Vogue 8333

I finally made my suit jacket! I actually finished it a few weeks ago but things have been so crazy I haven’t had time to post about it. This was the trial version I had adjusted the pattern pieces and cut out last year. Took me awhile to 1) find 60″ wide nylon knit interfacing and 2) get the motivation. The pattern is Vogue 8333, a Claire Schaeffer pattern. She does such a wonderful job of explaining all the different steps that goes into this suit jacket. I made a size 14 with a 3″ full bust adjustment, in Version B with a few of the more couture techniques.

I used some cheap polyester tan striped suiting from Jo-Ann’s I had in my stash for another project, gorgeous stretch teal polyester charmeuse leftover from a belly dance costume I made, and a few purchased items like horsehair canvas, buttons, and interfacing. I didn’t use shoulder pads in this version. The idea was to make a trial of the jacket to check for any fitting issues before making my gorgeous couture version in this navy 100% wool suiting fabric and light grey silk I had purchased from our local fabric store last year.

Overall the fit is really good. I haven’t tried putting shoulder pads in it yet, but I feel that would resolve the back fitting issues. Overall I found the directions to be superb. First I cut out all of the pieces of fabric and interfacing and interfaced the appropriate pieces. Hand stitching the stay tape to the front pieces took awhile but looks great. I used some ribbon I had in my stash. Then I ironed them to smooth them out.


Putting together the pockets was very confusing to me using the ready to wear instructions but I figured it out after reading the couture method. Once I got clarification on that process they went together very easy and look great.


The other spot I struggled with was stitching the sleeve lining to the exterior fabric. I had quite a tough time with this and several swear words but I finally figured it out. The couture method looks a bit easier but because I already had everything together via the ready to wear route I couldn’t use the couture method. Love the color of the lining!


I will say that the collar construction steps were AMAZING! This collar turned out perfect! And don’t worry, I took out the basting stitches at the edge there, ;). She has you construct the color before you even attach it to the jacket pieces.


Close ups of the inner details.


And voila! A beautiful new suit jacket to go with the skirt I had made last year, :). In the photos I am wearing a cowl tank I had made with So Sew Easy’s Cowl Neck Top pattern which can be purchased for $5.95 here. Looks perfect with the jacket lining! So there are a few fitting issues here and there but overall I think it turned out really well. Please excuse the skirt wrinkles! I had been wearing it all day and I’ve gained about a size since I made it so it is a bit small.


Vogue 8543 Skirt Mock Up

So I finally got around to making this skirt! It’s the skirt off the Vogue 8543 suit pattern. LOVE the lines of this skirt and had read mixed reviews of the pattern. Honestly, I only halfway read the instructions and put it together using my own methods. The directions weren’t all that great anyway.

This is going to be a part of my fancy wool suit but I wanted to make sure my ideas would work out before cutting into the nice stuff. Per a previous post I should have just enough wool to complete it, :). For the trial skirt I used this cheap polyester suiting from Jo-Ann’s I had in my stash and gorgeous teal polyester charmeuse. Omg, LOVE this charmeuse. It feels so nice and the color is gorgeous. I’m glad that at least people will be able to see it when I make the jacket, ;).

First thing, piece 13 is mislabeled as “middle jacket back”. Nope, middle back skirt piece. Easy enough to figure out. Then I didn’t like that the skirt didn’t have self waistband facings. Nothing worse than having lining poking up from under the waistband. The front waistband facing was easy to do, instead of cutting the inner waistband piece out of lining I cut it out of the exterior fabric like pretty much any other pattern. Then for the back band I traced out a new piece using the front piece and middle back/side back pieces as guides and then taking that excess off the original lining piece.

First I traced off a half piece (as I will cut it out along the fold) using the center of the middle back piece and the side piece as guides for shape. I also measured out the depth of the front band facing pieces so it would match up better on the sides.

Then I cut it out along the fold and voila, a new piece, :).

Here is a photo of both the front and back waistband facings.

And then because I made a new piece for the back waistband, I had to take this off of the original lining piece.

Because I was in between the sizes 14 and 16, I used 1/2″ seams for the seams that go up and down leaving the more decorative seams at the 5/8″ seam. I originally did these as 1/2″ seams as well but they gave the skirt a weird pouffy look so I went ahead and made them 5/8″ seams. Then I went off pattern again. Instead of waiting to the end to hem everything, I hemmed the lining and exterior skirts before attaching the two pieces together. This made the process a little easier except I did make one error in putting the back skirt lining pieces together. I had forgotten to put the markings on the lining pieces and didn’t leave an opening in the back lining piece for a vent. So I took it apart and put one in…except I did this to the side seam and not the back seam. Oops! But it’s ok. I’ll remember to do this correctly for the nice skirt.

