Our Flag Means Death inspired Bomber Jacket, etc.

A year ago, in January 2023, I watched Our Flag Means Death for the first time and I was immediately obsessed. I’ve found the show, and the fandom around the show, completely inspiring and it led me to want to create in lots of ways, including in ways I haven’t attempted in years.

During 2023, I created three projects, in three different mediums, directly inspired by Our Flag Means Death, and I already have three OFMD projects in mind for 2024.

The first project was two lino print designs, created to gift to fellow fans at MCM (London) comic con. MCM featured an OFMD panel, followed by a fan meet-up, and I’d spotted attendees posting online about the art, badges, and other items which they were creating to hand out or swap with fellow fans. I considered buying or sewing my contribution, but the scale was scary (50-100), so I decided locate and dust off my lino printing supplies and make mini prints.

I lino printed over 100 prints in two designs, and then added colour using watercolour paints. The last time I did any lino printing prior to this was in 2013, so it was good to pick back up the tools and I’m keen to carry on lino printing in 2024.

The second creative project was a sewing project.

One of the OFMD costume designers, Hannah Greene, generously posted about the robes featured in the show, including the stockist (Handicraft Palace) for this Indian block printed velvet fabric used for the ‘break up’ / ‘wallowing’ robe worn by Ed and Stede. I ordered my own supply of the fabric used in the show but I decided not to recreate the original robe, but to instead make myself a jacket which I could wear to attend MCM comic con, and then regularly afterwards.

I settled on a bomber jacket and, having scoured bomber jacket patterns, I decided to try a dp studio pattern which was called Le203, but seems to have been renamed ‘Bomber Jacket with Asymmetric Pockets‘. I made View A (fabric collar) in size 42. The jacket is very oversized with dropped shoulder seams and armholes. The back design is the fun part and goes together really easily using overlapping back panels. The instructions for the pattern are fairly sparse but it’s relatively straight forward, and I only needed to decide for myself where to top stitch. The jacket is fully lined using purple silk from my stash.

One mistake I made, the pattern mentions needing ‘ribbing’ but no more details. I bought ribbed cuffing without thinking it through, and (because cuffing is a single narrow layer) it was a bit flimsy for the base of the jacket. I later went back and replaced the ribbing at the hem of the jacket and the cuffs with a doubled-over ribbed fabric.

My third creative project inspired my Our Flag Means Death was fan fiction.

The writing on the show made me really want to write fiction, for the first time in ages. Plus, I discovered fan fiction (at the age of 39), and just how bloody good it can be, as a result of the show, so I had a go at writing my own.

My #OFMD fan fiction was the twenty thousand and sixtieth individual work inspired by Our Flag and published to Archive of Our Own. I’ve not added to it in months, and working on it reminded me how painfully slowly I write, but there’s no deadlines and I’ll pick it back up as and when I feel like it. It includes lots of things that I enjoy reading about (pigeons, WWII resistance, starchy English chaps in London clubs), and I’m challenging myself to eventually write some lines that make me laugh and some that make me blub. In the meantime, I’m enjoying reading other people’s words.

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