2017 Flashback - Suit Jackets Galore Part 1


Confession - I have always loved suits.  Back in high school I had a black pinstriped pantsuit with a double breasted jacket that was my pride and joy.  It was a cheap ass polyester blend purchased at *Fashion Bug but I felt like a million bucks in it.  One year I wore it to school with on Halloween with heels and told people I was a lady mobster.  No one was charmed by my "creativity" or fashion sense. However this was one of two instances that my highly insecure self said...not outloud but internally.... "Fuck you guys, I look good in this suit." (The other time was when a boy I'd known for years  disparagingly said I was the only girl he knew that had sideburns. That time I internally said, "Fuck you I have great hair.)
All of this is a roundabout way of saying that in the summer of 2017 I blocked out about a month and a half to make a couple of suit jackets.  During the previous winter I'd been constantly annoyed about not having enough dressy options that worked with the weather. I didn't sew anything then for some reason, probably distracted by cake.  Instead I just bought several new pieces of wool while cackling with glee. Oh wool, you complete me. Let's go get brunch. Honestly though, who wouldn't fall in love with this plaid? Only a monster.....or maybe someone who looks terrible in green. I'll cut you a little slack if that's the case.
You guys know how I feel about plaid, we're soul mates. Also it's super hard to even find a predominately green plaid. As soon as I saw this on the Mood website I was practically screaming, "TAKE MY MONEY! I NEED THIS IN MY LIFE!" Didn't want this one to languish in the stash for a few years, so sewing it up was priority number 1. One needs all the green or red garments they can get for Christmas season theme dressing. Aka the best season of the year because everyone wears my favorite colors.
For once my existing pattern stash was rummaged through for a suitable pattern. Memory fails me but I think I bought Simplicity 1207 on a whim during one of my random Etsy pattern browsing bindges. Nothing de-stresses me like staring at new patterns.  That shoulder detail intrigued was very intriguing. I didn't realize it was a pocket until looking at the pattern pieces.  Sure the lady on the left has a handkerchief in hers but sometimes I'm oblivious. Probably distracted by the shoes the lady in red has on. Would buy! **Can I get Royal Vintage shoes on the phone and make this happen?  Also if you're wondering why the pattern number is different on this picture it's because Simplicity re-released the pattern about a month after I completed my jacket.  I haven't bought the new version check if the patterns have been tweaked to make them easier to sew.  Even so it is nice to be able say, "If you want to make this pattern you can easily get a copy."
Anyway, back to the yoke detail! Sewing it together was one of the most interesting construction processes I've had in awhile. It's a good thing I did have the original instructions to refer to because it still made me go......huh? Here's a photo I took mid sewing process to document the yoke area. What you see here is the back on the left with the yoke/back half of the pocket bag attached at the shoulders. On the right is the front with the back yoke area attached. The fronts have the other half of the pocket bag sewn in already. They're in lining fabric and you top-stitch the edge of the pocket before getting to this point.
To put these two pieces together press the seam allowance under on the "band" portion of the front. Then you lay it on top of the back and top-stitch everything into place. Pretty sure the pattern drafter wasn't thinking, "And maybe some crazy person will do this on plaid. That will be fun!" He was probably thinking the opposite. Of course I was that crazy person and was already past the point of no return.  Time for a walking foot, lots of pins and maybe a burnt sacrifice to the sewing goddess.  Though I like to think of her as a cousin of Jobu from "Major League" and she really just wants some alcohol. P.S. "Jesus, I like him very much, but he no help with curve ball."
As you can kind of see in this poorly lit photo, it worked! Bless whichever relative gave me the anal retentive fabric cutting genes.  All....The...Plaids....WILL...Match. Then months later you can smile smugly into your camera about how awesome your yoke plaids match.

The other detail to talk about is the buttons. You might have noticed that my version has 2 instead of 1 like on the pattern illustration.  Well when I muslined this up it seemed like the button was way too low to keep all of the jacket in place. The upper portion was gaping a bit in a non flattering way.  If I had to guess my low bust point might be to blame. Lurking down low and pushing everything about with abandon. Solution, more buttons!  I added another button 4.5" above the original button location. After wearing the jacket once I also added a snap to keep the bottom half in place. Gotta keep all those plaid lines in place.

Simplicity 1207.  Since making my version this pattern was re-released by the company as Simplicity 8461.

Fabrics used
Wool plaid from Mood fabrics, black bemberg from Emmaonesock

Pattern changes/alterations
1. Graded pattern up from 34" bust to 36" bust.
2. Added 1/2" ease to the waist and hip.
3. 1/2 forward shoulder adjustment.
4. Added another button to the CF.

The plaid matching might be on point, but on the other end of the spectrum we have the back of this jacket.  I had no idea this suit was so puffy there until taking these photos. Checked the pattern and yes I did neglect to put in my normal sway back adjustment.  Oops.  At least I've got plenty of ease to move around.

Husband Comment
"It has a lot of real estate for pins. Also the pattern illustration looks like an air hostess. Not you though."

My Final Thoughts
One good thing about blogging months after completing a project is that you know how successful of a wardrobe item it is.  I wore this one as often as possible from December to April. In fact I was always pissed if I'd worn it to church last week and didn't want to repeat my outfit.  I will admit that the color had a lot to do with that.  Pros for the actual design is that it's very comfortable and warm thanks to the wool and full lining. I do like the pocket yoke detail and it makes me think I need to pick up a pair of dress clips.  Simplicity 1207 isn't a pattern that I'm planning on sewing again, but I'm 100% happy that I did make one up.
During the summer of 2017 I made two other jackets, one successful, one that's a bit of a mess. It may be salvageable if I rip out the lining and maybe replace a collar.  Of course I hate taking apart finished garments so that one may never see the light of day. You'll definitely see the one that worked out even though it's a pattern repeat. Until then buy plaid and cake. I already am.

* Don't know how prevalent the Fashion Bug chain was but it was slightly better quality than Walmart but not as good as Macy's. Anyway the price was right so my Mom let us do a lot of our High School wardrobe shopping there.

** I happen to wearing the Royal Vintage Marilyn pumps in these photos and I'd give them a thumbs up.

Meanwhile on another blog....


When one of your virtual sewing besties asks if you can write a guest post you don't say no! Which is why I'm over on the Sewicalist blog today. Gillian, of Crafting a Rainbow, asked if I'd like to talk about my transition to wearing vintage styles full time.  We used a bunch of old Me Made May photos as reference points so you get to have a fun look back at my old makes.

I didn't put this one in the blog post.....but it makes me laugh like an idiot every time.

This post ended up being a companion piece to my last post about turning 40. Writing them at the same time might have something to do with it.  I wanted to keep the birthday post light and fun, just a look at various wardrobe mishaps over the years.  My transition to vintage post is more about why I made the change. It's by no means dark, but I did go into some of the internal changes that lead to my choice to be a full time vintage lady.  To read that post just click on this little linky right here.

I am doing Me Made May this year over on Instagram. Do people do blog roundups of that sort of thing anymore? You can find me over there under knitnbee if you wanna see what makes I keep pulling out of the closet. *cough McCall's 4264 cough*

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