As a blogger, I can look at my stats and know what’s bringing readers here, and I’ve been surprised lately to see that people are searching for Varsity/Letterman/Bomber/Aviator-style jacket patterns. Thinking of fall sewing already?
During the winter I wrote about how this cut of jacket was becoming a style statement, and included a link to a New York Time Style article featuring designer versions.
(You can find that post and info here)
While I’m in the sewing shed laboring on a project that’s not ready for prime time (oops, and going to the beach, too, forgot I told you that…) I thought I’d share some of the jacket patterns I’ve found while procrastinating–er– “researching” online.
Even though this basic style is somewhat interchangeable nowadays, the jackets come from two different places in history.
The Varsity or “Letterman” jacket started in the 1860’s at Harvard University (of course, where else, rah rah rah) when athletes had the letter “H” sewn onto their sweaters, and if they did particular well, they got to keep the letter. This started a U.S. tradition of athletes earning “letters” to wear on their wool jackets with leather sleeves.
Earning a letter allowed these “jocks” to date the prettiest mean girl and beat up the sensitive guys…or at least that’s how it plays out in most American movies about high school. International readers, does this style exist in your country?
The bomber or aviator jacket was developed in the early 20th century for pilots to wear in cold airplane cockpits, and they were often made of sheepskin with shearling on the inside for warmth. During the 30s, the jackets were shortened to waist length to create the A2 style we’re familiar with now.
It’s definitely a “bad boy” look.
This style has gone in and out a number of times, but now the jackets are having a moment, so stitch one up fast while they’re still hot!
Here are some patterns for women’s jackets that I found recently on BurdaStyle:
I like the 3/4 batwing sleeves and low neckline of this pattern, found here.
This one, found here, has blousy sleeves and slash pockets.
I like the clean neckline, snaps, and zipper pocket detail on the sleeve. You can find it here.
Here’s one for men, cut with raglan sleeves, found here:
As I mentioned in a previous post, Kathleen Fasanella of Fashion-Incubator.com has a men’s bomber-style jacket pattern with in-depth instructions, which can also be used for manufacturing. (Info is here.)
That’s all the patterns I could find, but if you’re aware of any others, please let us know in the comments. It’s a fun look to stitch up for fall.
Update: After I published this post, I heard from Gabrielle of the Up Sew Late Blog. She told me about the following patterns:
The Papercut Patterns Rigel Bomber, which has a modified “V” neck, and plain raglan sleeves or sleeves with shoulder detail:
And the StyleArc “Sharon Sweat Top” which could be used to make this kind of jacket, or to fake a Lululemon apres yoga jacket. With a wide range of sizes and a princess seam cut, this could work for more pear-shaped women.
Thanks for the heads up on those patterns, Gabrielle!
Enough procrastinating. Back to sewing!