Everybody needs a suit in their wardrobe, not just to be worn for very special occasions but to be worn whenever you feel like dressing up a little. A suit is smart and elegant and can take you anywhere. Dress it up for a wedding with a beautiful blouse and heels and maybe gloves, or wear it for a shopping trip with flat shoes or boots. You can't go wrong!
I seem to have been wearing trousers for months now and I long to get into skirts again, so this is my spring suit, it is in a slightly warmer fabric and I can wear it with tights and boots. i am not keeping it for any special occasion, I am just going to wear it for me.
It is not obvious from the photograph but the fabric is beautiful. it is a cream boucle with a sparkling gold thread woven through.
The lining is a gold satin, and the buttons are antique hand made French glass decorated with Gold.
The lined jacket can be purchased on this link Jacket pattern
And the skirt is also from Jaycotts Skirt pattern
The fabric is from Abakhan fabrics. If you have been to Abakhan before then you will know that there are in addition to rolls of fabric, lots of bins containing every fabric imaginable. I found two pieces of this Wool Boucle in the coating section so it is definitely worth a drive out to one of their many stores. There are some similar fabrics online though Wool blend Boucle
Choose whatever fabrics YOU like in colours you know suit you.
Another choice of fabric is this one from Minerva Crafts which I really love .
It is an amazing rainbow coloured Boucle and I totally love it . Boucle. Do consider this fabric
The lining is also from MinervaCrafts I chose a plain silky satin fabric in Gold. Choose from these Lining fabrics
I would not recommend using a cheap lining for a suit as it is going to be in your wardrobe for a very long time and it is well worth paying that little bit more for a good quality lining.
The buttons are from The Swagman's Daughter , and I guarantee you will be tempted to make a purchase or two once you look at her website. The Swagman's Daughter
The first step into select your size. Please note that your pattern size will not be the same as your commercial ready-to-wear size, so you need to take your measurements and write them down. Use these to select the correct pattern size. You will find garment measurements in the pattern instructions or sometimes on the tissue pattern itself.
You also need to make a toille or a test garment. When making a lined garment I use the lining as a toille. A lot of women skip this step, but my advice to you is don't. If you are making a lined garment you can use the lining as a toille or if a dress or top you could use some cheaper fabric and make a wearable toille. I do this a lot and end up wearing my test garments a lot!
You can see that I needed to make quite a big adjustment to the width of the skirt. You may also want to make the skirt more fitted, so make these adjustments too.
Here is a warning. Boucle frays away to nothing, especially a loose weave boucle such as this one. So, cut out your pattern larger than the pattern and mark the seam lines with tailors tacks. Then overlock each piece straight away. If you do not have an overlocker then use a zigzag stitch. It is not normally necessary to overlock the seams of a lined garment but if your fabric is fraying then take this step as soon as you have cut the pieces out.
Sew the darts an the skirt and the lining and sew the lining together at the sides and the back up to the dot where the zipper ends. Press.
Sew the darts in the skirt and then stitch the centre back seam up to the dot where the zip ends.
A tip, if your zip is too long it can easily be trimmed so long as you sew over the end a few times to stop the zip pull coming off at the end.
Using a regular zipper foot insert your zip, follow your pattern instructions if you are not sure how to do it.
I did not have enough fabric to make a waist band and as the skirt is lined a facing is not necessary.
To make the waist I ironed on seam tape on the top of the skirt and right sides together stitched the lining to the skirt all the way round the top, finishing sewing 5/8" away from the edge. Keeping the lining free where it will be stitched to the zip tape. I understitched all the way round too.
On a lighter fabric you may need to add grosgrain ribbon or Petersham to support the waist. This skirt does not need it.
Press the skirt at the waist and tack all the way round. Turn in the opening in the lining and slip stitch it to the zipper tape. Add a hook and eye to the top.
Turn the hem up and using a herringbone stitch catch the hem In place making sure that no stitches show on the right side.
These are some of the tools which I use constantly. They are all from Jaycotts
I like a magnetic pin cushion best Magnetic pin cushion as they are so easy to use . The pins which I like best are these neon ones, I had an accident a couple of years ago and needed surgery to remove a pin from my foot, these can be easily seen anywhere!! Neon pins
These are my very favourite scissors for small jobs. I just love them, Fiskars scissors and seam ripper
This is the tool I used to measure the hems on the skirt and jacket.
The lining on the skirt can be machine sewed. The lining on the skirt is much longer than it appears on the photograph.
Give the skirt a good press using a pressing cloth
The jacket is not too difficult to make. Choose your pattern size as we did for the skirt and make up the lining first as a toille. Overlock each piece as soon as it is cut out to prevent it from fraying too much.
You need to stabilise the shoulders so use some iron on seam tape. This will stop the shoulders from stretching. Available from Jaycotts Seam tape you only need to apply it to the back of the front, not both.
Sew the darts, the centre back seam, the side seams and the shoulder seams.
This is the basic shell of the jacket without the collar. The sleeves have been inserted and interfacing pressed onto the wrong side near where the hem will be.
Right sides together stitch the lining into the jacket shell. Follow the pattern instructions here. Trim the interfacing right back to the stitching lines. Understitch as far as you can and then press using a pressing cloth
The gold lining looks perfect against the cream and picks up the gold thread running through the fabric
It's a very retro style don't you agree? Keeping the skirt length to just above the knee stops it from looking dated though.