Thursday, May 22, 2008

A suit

Remember the pin-stripe skirt and the story of how I got given 2m extra pin-stripe for free? Obviously I had to attempt a suit. Now, for only about 100USD, and a month's hard labour, I have one. I actually finished it a couple of weeks ago, but have been tidying up since then - wool sure make a lot of dust - and I only wore it properly for the first time this week.

The jacket - Marfy 1450 - is, of course, constructed out of a long series of errors. I like to think the errors get smaller the more jackets I make, but still with so many steps in making a jacket there really are a lot of places to go wrong. Moderately priced ready to wear suits are made with much greater accuracy, but I think home stitchin' still wins because of better fit, and nicer fabric (for the price).

I used Kenneth King's Tailored Jacket CD to make the jacket. I think I made better job of the inferfacing this time, but I still struggle to get the lapel right. This jacket has vertical darts in front and back and they all have little dimples in which is also not ideal. Marfy patterns do like quite pouffy sleeves and it is a bit of a struggle getting all the ease in. My resulting sleeve cap is nothing like as smooth as a real suit.

The Marfy size 42 is pretty close to my size. The last jacket ended up a bit tight across the back, and I shortened it a bit too, and also narrowed the shoulder slightly. I compared that pattern to this one and decided that adjustments would mostly likely be within seam allowances so I cut out the lining. I broadened the back by sewing 0.5cm into the seam allowance at the back-underarm seam, tapering down to nothing by the waist. I also added 0.5cm to the circumference of the arm, again tapering to nothing in about 20cm. After making these adjustments in the lining I make the adjusted pattern pieces for the interfacing and top fabric. I also added some extra to the pattern for shoulder pads. I only used thin pads (0.5cm) but it wasn't clear to me whether space for pads is included in the pattern. Even with the extra I added, the bust point is a tad high. The arms are exactly the right length unaltered and I also did not change the length of the body.

The lining is silk charmeuse in an excellent blue colour, bought from Sarah Velben's online store. Generally I prefer to shop for fabric locally, but I haven't seen much range of silk lining fabric so quite a while ago I bought Sarah's colour card. It is really worthwhile since it means there is no guesswork over colour or fabric (I also have a set of samples of the different silks she sells). The only downside is having to wait for it to arrive, but since this time I actually had a plan I could buy it well in advance.

The pattern has no pockets, but KK's CD includes an inside pocket in the lining which I included. It is rather handy although , of course, I managed to put it in the wrong side, which makes it a bit harder to get at than it should be.