1950s | Jackets | Skirts

McCall’s 8813 Suit

June 19, 2013
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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

  4. 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!

    1. 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.

      1. 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).

  5. 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!

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