Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane

Done – V8890


Well, it’s done! It done me in too! One month – a whole month – on a jacket for someone else!!!!

To recap, because I’d completely understand if you’ve lost the thread on this one: Vogue 8890 made in polyester suiting, fully tailored, lined and made for my newest customer – DH! The beginning – here, and the middle, here, which was almost like going back to the beginning and the end right here.


New sleeves cut and sewn; new shoulder pads made; man-size sleeves heads inserted, and


all the lining hand stitched back in place – and the end result was all worth it.

Once these beasts were tamed and in, the rest was relatively straightforward, just time consuming because I did it all by hand.


Sleeve vents with four working buttons


Look it opens! Hand stitched lining and miter corner on hem.


Two back vents, centre back pleat and hand inserted lining


Hand gathered sleeve lining


The all important label and inside breast pocket

All together – the finished result looks like this….


You want to see this on a real person now though don’t you?

The grumpy face and scowl belie the joy and happiness inside!

DSC00457 DSC00459 DSC00461 DSC00462

And there’s a bonus! With the little bit of fabric left over I got a V1247.


With such a mammoth task now complete I’m going for quick and easy, simple and straightforward and most importantly –



78 thoughts on “Done – V8890

  1. Wow, wow wow!!!! That looks amazing. Truly amazing. I love it. I hope he does too.

  2. wow impressive – I am not showing it to Mike (even though I have had the odd passing thought). Nice skirt too.

  3. sorry didn’t mean to leave an anonymous post above – its only me

  4. Oh, you should be so proud. Only problem, you WILL be making more. Enjoy a bit of sewing for yourself until he starts looking wistfully at you and pointing to his need for another. Fabulous job 🙂

    • So many jackets already hanging in the wardrobe Rhonda – not a need but a want! I’ll be too busy sewing dresses and skirts to fit in another jacket in the near future. Thank you

  5. Great result for some many long long hours of hand sewing!!! Next time maybe Mr Grumpy could work in a tiny smile? Your skirt is darling too! You deserve a little break now to make something fabulous for you!

    • But Mrs Mole, being a grump,y cynical, old git and smiling don’t go well together and he can’t let the side down! Maybe he was trying to pose like the Vogue model – shame he doesn’t look like him too!!!! Don’t worry, I’ll be making a lot for me; I’ve been stashing for a month. thanks

  6. Wow… Impressive! I am not sure I have the patience to embark on such a project! Well done you! (And a cute skirt to boot!) Happy YOU sewing now! You deserve it! ~Laurie

  7. Wow, what a beautiful job, I am sure your Mr. grumpy. Is happy also. Lots of love goes into a project like that…Congratulations on a beautiful the skirt. Judy Galligan

  8. Very, very impressive. I am sure he is already looking out for the next fabric! I hope he realises just how lucky (and obviously loved!) he is 🙂 (Nice skirt too)

  9. Beautiful fit to Mr. Grumpy’s jacket. I agree maybe he could crack a smile for you after all that hard work! You are a nicer wife than I am…I might have bought a jacket and removed the tags! You look so fabulous in your skirt and well styled outfit!

  10. It looks like a labour of love. I like the idea that you tried a new pattern. i think it needs more work, frankly. It is too long, and although your husband wamted patch pockets, welt pockets would look better, or at least, make the patch pockets smaller. The fit is off in the back at the underarms. The upper back is a bit too large. The sleeves need to be reworked, and the buttons are not placed properly.

