My SWAP suit
This suit started with one metre of tweedy fabric I got from my favourite fabric shop Simplyfabrics of Brixton. I bought 1m for a generic skirt when I had only made one skirt in 25 years. I didn’t know how much I would need as I had no idea what type of skirt I wanted. I liked the cloth with its off white, grey, dark blue and lighter blue yarns, and a soft cottony-wooly feel. I wanted to make a 60s style skirt. This is a style I particularly favour. I am not keen on the classic pencil skirt, as I have a small waist but big hips. An A-line is more flattering. I like the combination of a slight flare with a relatively short (above the knee) hem to be flattering on someone with curves plus average length legs. But let’s face it, a pure A line is terribly boring and aging. Over the years I have owned some vintage sixties suits and rather than the skirt being an also-ran (like you get today, even with expensive brands), I noted lots of interesting and important design details on the skirt. Gathering plus darting, yokes, panels rather than side seams, in seam pockets – and usually lined. I bought a few sixties suit patterns online, mainly for the skirts. And Vogue 7379 was one of them.
As usual I had to work quite hard to get the skirt into the fabric, top and tailing in order to do so. This left me with insufficient fabric to create either a waist band or pockets. For the pockets I had plenty of left overs and used a light blue silk/cashmere for in seam pockets. But for the waistband I had no suitable woolen fabric. From the same shop I had bought a piece of good quality linen suiting fabric in a fairly lively blue. I was told it was Paul Smith, but who knows. It had a jagged piece cut out of it, and was sold to me for 5 quid. Not knowing initially what this was for (a bit firm for a dress) I cut the waist band from it, and found it a great success.
Of course when I later decided to build on this success and make a jacket I was short of material again. I managed to get the jacket cut out but had to sacrifice the pockets, which I really regret. The collar was made with the right grain only on the underside but it worked out fine. I used a crisp cotton organdie for the interfacing in the collar and front facing. I found some nice shell buttons at McCullogh and Wallis. I often get my buttons there although they can be rather expensive.
I lined both skirt and jacket in silk habotai, on which I had painted a subtle grid pattern in blue-grey.
There is a sequel to this story. I really wanted the pockets and was thrilled to find some more of the blue linen, on the roll, lying alongside all the summer dress weight linens. I bought two metres, thinking of trousers as well as pockets. Then, when I got home, I found there was no pocket pattern. I could draft one, but given the jacket is already lined, it is now a big hassle. Maybe?