Hand Embroidered Rigel Bomber Jacket

embroidered peacock feathers on jacket

I dreamt of a peacock. Floating feathers, cascading flowers. Striking stitching on a simple jacket making it unique and wonderful and one-of-a-kind. (I already detailed the process of the embroidery, if you’re interested.) I love that the Rigel Bomber jacket is fairly simple, making it wearable with so many outfits, day after day. But my stitching makes it completely unique at the same time. I’m a jacket junkie and this is pure manna for my addiction.

rigel bomber jacket

The outer wool is from a vintage pashmina. I bought the pashmina along with a stash of vintage fabric from a flea market in Guerneville, CA (mostly 70’s fabrics, including the fabric I used for the bodice of my Thanksgiving dress). I pulled it from my stash for this project because I knew it would be a dream to embroider on because of the relatively loose weave. I bought the ribbing and perfectly matching zipper from Britex and the shade of blue is what inspired me to make my embroidery peacock feathers.

inderdhanush new pashmina wool tag

The pashmina tag said Inderdhanush, new pashmina wool, with a picture of a ram and a logo saying NT. but all of my googling attempts aren’t giving me any more information other than it’s the name of an auditorium somewhere in India and presumably it means raincoat in Hindi – both interesting bits of trivia, but not very helpful in dating or locating the origin of the textile.  A lovely commenter has shared the information that Indardhanush means rainbow, literally Indra’s bow (Indra is a Hindu god) because a rainbow stretches across the sky in a bow shape. Since it’s spelled Inderdhanush instead of Indradhanush it’s likely from the Punjab area because of the spelling colloquialism. So cool to know these things!

south african wax print jacket lining

The amazing lining fabric is an amazing wax print that Adam brought home for me from South Africa. I think he was a little disappointed when he figured out that I used it for a lining and not the fashion fabric on a garment, but he doesn’t understand how much I love interesting linings. I see it every time that I take the coat on and off and it makes me smile to know the jacket is beautiful inside and out.

interlined bomber jacket

Because the pashmina wool wasn’t very heavy, I decided to add an interlining to the jacket. To my understanding, underlining and interlining are the same thing, it’s just that interlining is the term usually used when it is solely a structural fabric, particularly in jackets and coats, and underlining is used if it will be seen (please correct me if I’m wrong!). I cut all of the wool pieces out of a silly animal print flannel and treated them as one, because the print made me giggle and nobody would ever see it (other than you, my dear reader).

wax print fabric pocket lining

I like that the pocket binding is thick enough so that you don’t have to worry about your pocket fabric showing. I think I’ll play with the pocket placement a bit if I make this jacket again, moving them a bit more toward the center.

peacock embroidery back jacket

Lining this jacket is really quite simple (and my one point of frustration with this pattern – unless she only intended the jacket to be for summer weight, it just doesn’t make sense not to line jacket). Cut the front, back, and sleeves from a lining fabric and do not cut a front facing from the fashion fabric. Sew together the lining pieces.  Assemble the jacket fully according to the instructions, sewing in the front lining pieces instead of the front facing. {A tip for a professional finish – cut off the extra square of fabric at the bottom center of the front lining (the part that the waistband attaches to) and replace it with a square of fashion fabric. This way there is no chance of your lining being visible from the front.} With right sides together, sew the lining along the neck seam as well. Then sew the sleeve lining to the sleeve cuff, being careful not to twist your arms. Then flip the jacket inside out and sew the lining to the waistband, leaving a gap through which you can turn the jacket right side out and hand sew the gap closed.

laisy daisy embroidery on jacket arm

I simply adore the way that the embroidery works on this jacket. It pops but looks like it is meant to be there. It’s like I’ve made my own textile, the textile of my dreams, my imaginings. Seeing the finished jacket on me, I’m worrying a little bit about about the big lazy daisy stitches snagging on something, especially since I saw my cat batting at my jacket sleeve from the back of a chair the other day!

hand embroidered jacket back

I made a straight medium size on the jacket and it’s the perfect size for me in this medium-heavy jacket. The only change I made (other than adding the lining), was to add 2 inches to the sleeves.

brown and blue bomber jacket pashmina

And finally, can I point out the pants I’m wearing in these pictures? They’re probably the garment to have ever sat the longest in my mending pile and I’m excited that I finally got off my lazy bum to fix them. Right after I made them (Simplicity 3688) in October of 2012 I discovered that I had put the waistband on backward, so I actually fixed that pretty quickly. But the fabric turned out to be a little too sheer and necessitated wearing some sort of slip underneath, which I could do because I made the crotch too long. But with the long crotch and the necessity of a slip, they went into the mending pile. And would sit and sit and sit until I had to wear them again. And then I’d wear them once and put them back in the mending pile. I even kvetched about them when I wore them for photos with my little birdie bow neck blouse (one year later), and it still didn’t trigger me to fix them. And now, finally, a few months after that I can say that the fix was quick and easy and they’re great to wear and silly, silly, girl why didn’t I deal with them before now!?! To fix the crotch issue I just removed the extra length that I added and made them as the pattern called for. To fix the sheerness, I added a half lining of the same fabric.

bomber jacket embroidered back

Comments 16

  1. i love the embroidery you did! so perfect for this jacket!

    from what i know, underlining is attached to each piece in order to give structure to the fashion fabric. interlining can be applied in the same manner as underlining, but not necessarily. it’s more for adding warmth to jackets and coats.

  2. Holy cripes, this is amazing – the plain colour means it’ll go with almost anything in your wardrobe, and yet because of the embroidery it isn’t boring, and it’s obviously MORE than RTW. Beautiful.

    I’m also not entirely sure why she decided to not include a lining. Mine is made from fleece so doesn’t need it, but the pockets are pretty ugly just hanging out in there

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      I didn’t do a great job of describing the lining process, so if you have any questions when you get around to yours, please feel free to drop me an email and ask!

  3. Lovely jacket. The embroidery is definitely cool! I must say, I love the pants too! I noticed them and thought they were so cool! Glad to hear they’re fixed and ready to wear.

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      Thanks! Appreciate the compliment on the pants, too. I guess it’s a sign that I really wanted them in my wardrobe that I actually kept them in the mending pile so long instead of just donating them as-is which is my usual way of dealing with things that don’t fit well…

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      Thanks! I hadn’t thought of the lining as a menswear touch, but I totally get what you mean!!

  4. Lovely jacket, I’m sure you’ll get lots of wear out of it! The embroidery really makes it unique.

    Btw, Indradhanush means “rainbow”, not “raincoat” :) Literally, ‘Indra’s Bow’, since it stretches across the sky in a bow shape.

    Since the label spelled it as “Inderdhanush”, I’m guessing the manufacturer was Punjab based, as pronouncing “Indra” as “Inder” is a Punjabi colloquialism.

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      Oh wonderful to know! Thanks so much for sharing the information about the origins of the label!!

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