    • Well now, I wonder why you are Anonymous? Is it because of your poor spelling and grammar?
      Anyway – let’s address your comment: the patch pocket came with the pattern. There’s a Version B of the jacket that has patch pockets so I used those thinking they would be in proportion to the jacket. Maybe not? But they are the same size as those on a Ralph Lauren Purple Label (if you know what that is) because I checked.
      As this jacket was a practice run – a wearable muslin – I have already taken note of the upper back and although I increased the seam allowance between the shoulder blades to reduce the wrinkling I didn’t want to take out so much that he couldn’t raise a cup of tea to his mouth.
      I worked really hard on trying to get the sleeves in. I’m a home sewer, not a Saville Row tailor and sometimes you just have to walk away. You say the sleeves need reworking – perhaps you could be a bit more specific and tell me exactly what’s wrong and where. I’m always keen to learn from those more experienced than myself but a simple criticism teaches nothing.
      Yes, I totally agree that the sleeve buttons are not placed properly, on the real jacket they will be kissing as in the English style, so no need to fret over this one.

      Did you like the fabric?

  11. You are too funny. Im a new follower of your stream…… and I just love it. I think he’s a sweetie and your jacket ……an amazing feat !! bravo!! well done……I’m am totally impressed (I only sew for me, and I have not blog, but you are fun fun fun! ) Keep em coming.

    • Thanks Joyce. Glad to have you join me on my sewing adventures. The sewing projects for a while will all be less than impressive as I try to gain some sanity after this.

  12. WOW! This jacket is just brilliant – something that will last forever. Mr. G is secretly jumping on the inside at just how clever you are to create this. And a bonus skirt for your hard work, couldn’t get any better than that … J

  13. The jacket is amazing and looks really good on your DH! What a good wife you are!Very cute skirt too.8

  14. Beautiful job! Those details are outstanding and it’s a perfect fit!

  15. It looks great, I can’t believe you got the sleeves and seams to look that smooth with polyester fabric! Nice tailoring and hand work too 🙂

  16. Wow, that’s a really great result! Very inspiring too. Although I may start small and just get some labels to sew into stuff I make :-). (I’m definitely not going to sew a jacket for someone else in the next decade.)

  17. Fabulous result. All your hard work has really paid off. You should be very proud of yourself and your husband is one lucky guy to have a wife go to such lengths, when she would much rather be sewing something for herself. Well done.

    • Thanks Jean. I’m done with sewing for others now – time for me, although I did see some super aprons on He Cooks She Sews that would make great christmas pressies!

  18. Wow, what a great looking jacket. He must be very pleased. And you for getting it done! Congratulations on a fabulous result.

  19. Darling Ruth,
    Its Sunday morning, and I have enjoyed getting up late, opening up your email with the fabulous pictures showing us the final, finished jacket, and your lovely skirt too!!

    Clever, clever girl. The majority all applaud you for the terrific job you have done. Shame about the Anonymous comment……………..let us all move swiftly on. Let’s be honest, this in one hell of a toile!!!!!!GO GIRL……………

    If you are interested, I bought the MOST AMAZING Cashmere/Mohair/Wool fabric from a guy on ebay, and when I checked out what it should have cost, I nearly had a heart attack. So, if you would like a sample sent from me to you,so you can judge the quality I would be thrilled to do so. Just let me know your address and I will pop it in the post.

    Again, huge congratulations. You spurn us all on. I am working through my sewing Bucket List (LOL) so like you Chanel Jacket done, steel boning done, lots of other projects too that include difficult flimsy fabrics like fine silk charmeuse, sik georgette etc. My final hurdle is, yes, you guessed, a tailored jacket and a coat. I have never done welt pockets so that will be fun!!

    If Kenton’s dont have all that you want, also Richard.J.Weldons.

    Happy Sunday,

    • Oh Marysia – I’m actually not going to tell DH about Kenton’s et al – at least not immediately – maybe in the New Year! Boning, no less? You’re a better man than me and I avoid silky fabrics like the plague. I do have a winter coat (for me) planned though. Thank you for your support

      • Hi again Ruth,

        Ah gosh, supporting you is easy!
        I caught a glimpse of your hacking jacket somewhere and would love to look at the tailoring stages, can you point me to the right place on your blog. I have never worked on a jacket requiring pad stitching, welt pockets etc and I would love to see the stages you went through. Like many others actually seeing it fixes it much better in my mind.

