A winter suit…advice needed

August 20, 2012

Yep, already thinking about winter. Well autumn, winter, spring and summer apart from the fortnight heatwave that happens. lol!

I have a navy blue skirt I love and wear very often and it got me thinking I need a suit, matching skirt and jacket. Although I’d wear the jacket more as a ‘coat’. Now I have simplicity 4044. I love the skirt pattern, made it up twice already….but the jacket doesn’t inspire me.

Now I stumble across the pattern in the centre. I really like the blue with polkadots. And simplicity 3688 looks quite close.

Now, Here comes the questions:

1) Has anyone else sewn both skirt and jacket with this pattern? Anything to be careful of?

2) What fabric? I’ve only ever successfully sewn with 100% cotton and poly cottons before. Would something like a gaberdene be best? Or should I try a wool blend? What exactly are suiting materials?


I hope to complete the ensemble for around £50. Is this an impossible budget?

  1. I’ve sewn both the skirt and jacket but not as a matching set. The skirt is very straight forward with a nice shape. The jacket was the first fitted jacket I’d ever made but it wasn’t too hard.(http://star-spangledheart.blogspot.com/2012/01/purple-cords-and-pretty-hair.html) I made the jacket out of corduroy and I really liked the way it came out. Both the skirt and jacket have really nice top stitching details.

    If you want your suit to actually be warm for winter, I’d go with a wool or wool blend with as high a percentage of wool as you can afford. I’ve been planning on a suit from this pattern and I’ve found that wool’s much more expensive than I expected! If your winters aren’t too cold or if you were wanting more of a spring/fall suit than a winter suit, linen could work for this pattern.

    1. Thanks for the info. I think your purple jacket looks fab.

      Well I have a top end budget of £10 a metre for the ‘fashion fabric’ and I know the lining I want is in the cheap polycotton section. I find it easier to find wool blends than linen for some reason.

      Interfacing any advice on if I should use sew in or fuseable?

      I am planning on hand sewing as much as possible. Hence the early start. lol!
      I suspect it will take me a month or two at least.

  2. You’ll want to use a very lightweight wool. Suit fabrics are quite thin – this allows nice crisp edges and non-bulky armholes. You also want a tight weave. Tropical wool and suiting wools are good choices. Avoid lycra blends if you can, and the less poly, the easier it will be to shape and mold the fabric. Simplicity 3688 doesn’t have revers (a turnback collar), so that makes it a MUCH easier jacket for a newbie.

    If you really want to keep costs down, consider that old make-do-and-mend standby, cutting a women’s suit from a much larger men’s suit. It’s a bit of extra work, but with the right thrift-store/charity-shop suit you could wind up spending less on fabric than notions! Here’s what I mean:


    1. Thank you for the advice. I was wondering how ‘thick/thin’ the material should be. Was trying to figure it out looking at my coats but they all seem as you say to have lycra, acrylic or viscose in the blend.

      Oh wow! That is soo cool. I’ve seen the pathe newsreels about it but it never explained *how* it was done.

  3. I would go with wool blend suiting as well. Just be careful of how much polyester is in the blend as it can make the fabric look shiny and cheap. I don’t really have an opinion on interfacing as each method is different – I’m going to try one jacket with each method this winter and see which I like best. Wool is a dream to work with and makes a lasting garment so spending the money is worth it because you’ll get a lot of wear out of it. Just make sure you steam the fabric (slowly move your iron on high steam above [not on] the fabric in a single layer on your ironing board) to take any shrinkage out as you can’t prewash.

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