Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane

Vintage Prep

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After all the quick sewing projects that I’ve done recently it’s now time to slow down and concentrate on a detailed and complicated pattern. At 4.30pm it’s already getting dark here and there’s nothing I like better than sitting on the sofa catch stitching interfacing to a hem or pad stitching canvas on a lapel in the long winter evenings.

I’ve had this pattern for a while now and I’ve been building up to getting it out of the pattern stash and cut out. It’s a fitted jacket, fully tailored and has a staggering 18 pieces! And just look at the shape of Nos 4, 5 and 7. I bought it from an Etsy seller in Canada – Pattern Vault.

I once read somewhere that it takes an experienced tailor 100 hours to complete a handmade jacket and he knows what he’s doing.

Right, now for the maths…..

On average I sew about 15 hours a week (sometimes more, sometimes less)
I don’t completely know what I’m doing when I make a jacket, so allow for 4 hours a week reading and researching.
Add to that I probably won’t have all the haberdashery and notions that I’ll need to hand, so another few hours while work is held up until the required items are purchased.
Practise time on button holes, hand-stitching techniques, mucking about with the fabric etc = 2 hours
Ripping out and starting again = minimum 1 hour

Vintage Vogue 2476: circa 1940, reprinted 2000 

So all in all, I’ll be lucky to achieve 10 hours of constructive sewing completed a week. Therefore, this jacket will be ready for wearing in 10 weeks’ time – ha ha ha!

While it is a vintage design, I believe it is a Vogue reprint, but still, the fashioning is pure 1940s – gorgeous.

The chosen fabric is a wool and silk blend in navy, blue and black from My Fabrics. Quite a loose weave, so will probably need underlining.

I’ve picked a navy with emerald green stripe for the lining (also from My Fabrics), but I may change this. Believe me I’ve plenty of time before I even get round to cutting the lining. I was thinking of hot pink or solid green for a shock of colour. Any ideas?

I’ve two weights of canvas interfacing: looser and more flexible for the collar and lapels to keep them shaped but soft; and a stiffer, tighter weave for the peplum and hems.

I’ve bought steel buttons with a ‘coat of arms’ sort of motif.

And, NO THREAD. Would you believe it? I’ve thought of everything except the glue that will bind the whole thing together.


After Clover was hemmed on Sunday, I brought out the poly-cotton for the toile (muslin) and managed to get this made before bedtime.

Now, while I admitted before that I don’t usually make a toile (muslin) with this one I did. It is vintage sizing; the waist is very fitted; and those weird shaped fronts definitely need to be practised at least once.

If you’re wondering why there are no sleeves – Clover used up all the poly cotton!

The pockets flap out like this and the front overlaps the middle front – not seamed together as usual – careful topstitching required here then.

The waist is really fitted. In fact, it fits Doris like a glove, but she has a waist that is about 7″ smaller than mine, so some adjustments needed in this region. If I stand still and straight backed and don’t breathe, I might get away with it.

So, dear readers, bear with me over the next 10 weeks or so as production from the sewing room focuses on this couture item. I’ll keep you posted if anything interesting comes up during construction but I imagine it will be a tedious read ….today I pad stitched half of the left lapel [picture], tomorrow I will do the rest  –  yawn!

In the meantime, I’ll publish some photos and descriptions of Ones I Made Earlier that either might inspire you or at least waste a few moments of your time.

Thanks for reading. Ruth


One thought on “Vintage Prep

  1. What a beautiful suit pattern. I love the fitted waistline, and the sharp collar. Have fun! I love handstitching, but a project this complicated intimidates me.

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