        Have decided to finally work on my Chanel Jacket before embarking on the tailored jacket, feel guilty that the fabric as been stashed for years!!

        Hope all is well in your world and that you are enjoying half-term?? Busy sewing by any chance?

        Take good care.

  20. Hi again,

    Yes you have got me thinking……..would you remind us all where you purchased the fabric from in the U.K?
    Oh and I wanted to add, if you made that fantastic job out of the poly fabric, the real jacket will be stunning and perfect.

    DH must be so proud and very pleased with his core couture gentlemans jacket; one of many I am sure!!!!!!

    • The fabric came from FabricLand, bought in person from the Salisbury shop as that was where the choir tour was this year. It cost a grand total of £16, £4 per m. The lining, bought in Belfast, cost £21 (£7 p/m) along with 2m of canvas interfacing, and the buttons were bought on ebay. Raw material costs are probably about £50, my time? Priceless!

  21. Ruth, a true labor of love. What a beautiful result. I’ve never sewn for my husband (not even a shirt) and this is an amazing jacket. You should be so proud of yourself. Think you answered the anonymous comment really well.
    Downside to such a result: he will want to have all his jackets custom made, less sewing time for yourself!?

    • Thanks Sigrid, he thinks he is somebody now in his handmade jacket! I’m going to carry the seam ripper around the house just to remind him who’s boss!

  22. Well done. Love your skirt too.

  23. Sweet! I think it looks fab! Without sounding too odd here, I love menswear and would wear it constantly if it were practical for me. Jackets are always better made and I love some of the outerwear. Storm coats and whatall always look so well made and romantic. I can always picture Edward R. Murrow in London.

    But the proportions are off for my pudgy shape so I will have to stick to girlie stuff.

    I do love the fabric you have whipped this up in. Cannot wait to see your further efforts.

    • I love menswear too – their jackets have always so many pockets. Why don’t ladies jackets have loads of pockets? See, you’ll just have to make your own versions to suit your shape. Thank you

  24. Well now, indeed. Sorry if you’ve taken offense. None was intended. I happen to greatly admire your work, it is wonderful. I knew that I was going out on a bit of a limb by posting my true feelings. I hoped that you would take the observations in the spirit in which they were given.

    I do love the fabric. I love the look of the jacket in front. I realize that you aren’t a Saville Row tailor, nor am I. But your sewing is really, really great. If I put work out for others to admire, and only expected praise when a bit of constructive comments were needed, I’d feel as though I were “The Emperor”, if you get my meaning.

    Now then. Exactly what’s wrong, and where.

    Well, there is a bit of a problem with the sleeves in back. Don’t you agree? I think that the sleeves are a just a tad too long. Can you pull them down and see what happens when the wrinkles are straightened out?

    In order to get a good idea about how much to take out at the underarms, perhaps you can have your dear husband try on an off the peg jacket, and see how he is able to move, I realize this is a concern. Then, measure this jacket that fits well, and measure your jacket. If there are large discrepencies, perhaps there may be room for adjustments.

    The real way to tell about the fit in back would be, it seems to me, to ask your husband how it fits. Is it too loose? Too snug? Sleeves feel a bit long/short? This, in comparison to a ready to wear jacket that fits him really well.

    As for the patch pockets, I will concede that they look fine. It’s just that they seem a tad bit like oven mitts. I don’t necessarily think that because a RL Purple Label (yes, I know what that is) has large pockets, doesn’t mean that they should or should not be on your jacket.

    Again, I sincerely apologize for any offense that you’ve taken. I should’ve known better than to offer what seem to be criticisms, they were only observations as to how you might alter a bit for better fit in the back.

    I had hoped that these thoughts would be taken as one home sewer that REALLY CARES ABOUT AND ADMIRES anothers’ work.

    Not at all a put down.

    I’m sorry that you took it that way. One never knows.

  25. Dear Ruth.

    Not to belabour the point, just want you to understand how I feel. I really admire you. Really. I think that you are fabulous. Your work is exemplary. I wrote what I did because I care about home sewing, not because I was trying to offend.

