Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Time for another Suit!

So with the green suit such a success I decided to start on my next one.  I have one more suit planned with modern fabric, so I thought I would tackle it before I got into the vintage fabric from the dressmakers box, cause that stuff just can't be replaced if I make a mistake!

I pulled out the pattern to have a look.

I completely fell in love with this pattern when I found it.  The cut of the jacket just kills me!  The points on the collar, the point at the back, the pointy cuffs!!!  I DIED!!!!!  It didn't matter that it was too small, I bought it anyway.

And then when I was wondering what colour to make it up in, this hat arrived.

This photo makes me miss my long hair..... sigh.....

This hat is a bit damaged (the feather has no feathery bits) but it was just SO AWESOME that I couldn't pass it up when I saw it.  This hat needs something tailored and sharp and sexy as hell, which is exactly this suit!  I bought some black wool and set it aside until a few weekends ago when I got it all out to make a start.

First up I needed to do a mock-up of the jacket, cause it wasn't going to fit straight out of the envelope.  I did some measurements and cut out what I hoped would work from some scraps on my floor.

There were a couple of things that I needed to fix, but it was pretty good to go really!  So I unpicked it and then used it as my pattern to cut out the wool.

Oh!  And I started a new DVD series in this process!

The House of Eliott is a series that originally was screened in the early 1990s.  Its set in the 1920s and is about two sisters who's father dies (in the first episode) and they need to find a way to make a living.  They start a dressmaking business which turns into a couture fashion house.

Whilst the filming looks a bit dated it is very well done and very enjoyable to watch!  I'm not quite at the end of season 1, but I would recommend it to anyone who likes watching this kind of thing!

As you can see from the photo above, once I had cut out the wool for the jacket, I then cut out two thicknesses of hair canvas to interface it with.  I think the thicker stuff will be necessary in the jackets pointy bits to keep them super pointy.

At the end I had this big pile of hand sewing to do.

The colourful bias tape is hand sewed on both edges - the inner edge is sewed to the hair canvas, and the outer edge is sewed to the wool just outside the seam allowance.

I realised I had done all of the bias tape without ironing out one fold... but to be honest I'm not sure if that really matters much...

There are eight pieces in this pile, and I have been working my way through them.

But not quick enough to actually start construction on the weekend just gone.  I didn't want to spend a whole day sitting and hand sewing, so I decided to start on another project I need to get moving on, and give myself this week to get through the rest of the hand sewing.

I am going on holidays in 8 and a half weeks (more on this holiday later) and I really wanted to have some comfortable and easy to wear blouses and skirts to wear.  I have been collecting vintage border prints for a while now, and had decided they would make the perfect holiday wardrobe. Here are the fabrics.

To see bigger pictures of most of these fabrics, have a look at this blog post

And then I realised I actually had 7 border prints, not 6!

I bought this one at the Rose Seidler House 50s Fair last year, which I did a blog post about here

I got all the fabrics out and gave each of them an iron, turning up and ironing how much hem I wanted each to have.  Then I measured and marked the fabric at 28" from the hem, and cut off the excess at the top and put it aside.  These bits will be used to make the waistbands when I get to it.

Then I started sewing the ends of the lengths together to form a tube.  I got through four of them before I ran out of sewing time.

I have since realised that this holiday is going to sneak up quicker than I thought it would, so when I sew on the weekends from now until when I leave, I will be devoting one day to my black suit, and one day to my holiday wardrobe.  Assembly line sewing isn't very exciting but I'm using some amazing vintage fabrics for the skirts, and some gorgeous modern colours and patterns for blouses, so I will get some joy out of it!

So what do you think of my hat/suit plans?  Has anyone got any tips for assembly line sewing?



  1. I can't wait to see how the jacket looks once completed. It will look awesome with the hat. I am absolutely in love with your blog. It actually inspired me to create my own vintage dress. Thank you for the inspiration. I hope you get to achieve your goal before the holiday.

    1. Lovely to hear from you honey! And so lovely to hear that you enjoy my blog and I have inspired you! It makes me all warm and fuzzy inside to hear things like that :)

      I'm hoping to have the suit done before I go away. And all the skirts and blouses too (phew!). Cross your fingers for me :)

  2. Beccie, honestly, I should stop reading your blog. It's too frustrating. ;-)

    I have so much projects in my mind, but can realise only a tiny part of it. And you can make one wonderful outfit after another! Ah, another suit...! I would even wear the muslin you made for the jacket!

    And the border prints, I am sooooo jealous. I would kill to have at least one of them! :-) (Love the one with the cowboys/natives, oh I could tell you a story about that theme...) Anyway, I will love to see pictures of the finished ones.

    No, honestly, this has to have an end. :-)

    But then... You are so inspiring (I know I told you before, and so many others did as well), so I keep coming back, just to brighten up my days. You look amazing with that hat. It was definitely made for you, and it doesn't matter if your hair is long or shooter, you will always look amazing.

    1. Thanks Doris - always lovely to hear from you!

      Don't be disheartened! My life is blessed in a lot of ways. I don't have small children to look after. The children I do have are part-time and can look after themselves. I have a cleaner that looks after my house once a week. My husband plays golf on the weekends so I have the house to myself most weekends. Because we run our own business I get a day off a week most weeks to sew.

      I am blessed. Please don't look at what I can achieve and become disheartened!!! Instead, live vicariously through me :)


  3. I am in awe! Don't ever stop! Can I please ask why the binding on the edge of the canvas? I usually sew direct to the main fabric. Is it to stop the edges of the canvas fraying?

    1. I probably should check what the book says, BUT I have a feeling that its to stop the canvas from spiking through the lining of the jacket and onto the body. I don't think the canvas will fray much, if at all. Its too stiff...

  4. I am absolutely in love with this blog and your beautiful sewing projects, dear Lady. I wish I was braver and wear hats like this one, but I live on a small island and it is a bit frustrating. Love all those fabrics, so beautiful, looking foward to this second suit.

    1. I've only just discovered the courage to wear hats. I have always loved them but felt stupid wearing them, even though they looked good. I decided that this year I needed to work on that, and I am getting more and more confident whilst wearing hats.

      I am so happy that you love my blog and my sewing projects! I never really thought that anyone but me would enjoy my blog, so it makes me smile every time I hear that people enjoy it :)

  5. If you are missing your long hair buy a long hair piece. Pin it in, take it out. You will have the convenience of both shorter and longer hair. An accessory.