I've had a hankering for some time to make a vintage suit, ideally 1930s or 1940s. Goodness knows why, as I have almost no reason to wear a suit these days - I'm putting it down to having watched Brief Encounter once too often!
|What started it all
This grand plan was kept in check by the fact that I wanted to use a period pattern rather than a reissue, and suit patterns from that era are few and far between. And also by the minor consideration that it was a mad idea - but that rarely stops me.
Then the lovely Gina of Beauty From Ashes posted that she was selling some of her vintage patterns as a fundraiser for Jessica Cangiano of Chronically Vintage, who tragically lost pretty much everything she owned in a house fire in October. Gina had linked up with her friend Lily of Mode de Lis to sell the patterns, and when I followed the link Gina had posted, I found this:
From the pattern number I think that it is late 1930s, probably 1938. It's almost my size, it was an opportunity to help (in a small way) someone who has given so much to the vintage scene, and it was a pattern from a friend's stash. What more could I want?
The pattern arrived beautifully wrapped by Lily; I was torn between wanting to open it immediately and taking a photograph of the pretty package - as you can see, my blogging instincts won out!
|It was almost a shame to open it - almost
Suggested fabrics include 'novelty woollen' and 'novelty cotton'. I assume that the term meant something like this, rather than what we think of as 'novelty prints' now.
|1930s textured cotton fabrics from antiquequiltdating.com
As usual for the period, the instructions are a single sheet, with one side taken up with cutting layouts. There are also a lot of pattern markings to transfer on the jacket pieces.
|Pattern pieces and skirt instructions
The instructions themselves are brief.
My local fabric shop held its pre-sale preview evening this week, with extra discounts on the night. So although I'm not going to be making this up for a while, I decided to stroll down and check if they had any (non-novelty) period-appropriate suiting.
|Celia Johnson in Brief Encounter, showing the suit fabric
I didn't find any herringbone suiting, but I did find this. It's actually a slightly more olive background colour than it appears on my monitor, and the fabric is beautifully soft. So much so that the jacket will probably need some sort of interlining.
|Fabric and pattern
It's a long time since I've done any tailoring, so this will definitely be a challenge!
Lily still has some patterns for sale in the Fundraiser for Jessica; the link is here.