The other major change I made was when putting in the invisible zipper. I used Colette’s invisible zipper method and also used her method for attaching the interior lining to the zipper. I discovered this through her pants and shorts patterns and it is so much easier than slip stitching the lining to the zipper, it also just looks so much nicer too. Those steps can be seen during the Clover pants sew-a-long here or Lladybird’s photo tutorial of the process here.

When attaching the lining to the zipper I stitched the lining to the zipper I pinned the pieces together and stitched it just a little further over in the seam to allow the zipper to zip up and down easier.


And voila, a very pretty invisible zipper on both the inside and outside, :). My seams are a little off throughout this first make due to small errors here and there but not too bad.

Overall the skirt is pretty easy and quick to put together. The jacket will take a bit more time…

I don’t think the wrinkles will be there on he navy wool version, this polyester fabric is pretty light weight and wrinkles easily.


I look like I smelled something bad, haha. But look at that side view! Such cute pleats and great lines and shape, :).


And the back view of course. Again, LOVE those pleats! And the shape is so flattering.


And another back view. I feel like people never post enough pics of the back, for review purposes of course, ;).


Now onto the suit jacket!!!

WIP Vogue 8333/8543 Suit: Cutting and Pattern Adjustments

Woo hoo! Slowly making progress! I’ve begun the arduous process of cutting all the pieces out: fabric, lining, interfacings… Sometimes I’m tempted to pay someone else, ;). I’ve only managed the fabric pieces thus far and have decided to make the skirt first, then the jacket.

I’ve also decided that if I am going to spend all this time and energy making a muslin I may as well attempt to make it a wearable one. I discovered I had about 5 yards of this tan striped cheap polyester suiting fabric in my stash and a few yards of this gorgeous teal polyester charmeuse for the lining. I think that teal will look gorgeous inside the jacket.




So the fun began… IMG_2307



And I discovered….all the current pieces will fit within 3.5 yards!!! Which means I literally have JUST enough of my gorgeous navy wool for this project, ;). I believe I have the necessary suit adjustments completed on the pattern, possibly may need to alter the shoulder and perhaps take into account a sway back. Will know more once I start putting the fabric pieces of the suit together.

Another change I decided to make upon reflection of reading other seamstresses’ attempts at the skirt is to add a self fabric waist band facing on the skirt. Also, piece #13 is mislabeled. It is not a jacket piece, ;). I have made enough projects with the lining flush with the waistband that I know the lining tends to become visible from time to time and if I am going to spend the time making an expensive suit, that just won’t do.

The front waistband facing was easy since the lining piece is the same as the outside fabric. So instead of cutting 1 fabric and 1 lining, I just cut 2 of the fabric. Easy peasy. The back waistband took some more thought. As one can see, the way the back pieces are pieced together makes just tracing the top a little tricky.


So I took the middle back piece and one of the side back pieces and marked the seam lines. Per 1 piece the finished waist is 29.5″, so to make it fit my 30″ waist better I am making all of the seams 1/2″ instead of 5/8″ inch which should add 1″ to the finished pattern pieces, or be 30.5″ in the end. Perfect. So I marked off the 1/2″ seam allowances, lined up the side back with the middle back and traced from the center back line to the end of the side piece like this:



I drew a straight line for the center back portion (the end that will placed on the fold). Then using the front facing as an example, I curve the bottom line to maintain a 3 3/4″ width along the new piece and cut out one on the fold. I will need to make adjustments to the lining portions but overall this should work out quite nicely.


Future Couture Suit Jacket and Bra Making Plans

So I’ve had both Vogue 8333 and 8543 in my pattern stash for some time. I even had the fabric picked out and ordered for 8543, but then the online store didn’t really have the fabric and the order was cancelled, :(. Well our local Textile Fabrics is still having their now moving sale (moving not closing now, yay!) with all fabrics 60% off! So I found a gorgeous navy wool suiting fabric, light gray silk lining, and grayish silk organza for the underlining. And my future plans changed. Now I want to make the Vogue 8333 version A couture suit jacket paired with the Vogue 8543 skirt. I think they will work well together and just pray I have enough of the wool! Original plan of the jacket and skirt of 8543 only required 3.25 yards and I got 3.5 to have a little extra. The new plan requires 3 yards and 5/8 yard, 1/8 more than I have. Hoping I have enough! I usually don’t use the full allotment, so fingers crossed!

The navy wool and light gray lining:  

First step: FBA adjustment and pattern trial. I went with a size 14 as Vogue tends to run larger and I preferred a more fitted suit jacket. As my upper bust is 34, I added the 2″ B cup pattern allotment and got 36″. Size 14 uses a 36″ bust so perfect. Then I just needed to add the difference between my full bust (39″) and the pattern full bust (36″) which is 3″, or 1.5″ per side. I matched the center front of the front pattern piece with my center front and the shoulder seam with my shoulder seam so I could mark my bust apex on the pattern. Please disregard my terrible drawing skills!

