Death by dryer: to mini Rigel Bomber

Remember this awesome Rigel Bomber? I made it a long time ago, but it’s had an awful lot of wear since then. The outer cotton fabric is heavy and durable. My mistake was in lining the jacket with a slippery viscose. I don’t regret it though. That viscose remnant I used was totally luxurious and something I noticed every time I slipped that jacket on.

Unfortunately, viscose can be a little more delicate than other fabrics when it comes to laundering. I made sure I prewashed everything first, but it didn’t occur to me to dry the fabrics in the dryer. I rarely used my dryer in Australia. Even in Winter, with three kids, I could efficiently line dry all of my washing. This is starkly different to where I live now, where most people almost exclusively use their dryer. I initially fought this practice, but when your neighbourhood has a no clothesline policy, it’s hard not to succumb to the convenience.

So to cut this rather long story short, my bomber found it’s way into the dryer (I do my laundry on autopilot and sometimes there are casualties). The outer fabric was still perfect, but the viscose lining shrunk significantly. Death by dryer.

I wasn’t going to waste my precious fabric-of-the-year though and decided to have a shot at modifying it into a mini-bomber. It worked pretty well. I was a bit scissor happy on the sleeves, because I had to guess the length while the recipient slept. It seems this child is longer than I think. The sleeves are just long enough. The proportions of the whole jacket are also a little off because I wanted to preserve the ribbing and pockets, and I could have slimmed the sleeves and torso down a little more, but otherwise it’s not too bad.

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So what did I do:

1) I cut off the wrist cuffs and the bottom ribbing

2) I unpicked the centre back neckline and took about 2″ out of the back (and the ribbing) by sewing a CB seam. I added a bigger pleat to the lining but otherwise left it alone.

3) I unpicked the zipper, reattached the lining to the front fabric, and then simply overlapped it to fasten with buttons. Overlapping it at the front also helped balance the fact that I took a chunk out of the CB.

4) I brought the side seams in on the outer fabric by about 1″ (but could taken more out). I made most of the modifications to the outer fabric only. That way, if the viscose decides to shrink more, it won’t matter.

5) Lastly, I reattached all the ribbing, did some buttonholes down the front, and sewed on buttons.

Miss Seven is absolutely in love with this jacket. I think this is because she remembers me wearing my version so much. From my perspective, it’s delightfully weird to see her wearing one of my favourite jackets in a mini-size. But at the end of the day, she was desperately in need of a Spring weight jacket, so I’m glad that this is the one to fill that spot.

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12 thoughts on “Death by dryer: to mini Rigel Bomber

  1. It’s so unfortunate that so many HOAs across the U.S. have a no clothesline policy! My mom line dried all of our stuff growing up, and still uses it to this day! Well, nice save on the jacket, as it’s adorable!

    1. Thanks Meg. I’m not giving up on the line just yet – when me move house this year, I’m going to put my creative hat on and see if I can hide it somewhere 😉

  2. I came to comment on your BRILLIANT bathing suits which have been burned in my memory since seeing them, but lo and behold THAT FACE has taken over! That’s the best death by dryer resurrection ever! Work it Miss Seven!

    Was on the train in NJ today and saw a few clotheslines out, it is indeed very rare– but one line was particularly technicolored, and stretched out in the midst of some demolished buildings in Newark. Something deemed an “eyesore” in the US was the only beautiful thing on that block!

    1. Oh THAT FACE indeed. You can’t tell from the photo, but she’s actually all about THE DRAMA. And thank you for the rainbow clothes line idea – we should be moving into our own house in the next six months…or so….I’ll add that to my “need’s” during the poke-me-in-the-eyeball phase of renovating.

  3. No clothesline! Sorry, I can’t focus on anything else! I guess I shouldn’t be surprised because I lived in Canada (Calgary) for a year and whilst the house I lived in had a clothesline, it just never got used. It was dryer all the way. Now I wouldn’t consider myself to be the world’s biggest greenie, but I am astounded that clotheslines would be forbidden in this day and age. Jeez Louise, environment anyone?? I get that it looks very open and unfenced in your photos, hence seeing into everyone else’s yard, but hoo-wee. Anyway, love the mini-me bomber. Loved the first version and love the second. She looks so very pleased with herself!

  4. I loved this story. Miss Seven looks so deliriously happy with her jacket and no wonder, it’s gorgeous, like all the things you make. I can just imagine your girls, say 20 years later, talking about their childhood and their fabulously fashionable and creative mom!

    It’s too bad about the no clothesline policy, especially when we are all trying to be more “green”.

  5. What a brilliant save! I wash on autopilot as well and many of my things have died as a result. Next time I’ll consider saving it to become something for imogen. Thanks for the inspiration.

  6. This is the absolute coolest thing ever! Just look at her in that jacket – truly fabulous, I love it!! Also truly shocked about the no clothesline policy, I had no idea such a thing existed??!

  7. Oh, this is just too precious for words. Seriously love that something you made and loved has been given a new lease of life with your munchkin!

    But let’s get to the important part- WTF is the go with no washing lines?! OMG. That is crazy. I just can’t even. Dryers are handy but suck if you have to rely on them!

  8. Miss Seven looks so pleased! Although it’s a sad loss for you, it looks beautiful on her.

    Uh, no washing line! I remember having to be very dryer dependant when I lived in the US, and my in-laws in Philadelphia don’t have a washing line either. Such a silly rule! I don’t think dryers do any favours for your clothes, let alone the environment. Don’t even get me started on dryer sheets…

  9. Oh my I’m like the other Aussies in shell shock at the verboten clothes line policy! Such an environmental outrage! And it’s so lovely to have freshly aired clothing…. Sigh – I’m glad you might be able to wangle one in your new place!

    Anyhow fabulous refashion! She looks so cute!

  10. Nice Save! She looks so cute in it, and you can still enjoy the jacket vicariously :). I’ve had many a run in with my dryer. So nice you could turn it into a success.

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