    If I didn’t care about your work, I wouldn’t have wrote a thing. Quite frankly, I think that I would’ve been remiss in my duty as a fellow home sewer, if I DIDN’T try and be honest about what I see.

    How, may I ask, is it helping you improve or at least be objective about your work, if everyone is looking and seeing something that needs pointing out, if no one dares comment?

    This form of communication has its good and bad points. To the good, we’ve become a global community, and our thoughts, good, bad, and indifferent, are constantly being spun about the planet at lightening speed.

    Unfortunately, since this is a media that is written and not spoken, one cannot tell meaning by the inflection in the voice of the commentor.

    Again, I am sorry to have offended you, and anyone else here. I hope that you understand that my comments were an attempt at helping, rather than hurting, one who seems a wonderful, bright lady, full of life and happiness.

    If there are errors in my grammar or spelling, please excuse them.

  26. Even if alterations and sewing are your profession, as mine is, I have found I must temper my negative comments with positive suggestions. If I don’t have a better solution I refrain from throwing out comments like something “looks bad”. If I have a suggestion like “maybe add a dart, or try and take in that seam 1/2 inch” then that is what the blogger wants to hear. The other thing that bloggers frown upon is people using the anonymous title…and some bloggers totally block these comments…so hey, give yourself a name, as they say, “man up or woman up” if you have such strong opinions on someone else’s work.

  27. Bloggers don’t want to “hear” anything but gushing praise. And, given the way of the world, that is their right. I don’t think that I wrote that the jacket looked “bad”. Only that it needed work in the back and sleeves. And, I did state specifically what might be considered. I can’t give exact measurers, simce I don’t have physical contact with the garment/wearer.

    Please forgive everything I wrote previously. I take it all back. The emperor looks great in his new clothes.

    And, FWIW, it makes little difference what my name is. Doesn’t change the fact that I still am a great admirer of your work. Cheers.

    • Anonymous, I whole heartedly disagree that your name makes no difference. In fact, there are many psychological studies that support my claim. It is far easier to be hypercritical and mean spirited when you remain behind the cloak of anonymity. FWIW . . .

      I also disagree that bloggers only want to hear “gushing praise”. I read many sewing blogs and again FWIW, I have seen many a sewist change their direction or heaven forbid, LEARN from more experienced and knowledgeable sewists.

      Sewruth has grown as a sewist, partially from plunging in and tackling projects beyond her current abilities, but also from constructive comments made by others more experienced. If you go back and read previous posts, you can clearly see her growth as a crafter.

      As for me, I have been sewing off an on for over 50 years and I’d be hard pressed to make a men’s suit jacket complete with tailored details.

      So, until I have something constructive to say, I will support those out there doing it and making those challenging garments and projects. And while I often use a unique moniker, today I will close with:


      Chris Howard

      • I feel all warm and fuzzy inside now. Thank you Chris. I could have removed the Anon comments but I choose to let them stay. It’s really not so much about the actual contents, but as you say, the anonymity – the crowd mentality of lack of responsibility and so therefore I can say or do what I like. This jacket was a challenge, but I don’t think I ever said it was perfect – and it certainly isn’t. But then again, most things I make are not perfect. I think I’m my own worst commenter!

  28. Thanks for posting your ‘journey’ with this jacket – especially the sleeve issue – for what it’s worth I think the end result was pretty spot on and Mr G is obviously channeling his inner vikibeckham vibe for modelling couture. I really struggle with inserting sleeves, and my tailoring skills are dubious at best so seeing this whole process in pictures with such clear description was great. Thank you.

  29. Looking at this jacket, I had to read twice that it was a poly, you’ve done an amazing job on your “muslin”, making it look really smart. Trying out the fit and pocket shape etc in a muslin of this sewing quality seems very dedicated! I hope you have a good rest from man sewing before the other jacket – should you get around to it…
    I have been presenting objects I make for my husband on a dress form, which is an unhusbandly shape, and doesn’t smile either ;).

