McCall’s 8813 Suit

by Camelia Crinoline on June 19, 2013 · 27 comments

in 1950s,Jackets,Skirts

Vintage Suit made from McCall's 8813 and Simplicity 3581

I’ve always wanted a vintage suit but they are hard to find and expensive, so I decided to make one. I had some green wool fabric that I bought second hand which was the perfect weight for a suit.

Vintage McCall's 8813 Suit Pattern

I used McCall’s 8813 for the jacket. I bought the pattern without its envelope so I’m not sure which year it’s from. I didn’t like the shape of the skirt from the McCall’s pattern, so I used another vintage pattern, Simplicity 3581, for the skirt.

Suit made from vintage McCall's 8813 and Simplicity 3581

I used some traditional tailoring techniques on the jacket including hair canvas, bound buttonholes and back and armhole stays. I made the covered buttons using an old kit that I bought at a thrift store. I’m really pleased with how it turned out.

There are more pictures and a couple of posts about the construction of the jacket here.

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Chantel June 19, 2013 at 8:43 pm

Very nice suit! you look great!


Stephanie June 19, 2013 at 9:11 pm

Wow! Love it! It looks amazing on you!


Deb June 20, 2013 at 12:09 am

This is really beautiful! Looks fantastic!


Anna Depew June 20, 2013 at 12:23 am

The suit is stunning! You chose the perfect fabric in the perfect color, and you tailored it beautifully. Well done!


paloverde June 20, 2013 at 2:19 am

Oooh, you’ve hit on my absolute most favorite thing in vintage clothing and patterns: fitted suits from the ’50s! Your creation is magnificent. Just beautiful.


Anthea June 20, 2013 at 3:19 am

Amazing suit! I love the color of your fabric! Well done!


Draped in Cloudlets June 20, 2013 at 4:04 am

You did a really fantastic job!


Bea June 20, 2013 at 5:42 am

Wow, that suit is amazing. I love the rich colour and all the detail on it. I’m sure the jacket and skirt make good separates as well.
Great work.


Noelle June 20, 2013 at 6:37 am

My goodness, that jacket is amazing. You’ve done a wonderful job!


tanyamaile June 20, 2013 at 7:54 am

Wonderful!!!!Thank you for inspiring me to finally get around to making my own vintage suit of which I already have the pattern and fabrics for.


Zarah June 20, 2013 at 9:48 am

That jacket is amazing! So impressed.


Katrin June 20, 2013 at 9:49 am

Woah, that suit looks fantastic! I would´ve guessed it´s an original.


LittleBlackCar June 20, 2013 at 10:17 am

That is a total freaking knockout!


Elizabeth June 20, 2013 at 3:26 pm

Beautiful! Traditional tailoring always intimidates me a bit.

I don’t like the style of skirt in the suit pattern, either. I have some Vogue 40s suit patterns (the reissues) with a very similar skirt, and the fit is just weird and unflattering. I don’t know if it’s because most women wore girdles back then, or they just had different ideas of what was attractive, but if you’ve got any sort of a tummy, it makes it look 10X worse.


Camelia Crinoline June 20, 2013 at 4:03 pm

I was intimidated by the tailoring bit too, but the pattern had good instructions.

Exactly. I find they are an unflattering fit and length. I think most of women probably wore girdles then and the patterns assume that whoever makes them will be wearing one.


rockabillykitten June 23, 2013 at 7:06 pm

I have found in even the reissue vintage patterns they assume you will be wearing the “correct” undergarments. It is amazing the fit difference when you opt for a bullet bra over a modern one!

The suit is fab and looks so classic! Great job.


Camelia Crinoline June 20, 2013 at 3:59 pm

Thanks everyone for all your lovely comments!


Anne June 20, 2013 at 4:06 pm

Absolutely gorgeous! You make me want to push all my other sewing projects aside and make a 1940′s-’50′s wool suit, and I live in Florida!! Are you serious that you can’t find decent wool fabric in New Zealand? :( I’m sorry…I’m sure that if I had a beautiful wool suit like that, I would be perfectly happy!


Camelia Crinoline June 20, 2013 at 8:24 pm

Thanks! It might be a bit hot for a wool suit in Florida at the moment.
Yes, it’s very hard to get wool fabric here in New Zealand which is weird because we have so many sheep. I was just lucky I found a 16 metre roll of the green wool I used for the suit on our version of ebay.


Adele June 22, 2013 at 3:01 am

I found it a bit challenging to find suitable wool fabric in Australia too. It was a real mission and it was only for a men’s “lounging around” robe so that my Queenslander can enjoy winter in his century old house (also called a Queenslander – built on posts so they’re cool in summer).


SueC254 June 20, 2013 at 5:09 pm

What a gorgeous pattern. It turned out so beautifully. Suit to die for!


Fiona June 20, 2013 at 5:14 pm

Fabulous suit! I love the green wool and the cut and detailing on the jacket are superb. Fantastic to see the construction details on your blog. Thanks for sharing!


Eileen June 20, 2013 at 9:29 pm

Well done! It looks great! I love the color so much!


mariebayarea June 20, 2013 at 9:46 pm

Beautiful. That jacket is fabulous and you could pair it with so many other items.


Isis June 21, 2013 at 3:45 am


The drawing style of your pattern, and the shape of the jacket, makes me think early 50′s. :)


Laurel June 21, 2013 at 12:18 pm

Amazing work! Looks wonderful on you as well.


Bex June 24, 2013 at 10:09 pm

Wowza – thats great! Congrats, you must be chuffed!


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