Navy Vintage Inspired SuitDecember 14, 2013

What’s on my table these days? Lots of little jobs to do before Christmas, as well as this big custom project underway. Suit making is quite an involved process, requiring thorough consideration of design details, fit, and fabrication.
My client came to me with the desire to own a suit that harkened back to the 1940′s era. She loved the mannish feel of Katharine Hepburn’s suit pictured here,

as well as the eye-catching five button closure of this green jacket (something between double and single breasted). It’s all about the details!
The main point was to have a unique and interesting design that was comfortable to wear, and flattering to her figure. She also has a collection of beautiful vintage hankies that she needed to showcase somehow, so pockets (namely a breast pocket) were very important.
We worked together to come up with a design that communicated a vintage feel by way of unique details. We borrowed the front button closure, added curved pocket edges and back seams, pleats, and triangular reinforcements. 3-front-sketch

4-back-sketch
She knew she wanted the fabric to be navy blue in colour, with some sort of contrast to bring out the details. She went scouring the fabric stores and found some beautiful (washable!) cotton mix suiting, with a bit of stretch for comfort, woven in a herringbone pattern. For a subtle contrast on the pocket edges, triangles, and for inside the back jacket pleats, she chose a dupioni silk in the same shade of blue, with a different sheen and texture from the main fabric. She wanted a patterned lining, and luckily found a coordinating blue vintage plaid. 5-fabric-uncut
After drafting a pattern, making a test muslin to fit, and making adjustments, I started cutting the nice fabric she brought me. There were a lot of pieces to cut in the three different fabrics, I think I counted 66 (not including interfacing)! I have begun putting them together, and after some more fittings, I will reveal the beautiful results of this co-designed vintage inspired suit. 6-pattern-pieces

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