This suit was better in concept than execution. The fabric isn’t at fault – although a soft linen probably needed a better choice of patterns. It was purchased a couple years ago at a Santa Cruz, CA fabric shop just down the street from where I used to live in college. I made the trousers first, from a Papercut pattern (Nagoya pants) and made a mistake in measuring and adjusting. This resulted in the trousers being far too large around the hips and backside, and I went through numerous attempts to make them fit properly. I’m still not sure I’ve managed it. The pattern also would look better with a stiffer and heavier fabric. Despite sewing for 30+ years, it’s still very possible to make many many basic errors!
I then cast about in my patterns for a jacket that would match. This was not planned from the outset – again, a mistake. This is the classic Vogue Chanel style jacket – and again, this is probably not the right fabric or treatment for a successful make. The jacket is a bit more successful than the trousers, but I’m not thrilled with either and suspect this won’t get much wear.
It’s a disappointment, especially for someone time poor, to spend so much time making something that isn’t great, fits well and that you love. Don’t get me wrong – it’s super comfortable, and it’s not terrible – but it’s not something I see in my closet and get excited about.
Lessons that I seem to need to keep learning:
- Don’t buy fabric on spec – only buy it because it’s the right thing for a pattern you’re making
- Choose the right fabric for the pattern – and don’t just match up what fabric you have with a pattern you have and hope for the best
- Take time with the measurements and when you can see it going wrong during the make, take the time to fix it then and there!
And despite this failure, and the lessons above, the next thing I made was – you guessed it – finding some fabric and then picking from patterns I already had and hoping for the best…