Neoprene and Lace Bomber Jacket
(Greetings from Meg at Mood! The Mood Sewing Network bloggers are letting me participate in this month’s Lace Challenge. Here’s my take on lace.)
Ok, I admit it. I am crazily obsessed with bomber jackets this spring. This is the second bomber jacket I’ve made in a month, and I’m working on number three right now. They’re easy to make, easy to wear, so what’s not to love?
Version #2, graciously modeled above by Marianne, is made from neoprene and lace using Burda pattern 7210, available at Simplicity.com. (You can get more pattern and sewing details here on the Mood Sewciety blog, where I wrote about Bomber Jacket #1, made of Marc Jacobs cotton brocade.) Readers, I cannot stop singing the praises of this particular neoprene we carry at Mood Fabrics. It was made in Italy for Bill Blass, and it has a soft and spongey hand. Very similar to a double knit in weight and stretch, but much more pleasant to wear. This bomber jacket feels like a cozy sweater, that’s how comfy it is. And Style.com calls neoprene the “material of the moment.” (You know me, I’m a shameless trend follower.)
I needed a solid, light-colored jacket in my wardrobe, so I was never interested in adding color once I had decided on using this ivory neoprene. To add a little bit of contrast and texture, though, I placed re-embroidered poly lace on top of the bodice panels in the front and back. I’m really pleased with how this looks. And it also goes to show how pairing disparate fabrics like neoprene and lace can work well together. In fact, the reason why I think this jacket works is that it pairs high and low: You’ve got an athletic-style jacket meant for jocks, but here it becomes soft and feminine with the introduction of lace.
I opted not to line this jacket, as neoprene doesn’t require a lining at all. To finish the seams I serged them together, then bound them with narrow petersham ribbon (stitched by hand) to finish them off. Note: I actually don’t recommend serging the seams of this neoprene fabric, as they end up being rather thick. For a jacket I think I’d try a Hong Kong seam finish; for a dress I might stitch near the seam allowance edge and then pink the edges. Or maybe stitch seams, press open, serge the edges. At any rate, test seam finishes before you proceed with your neoprene garment.
Other construction details:
– I attached the zipper (a Riri) by pick-stitch, allowing the silver metal teeth to show
– I topstitched the seam that goes down the outside center of the sleeve, and I like the way this provides a sporty accent
– The pocket bags are made of ivory four-ply silk I had in my stash (always hang on to silk scraps large enough to cut pockets and/or bias trim from)
(Above, some examples of neoprene fashions found at Net-a-Porter: (l-r) T by Alexander Wang neoprene dress, Clover Canyon printed neoprene skirt, Tibi lace and neoprene sweatshirt. The Tibi may have been the subconscious inspiration for my bomber jacket.)
Neoprene is a delight to sew, because it doesn’t fray or slip around on you, and it’s great to wear. It feels like a double knit but it’s better at containing the jiggly bits most of us have. Since neoprene comes in all different weights and textures, always get a swatch first if you’re ordering online. Mood NYC carries this particular Bill Blass neoprene in the ivory I used here and in navy and purple as well; call 212-730-5003 and ask for the wool department if you interested in it ($25/yard; very limited quantities). Laces are available here and in both stores.
So I’m off to put the welt pockets in Bomber Jacket #3, where I’m pairing a silver metallic brocade front and back with taupe leather sleeves. Fretting a bit about the lightness of the bodice and wondering if I used enough interlining for support, but I think it’s gonna be ok. Stay tuned for the reveal! –Meg at Mood