Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Back in Black...

Which is another way of saying that with the skirts and blouses finished, I'm back to the black suit!  As a refresh, this is where I left it... the body was together but work still needed to be done hand stitching hair canvas to facing pieces.

Well somehow in amongst all that other sewing, I got that hand sewing done and was able to continue on with the suit this weekend just gone.  First up I steamed the front facings, and while they were cooling I got on with the sleeves.

I like to make sleeves in finished units before I sew them in, and to do that with these sleeves I also needed to make cuffs.  I wanted to have silk on the cuffs and the collar to break the wool up a bit, so my cuffs were two layers of wool and one layer of silk... and after I made them I realised that they were just too thick.

So I had to make them again... this time with one layer of wool and one layer of silk.  Doing it this way really helped me to get much pointier points!

That's the new ones on the right

I then attached them to the sleeves along with the facing, and I had two finished sleeves!

Note with these sleeves how straight they are.  They are very VERY fitted.

I then put them into the suit and felt a sense of satisfaction that this suit was finally getting somewhere!!!

On to the next job - the lining!  This suit pattern doesn't have any mention of a lining, but for me it had to have one.  It just meant that after cutting out the lining the same as the suit pieces, they then needed to be trimmed down to take into account the large facings.  With that done, I sewed up the darts and put it all together.

You can see that I chose to use a grey polka dot acetate for the lining.  I really do prefer rayon linings to acetate.... acetate is a bit icky.

Then I remembered shoulder pads... so I found my favourite life-changing shoulder pad tutorial (check it out here - I promise it will change your life too) and made some shoulder pads.

After I sewed the shoulder pads to the suit I started to experiment.  I sewed all the facing pieces together, and they formed a full 'border' around the raw edges of the lining (ignoring the sleeves), so I thought instead of hand sewing in the lining (ugh!) how about I sew the lining to the facings...

And then the facings to the suit!!!

Anyone else see the problem here???  Be prepared to laugh - I didn't leave myself any way to turn the jacket through.

Trust me, I laughed a lot at this point.  And kept laughing.  I figured the easiest seam to open was the one in the back facing pieces (at the bottom of the above photo).  So I got out my seam ripper and ripped it open and started pulling the jacket the right way through.

It was like birthing a baby without the pain.  I was trying to pull so much fabric through such a small opening, and I just couldn't stop laughing!

But I got there, it worked!!

Now lets talk about the buttons.

I bought these buttons from my Button Lady (who I discovered has a facebook page) and I just love them.  There was only three of them, and as soon as I saw them I knew I needed them for this suit!  Yes they are a bit 'out-there' but so am I!

I have since done all the hand sewing on the jacket (apart from pinning back the cuffs. I haven't made my mind up about that yet...), so next I will be making the skirt.

I have a fair bit of the wool left over, so I am going to make a full skirt (as full as I can get it) rather than a pencil skirt as per the pattern.  I know what I normally wear, and I will get a lot more wear out of a wool circle skirt than a wool pencil skirt.

So what do you think of my buttons?  And what do you think of wearing this jacket with a full skirt rather than a pencil skirt?



  1. Haha, back in black, I like this one…

    When I saw the buttons, I just thought they are so typically you, just - extraordinary, eye-striking. Anything less wouldn't do! Black is the most subtle colour, and you're definitely allowed to put such buttons on your suit. They're fantastic!

    I have made a suit years ago and would like to do so real soon, but looking at all the tailoring that is needed, I doubt I have the patience for all that lining and hand sewing…

    I have seen such jackets paired with both, full and pencil skirts, and both look great, it just depends what you prefer. If you would like to wear one of your fur scarfs, I would probably wear a pencil skirt, so the skirt doesn't draw the attention off the upper part of you.

    1. Thanks for always commenting Doris - I love to hear from you!!! And I'm glad that Doris Button approves of my crazy buttons! hahaha!!

      Making a suit jacket does take a lot of effort, but at the end of the day its an enjoyable process and you finish with a magnificent tailored garment - well worth it I think!!!

      And yes, there will be fur with this one...

  2. Beautiful sewing, love the buttons too. Either skirt will work, but I wonder if a full skirt will add too much volume. BTW love the new hair cut and I really like your cartoon icon.

    1. I love the new look of my blog too Connie - the graphic artist did SUCH a good job capturing my likeness!!!!

  3. Wow, the jacket is fabulous. I think the full skirt will be even better, very Dior New Look in silhouette and this may sound crazy but I think the fuller skirt will complement the cuff shaping better.

    1. Thats the way I'm leaning too Mags - I am completely in love with the New Look silhouette!

  4. Looks gorgeous! Beautiful job. I've been there, too, with craziness turning something right side out. I'm glad you were able to laugh through that frustrating circumstance!

    1. Oh it was hilarious! I haven't laughed at myself like that in such a long time!!!!

  5. Why not an A-line skirt with a good bit of "swish" around the hem? I wonder if a full circle will take away from the stunning jacket and hat combo.

    1. I can see the pros and cons for each one... its not an easy choice!

  6. This is INCREDIBLE!!! The tailoring is impeccable! I'm going to have to work on my skills to get this good at sewing someday!
    And I think it depends on the silhouette you're going for as to which skirt shape to pick. Personally, I like pencil skirts because I'm petite. They don't overwhelm me and help my larger hips get balanced out in proportion to my narrow shoulders with a tailored jacket like this.
    But, a full skirt would definitely add to the drama! With such great buttons and amazing lines like the jacket has, drama would be a perfect match!