How do I even begin to post on a project as monumental as the mystery project I finished last week. OK, maybe “finished” is a bit of an overstatement, but more on that later. Maybe it’s best to just let a picture do the explaining.
Yes. My mystery project was a men’s suit. The jacket is Vogue 8890 and the trousers are Burda 7918 (mostly). The dude is my second youngest brother, James. He’s feeling camera shy, so when one of my conditions for making him a suit was that I would have to be able to blog it, one of his conditions was that I cover his face in the pics.
The jacket isn’t exactly made per instructions. I cheated and used fusible interfacing for most of it. I did tape the roll line of the lapel the old-fashioned way. I also added non-fusible hair canvas interfacing to the sleeve from the cap to the bicep area to keep things structured around the upper arms. He slouches (like many young men in their early 20’s) so I gave him 1″ shoulder pads for instant posture improvement. I’m really happy with the shoulder-line of this suit. I think I’d have been happier with the pockets if I’d stabilized them a bit more, but they’ll do. The major size alteration I did for the jacket was adding some space on the sleeve to allow for full biceps, and he has a nice range-of-motion in his upper arms since I did that.
One of the first things he did when we got outside for pictures was to take a look at the buttonholes and see a bit of loose interfacing. Had to get out some pocket multi-tool and fix it.
I underlined the trousers in Bemberg rayon lining (which is also what I lined the jacket with) since the suiting was just loosely woven enough to give concern for show-through. His main criteria for the trousers was that they have plenty of hip ease. Not because he has large hips, but because he carries so much stuff in his pockets on a routine basis. I slashed and added some front pleats at the waistline of the Burda pattern (Vogue 8890 is a very slim cut trouser, so I didn’t even try to use it). He also needed back pockets for his trousers (apparently he carries box-cutting tools frequently when wearing suits) so I added in the ones from the Vogue suit pattern. I don’t have pictures without the jacket, so none of my trouser alterations are visible. Here’s a picture of the back of the suit instead (double-vented)
So, how did I get talked into making a suit for my little brother? I’m not entirely sure, actually. I thought he was joking at first, but he did ask nicely, and this was overall a very fun, though complicated and time-consuming, project. The back-story is that I remember him having at least two red/burgundy suits when he was a very little boy (he’s quite a bit younger than me), and he remembers having a red/burgundy/maroon suit when he was a teenager that he loved. He loved it so much that he’s never completely gotten over the fact that he did outgrow it, and that our mom made it disappear so he’d have to stop wearing it. When he finally decided he wasn’t going to be able to find another one in the stores, he came to the conclusion he’d have to get it made (he doesn’t sew, and really doesn’t have the time to learn how right now). Maybe he’ll be completely unique for a while or maybe he’s just at the beginning of a trend and we will start to see lots and lots of red suits on men in the next year or two.
Overall, I’m happy with the suit. While there’s lots of things about it I wish I was more skilled at doing, what I was able to accomplish makes me feel like it will be worth it to continue to improve my tailoring skills by making plenty more suits. James is apparently happy with it too, and that’s what really matters in this instance.
If you read my previous posts alluding to the 9-yards of fabric I was dealing with, you may have noticed that this suit doesn’t account for having 9 yards of fashion fabric to cut into. That’s what I mean about not actually being “finished” yet. My brother was nice enough to request that I order enough fabric that my boys can get suits too (he’s footing the fabric bill, so it is a really nice thing that he added extra for the boys). They should be pretty snazzy when they all get done. I cut out the boy’s suits when I cut James’ out, but haven’t even begun to put them together. I think I need to join in the Hummingbird sew-along, then I’ll be re-charged to tackle more suit-making.
Lastly, but not at all least, the buttons on this suit are crazy-special. I’m planning to dedicate an upcoming post to the story behind what makes them so unique. Here’s a clue: