Lucky me, living in NYC, I get to fabric shop every now and then with some of my fave ladies from blogland. And last week I made the trek to midtown for a little coffee (tea for me; I'm on the wagon!) and giddy shopping with oonabaloona, Susan from Moonthirty, and Angela, a recent transplant to NYC. Just before I had to head back to the Bronx for kindergarten pickup we were joined by Clio and Devra, though my wallet was sewn shut by then.
My best find of the day was this black silk printed with pins from Chic Fabrics (don't bother looking for it; Susan ran back and bought the rest of the bolt!):
How appropos for a sewist, right? I thought hard about what to make with this silk, which cost $15/yard (ouch!). Obviously at that price I don't want to waste this lovely find on something I will rarely wear, so I'm thinking....silk bomber jacket.
Of course, Papercut Patterns' Rigel Bomber is the obvious choice for this. But after dropping $45 on the fabric I don't have $30 to spend on a pattern (no matter how well it is presented). And, I realized, I have a perfect hoodie pattern I drafted myself a few months back. Can I use it as a base to make a raglan-sleeve bomber pattern? Here's the hoodie I made:
I love it and wear this hoodie every other day. Surely I can achieve a likewise good fit by turning this into a raglan sleeve pattern, adding some ease to account for the fact I'll be using a woven not a knit? Here's how I started, by lining up the shoulder seams and tracing all three pieces:
There's more to drafting a raglan sleeve than you might think, as evidenced by the tortured underarm on my first muslin:
|It hurts just to look at it|
Looking at that was enough to make me search all my pockets for a spare $30. But no, still broke. So no Rigel for me. I clearly have a few changes to make on my pattern, though it's not all terrible:
The process of drafting and testing your own patterns is enough to make you appreciate a well-drafted commercial pattern. In fact, weighing it out value-wise, I would probably be better off buying the Papercut Patterns' bomber pattern; if I only spent five hours perfecting this pattern, I would have to value my time at $6/hour in order to justify taking on this task. (In fact, I will probably devote much more time than that to this). Alas, I have more expertise (and spare time) than I do money, so I will press on with this project. Patience, little grasshopper.
Here's my second draft in paper pattern form (I've yet to cut a muslin). I dropped the armhole a lot and added length to the underarm seam. I also reshaped the raglan seaming:
Anyone have raglan-drafting wisdom to share? Please do in the comments below!