Jackets

Oh my ! How much stress this suite caused me. But in the end it turned out very well!
I cut this pattern 5 weeks ago, and other than a break to make another dress, I’ve been stitching little bits of this jacket, making improvements on the fit and fiddling around with “tailoring techniques” (which in the end were kind of useless), and having tiny hissy fits every time I tried it on
But in the end I am so happy with it I don’t even care about its remaining imperfections!

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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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I’ve been working on this early 60s coat for awhile and I finished the hand stitching this weekend.

Initially it had a collar but I didn’t have enough fabric to make a full front facing so off came the collar!

The fit is similar to the 50s style car coats – it’s shapeless and only has 2 small darts at the back to stop it looking too sack like. The pattern I used was Butterick 2624 (1-2-3 Shift!)

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I finished a UFO that got stuck right after the first fitting, oh, about seven or eight years ago. That calls for celebration, doesn’t it? It’s a fitted suit jacket, aiming for a 40′s silhouette, and it was left unfinished because tailoring is, or was, kind of intimidating; but I really love the fabric, a heavy, bright green vintage herringbone weave in what I’m pretty sure is linen, and I needed a jacket for spring, summer and fall wear, so I went ahead and did it.

There were a few problems, to begin with; I made the pattern a very long time ago and had lost it, of course, so I made a new one from the cut-out pieces for the lining. I also had a couple of remnants of the fabric that I really wanted to make a skirt out of, but the fabric, having spent a number of years in someone’s attic, had a few large sunbleached areas that were unusable and needed to be cut around. I managed to puzzle out a skirt from tiny pieces anyway before I got to work on the jacket, which was stupid, because as it turned out, I hadn’t cut the jacket collar when I cut the rest of the garment. And this green, let me tell you, was not an easy shade to match – for a while I toyed with the idea of making the collar from the only matching fabric I could find, an upholstery canvas, and then covering it with tiny cross-stitching in a matching green mouliné yarn. My mother came to the rescue with a beautiful green silk twill from Burma, though; I sent a small sample of the original fabric with her. The rest of that fabric will hopefully make a nice dress some day.

Also, I had to refit the jacket, again, mostly because I made a false start at it about four or five years ago, did another fitting then and remembered it as being a bit tighter than I like jackets now, for whatever reason. So I put it together with a smaller seam allowance than originally planned to give it some extra ease now, only to find that it was huge on me and needed adjustments in the opposite direction. On the bright side the fabric was lovely to work with, firm but still pliable, with a nice drape for such a heavy fabric. It certainly wrinkles like linen, but that’s mostly only noticeable in the skirt.

The end result is alright for a jacket I made the pattern for almost ten years ago, and a skirt made from impossibly small scraps of fabric. I still love that shade of green and the herringbone texture. I could be happier with some of the details, but I always could, every single time. And I’m getting a lot of wear out of it at the moment. Mission accomplished.

Green linen suit

Suit in action. The snow is gone now, thankfully.

 

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