Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane

The 62 Years Suit


These two were made for each other and there’s only 62 years separating them. The skirt from Vogue DK 1324 circa 2012 and the opera coat, also from Vogue vintage 1950. Perhaps the longest 6PAC to complete ever!
I made the skirt previously in leather so I knew what the pitfalls and hazards were,  however, sewing it up in a wool woven was so much easier.

First up, the lining is an integral part of the skirt: it is sewn to the middle waistband and then turned to the inside. I also caught my lining into the back split. I couldn’t quite make heads nor tails of the instructions for that part so I just went with what worked.
Trickiest bit – the side waistbands! Yet another of my pet hates and things I’m miserable at – sewing into a point, pivot, and sew. I just cannot do this with a machine so I either resort to hand stitching or working out an alternative construction method. As every seam on the skirt is top stitched (even the darts) I used this as my alternative method – folded in the seam allowances and topstitched to the skirt; similar technique to the Issey Miyake shirt collar but used the machine instead of hand stitching.

The skirt has triangular side panels rather than side seams and these create interest and shape. I find them to be somewhat slimming and flattering but that might just be wishful thinking and my rose tinted glasses.
This is a better picture for the actual colours of the fabric – it is duck-egg blue and taupe in wiggly, zig-zaggy lines.

Next thing to keep your eye on is the invisible zip closure at centre back – match those waistbands on either side as the zip extends all the way to the top. Mine went in twice!

The matching coat is fabulous – not my particular making of – but the style and wearability is just excellent. The pattern is for a reversible coat, patch pockets, 3/4 length kimono sleeves, stand up collar and huge cuffs. I did search for a suitable matching/coordinating fabric with which to make the reverse but came up empty. I couldn’t take a chance on internet shopping because of colour matching. I went ahead and made the coat in an unlined version.
The fabric frays like mad and the seams would be on show without a lining, so I flat felled them all, like in a man’s shirt. 
The top stitching on the coat now reflects the topstitching on the skirt! The coat is loose and swingy – no buttons or closures – but you could add them. For the front facings I used the interfacing pattern piece and slip stitched the collar over the raw edges.

 I didn’t pay attention to how the stripes of the fabric would lie so there is a kind of mixed up pattern thing going on. The pockets are self lined and the big flap is loose and just folds over. I’ll be wearing this with jeans and trousers and pyjamas and anything else I can possibly get away with – I love it so much. Big winter blanket comes to mind – but be warned the sleeves are extremely narrow just below the elbow and would need widening with a thicker, chunkier fabric.

Worn above with the wierdo Donna Karan batwing top and worn below with the Issey Miyake shirt

 My first attempt at a coordinated, planned (LOL), synchronised sewing set.

If you have been waiting on pics of the leather pants, I’m afraid you’ll have to wait a little longer. My sewing machine isn’t playing so most of the stitching is now being done by hand. If they ever get finished and don’t fall apart on first fitting it will be a miracle. Could well be made into a bag yet……

25 thoughts on “The 62 Years Suit

  1. wow these look great together – well done you. I understand completely what you said about sewing the point on the shirt – I recall having the same issues.Hope the leather jeans don't turn into a bag.

  2. I love that skirt! How so super cool.Great great set. So sophisticated!

  3. The whole outfit looks fabulous! I love the look of the swing coat over the fitted pencil skirt.

  4. Gorgeous! Well worth the wait

  5. Oh, This is so gorgeous!! I love the textures and the shape- you have really knocked my hello Kitty socks off!

  6. I'm in awe of your fabulous outfit. It's so well put together and stunning.

  7. Dear Ruth,what a great wonderful composition!Mema

  8. This is smashing! Real old school glamour, but oh so wearable. Your hard work and persistence paid off with the skirt which is very chic!

  9. I knew I would be attempting this skirt the moment I saw it in the Vogue Pattern magazine. Your's is gorgeous. And I agree the cost was made to go with that skirt. Thanks for the helpful review – it will come in very handy for those of us who are going to try to make this up in the coming months.

  10. You have outdone yourself, Ruth! This is a stunning ensemble which you can mix and match all winter long. Good job!

  11. What a pretty outfit! I love, love, love the coat!

  12. Your take on mixing a vintage pattern with a modern pattern is just spot on fabulous! I love it. And the nice thing about it is that you can throw on the coat with just about anything. Enjoy!

  13. Thanks Pauline, the leather is defeating me at the moment and I'm putting it aside in order to regain a little sanity.

  14. Elizabeth, thanks so much. It is kinda nice having a suit instead of only a skirt.

  15. Hides a multitude of sins underneath it, Suzy

  16. Maybe the next suit won't be so long in the making!

  17. Thanks Anne, I have your vintage dress pattern in mind for another matching piece if I can get more fabric

  18. Well thank you – and back at you – I'm in awe of your trench coat – I'm enjoying your progression.

  19. Thanks Karin – I'm afraid the high heels are only long enough for a photo or two – it's really short lived glamour!

  20. Go ahead it 's a super skirt pattern too. Don't try the blouse to go with it – review soon!!!!!

  21. Yep I plan on wearing this coat as many times as I can get away with. Thanks Rhonda

  22. Carolyn, try it – you'd look good in it

  23. Thanks Sarah, mixing and matching was what I had in mind when I started – mindreader?

  24. Pingback: Vote For Me | corecouture

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