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.
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.
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.
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!)
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.
I had dreamed of a perfect sailor top for years and finally made one from the very charming Butterick 7444 last week. I chose a dark grey cotton for the main parts and a lighter grey for the detachable collar and also used three very cute (and purely decorative) metal buttons. I am absolutely delighted about this easy and very well fitting pattern and already made new plans to use it again in a lightweight silk fabric.
See a few more pictures on my blog.
One thing I really wanted to do this year with my blogging is get more involved in the blogging community. This included not only commenting more and getting involved with the community on twitter but also taking part in more sewalongs and competitions. So far this year I have taken part in the Sew For Victory sew-along and undertaken a sewing dare. I also decided to give the Tessuti Gridlock Competition a go.
As soon as I saw this fabric I thought it would make an awesome summer dress. I had a peek through my stash and decided on Vintage Vogue 8812. In hindsight, this probably wasn’t the best project for the fabric as it is quite thick so the gathers look quite bulky. But once I had made my decision I couldn’t envisage it being anything else. I thought the contrast of the white bolero would look nice for summer and whipped it up in some cotton drill from my stash.
This competition was a great learning curve for me. I had a lot of fun taking part and I think now that I have done it once I will be more likely to take part in other online competitions in the future. What I would change next time though is to use a pattern I had worked with before. This way I would be able to focus on getting the details of the garment perfect rather than trying to figure out a new pattern. I would also try not to get too set on an idea until I had a chance to see the fabric in real life. Above all though I think you just need to remember to have fun with it. Because at the end of the day if you don’t win at least you have a brand new outfit and you had fun making it too! I am having a lot of fun this year with my sewing and I can’t wait to take part in more sewalongs and competitions.
I fell in love with 1960’s suits with short jackets that have 3/4 length doleman sleeves and tapered skirts. When I saw Simplicity #2154 I had to have it. How cute is the blouse with the bow tie.
I used a true navy (almost black) for the jacket and skirt. For the blouse I had a fabric with a tiny blue, tan and cream plaid.
I made the “braid” trim myself. To get custom colors I crocheted five strands of embroidery floss together.
I really liked how the loop detail was formed with the trim on the sleeve.
I wear blouses with bows and this one has great overall shape as well.
Both the blouse and the skirt zip on the side.