Once I had this new spot, I then drew a vertical line parallel with the front center line through the new apex and a horizontal line parallel with the waist line through the new apex. Now I had 4 quadrants which I labeled.

I cut apart the lines leaving a hinge at the shoulder seam and the bottom hem line. As this piece used princess seams I also separated the side front piece into two pieces through the waist line but leaving the paper attached just a bit at the side as a hinge. I labeled these 4 (left top), 3 (right top, 2 (left bottom, and 1 (right bottom). I first taped down quadrant 3 to a piece of tracing paper. Then I measured out a vertical line to the left side of this quadrant 3 piece 1.5″ out and a horizontal line to the bottom 1.5″ down. I matched up quadrant 1 (bottom right piece) to the horizontal line keeping it parallel to the top right piece and taped it down. Then I moved Quadrant 4 out so the bottom right corner matched up with the vertical line while staying even with quadrant 3 along the bottom. Then matched up quadrant 2 to both the vertical and horizontal lines keeping it parallel to both the top left piece and the bottom right piece. Then did the same with the side piece. After everything was placed correctly I taped everything down.

Then I pinned all the seam allowances together to “try” half the jacket on. Pretty good for! I’ll have a lot of couture methods to learn and sort out as I go along with this project. I’m excited! 

Better pics taken while on my dress double:   


The other major project on my list is: making my first bra!

After my disappointment of being unable to find a strapless bra at Victoria’s Secret that fit right I decided to finally delve into this realm.

I’ve purchased the Kindle version of Orange Lingerie founder Norma Loehr’s book Demystifying Bra Fitting and Construction. So far has been full of super useful advice. I have plans to purchase her newest pattern, the Boylston bra as well. I feel that this is the best pattern for my 34DD size and best option for attempting a strapless version. Still researching fabrics, etc. 


Obviously I have my work cut out for me for a bit, ;).


Vogue 8890 Men’s Suit is Finished!

Hello all. I finally finished the time intensive endeavor by December 30th, just in time for my boyfriend to wear it for New Year’s Eve. He loved it and received many compliments. The inside blue lining compliments the outer dark gray fabric beautifully, the pockets were plentiful, and had easy access. I opted to not put the buttons on the inside jacket pockets and pants pockets. Overall it fits him nicely and only I know where all the errors were made, ;).

Had some difficulty with the pants waistband due to not paying attention to attaching the right side but I managed to fix it. I’d say men’s suit construction #2 was much easier than #1 but still challenging. I wish I’d saved photos from the first one for a comparison.

I had also made him a fedora but both attempts failed due to sizing, more on that in a separate post.

My next project will be a cloak using Vogue 8959, it’s almost finished so will be posting soon.

Below are some photos of the finished suit! Sorry they aren’t more professional looking.






Vogue 8890 Part 4: Finished Jacket

Yay! It took some time but the jacket is finished and all together, :). I made a few changes from the original pattern: welted pockets instead of flap pockets & no button closure on the inside pockets. I love the striking color differences of the inside blue lining and outer grey with the subtle blue stripe. And it fits my boyfriend perfectly! 🙂 Below are some photos of the jacket. I will post pics of the pants soon as I’ve also nearly finished those and working on a matching fedora. Attempt number 1 at the hat looked great but was too small so on take 2.

Here is the suit jacket:








Vogue 8890 Part 3: Sleeves

Success! Sleeves can be tricky and especially so when the pattern instructions tell you to put a ring of stitching around the upper sleeve ease in the access fabric. I found to put the ease stitching on he bottom section of the sleeve to not only work better but also gives the suit shoulders clean lines.

I believe I did and re-did the right sleeve about 3 times before I decided I had done it correctly. I had to cut out new pieces as I forgot to shorten the sleeves about 1.5″. I had made a muslin Proto-type in the beginning which is a necessary step for those of us (me) who are semi new to suit making and tailoring. I am glad I did as it helped me place the lines and sleeves better and the fit thus far is great.

For this suit I am using horsehair canvas and it really gives the suit great structure even if it is more work than fusible. I also discovered how to do button hole stitching on my Single Simple machine! Definitely makes doing button holes WAY easier than hand-stitching.

To iron out the shoulders I borrowed a iron ham from my roommate. This round stuffed device is great for ironing things like shoulder seems.

Next is the final fitting and inserting shoulder pads. I am using thin 1/4″ pads as my boyfriend doesn’t want large ones. Then it’s on to the lapel interfacing, lining, & collar. Halfway there!

It’s looking great so far now that I’ve gotten everything to lay as it should, :). I put in some pad stitching on the lapel side of the upper left flap pocket to make it pouf less and it did the job looking much better now.