    • There was a time when the jacket was draped over Doris who was certainly NOT the same shape as DH – I think that may have contributed to the shoulder/sleeve insertion problems. I most certainly am not going to buy a man mannequin – a step too far…….in the wrong direction. Thanks, the poly was awkward but a lesson learned.

      • Hi Ruth (and everyone else):

        I “bartered” myself a MANequin from a local men’s wear store. I asked if they had any dead dummies around – one they would no longer use in their window display – and could I have it. They only wanted an assurance that I was not using it for “my own store”, so I explained I needed it for sewing my DH’s & DS’s things.

        The manager found one in fairly decent condition (chipped wooden neck!) and I was the proud owner of James. He is close enough to their measurements that I can happily fit them well. He is certainly a better fit than my Judy.

        Go ahead, winge to some manager somewhere —- Good luck

  30. Oh Ruth
    All the way along you stated that this was a FIRST attempt at a man’s jacket and with polyester fabric. In that context your finished garment is wonderful and totally wearable. Would a Saville Row trainee done as well with no input from his colleagues, I don’t think so?
    The amount of work carried out to get the garment so good was truly amazing. I think you’ve made a good start in this new area and fully appreciate that you don’t have the time to do another in the near future, though I think with nice wool the next one would be close to perfect. If you ever manage a trip to London or SE England I’ll take you to Goldhawk Road where excellent woollen can be obtained for much less than £300/m. I do think so many hours of work deserve high quality fabric but I’m sure you’re caution for your first attempt was due to fear of failure.
    Your general dressmaking skills are of high level so you might have had more confidence in your abilities! Very well done.

    • Thank you so much Juliet for recognising the amount of work and thinking that went into this even before I put needle to thread. I so want to to go to Goldhawk Road – bucket list item I think and lots of savings in the bank…. Thanks for the offer too.

  31. Now that’s what I call true love! Awesome jacket, Ruth…… And I’m glad there was something in it for you too – congratulations!

  32. wow, that’s some jacket!! nice work. and I love your skirt 🙂

  33. good work!!! I am curious if the poly fabric is wearable and not to “synthetic”, it would be terrible iff all your work would be for nothing…..

  34. Whaouh!!!You are a professional,what a great work,and don’t worry ,the top model never smile for one reason:only the garment must be seen!

  35. Absolutely fabulous

  36. Wow, congratulations on a job well done. Pictures make it look simple, but anyone who’s had that jacket sitting in their lap, trying to sew in sleeve heads and pad stitch shoulder pads knows otherwise! It’s like wrestling a 600 lb. gorilla. I’m attaching this video which I think that you, and anyone else who has ever tailored a jacket, will find inspirational.

  37. Mainly DAD! I love this video. I stumbled across it years ago and have always found it inspiring. I had read about Martin back when Clinton was elected and his story is very humbling. I think I even have a quote from him squirreled away. . . something about how looking your best can save your life. He discovered while he was in the Concentration Camps during the Holocaust, the people who looked ok survived. Those who didn’t, didn’t. It was that simple. Thank you for posting it.

  38. Pingback: For the Love of V1247 | corecouture

  39. Pingback: Iguana, not Lizard! | corecouture

  40. I read the anonymous critique, and thought “sure, it’s not perfect, but men’s jackets are really hard to make, and it’s her first one, it’s amazing! Much better than what I have ever done!” 😀
    I think it’s great and very inspiring 🙂 Gives me courage to try myself 🙂

    And, do forgive me, but I just have to ask… your husband looks a lot older than you… how much older is he?

  41. Hi there Ruth,

    Just had an e mail up-date in my inbox………………………………Speechless and that is no mean feat I can tell you.
    Much love from your friend across the water.xx

  42. Wow that’s so incredible! You did a great job. I hope I’m able to make te V8890 look as good as that on my DH.

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