Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Explorations in the ugly aesthetic: the brocade bomber

Post editing note - added some clearer photos - and yes Neighbourhood gal - it's super comfy, and yes Audrey you are so right - I am going to flog this jacket till it's threadbare.

Burda 10-2009-129

Here I am in my latest creation, the brocade bomber. In case you think I whipped this up in the last 24 hours, rest assured, I had 95% finished it before I went on holiday last week.

I didn't consult my inner taste guide for this one. I knew it would say, "no way" and I SO wanted to make it.

The fabric came from Nick's. I managed to talk my son into going to a fabric shop. Normally he says, "no fabric shop, no thank you." The power of food bribes has dimished considerably since his diet regime began because there's not much incentive in a carob tofu ball. However this time I bought out the big guns and offered him a preservative sugar free fruit juice in exchange for 5 minutes in the shop. I also told him he could choose some fabric.

He picked up a bolt off the table and lugged it to the counter.
"This one" he said.
"What is it I'm buying", I asked Jamie, the store manager. He cut a strip and burned it. He cut another strip and burned and smelled it some more.
"well it's not polyester rubbish," he said, "I don't know what it is."

What it turned out to be was Donna Karan Viscose/wool/acetate/polyester and it retails for $48 a metre at Global Fabrics. You can go and buy yourself some now, if you want. Sadly Nick's has run out of it at $4 a metre, otherwise I'd be letting you all in on it.

Nice one son, very classy.

Anyway, I felt since the fabric was so cheap that it wouldn't hurt to take a few risks, since I would lose nothing but my time and I was sure to have fun on the way.

I wanted to keep the fabric as whole as possible, and to make something that allowed it to drape. I also felt something this decorative would need a fairly casual style otherwise it would be too formal for everyday wear. Hence the bomber jacket. My only real concern was the lack of shaping which is not the most flattering look for curves.

How casual? Casual enough for the zipper just to be plonked down on top of the front:

And here we have it! It's nice to make things once and a while that are not your "colour" and not for your "body shape" - it beaks the monotony of dressing by numbers. It's also good to do it only once a while, otherwise you have a wardrobe of things you feel slightly leary of.

Close up of fabric and welt pockets - these ones are quite easy.

For me, the secret to pulling off "nana chic" sucessfully will be to restrain it so that the reference is clear but the look is not too aging.

Here's the back - that's where the blouson really comes into its own:


  1. I like it. Particularly with the collar open. Is it pleasant to wear?

  2. I have a feeling your son will always remember how cool it was of you to use a fabric he picked out for one of your projects. Great job!

  3. Hopefully your boy will get a kick out of seeing what you have made from 'his' fabric. That is a great pattern. The fabric looks like it has a sheen to it - very chic!

  4. Gosh, I wish I had a Nick's near me. Very creative use of that fabric. If I asked my sons to pick something out, I'd be coming home with camo print for sure.

  5. It's completely awesome. And this Nick's shop is my kind of place! WIth those prices one could almost hop on a Virgin flight and have the savings pay for the airfare...

  6. This is a boy with seriously good taste in fabric :-). Wonder where he might have picked that up. But, apart from that, I like the jacket very much.

    Sooo boring, people who only wear what they think might be flattering. Also, if you look hard enough, you can always find another reference to tell you something's flattering, it's only a matter of picking your sources.

  7. Your jacket is such a cool use of that fabric. I like the colour blending and texture contrast with the rib knit.
    I am ignoring your gloating, most unkind of you - a son who picks out designer brocade when given free rein, (where is the cartoon fabric?), Nicks, $48 fabric for $4, "easy" welt pockets, need I go on? Definitely an incitement to sewing envy.
    (I don't really think your post is gloaty, but it was just too tempting)

  8. y'know.... if someone had said to me "brocade bomber jacket"... I would have at the least winced. In fact, when I saw the title on my blogroll, I sort of winced-- in my head anyway. See what happens when you assume? I like this. It probably helps that your expert fashion advisor picked such lovely high-quality fabric, but really... I just like it. Nice.

  9. Wow! The jacket is so fun, and I'm impressed at your son! If I gave a child free reign at the fabric store, there would be cartoon characters or polyester crap. Or both! He's learned well.

  10. I love the fabric your son picked out. And you used the unusual fabric in a classic style, which is always a winner. I think it is a great looking bomber jacket. Bomber jackets are easly to wear and comfortable. Body con they are not! Seeing your post reminded me that when I was a teen, I "borrowed" a camel wool bomber jacket from my father and wore it to death.

  11. I actually think this is pretty kewl! It's nice to go against the grain sometimes.

  12. First garment I ever made at sewing of my own choice was a bomber jacket...in corduroy of course. The style suited me as much then as it would now but I liked it. It didn't have anything so flash as welt pockets; I have a feeling they were patch pockets and I still remember the misery of trying to attach the thick elastic band to the bottom. I count yours to be very successful.

  13. omg. I LOVE it! This is fabulous!

  14. Having seen this jacket in person today, I can attest to how good it looks. Well done!

  15. wow Mary-Anna! you did a great job with that fabric! I was just going to email you about Nick's closing down sale in Takapuna (Barry's Point Rd, opposite the supermarket and conveniently located next to the sex shop! hehe). everything is $3 a metre, including merino, knits in all colours, upholstery and dress fabrics! I could come along and keep your boy entertained if you like :)

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