fit my iphone.
- The pockets are optional and I opted out. I carry a handbag at all times and don’t need pockets. This does not mean I can’t sew them. In fact, I filmed the whole technique as exclusive content for the lovelies who support my work on Patreon. This is the post there with video.
- Still about the pockets: You can sew them on both the outer layer and inner layer of the jacket if its reversible. That means sewing 4 pockets. That means you’ll have 6 layers of fabric at the front that will need to be sewn on the band (bulky). I’d rather not. One pair of pockets is enough for me, considering the 3 layers present at the front.
- The seam allowance on the princess seams are pressed in two different directions. The diagonal section is pressed with the seam allowances open for the zipper insertion. Above the princess seam curve, the seam allowances are pressed together and towards the center of the body.
- In theory, if you are not sewing pockets, you can press the seam allowances together towards the center front. No need to press them open.
- About the zipper. You can use a longer one and trim off the extra teeth. There are plenty of chances to check that the collar and zipper are level at the same height. This is important and a very visible area of the jacket. I zip up to confirm exactly where to remove teeth on the other side of the zipper tape.
To actually see an overview, sewing of the collar, cuff, zipper, lining and bagging the jacket out, check my comprehensive video on my channel. This video footage is difficult to find for free, and I’ve filmed it so that everything is easy to understand and do. You can sew this jacket 🙂
About my chiffon version, some sewing techniques were done a little differently:
- I sewed and serged all the seams both for the chiffon layer and the rayon twill lining. When serging, I trimmed the seam allowances to 3/8″.
- I didn’t snip into any curve of the princess seams and collar.
- I pressed the seam allowances of the princess seams together (no pockets here)
- I pressed the seam allowances of the lining in the opposite direction as the main fabric. Example: main has shoulder seams pressed to the back, the lining has them pressed to the front. This creates less bulk at the seams.
- I serged edges because the armholes will be open inside. I am not lining the sleeves.
- I bound the raw edges of the lining armholes with chiffon bias tape (main fabric).
- There is no need to leave an opening on the side seam to bag out the jacket. You can bag it out from one of the armholes.
TESTER VERSION: CREPE LINED WITH SATIN
I made this version during the pattern test and made no changes to the intended design. This Causeway bomber might look a tad shorter on me because I am 5ft 8″ and I opted to not add length to account for my height. I like this original length that hits mid hip on me and think it’s more in proportion with my height and body shape. I have styled my Causeway bomber in a “dressy” and “casual” way and as always, the exact way I will wear the jacket in my normal day to day.
Styled with self drafted navy stretch lace mini dress & heels
Styled with my Eddystone jeans and plain cami top
My Eddystone jeans (also a pattern from Itch to Stitch) are made with dark navy zero stretch denim and the tone pairs well with my navy background flowery bomber. We can diversify this same outfit with all the colors on the Causeway for the choice of the cami or top worn underneath. To see more about my favorite non stretch denim jeans, see THIS BLOG POST and THIS VIDEO.
CHIFFON VERSION, LINED WITH RAYON TWILL, UNLINED SLEEVES
The Causeway bomber is intended to be either reversible or lined. That is perfect, but I had a vision of a chiffon version with unlined sleeves and knew I would make this after the pattern test. The construction is a little different, but don’t think it was easier or faster 🙂 I have already mentioned the unique approach. I am thrilled with my dream coming to life.
I have also styled it “dressy” and “causal” and would literally walk out of the house exactly dressed like this.
Styled with my red ponte roma Daphne Day Dress (sew this pattern indie brand) & heels
I made the Daphne day dress from Sew this Pattern in 2017 and it’s easy in my top 10 dress patterns. See THIS VIDEO about it. I made mine with Ponte Roma and the red tone matches the red flowers in my chiffon Causeway bomber perfectly. I had this outfit in mind the whole time. You’ll never see me shake off heels from an outfit 🙂
Styled with my Mountain View stretch denim jeans & cotton tank top
Enter my favorite stretch jeans! these are the Mountain view jeans (Also from Itch to Stitch) and they are pull on, comfortable and versatile. See two videos about my jeans HERE. Paired with a basic cotton grey tank and that’s it! The Causeway bomber is really the star here and basics pair up very well.
This chiffon bomber is just what I always wanted, and I’m happy I could sew it finally.
I have future plans for this pattern! Sewing it multiple times means it gets easier every time.
- I’d love to make a reversible one at some point when I can get my hands on the right zipper. This one would have a print side and a solid side with light woven fabrics.
- I’d love to make a sleeveless one that has bands on the armholes made with the same ribbing….to keep the look consistent.
- I have the perfect wool suiting that is top quality fabric. I’d love to make a lined version with fancy ribbing and a matching pencil skirt. I would sew the pockets on this one!
DISCLAIMER: I was provided the pattern without cost, as a pattern tester, in exchange for sewing a muslin, providing feedback on instructions and fit. I Purchased my own fabric for both versions.
I have affiliate links in this post to the pattern company and the pattern. If you click on these links, at no cost to you, I receive a small commission that helps finance my sewing, blog and Youtube channel.
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